Among the many great trains released by Lionel in 2011, perhaps the most colorful is the Shasta Daylight. The Southern Pacific was famous for its Daylights – whether pulled by stylish GS-class Northerns or classic Alco and EMD cab units. The matching orange, red and black consists were a common and popular sight up and down the California coast – where the vivid scheme looked right at home.
The Shasta Daylight ran between Oakland, California and Portland, Oregon. It was the only interstate Daylight. Arriving on the scene in 1949, it was also the first diesel-powered Daylight. It cruised along its 713 mile journey in a mere 15 1/2 hours, passing its namesake mountain in daylight – appropriately enough!
The train debuted with an A-B-B set of E7’s, but Alco PA’s quickly took over and ran the train for most of its Daylight-colored years. (FP7s would take over in the 1960s.) Most of the cars were all new for the train – smooth-sided passenger cars with extra-large windows. At the end of the train, a 1941-built parlor-lounge observation car was refurbished for the service. This car had the fluted stainless steel sides found on the other Daylight trains.
The all-coach train remained in service through 1966, but the Daylight colors had long since disappeared by then. Despite adding a pair of rebuilt dome cars to the route in 1952, the Daylight image began to be phased out in 1959. The 1960s brought shorter consists and less frequent schedules until the train finally went the way of many of its peers.
The Lionel Model
Lionel brings all the beauty of the Shasta Daylight to your pike with this matched consist. Sold as a 4-pack (6-35445) including a coach-baggage combine, 2 coaches and an observation and an add-on 2-pack (6-35446) diner and coach, like the prototype, all of the cars are smooth-sided except the observation. You can add an A-A set (6-34564) of Alco PAs to power the consist and upgrade with an additional powered B unit as well (6-34567).
The 18″ extruded aluminum passenger cars feature numerous separate detail parts on the bodies and metal frames, operating doors, detailed interiors complete with passengers and crew, and interior lighting with an on/off switch. The observation features working marker lights and drumhead.
The LEGACY locomotives feature dual motors, directional headlights, fan driven smoke units, front Electrocouplers, lighted numberboards and cabs and all the sound and performance you’ve come to expect with LEGACY. The A-A set includes one powered and one dummy unit. The locomotives will negotiate an O-31 curve, O-54 is required for the 18″ passenger cars.
Head to your dealers before the sun sets and pick up a Daylight for yourself!