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Sunset Magazine A recreation of Stanford Libraries' 1998 website


It is no surprise that railroad themes appear in the pages of Sunset, given its initial raison d’être, or that properties owned by the Southern Pacific, such as hotels, are similarly visible. Even in more recent times, railroads appear as part of the Western heritage and as vacation opportunities, whether as attractions or modes of travel.

Left: The Southern Pacific used the magazine as a showplace not only of Western attractions but of its accommodations as well, as in this picture of “The tourist car by day.” November 1898, p. 8.

Right: C. P. Huntington and H. E. Huntington, father and son and successive presidents of the Southern Pacific Railroad. August 1900.

Left: Early issues of Sunset never failed to present the amenities of SP’s prime hostelry, the Hotel Del Monte. March 1899, p. 116.

Right: Namesake and raison d’être, the Sunset Limited. “The most perfect example of the luxury of modern railway travel. Equipment consists of Composite Buffet Library Car, Ladies’ Compartment and Parlor Car, elegant Double Drawing-room Sleeping Cars and Dining Car. It is broad vestibuled throughout, gas lighted and steam heated, and runs solid from ocean to ocean.” February 1899, p. 82.

Left: Southern Pacific motive power. February 1899, p. 78.

Right: “The latest railway motor car.” August 1906, p. 193.

Left: Sunset Limited.

Right: May 1938 40th Anniversary cover