See the luxurious old Deluxe Overland Limited trains, and what they looked like inside

The Overland Limited railroad train

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The Overland Limited was a passenger train on the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway, running between Chicago and Los Angeles

During this, in what’s considered the “Golden Age” of railroad travel, the Deluxe train service shown below, introduced in 1913, was generally considered the most luxurious transportation money could buy.

Onboard these old Deluxe Overland Limited trains, every hotel-style accommodation could be found — including a barber shop, valet service, masseuse, maid service, a library, buffet meals, a mens’ clubroom, and a cafe dining car. Take a look!

Deluxe Overland Limited train is last word in travel luxury (1913)

Oakland Tribune (California) April 5, 1913

Southern Pacific inaugurates most sumptuous service


Recognizing the necessity and demand for a daily exclusively first-class transcontinental train on a fast schedule, the “Overland Limited” de Luxe, running over railroads constructed and operated with regard to the highest efficiency and safety, will cover the distance between San Francisco and Chicago in 65 hours.

The “Overland Limited” made its first trip between San Francisco and Chicago on October 15, 1898, as the successor of the “Golden Gate Special,” inaugurated by the Central Pacific and Union Pacific on December 6, 1888 — the first limited extra-fare train between California and the East — and which 25 years ago provided every available comfort for traveler…

 The “Overland Limited” de Luxe — the lineal descendant of this original extra fare Limited — with its new equipment, improved service and greater speed,  mark another step forward and a new era in transcontinental daily railroad service.

A new route from Chicago to San Francisco (1913) Chicago Tribune (Chicago, Illinois) - March 30, 1913


Dating from 1863 — 50 years ago — the Central Pacific and Union Pacific have been the pathfinders for trans-continental rail routes, and for a long time wive sole occupants of the field.

To them belongs this distinction, and none can take from them the credit of their enterprise or ignore the fact that now, as then, their service is the recognized standard.

They are today the leaders in high-class construction and first-class service, and the Overland Limited de Luxe, an all-steel train, will be the first in the field as a daily transcontinental extra-fare train.

Vintage San Francisco Overland Limited train

About these amazing vintage train cars (1913)

The Southern Pacific has made the following announcement concerning the Overland Limited de Luxe:

To our friends and patrons – The world-famous Overland Limited, running daily between Oakland and Chicago, opened a new chapter in its interesting history as an extra-fare train de luxe, and its new all-steel equipment represent the latest achievement in car construction, embodying every mechanical defies of proved efficiency looking to strength, easy running and safety.

The interior appointments are elaborate, and to meet the desire of those willing to pay for something extra in the way of luxuries of modern home and hotel life, the different conveniences which are a feature of the train have been provided.

The “Overland Limited” de Luxe will leave Oakland and San Francisco and Chicago, every day in the week, and every week in the year.

MORE: 19th century San Francisco skyline: From a brand-new city to busy metropolis

Telephone: At Oakland and Chicago the train has a telephone connection in the observation car for thirty minutes before departure, enabling patrons to talk with relatives or friends at residences or hotels.

Telephone calls to reach friends on train are at San Francisco and Oakland, at Oakland 1928. In case telephone calls are received for passengers before their arrival at station, such fact will be noted on bulletin board at gate.

A Deluxe Overland Limited train

A Deluxe overland limited train

Deluxe Overland train is last word in travel luxury

Prominent citizens of Oakland and San Francisco were entertained at a luncheon on the Oakland Limited de Luxe at Oakland mole yesterday, as the guests of Charles S. Fee, passenger traffic manager of the Southern Pacific.

The new train service started yesterday, the first train leaving for Chicago over the Southern Pacific, Union Pacific and Chicago and Northwestern tracks. The Overland Limited Deluxe will run in the afternoons, and another train, the Pacific Limited, also started yesterday, will run daily, starting in the morning.

Every luxury possible in a hotel is to be found on this remarkable train, including: barber shop, Shower bath, Valet service, Massage, Ladies’ maid, Hairdressing, Manicuring, Ladies’ parlors, Library, Stock reports and news items by wire, Buffet, Clubroom, Cafe dining car.

ALSO SEE: Why the old Ritz-Carlton Hotel in New York was the very definition of extravagance

Vintage train cars: Dining car on a deluxe Overland Limited train

Dining car on a deluxe overland limited train

Electric-lighted berth on a deluxe overland limited train

Electric-lighted berth on a deluxe overland limited train - Inside vintage train cars

Barber shop on a deluxe Overland Limited train

Barber shop on a deluxe overland limited train

Luxuries and modern conveniences

Each section in the sleeping cars has two wide double berths, with individual electric lamps in both upper and lower, a convenience in retiring or for those who may desire to read in their berths.

The drawing-rooms and compartments, of which there is an ample number, each provided with individual lavatory and other conveniences assure complete privacy. They can be opened into suites of three or more rooms, very desirable for family parties.

The gentlemen’s clubroom, containing a well-stocked buffet, is furnished as a comfortable lounging and smoking room, with easy armchairs, has a writing desk and stationery, magazines, illustrated weeklies and daily papers.

Stock quotations and news items received by telegraph and posted daily in the gentlemen’s clubroom, thus keeping the businessman in touch with the markets and latest intelligence.

Barbershop and shower bath in the clubroom car may be availed of by all desiring their convenience or refreshing effect.

Valet service: Ladies’ or gentlemen’s garments can be sponged and pressed overnight.

Stenographer and typewriter in the observation car. The businessman will find this service to his liking. It will be free of charge.

Ladies’ parlor in the observation car is handsomely and tastefully furnished. Has writing desk with stationery, and a free library of fiction, also magazines and illustrated weeklies.

MORE: See 35 amazing photos of the White House in the early 1900s, during Teddy Roosevelt’s Presidency

Vintage train cars: Buffet library car on an Overland Limited railroad

Buffet library car on a deluxe overland limited train2

Observation car on a deluxe Overland Limited train

Observation car - See inside vintage train cars

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Observation car on a deluxe overland limited train

Observation car - Inside vintage train cars

Standard pullman car on a deluxe overland limited train

Standard pullman car on a deluxe overland limited train - Vintage train cars

Kitchen on a deluxe Overland Limited train

Kitchen on a deluxe overland limited train

Buffet library car on a deluxe overland limited train

Buffet library car on a deluxe overland limited train

Listening to the radio in the vintage train cars

Inside vintage train cars: See a Deluxe Overland Limited Train (1910s)

Inside vintage train cars: See a Deluxe Overland Limited Train (1910s)

NOW SEE THIS: See trains from the 1940s, when passengers could ride the railroad in comfort & class

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