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Re: Travelling from NY to San Francisco 1901

[Post Followup] [San Francisco History Board]

Posted by Rana on Thursday, July 19, 2012 at 14:47:49 :

In Reply to: Travelling from NY to San Francisco 1901 posted by Derek Stavrou on Wednesday, July 04, 2012 at 08:33:50 :

Hi Derek,
I have been trying to find the same info for 1902. The following I located on various sites online, hope it helps.
They probably were aboard one of those 100 stops trains; a direct train like the Southern Pacific was too expensive. The trains at that time had gas lights in them and coal burning engines, passengers woke up in the morning covered with cinders. They could have arrived at the San Francisco Depot on California Street and rode a ferry boat to Oakland.
(FYI - This train depot in San Francisco was destroyed by the big earthquake in April 1906.)
April 25, 1902 the Burlington Vt Free Press advertised railroad prices Vermont to Pacific coast $33.00, but did not list name of trains.
The Santa Fe train from San Francisco to Chicago took 3 days; perhaps NY to SF took 5 – 7 days. Southern Pacific offered “Settlers’ Rates” but did not list the rates.

Train travel at the turn of the century was uncomfortable and dirty. Passengers were seated on hard wooden seats, they made due the best they could. When windows were opened for fresh air the steam and soot from the engine would blow into the passenger cars. Taking on coal & water necessitated many stops. At many of these stops vendors would board the trains selling refreshments. In some cities it gave the immigrants opportunity to stretch their legs. Many did not venture to far from the trains in fear of getting lost. The trains passed cities, small towns, the prairies, deserts, mountains etc. maybe passing herds of buffalo.

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