Issue Date: August 26, 1999
City: Cleveland, OH and Union, IL
Quantity: 6,000,000 panes of 20
Printed By: Ashton-Potter (USA) Ltd
Printing Method: Lithographed
The best-known passenger train in the Southern Pacific fleet was the Daylight. The million-dollar steam-powered locomotive was used for routes that traveled along the west coast. This legendary train was renamed the Morning Daylight and later the Coast Daylight to set it off from others in the group, like the Sacramento Daylight and Shasta Daylight.
Actress Olivia de Havilland christened the redesigned Daylight before it made its first run from Los Angeles to San Francisco in 1937. NBC Radio broadcast the ceremony nationwide. The train traveled the 471 miles between the two cities in nine hours and 45 minutes.
In its first year of operation, 250,000 passengers rode the Daylight. The train was so popular that people had to be turned away. A large number of riders were recorded in 1938 and 1939 as well. The Daylight was named America’s most popular train service in 1940.
The U.S. Government restricted all non-essential travel during World War II. The Daylight and other trains were used mostly by the military during those years. After the war, Southern Pacific claimed the various Daylight runs and carried 833,510 people in 1942, 1.15 million in 1943, and 1.27 million in 1944. When passengers dwindled, the Daylights became San Francisco commuter trains.