The photos are from the booklet in my collection. Click for enlargements (although expect some blurring). Union Pacific fans have one of the best of all railroad books in The Union Pacific Streamliners, Harold Ranks and Wm. Kratville. According to their book, the diner pictured is either one of twins 5105-5106, which were articulated to kitchen-dormitory cars. They were in two sets of City of Denver trains placed into service in Jan., 1954. The lounge was one of twins 1501 and 1500, rebuilt from LA-405, 406 according to Ranks and Kratville. As much as I’ve lovingly pored over their book, I can’t find LA-405, 406 in it. According to my June, 1949 Official Guide, the City of Denver carried an observation sleeping car, but according to my 1954 Guide it carried a club-lounge car for sleeping car passengers. Ranks and Kratville indicate the lounge was run on the end of the train. In the photo above, the car appears to have a curved end, but maybe that’s an illusion. Or maybe by 1954 Union Pacific simply called it a club-lounge even though it was actually what most of us would call an observation lounge. If anyone knows the answer to this question, please leave a comment.
A Fred Harvey postcard of El Capitan in Shoemaker Canyon. Click on the image to enlarge it. In September 1967 I rode from Chicago to Los Angeles on El Capitan, the forerunner of today’s Superliners: 8 hi-level coaches, hi-level diner, and hi-level lounge with skylights, which was the El Cap version of Amtrak’s sightseer lounges. I’ll write more about the trip later, as I scan items onto the blog.
“Streamliner Memories” will be a variable feast of railroads from all over the country. I’ll put materials online as I come to them, going through boxes of timetables, brochures, tickets, menus, post cards, etc., that I’ve collected since the early ’50s, along with older material that has come to me. I’ll also include reproductions of photos from books in my railroad library.
The blog banner, from a Santa Fe photo by R. Collins Bradley, is of the all-sleeping car Super Chief passing Devil’s Footstool in New Mexico. Click on the image to enlarge it.
In my November 1951 Official Guide the North Coast Limited was still on its three-nights in each direction schedule, even though its competitors, the Empire Builder and the Olympian Hiawatha were on two-night schedules. The North Coast Limited would begin its two-night schedule on November 16, 1952 according to William R. Kuebler, Jr., author of The Vista-dome North Coast Limited. It would be late 1954 before its domes and its new paint scheme arrived. I have a booklet about the Vista-dome North Coast Limited, which I’ll post much of when I come to it as I go through the boxes housing my collection, but for now I reached into my postcard collection just to add second railroad into today’s posts. The post card, Lynn E. Cox, Sacramento, credits Burlington Northern for the photo and says the train is skirting Lake Cocolalla, west of Sandpoint, Idaho.
The Ray Nixon photo below is reproduced from Kuebler’s book and shows the train in August 1959 westbound with fourteen cars climbing Homestake Pass, Montana.