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The last eastbound Desert Wind (#36) departed Los Angeles on May 8, 1997. I first read about its discontinuance in Flimsies (remember Flimsies??) and set out that fateful Thursday to capture the train as it left L.A.

I arrived at my usual daytime Desert Wind viewing spot in Los Nietos a half hour or so before it was scheduled to pass. A little while later, #36, looking quite nice, rumbled by me. It was led by P42s 34 and 17, deadhead big dome, baggage car, and a full set of new at the time Superliners (trans/dorm, 3 sleepers, diner, lounge, and 3 coaches). Almost looked like a current Southwest Chief, sans the express cars on the rear.

Here, the last Desert Wind is crossing Los Nietos Road:

And here is an animated GIF of the same train:

Other Desert Wind Memories:

This is a shorty #35 at Fullerton in 1993. Consist was a Pepsi Can, Amtrak GP40, Hi-Level Trans/dorm, Lounge/Cafe 33017, Coach 34002, Coach/Baggage 31003, Sleeper 32038, with SP private cars California, Utah, and Kansas on the rear:

The picture below was taken in December, 1996. This #36 still sported 2 F40s but P40s/42s were also common. By now, newer Superliners (Trans/Dorm, Sleeper) were also common in the consist with Superliner II Trans/Dorms replacing the ex-ATSF Hi-Levels Trans/Dorms in this example:

Here is another #36, with P40 828 leading followed by a F40, is seen pulling east also at Los Nietos. Virtually all the cars, except for the Phase III painted diner are Phase IV Superliner II cars:

Although this looks like the same locomotive as in the above picture, this is P40 823 on the lead of this east bounder:

Towards the end, the Desert Wind was quite an impressive looking train. This shot is at Commerce of a westbound #35 Desert Wind (with the same locomotive set used on its last journey east a few days later) taken a few days before #35/36 were discontinued. Notice the long trainset.