I had no idea that my father (John Willie Taylor) worked for the railroad industry also until I came upon a W-2 with total wages he earned working for Southern Pacific (SP) in 1949. When I asked mom about his employment with SP, she said he did work for them, but only for a short period of time before going on to work full time for Sheffield Steel Corporation (Armco Steel).
In addition to the W-2, I found an old postcard booklet dad saved from 1949 about the famous SP Sunset Route from New Orleans, Louisiana to El Paso, Texas. A quick search online shows that this antique/vintage postcard collection sells for $2.50 and up today, depending on its condition. Even though my souvenir folder is a little brown from dirt & dust through the years, it has never been used and therefore, in pretty good condition (see below)!
Famous Sunset Route
NEW ORLEANS, LA
to EL PASO, TEXAS
There’s absolutely no doubt that Southern Pacific’s Sunset Route to California is the most romantic rail line in the country. It starts in New Orleans, which is one of the three cities in America that they write stories about. Five different nations have left their marks here. New Orleans has some of the finest restaurants in the world, and it is worth a trip to this city just to see the old French Quarter with its balconies of filigree wrought iron, and the antique shops on Royal Street, almost bursting with treasure, some of it from the fine old plantation homes of pre-Civil War days.
Leaving the Old South at New Orleans, the Sunset Route travels westward across the picturesque Bayou country of Louisiana, the land of Evangeline, fringed with moss draped oaks. Over the Texas border to Beaumont, famous for its vast oil production and then to Houston, bustling, prosperous, shiny Metropolis of Texas. Thence to San Antonio – famous for her Alamo, Missions, and the picturesque San Antonio River. Then over the famous new high bridge over Pecos to the Mexican border at El Paso.
“Southern Pacific Lines Along the Sunset Route: New Orleans, LA to El Paso, Texas.” Souvenir Folder. Southern Pacific Lines. 1949.