Burlington Zephyrs and non-Zephyrs

As a kid, I wrote to Burlington and asked for pictures of their trains, and received the postcards below of six Zephyrs.

BURLINGTONPOSTCARDS1

 

BURLINGTONPOSTCARDS2

 

BURLINGTONPOSTCARDS5

 

BURLINGTONPOSTCARD4

BURLINGTONPOSTCARDS6 BURLINGTONPOSTCARDS8

 

BURLINGTONpostcard10 BURLINGTONPOSTCARDS11

 

BURLINGTONPOSTCARDS12

 

BURLINGTONPOSTCARDS13

BURLINGTONPOSTCARDS15

By later in life I was interested in the non-Zephyrs, as well, such as The Coloradoan, leaving Chicago (in my June 1949 Official Guide) at 11:30 in the morning, carrying a sleeper that would go all the way to Billings, MT on Burlington rail. The car was transferred at Lincoln to a train once named The Adventureland, coming up from Kansas City. My June 1954 Official Guide shows the car being forwarded by Great Northern from Billings to Great Falls. Below, the August 1967 George Berriso photo (from Burlington Northern and Its Heritage, Steve Glischinski) shows the erstwhile Adventureland stopped at Newcastle, WY near the end of its life.

BURLINGTONADVENTURELAND

Posted in Burlington, California Zephyr | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Santa Fe Grand Canyon set-out sleeper

SFEGRANDCANYON4

 

Meet me at Chicago Dearborn Station, June 1949. It’s late morning, and we’re waiting to board our sleeper for the Grand Canyon, carried on Santa Fe’s #23 The Grand Canyon to Williams, Arizona, leaving Chicago at 12:01 PM and arriving Williams at 10:30 PM the next day. Our sleeper will park at Williams until 4:15 AM, when it will depart, along with a sleeper from Los Angeles, arriving the Grand Canyon at 7:00 AM. (But, remember, railroads operated year-round on Standard Time, so add one hour to all times if you’re in a jurisdiction that observes Daylight Time.) If we only want to spend a day at the Grand Canyon, on our way to LA, we’ll depart in our same sleeper that evening at 8:00 PM, arrive Williams 10:20 PM, where our sleeper will be attached to #23, departing at 10:30 PM and arriving LA at 10:40 the next morning. The LA-Grand Canyon- Chicago sleeper  will sit at Williams until 3:30 AM, when it will be attached to #24, arriving Chicago one day later at 3:45 PM. Trains 23-24 The Grand Canyon were operated in two sections during the summer of 1949, the first all sleepers, with diner and lounge, and the second all coaches, with lunch-counter diner and lounge. Both were predominantly heavy-weight. In my experience, the train always carried four or more mail, baggage and express cars. Not until cancellation of The Chief, in 1968, did The Grand Canyon become streamlined by default.

As late as 1962, Santa Fe still ran the Grand Canyon sleeper. Perhaps it lasted until the cuts in 1968.

SFEGRANDCANYONSLEEPER1 SFEGRANDCANYONSLEEPER2 SFEGRANDCANYONSLEEPER3

 

Ads top and above, from my collection, appeared in the National Geographic. Ad below reproduced here from All Aboard America: Classic American Trains, Melville Wheaton, editor.

SFEGRANDCANYONfromALLABOARDAMERICA

 

The photo below (Otto C. Perry, Denver Public Library Collection, reproduced here from Night Trains: The Pullman System in the Golden Years of American Rail Travel, Peter T. Maiken) shows a 1933 Ash Fork-Phoenix Santa Fe train that fed Chicago sleepers to the mainline. Our 1949 Williams-Grand Canyon train likely looked much the same.

SFEASHFORTPHOENIX

 

Posted in Santa Fe | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Union Pacific station, Cheyenne, Wyoming: “Lady, if all your things were on that train, you should’ve been on it, too.”

CHEYENNEstation

You don’t have to do much reading between the lines to see what was going on.

In the late ’40s my Aunt Lacy and “a gal” she met were having highballs in the club car with some soldiers on the Chicago-bound San Francisco Overland. The gal had her little girl with her. When the train stopped in Cheyenne, the two women left the little girl with the soldiers and got off to buy postcards. They decided to have a quick beer in a bar across the street from the depot.

When they returned to the track where their train had been, it wasn’t there. “Where’s the train that was on this track?” Lacy demanded of a redcap. “All our things and her little girl are on it.”

“Lady,” the redcap retorted, “if all your things and her little girl are on that train, you should’ve been on it, too, when it left ten minutes ago.”

Union Pacific found space for our two damsels in distress on the eastbound Los Angeles Limited, coming along within the hour. No berths were available, so they were in coach. The next day a conductor had them hop off in Cedar Rapids, Iowa to identify their things and collect the little girl who had been deposited in the stationmaster’s care an hour earlier when the Overland passed through. They arrived in Chicago in time to make their respective connections and probably weren’t even hungover by then.

The photo of the Cheyenne station, above, from the Western Collection, Denver Public Library (reproduced here from Beebe and Clegg, The Trains We Road) is obviously from an earlier period. The Union Pacific ad below appeared in the National Geographic.

UPadCHEYENNEPOST2

 

UPadCHEYENNEPOST

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

California Zephyr refurbished

CZrevbrochure6

In the late 1950s through the first half of 1960 the three railroads that ran the pre-Amtrak California Zephyr refurbished the train’s cars that had been functioning since the late 1940s. Above is the refurbished cocktail lounge beneath the dome of the observation car.

The above photo and those below are from the brochure issued about the newly decorated cars. (Most of the brochure is identical to the original brochure, issued near the train’s inauguration and reproduced here on streamlinermemories.com in an earlier post.)

The first photo, below, is the inside of the observation lounge looking toward the stairs to the dome. Next is the “Cable Car Buffet Lounge,” also a dome car. Below that is the cover of the brochure and the two pages of photos and text that differ from the original brochure. The back cover of the new brochure, also different from the original, is featured in the post below this one.

CZrevbrochure7

Note the writing desk in the upper right corner. It was stocked with stationery, a sample of the letterhead reproduced below; at the stationery are the three railroad names.

CZstationery

 

CZrevbrochure3

Below is a lunch/dinner menu from The Cable Car Room buffet lounge. Below that is a breakfast menu from the buffet lounge before it was redecorated and named The Cable Car Room.

CZmenu1

CZmenu2

CZmenubackcover

CZmenubreakfast

 

CZrevbrochure1

CZrevbrochure2

CZrevbrochure4

Posted in Burlington, California Zephyr, Rio Grande, Western Pacific | Tagged | Leave a comment

California Zephyr in the Colorado Rockies

CALIFORNIAZEPHYRbrochurerevised

The back cover of brochure issued in March 1961 after refurbishing of the Burlington-Rio Grande-Western Pacific train.

Posted in California Zephyr, Rio Grande | Leave a comment

Chicago to LA by train in the early ‘fifties–via the film Narrow Margin

NarrowMarginFERDYONFILMS

The railroad and train are fictitious (although it takes the Santa Fe route), the station scenes when it’s boarding in Chicago are filmed at LA Union Station, and the external shots of the train vary from Pennsy steam to SP Daylight steam, yet the 1952 noir film Narrow Margin takes place almost entirely on the train and gives an accurate feel for the trip in the late forties/early fifties.

The lounge car below is on Union Pacific, but the lounge on the film’s train brought this picture to my mind. In the film one of the characters says, “Meet me in the club car.” I recall my grandmother talking about club cars on trains, and some timetables used the term club-lounge all the way up to Amtrak time, 1971.

 

UP1952loungeNATIONALGEO

The closest I can come to a real train that might match the one in the movie would be the Santa Fe Chief, when it left Chicago in the afternoon and arrived LA on the second morning. It was sometimes hauled by steam post-war, although most if not all of its cars were stainless steel streamlined whereas many of the cars shown in the film are heavy-weights.

Ad above from a 1952 National Geographic. 1948 photo below by Charles H. Kerrigan, reproduced here from a Vanishing Vistas post card, shows one of Santa Fe’s few streamlined steam engines.

SFEbluegoose

Posted in Santa Fe Chief, Union Pacific | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Canadian Pacific Canadian in the Rockies in its original streamlined color-scheme

CANADIANpostcard

 

Photo by Roger Burrows reproduced from a postcard published by Steamscenes of West Vancouver. The caption reads, in part: “Canadian Pacific Railway: The Canadian as it used to be. dressed in maroon and gray. In March 1964, eastbound No. 2 crosses the Pipestone River after stopping at Lake Louise, Alberta.”

Posted in Canadian Pacific | Tagged | Leave a comment