Sunbeam (passenger train)
Depiction of the streamlined train.
|System||Texas and New Orleans Railroad
|Line length||264 miles (425 km)|
|Track gauge||4 ft 8 1⁄2 in (1,435 mm)|
The Sunbeam was a named passenger train operated from 1925 to 1955 between Houston and Dallas by the Texas and New Orleans Railroad (T&NO), a subsidiary of the Southern Pacific Railroad (SP). The train was designated number 13 northbound, and number 14 southbound.
Originally a heavyweight train, the Sunbeam was re-equipped on September 19, 1937 as a streamlined train sporting the Daylight paint scheme of parent Southern Pacific’s other named passenger trains. For motive power, the T&NO streamlined three P-14 class 4-6-2 Pacific locomotives and painted them and their Vanderbilt tenders in Daylight colors.
Initially, the streamlined Sunbeam was scheduled over the 264-mile route in 4 hours, 45 minutes. Beginning June 1, 1938, the schedule became non-stop between the two largest cities in Texas, and the scheduled time was trimmed by twenty minutes to 4 hours, 25 minutes (265 minutes) in each direction. This fast schedule was designed to meet the mile-a-minute timing of its competitors, the Burlington-Rock Island's Texas Rocket and Sam Houston Zephyr.
The Sunbeam operated in tandem with its slower sibling, the Hustler: "The two sets of equipment were dispatched from each terminal in the morning as the Hustler, making all local stops along the way. Then, at the end of the line, they were turned and sent back as the mile-a-minute Sunbeam express." By 1950, flag stops at Ennis and College Station had been added to the Sunbeam's schedule.
- "A Brief History of Railroads in Dallas". Dallas Railroad Museum. Retrieved 2008-08-18.
- "The Argonaut". The Louisiana Rail Site. Retrieved 2008-08-18.
- Bowen, Eric H. "Streamliner Schedules". Retrieved 2008-08-18.
- Solomon, Brian (1999). Southern Pacific Railroad. MBI Publishing. p. 115. ISBN 0-7603-0614-1.
- Photograph of the Sunbeam with streamlined Pacific locomotive and Vanderbilt tender, circa 1940, from The Portal to Texas History, University of North Texas Libraries.
- Photograph of the Sunbeam at Dallas in 1950, from The Portal to Texas History, University of North Texas Libraries.
- Photograph of the Sunbeam, led by Alco PA units, en route to Houston in 1952, from The Portal to Texas History, University of North Texas Libraries.
- Photograph of the Sunbeam leaving Dallas on Oct. 5, 1952, from The Portal to Texas History, University of North Texas Libraries.
- Photograph of the Sunbeam leaving Houston on Aug. 9, 1953, from The Portal to Texas History, University of North Texas Libraries.