Golden State (train)
The Golden State Limited was a named passenger train operating between Chicago and Los Angeles from 1902–1968 by the Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific Railroad (“Rock Island”) and the Southern Pacific Company (SP) and predecessors. It was named for California, which was, in many cases, called the “Golden State”. In the early years of the train, the drumhead, or lighted sign at the end of the observation car of the train, was done primarily in orange, with colored drawings of oranges on glass backlit by train lighting.
The Golden State had the advantage of transcontinental travel at a relatively low altitude, crossing the Continental Divide at about 4,400 feet (1,300 m) near Lordsburg, New Mexico, thus avoiding severe winter weather, particularly snowfall. (Highest elevation en route was 6600+ feet, further east in New Mexico.) Low altitude was an advantage for patients with lung problems and other illnesses, particularly tuberculosis, for which no antibiotics were available until after World War II. The other major central transcontinental routes both reached elevations of more than 7,000 feet (2,100 m) — the Santa Fe near Flagstaff and the Union Pacific near Sherman Hill, Wyoming.
In addition, the Southern Pacific (after 1924) directly served the Arizona winter resort, golf course, sanatorium and dude ranch areas of Tucson and Phoenix, Arizona as well as Palm Springs, California, the winter home playground of many Hollywood movie stars.
The Golden State route had the disadvantage of having a weak connecting and somewhat over-extended granger line (the Rock Island) serving farmland shippers, combined with the prosperous (and dominant) Southern Pacific who also had the Overland Route from San Francisco to Chicago as almost direct competition.
Other articles related to "train, golden, trains":
... There was always additional trainservice on the GoldenState route ... Among these trainswere the Californian (passenger trains, Apache, Cherokee and the Imperial ... the coach/chair car and tourist car (second class, older sleeping cars) train ...
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