MONONLAND POSTCARD FOLDER

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Neither artist nor date is shown in this folder of postcards offered once upon a time by the Monon (Chicago, Indianapolis & Louisville Railroad). Visit the Monon Railroad Historical Technical Society by clicking here.

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NEW YORK CENTRAL PITTSBURGH AND LAKE ERIE POSTCARD BOOK

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This book of more than 40 Howard Fogg paintings on detachable postcards was published by New York Central July 1, 1964 and shows a cover price of $2.00.

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Coast Starlight Predecessors: Southern Pacific Coast and Shasta Routes

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Milwaukee Road Olympian Hiawatha

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Only two railroads had their own track from Chicago to the West Coast: Santa Fe and Milwaukee Road. One prospered in the passenger market (Santa Fe) and the other didn’t. Although post-War Milwaukee streamlined its Olympian Hi sooner than one of its competitors (Northern Pacific), Milwaukee’s equipment, despite the grandeur of a car like the one above, on the whole lacked features that gave Great Northern and ultimately Northern Pacific the competitive edge.

I rode the Union Pacific/Milwaukee Road Challenger (LA-Chicago) in one of four former Olympian Hiawatha leg-rest coaches. They had less leg room than the Union Pacific coaches and were obviously older. Also, the full-length dome, which looks so great in the photo above, didn’t allow for forward viewing, which the full-length domes run on Great Northern and Santa Fe did, as did the middle-of-car domes run on many trains.

I would guess the date of this undated brochure (a route guide) to be 1952 or ’53: the dome has been added to the Olympian Hi, and the secondary train on the route, the Columbian, was running.

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Most of the photos in this route guide are small, along the top of the page. I include below the few that relate directly to the train journey, including the photo of Chicago Union Station and a list of tunnels along the Milwaukee Road route from Chicago to Seattle-Tacoma. Incidentally, on the Amtrak Empire Builder you can still depart Chicago Union Station at approximately the same time the Olympian Hiawatha left, and you will follow Milwaukee’s track as far as the Twin Cities, from which the Builder will depart on former Great Northern track for its journey on to Seattle, where it will arrive at approximately the same time the Olympian Hiawatha arrived.

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1950s Florida East Coast Railway booklet

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I recently rode the Amtrak Silver Meteor, once a train of Florida East Coast’s competitor Seaboard. Today’s Meteor follows its original track only as far as inland central Florida; from there north it uses track once traveled by the Atlantic Coast Line West Coast Champion (and, above Jacksonville, the full fleet of ACL/FEC Florida trains).

I think it interesting that the photos below, chosen below, include the Illinois Central chocolate and orange City of Miami, a Chicago-Florida train that used FEC track from Jacksonville.

I’ve reproduced here only train pictures from the booklet, not the Florida scenes which make up most of it.

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The timetable below is late in the life of FEC passenger service, which ending with a 1963 strike, leaving Atlantic Coast Line South Florida trains permanently re-routed over Seaboard to Central Florida, where they joined the route of the ACL West Coast Champion up to Jacksonville and beyond. Note that the engine on the timetable has FEC’s later, simplified passenger diesel color scheme.

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Great Northern Empire Builder

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All photos and captions from a Great Northern folder published, I believe, in 1958, although the domes were added to the train earlier in the 1950s. ¬†Amtrak’s Empire Builder travels the same route from Seattle/Portland to the Twin Cities (although via Grand Forks and Fargo, as the Western Star did), but uses the tracks of the former Milwaukee Road (route of the Hiawathas) from the Twin Cities to Chicago, whereas the pre-Amtrak Empire Builder used the Burlington for this leg. Since Milwaukee Road and Burlington both used Chicago Union Station, the beginning and end points of the present day train are as they were since its inception, and the schedule is almost the same as it has been since the train was streamlined in the late ‘forties.

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Southern Pacific’s Overland Route promotions, 1950s

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Like the Golden State, the City of San Francisco never had its own full-color brochure after the train became daily in the late forties because the train sets varied. Southern Pacific included the Overland Route as one of its four “Wonderful Ways West” in the booklet so named and included the colored artist rendering above and the pictures below. The black-and-white ¬†ads above and below are from late forties, early fifties National Geographic magazines.

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The City of San Francisco crossed Donner Pass at night. The photo above is of the San Francisco Overland, which left Chicago 3 hours earlier and arrived San Francisco 4 hours later (on a schedule a little faster than the California Zephyr) and carried the through New York-San Francisco sleepers in the early fifties.

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