Union Pacific Passenger Service Timeline
Index For This Page
This page was last updated on June 23, 2016.
(This is a work in progress; research continues.)
(Unless noted, the following information for the wooden era was taken from Arthur Durbin's "Some Classic Trains")
May 15, 1869
UP and Central Pacific start the operation of passenger service, through from Omaha to Sacramento; 1,173 miles; 5 days, 7 hours
Through service to Oakland started. The first through train was known as The Express.
The Express was changed to either (depending on its direction) the Atlantic Express, or the Pacific Express, and given train numbers 1 and 2 on Central Pacific, and train numbers 3 and 4 on Union Pacific.
Union Pacific announced new schedules and new trains between Omaha and Ogden. Train No. 1 was to be the westbound local mail train. Train No. 2 was to be the eastbound Atlantic Express. Train No. 3 was to be the westbound Pacific Express. And Train no. 4 was to be the eastbound local mail train. (Salt Lake Herald, June 20, 1883)
Timetables published daily in local Ogden newspapers referred to Trains 1 and 2 as the Through Express, in both directions. (Ogden Herald, July 16, 1886)
November 13, 1887
Union Pacific inaugurated service of its Overland Flyer, between Omaha and Ogden, Utah, where passengers and through cars were transferred to the Central Pacific.
Union Pacific was operating an eastbound and westbound Overland Flyer, along with a "morning overland train" and a "night overland train", with the following times at Ogden:
- Westbound "morning overland train" departed Ogden at 10:00 am
- Eastbound "night overland train" arrived Ogden at 5:40 pm
- Eastbound Overland Flyer, depart Ogden at 10:00 pm
- Westbound Overland Flyer, arrive at Ogden at 11:28 pm
- (Deseret News, December 21, 1887)
April 29, 1888
Due to the need to keep its schedule, which was decreased by two hours between Chicago and Ogden, the Overland Flyer, train no. 3, became a limited train between Council Bluffs and all points west, with only Pullman Palace sleeping cars. To maintain its schedule, the train was to run with a limited number of cars, and no day coaches would be run as part of the train. (Salt Lake Herald, April 28, 1888; Deseret News, May 2, 1888; Ogden Standard, May 5, 1888)
December 5, 1888
Golden Gate Special started as one of the nation's first deluxe passenger trains. Golden Gate Special was not a financial success, and service ended in May 1889.
Train no. 1 (westbound) and No. 4 (eastbound) between Ogden and Kansas City was known as the Overland Flyer, and included through Pullman sleepers and Pullman Buffet cars, and reclining chair cars. Train no. 2, the eastbound Atlantic Express, and train no. 3, the westbound Pacific Express, were equipped with Pullman Buffet cars, and Pullman Tourist (second class) cars. There were direct connecting cars for these four trains between Salt Lake City and Ogden. (Salt Lake Herald, June 14, 1889)
November 17, 1895
UP changed the name from the Overland Flyer to the Overland Limited. SP met UP's Overland trains at Ogden with its connecting westbound trains operating as the Pacific Express and eastbound trains as the Atlantic Express.
November 18, 1895
The first Overland Limited traveled from Omaha to Cheyenne, 516 miles, in 13 hours, being the first train to travel between the two cities in one day. The speed was reported as 55 miles per hour. On this same day, Union Pacific began operating a new Fast Mail train between Omaha and Ogden, on the schedule of the old No. 1, the Overland Flyer. (Salt Lake Herald, November 19, 1895)
The first train of the new Pacific Limited arrived at San Francisco, from Chicago, on November 20, 1895, covering the distance in "practically" three days, instead of the previous three and a half days. (Salt Lake Herald, November 21, 1895)
January 2, 1896
Pullman began operating a new "composite" car west of Chicago for the first time, as part of the Overland Limited. The car is a combination of a buffet, bar, library, smoking room and barber shop. (Salt Lake Herald, January 3, 1896)
(The Salt Lake Tribune of January 4, 1896 referred to the new car as being the first Wagner car to ever enter Salt Lake City as part of a regular train. The library had book shelves with popular books and magazines available, and a couple desks, with stationary "handsomely engraved, En route via the Overland Limited.")
The Overland Limited was refurbished with $2 million worth of new wooden cars, each with steel underframe and concrete floor to provide safety and stability.
December 15, 1905
The Los Angeles Limited began operating between Chicago and Los Angeles.
(incomplete; research continues)
Before The Streamliner
New low cost meals on Union Pacific dining cars announced. This had reference to lowering of meal rates on The Columbine, Mountain Bluebird, Portland Rose and Pacific Limited.
Inaugurated Cafe-Observation car service Portland-LaGrande, and later extended to Salt Lake-Butte service. Discontinued July 1937 when replaced with diner-lounge cars; no change in meal service.
Parlor cars with buffet lunch service inaugurated on Trains 561 & 562 between Portland and Seattle; discontinued October 1933.
Dining car prices reduced on through trains and were made uniform, with breakfasts at 50 to 75 cents; luncheons 75 cents to $1.00; dinners $1.00 to $1.25.
1st Train (M-10000)
February 12, 1934
The three-unit fully-articulated M-10000, the first streamlined internal-combustion passenger train, was delivered to Union Pacific at the Pullman plant at Pullman, Illinois; on February 11, 1934, the train had made two trial runs between Pullman, Illinois, and Michigan City, Indiana.
- February 12, 1934 -- Delivered to UP at Chicago (Pullman, Illinois)
- February 16, 1934 -- Displayed at Washington, D.C.
- February 17, 1934 -- Displayed at Baltimore
- Baltimore to Pittsburgh by way of B&O east to Cumberland, Maryland, then north to Pittsburgh
- February 19, 1934 -- Displayed at Pittsburgh
- February 21, 1934 -- Displayed at Detroit
- February 23-24, 1934 -- Displayed at Chicago
- February 26-28, 1934 -- Displayed at Omaha
- Later displayed in 48 cities
- (Railway Age, Volume 96, Number 5, February 3, 1934)
When W. A. Harriman accepted delivery of M-10000 at Pullman, Illinois, he announced that UP had ordered of one six-car train and two nine-car trains. (Railway Age, Volume 96, page 269)
February 12, 1934
The three-unit fully-articulated M-10000, the first streamlined internal-combustion passenger train, was delivered to Union Pacific at the Pullman plant at Pullman, Illinois; on February 11, 1934, the train had made two trial runs between Pullman, Illinois, and Michigan City, Indiana.
February 15, 1934
M-10000 was exhibited at Union Station in Washington, D.C.
March 2, 1934
Leaving from Omaha, Nebraska, M-10000 began touring the United States, covering 12,625 miles on 14 railroads and visiting 65 cities; a special invitation-only round trip was made on March 1, 1934 between Omaha and Columbus, Nebraska (88 miles one way)
March 9, 1934
The nationwide tour included a side trip from Las Vegas to Boulder Dam. During its layover at Las Vegas, Nevada, on March 9th, Union Pacific was given permission to operate the M-10000 over the Six Companies' government railroad out to the face of Boulder dam, which was then under construction. After stopping briefly at Boulder City, where the train was opened for tours, it was posed for publicity photos passing through a huge 30-foot diameter penstock pipe, then made its way out to the face of the dam.
April 11, 1934
M-10000 returned to Omaha
April 19, 1934
M-10000 made its first revenue trip, a special move for the Omaha Chamber of Commerce between Omaha and Gering, Nebraska (445 miles)
May 12, 1934
Overland Trail, the first streamlined sleeping car, was delivered and displayed with M-10000 at the Chicago Century of Progress; the train was displayed at Chicago from May 12 to July 12, 1934 ("Overland Trail" was later added to M-10001)
2nd Train (M-10001)
October 2, 1934
M-10001 was delivered as a six-unit (later seven-unit), fully-articulated train; returned to Pullman for improvements in December 1934.
October 22-25, 1934
The six-unit consist M-10001 (locomotive and five cars) traveled coast-to-coast from Los Angeles to New York in a record-breaking run traveling the 3,250 miles in 56 hours 55 minutes; on the Union Pacific mainline between Cheyenne and Omaha (508 miles) it had an average speed of 82.7 MPH with many stretches averaging over 100 MPH. One was the long standing speed record between Dix and Potter (9 miles) in 4 minutes 30 seconds or 120 MPH.
- October 22, 1934; 11:00 pm -- departed Los Angeles
- October 23, 1934; 1:40 pm -- arrived Salt Lake City; departed 2:00 pm
- October 23, 1934; 10:46 pm -- arrived Cheyenne; departed 10:56 pm
- October 24, 1934; 6:07 am -- arrived Omaha; departed 6:45 am
- October 24, 1934; 2:50 pm -- arrived Chicago; departed 3:30 pm
- October 25, 1934; 9:55 am -- arrived New York City
- (Ranks and Kratville, Union Pacific Streamliners, 1974, page 73)
(The later twin trains "City of Denver" operated for years on the fastest schedule in regular service in the country--Denver to Chicago (1,048 miles) in a total time of 16 hours including eight station stops for an average of 65.5 MPH.)
After several weeks of evaluation and redesigning, M-10001 was returned to Pullman for improvements, including a more powerful 1200 horsepower engine to replace its original 900 horsepower engine (which was installed in M-10002).
January 1, 1935
M-10000 entered revenue service on the 187-mile Kansas City-Salina, Kansas route. (Ranks and Kratville, Union Pacific Streamliners, 1974, page 37)
January 1, 1935
City of Salina (1st Train) inaugurated daily between Kansas City and Salina (equipment retired December 16, 1941) (UP Passenger Service Timeline; PDF)
January 31, 1935
M-10000 entered service as the "City of Salina". (Wayner, Car Names Numbers and Consists, 1972, page 139; Kratville and Ranks, Motive Power of the Union Pacific, 1960, page 216)
Select meal service announced for lunch and dinner meals, with lower priced combinations that were available prior to that time.
New uniformed coach porter service was announced.
Sleeper E. H. Harriman, delivered in October 1934 as part of the 2nd Train, was remodeled as a Kitchen Diner Lounge in May 1935, and included as part of the revised 2nd Train.
2nd Train (M-10001) [Revised]
May 23, 1935
The revised M-10001 (more horsepower, with added car) was accepted by Union Pacific at the Pullman plant, then it ran to the C&NW Station in Chicago for display, after which it ran to Omaha
UP's M-10001 was on public display as shown below:
- May 23, 1935 -- C&NW station in Chicago
- May 24, 1935 -- Departed Chicago, bound for Omaha
- Late May 1935 -- Made three test trips between Omaha and Portland
- June 4 and 5, 1935 -- Public display at Portland, Oregon
- (Railway Age, Volume 98, Number 23, June 8, 1935, page 875)
June 4, 1935
M-10001 and its six-car train was christened as "City of Portland" on June 4th, at a ceremony at Portland, Oregon. (Ranks and Kratville, Union Pacific Streamliners, 1974, pages 82)
June 6, 1935
M-10001 departed Portland, Oregon, bound for Chicago, on the inaugural run of the "City of Portland". (Kratville and Ranks, Motive Power of the Union Pacific, 1960, page 218; Railway Age, Volume 98, Number 23, June 8, 1935, page 875; Ranks and Kratville, Union Pacific Streamliners, 1974, pages 82 and 343)
June 6, 1935
City of Portland (2nd train) inaugurated, operating every 6th day, 39 hours 45 minutes (equipment retired March 27, 1939)
Low prices were announced for meals in the buffet cars on the City of Portland trains 1 and 2. Prices were given as 25 cents breakfast; 35 cents lunch; 50 cents dinner, with coffee or milk 5 cents.
July 8, 1935
Free pillows inaugurated on Trains 7 & 8; 17 & 18; 118 & 127. Prior to this, and during all of 1932, 1933 and 1934, pillow rental was 25 cents.
July 12, 1935
Low priced meal service inaugurated, 25-cent breakfast; 30-cent luncheon; 35-cent dinner.
July 24, 1935
Free pillow service extended to other trains, except Trains 27 & 28, although passengers riding on free transportation paid 25 cents for a pillow.
Announcement was made of separate coaches for women and children, free pillows and drinking cups and new types of lights.
Low cost meal service announced for coach-tourist section of Train 7. These were the 25, 30 and 35 cent meals. Free pillows offered. Train designated as The Challenger.
August 25, 1935
Pillow rental on Trains 27 & 28 was reduced from 25 cents to 10 cents.
August 31, 1935
Coach and tourist section of Train 7 was designated as "The Challenger".
August 31, 1935
Stewardess service was inaugurated August 31 on The Challenger trains 2nd 7 and 2nd 8 between Omaha and Los Angeles.
Announcement was made of the lengthening of city ticket office hours, this being prompted largely by bus competition.
February 9, 1936
Pillows were offered all revenue passengers, and to persons traveling on free transportation, within reason (on instructions of President).
February 10, 1936
Size of pillows reduced from 17 x 24 inches, to 16 x 18 inches.
March 13, 1936
M-10000, known as "The Streamliner," was named "City of Salina" in a letter from W. M. Jeffers.
From Union Pacific Streamliners, by Ranks and Kratville, 1974, page 39:
Contrary to popular belief, the M-10000 was neither lettered nor identified as the City of Salina for many months after its delivery. The public usually referred to it as "The Streamliner" as did the local Kansas newspapers. It was listed in the timetables as No. 99 and 100 and it was not until March 13, 1936 that a letter from W. M. Jeffers stated that henceforth the M-10000 would be known as the City of Salina and that "this train was to be lettered accordingly, using the same style lettering as is being used on the City of Portland."
April 18, 1936
Coffee shop service (plate service) inaugurated on conventional trains, which established moderately priced meals -- 45-cent and 65-cent breakfast; 65-cent luncheon; 50-cent and 85-cent dinner. (Discontinued on October 1, 1941)
Coffee shop diners were placed in service on the Pacific Limited and Denver Limited, serving Challenger meals at 25, 30 and 35 cents as well as club meals.
City of Los Angeles inaugurated May 15th. Stewardess service featured.
Los Angeles Challenger renumbered Trains 717-718 (margin note: from 7 & 8) and operated through between Cheyenne and Los Angeles effective May 15th from Chicago and May 16th from Los Angeles.
3rd Train (M-10002)
May 15, 1936
City of Los Angeles (3rd train) inaugurated, operating every 6th day, 39 hours 45 minutes (equipment consolidated in 1938 with "4th COSF"; withdrawn February 15, 1947)
May 16, 1936
M-10002 entered revenue service as the "City of Los Angeles." This is the first train to have two power units, and to have power units that can be uncoupled from their nine-car fully-articulated train.
M-10000, M-10001 and M-10002 had the same car body cross-section, with tapered sides.
May 24, 1936
Assistant Stewards placed on Los Angeles Challenger.
May 31, 1936
Off-the-tray service of coffee and sandwiches discontinued on Challenger diners, but sale of lemonade, pop, ice cream cones, etc. continued.
M-10003 was built at the same time as M-10005 and M-10006 (all delivered in July 1936), and was a spare locomotive set to protect the operating schedules of the City of Los Angeles and the City of San Francisco.
There were no cars assigned to the M-10003 locomotives.
M-10003 was renumbered to CD-07-A and B in June 1937
4th Train (M-10004)
June 14, 1936
City of San Francisco (4th train) inaugurated, operated every 6th day, 39 hours 45 minutes (equipment consolidated in 1938 with "3rd COLA"; withdrawn February 15, 1947)
June 14, 1936
M-10004 entered revenue service as the "City of San Francisco."
The motive power set M-10004, along with the spare motive power set M-10003, had the same car body cross-section, straight (vertical) sides.
The nine articulated cars of the 4th Train had tapered sides, like the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd trains.
The M-10004 locomotive was renumbered to LA-4 in July 1938 (replaced by E3s in March 1939); the LA-4 booster unit was renumbered as CD-05-C in July 1939 and the LA-4 cab unit was rebuilt to CD-06-C in August 1939.
June 18, 1936
City of Denver (5th & 6th trains) inaugurated daily, 16 hours.
5th and 6th Trains (M-10005 and M-10006)
These trains were the first Streamliners with separate motive power units, and a mix of single cars and two-unit articulated cars.
June 18, 1936
M-10005 and M-10006 entered revenue service as the "City of Denver," making the 1,048 mile trip between Chicago and Denver in 16 hours.
Locomotives M-10005 and M-10006, and the cars of the 5th and 6th trains had the same car body cross-section, with straight (vertical) sides.
October 1, 1936
Continental dinner service ($1.75) inaugurated on City of Portland streamliner. (Discontinued on December 31, 1941)
November 3, 1936
Continental dinner service ($1.75) inaugurated on City of Los Angeles streamliner. (Discontinued on December 31, 1941)
Purchased 5 Challenger (D-K-D) Diners (Pullman-Standard) for Challenger.
Purchased 12 women's coaches (Pullman-Standard) for Challenger (presently but 3 available; balance converted for lounge service).
Purchased 28 48-seat coaches (Pullman-Standard) for Challenger.
Purchased one COLA "7th train", 15 cars (Pullman-Standard)
Purchased one COSF "8th train", 15 cars (Pullman-Standard)
January 25, 1937
Lounge Car Porters placed on lounge cars, Los Angeles Challenger.
April 24, 1937
Portable bars placed in lounge cars, Los Angeles Challenger. Removed on June 2, 1937.
April 27, 1937
Union Pacific Cookie Jar passed to children as complimentary between-meal snack.
July 8, 1937
The Forty-Niner made its initial run from Chicago to San Francisco. This train used Union Pacific's only streamlined steam locomotives, 4-6-2 number 2906 and 4-8-2 number 7002
July 25, 1937
Bar facilities built in lounge cars on Los Angeles Challenger.
Announcement was made of the purchase by Union Pacific of the building at 6th and Olive streets, Los Angeles.
Stewardess service was inaugurated on the Los Angeles and Overland Limited, and Portland Rose, effective September 15th.
September 15, 1937
San Francisco Challenger announced as separate train, with same schedule as Overland Limited. (referred to as "super-train")
Lounge cars placed in San Francisco Challenger, including Lounge Car Porters.
Streamlined city ticket office opened in Denver.
Washington D. C. office opened.
7th and 8th Trains - The New E2 Locomotives
A total of 15 sleeper cars were delivered by Pullman for new City of Los Angeles and City of San Francisco service.
A new City of Los Angeles, with locomotives LA-1, LA-2 and LA-3, was on public display at the following locations:
- December 15, 1937 -- Chicago
- December 18, 1937 -- New York City
- December 21, 1937 -- Sun Valley, Idaho
- December 24-25, 1937 -- Los Angeles
December 27, 1937
A new 14-car City of Los Angeles train, powered by the three-unit set of EMD E2 locomotives LA-1-2-3, joined the 3rd Train (M-10002; COLA)
3rd COLA and 4th COSF trains partially consolidated, rebuilt and used alternately with 7th COLA 1937 to 1941 when 9th COLA train received. Remaining equipment from 4th train assigned to City of Portland service when 2nd train withdrawn.
January 2, 1938
A new 14-car City of San Francisco train, powered by the three-unit set of EMD E2 locomotives SF-1-2-3, replaced the 4th Train (M-10004; COSF).
By the time of its first anniversary on December 27, 1938, the City of Los Angeles will have traveled 282,165 miles. By the time of its first anniversary on January 2, 1939, the City of San Francisco will have traveled 274,854 miles. Neither train had been out of service at any time during the year of service. (Union Pacific press release dated December 24, 1938)
Women's Travel Department, Los Angeles, opened June 16th.
August 18, 1938
The remodeled 13-car 4th Train (M-10004), with locomotives renumbered as LA-4, replaced the 3rd Train (M-10002) on the City of Los Angeles route.
New Chicago city office at 1 South La Salle Street was opened.
Union Pacific Research Kitchen was opened in Omaha Commissary Building. (Closed in June 1942)
New escalators placed in service Omaha Union Station, effective month not given.
Women's Travel Department in Chicago was inaugurated.
New E3 Locomotives (COLA)
Union Pacific took delivery of an EMC E3A and E3B locomotive, numbered as LA-5 and LA-6, which replaced the two-unit LA-4 (ex M-10004) locomotive in City of Los Angeles service.
(The two-unit LA-4 (former M-10004) was removed from service and rebuilt into booster units CD-05-C and CD-06-C for the City of Denver trains.)
New Los Angeles Terminal opened for service.
New Omaha city ticket office featured with Women's Travel Department, effective June 15th.
The entire M-10001 train was removed from service and stored; replaced in City of Portland service by M-10002, which had been replaced in City of Los Angeles service in August 1938.
The 3rd Train (M-10002) replaced the 2nd Train (M-10001) as the City of Portland. The M-10001 power unit was rebuilt later in the year as CD-07-C
June 20, 1939
Women's Travel Department inaugurated in Denver office.
July 24, 1939
New Spokane city ticket office opened.
August 12, 1939
The City of San Francisco derailed on vandalized track near Harney, Nevada. A replacement train was put into service until the consist can be repaired. Five cars were completely destroyed and had to be replaced. This was the 8th Train, with E2s SF-1, SF-2 and SF-3 as motive power.
August 28, 1939
The replacement City of San Francisco train went into service; made up of the cab and booster E3 locomotives, LA-5 and LA-6, and 11 cars from other trains.
The power equipment from M-10001 was removed and installed in a new car body, numbered CD-07-C for service on City of Denver
March 9, 1940
The opening of the Los Angeles depot as the world's first streamlined and air-conditioned railroad station was announced.
May 15, 1940
New San Francisco ticket office opened.
New Portland city ticket office opened.
Union Pacific changed the colors of its Streamliner trains from a combination of Armour Yellow and Leaf Brown, to Armour Yellow and Harbor Mist Gray. The first cars to receive the new colors came in July 1940 and were the damaged cars from the August 1939 derailment of the City of San Francisco, after they were repaired and returned to service.
9th and 10th Trains - Standard Locomotives and Cars
Union Pacific took delivery of three pairs of EMC E6A passenger locomotives, painted Armour Yellow with Harbor Mist Grey, instead of Armour Yellow and Leaf Brown.
Six cab units: UP 7-M-1A and 7-M-2A, 8-M-1A and 8-M-2A, 9-M-1A and 9-M-2A
Union Pacific took delivery of new E6 locomotives from EMC, painted in yellow and gray. These new locomotives were assigned to many of UP's lightweight non-City passenger trains. Additional new E6s were delivered in February and March 1941 and were assigned to the City of Los Angeles (9th Train) and City of San Francisco (10th Train).
September 26, 1940
Full dinner meal (65-cents) inaugurated on Los Angeles Challenger. (Discontinued on January 7, 1941)
Purchased 30 81-foot Baggage cars (Pullman-Standard) for conventional trains.
Purchased 10 30-foot RPO-Baggage cars (Pullman-Standard) for conventional trains.
Purchased 30 48-seat coaches (Pullman-Standard) for conventional trains.
Purchased 54 sleepers (gray) (Pullman-Standard) for conventional trains.
Purchased one COLA "9th train", 15 cars (Pullman-Standard)
Purchased one COSF "10th train", 15 cars (Pullman-Standard)
Consolidated 4th train assigned to City of Portland.
E3 locomotives LA-5 and LA-6 were renumbered 5-M-1-A and 5-M-2-B.
Union Pacific took delivery of two sets of new E6 locomotives from EMC, painted in yellow and gray. One set, a cab unit and two booster units, was numbered as LA-4, LA-5 and LA-6 and was assigned to the City of Los Angeles (9th Train). The second set, also a cab unit and two booster units, was numbered as SF-4, SF-5 and SF-6 and was assigned to the City of San Francisco (10th Train).
Western lines uniformly featured new low cost meals.
April 1, 1941
Slight increases became effective for Challenger meals, bringing them up to 35, 40 and 50 cents.
April 1, 1941
Prices of low-priced dining car meals increased; breakfast to 35 cents; luncheon to 40 cents; and dinner to 50 cents, due to increase in food costs, etc. No change in number of quantity of any items and no change in a la carte prices.
April 15, 1941
New office opened in New York.
The cars from the 4th Train, without LA-4 locomotives, replaced the 3rd Train (M-10002) as the City of Portland.
A new 14-car City of Los Angeles train (the 9th Train) entered service, powered by the three-unit set of EMD E6 locomotives LA 4-5-6.
- Replaced the 4th Train on the City of Los Angeles route.
- This was the first train to use Harbor Mist Grey instead of Leaf Brown.
A new 14-car City of San Francisco train (the 10th Train) entered service, powered by the three-unit set of EMD E6 locomotives SF 4-5-6.
August 13, 1941
After being in storage since 1939, the empty car body of the M-10001 locomotive, and all of the articulated cars of the 2nd Train, were sold for scrap.
October 1, 1941
Prices of low-priced dining car meals increased; breakfast to 40 cents; luncheon to 50 cents; and dinner to 60 cents, also some slight increases in a la carte prices due to increase in food costs, etc.
December 16, 1941
M-10000 was removed from service and retired after running over 899,000 miles in revenue service.
From Union Pacific Streamliners, by Ranks and Kratville, 1974 page 58:
Having outlived its economic usefulness, the City of Salina was withdrawn from service December 16, 1941. A national museum heard about the impending scrapping and sought to have Little Zip placed on exhibit on their grounds. W. M. Jeffers, however, decided that the train was too valuable a source of aluminum scrap to be placed in a museum. The fact that he held a prominent appointive post with the federal government at that time probably had considerable effect on this decision.
The City of Salina ran about 899,000 miles in revenue service before it was retired and sold for scrap to Aaron Ferer and Sons at Omaha February 13, 1942.
December 29, 1941
New city ticket office Spokane opened.
December 31, 1941
Continental dinner service discontinued on City of Los Angeles and City of Portland streamliners.
January 1, 1942
Victory dinner ($1.75) inaugurated on City of Los Angeles (discontinued on May 30, 1942) and on City of Portland (discontinued on May 31, 1942).
January 15, 1942
Prices of low-priced dining car meals increased; breakfast to 50 cents; luncheon to 60 cents; and dinner to 75 cents, due to increase in food costs, etc. No change in scope of menu.
February 13, 1942
M-10000 and its entire train set was sold for scrap to Aaron Ferer and Sons, Omaha, Nebraska.
April 12, 1942
M-10002 entered service between Portland and Seattle.
June 1, 1942
Pillow rental raised to 10 cents for each 12 hours, or fraction thereof. This on recommendation of the Western Passenger Association.
M-10002 was taken out of service; some of the cars were scrapped, and others were transferred to M-10004 when it began running as City of Portland.
May 17, 1944
Mr. Robinson recommended to Mr. Jeffers daily streamliners to Los Angeles and San Francisco, and tri-weekly streamliners to Portland, post war.
September 13, 1944
Mr. Jeffers wrote to Mr. Charske about daily Streamliner possibilities.
November 14, 1944
Great Northern announced intention to operate daily streamliners between Chicago and North Pacific Coast.
Union Pacific received its last new steam locomotive: FEF-3 Class 4-8-4 number 844.
August 6, 1945
Mr. Jeffers wrote Mr. Charske, attaching copies of letters by Messrs. Ashby and Rigdon about additional streamliner possibilities.
September 13, 1945
CB&Q-D&RGW-WP announced plans ordering six new streamlined trains to replace Exposition Flyer between Chicago and San Francisco.
September 13, 1945
Mr. Robinson wrote Mr. Ashby recommending: 1) restoration of conventional passenger train schedules as in effect in 1941, with Overland and Los Angeles Limited on 49-hour schedules; 2) operation of COLA, COSF, COP three times a week in each direction; 3) operation of a City of St. Louis daily; 4) order of sufficient new passenger equipment to take care of minimum requirements in these trains but none for overflow, protection, shopping, or for daily streamliner schedules.
October 29, 1945
UPRR invited four manufacturers to bid on 100 passenger cars.
February 28, 1946
Ordered 65 passenger cars from American car & Foundry Co. in line with initial recommendation in September 13, 1945, sleepers to be ordered later.
May 3, 1946
Ordered 15 sleepers from American Car & Foundry Co., making total of 80 cars for trains detailed in "Post War Train Service Plan No. 6".
...Then They Ran Daily
June 2, 1946
Daily City of St. Louis service was established between St. Louis and Cheyenne in conjunction with the Wabash Railroad. This train was the only streamliner to be painted two-tone grey, due to its connections.
June 2, 1946
General change in passenger schedules including establishment of Streamliner City of St. Louis daily between St. Louis and Cheyenne.
New E7 locomotives (13 total) were delivered from EMD:
- UP 907A, 908B, 909B, for City of San Francisco service
- UP 927A, 928B, 929B, for City of Los Angeles service
- UP 930A and 931A, for City of Portland service
- UP 959A, 960A, 961B, 962B, 963B for general service
November 10, 1946
Streamliner sailings increased: COLA and COSF from 10 to approximately 13 departures a month (3 times a week) and COP from 5 to 6 departures a month.
November 18, 1946
Mr. Ashby called for schedules and equipment necessary for 1947 operation of daily all-Pullman and all-coach streamliners to Los Angeles and San Francisco, daily coach and Pullman streamliner to Portland and probable operation of Los Angeles and San Francisco Challengers on a "45-hour or on a 42-hour schedule".
January 4, 1947
Mr. Ashby decided to operate streamliners to Los Angeles, San Francisco and Portland, each with coach and Pullman account lack of sufficient light weight equipment.
M-10004 was taken out of service.
February 15, 1947
Daily City of Portland service inaugurated with 5 equipments, cars being taken from the City of St. Louis, the Portland Rose, the Challenger, and by using 5 women's coaches converted into club-lounge cars and 5 conventional weight cars.
February 15, 1947
Consolidated 4th train withdrawn from City of Portland service.
May 14, 1947
Daily City of Los Angeles service was inaugurated with 4 equipments, doubling at each terminal; additional cars for the 4 trains were withdrawn from Streamliner City of St. Louis, the Los Angeles Limited, the C&NW "400" and one complete train and 5 Challenger (D-K-D) diners from City of Portland. Two additional women's coaches were converted into club-lounge cars.
August 16, 1947
In Utah, Trains 1 and 2, and Trains 103 and 104 were operated via the Ogden wye, instead of through Ogden Union Station, account protest by Ogden City. (Union Pacific letter index card, on file Union Pacific Museum, Omaha, Nebraska; research completed May 1995)
September 1, 1947
Daily City of San Francisco service was inaugurated with 4 equipments, doubling at each terminal; additional cars for the 4 trains were withdrawn from the Overland. necessary to use 2 conventional weight diners, also operate the Overland with 5 equipments resulting in an 8:00 PM Chicago departure for No. 27.
"During the War and until November 1, and May 14, 1947 respectively, the San Francisco and Los Angeles Challengers had operated with a mixture of light and heavyweight equipment and steam power."
The M-10004 cars were put into storage.
February 25, 1948
Orders placed for 50 sleepers and 50 coaches following traffic department appeal for 165 additional light weight cars (85 sleepers, 59 coaches and 19 miscellaneous type cars) to completely complement our best through trains with modern equipment to meet competitors - See Messrs Seitz and Lynch joint recommendation July 8, 1947.
April 13, 1949
In Utah, the operation of Trains 103 and 104, were resumed through Ogden Union Station. (Union Pacific letter index card, on file Union Pacific Museum, Omaha, Nebraska; research completed May 1995)
April 20, 1949
Passenger traffic suggestion to purchase 106 additional light weight cars (162 additional light weight cars if two all-coach streamliners are to be operated to California - for detail see CJC B-10 and attachments April 20 to Mr. Burns) for (1) operation of all-coach streamliners to Los Angeles and San Francisco, (2) extension of streamliner City of St. Louis operation through to Los Angeles, (3) to fill out Pacific Coast streamliners and best through trains with required types of cars and (4) to provide protection cars for shopping and emergency. When we are forced to operate a streamlined mail train, 30 head-end cars will be the minimum additional equipment.
"The same old story -- The Post Office Department has just released its balance sheet for the fiscal year ended June 30, 1948, and once again it tells the same old story. For example, the average postage per piece of non-local first-class mail carried by surface transportation (which means railroads) was 3.23 cents. The railroads' share of that was less than a fifth of a penny. The average piece of domestic air mail brought in 6.73 cents and the air lines' share of that was better than 5 cents. The net result of this activity is fairly obvious. On all surface non-local first-class mail the Post Office Department netted a profit of $103.6 million — and it lost $27 million on domestic air mail. So much for the old slogan, "All first-class mail by air." -- Willard V. Anderson, editor" (Trains magazine, May 1949, page 11)
September 9, 1949
In Utah, the "Union Station - Go By Train" sign was erected on the east-facing roof of Ogden Union Station. (Union Pacific letter index card, on file Union Pacific Museum, Omaha, Nebraska; research completed May 1995)
April 1, 1950
Union Pacific purchased the Train of Tomorrow, getting its first dome cars, including the very first dome diner and dome sleeper
June 18, 1950
The Train of Tomorrow cars entered service between Portland and Seattle
UP received the first of 46 E8 locomotives (18 cab units and 28 cabless booster units) from EMD. (Deliveries continued through 1953)
The M-10004 cars were scrapped
The City of St. Louis entered service running through to Los Angeles
March 26, 1952
Union Pacific announced that all passenger equipment will be painted in Streamliner colors of Armour yellow and Harbor Mist grey
CD-05 (M-10005, 5th Train), CD-06 (6th Train, M-10006) and CD-07 train sets were retired from City of Denver service and scrapped
January 1, 1953
The joint contract agreement for the City of Denver trains, owned jointly by Union Pacific and Chicago & North Western, came to an end. The agreement had been in effect since June 4, 1943. (Union Pacific Streamliners, page 367)
"City of Denver junked -- Two famous old streamliners - the Chicago & North Western-Union Pacific City of Denver - have been put out to pasture after piling up over 12 million miles between them on the 1048-mile overnight haul between Chicago and Denver. The 14-car 3600 h.p. articulateds, notable for the grilled noses of their custom diesels, have been scrapped and their place taken by pool equipment pending a decision to buy new streamliners for the run." (Trains magazine, July 1953, page 6)
January 10, 1954
The Los Angeles Challenger was re-established between Chicago and Los Angeles with streamlined equipment and diesel power. It replaced the Los Angeles Limited which had operated since December 17, 1905 between Los Angeles and Chicago." (Ranks and Kratville, Union Pacific Streamliners, page 327)
UP received the first of 69 E9 locomotives (35 cab units and 34 cabless booster units) from EMD. (Deliveries continued through 1963)
Union Pacific added dome coaches, diners and observation lounges to the City of Los Angeles, City of Portland, and Challengers.
- 10 Dome Chair cars in January 1955 (7000 series)
- 15 Dome Lounge cars in April 1955 (9000 series)
- 10 Dome Dining cars in May 1955 (8000 series)
October 30, 1955
Union Pacific terminated its arrangement with the Chicago and North Western for the streamliners to operate over the C&NW from Omaha to Chicago, and began operating over the Milwaukee Road. On the same day, the first train operating over Milwaukee Road rails, was the eastbound City of Denver operating as an extra, arriving at Chicago Union Station from Omaha. (Union Pacific Streamliners, page 327)
"UPSET?: Four railroad brotherhoods have asked the I.C.C. to step in to prevent the shift of UP's streamliners from Chicago & North Western to the Milwaukee Road. The unions say 1250 C&NW employees would be adversely affected and "hundreds" would be laid off. Previously, C&NW on-line towns had protested the move but the Commission replied that it had no jurisdiction in the matter." (Trains magazine, December-1955, page 10)
The Dome Observation-Lounges were remodeled for mid-train use
June 2, 1956
"As of June 2, Challenger became an all-coach train while City of Los Angeles went all Pullman. Previously, the two Chicago-L.A. streamliners had been consolidated." (Trains magazine, July 1956, page 14)
December 18, 1956
The City of Las Vegas began revenue service with the leased General Motors Aerotrain
September 15, 1957
The City of Las Vegas began using conventional equipment
Additional Dome Coaches were purchased and added to the City of St. Louis
City of Portland routing was changed from North Platte direct to Cheyenne, to an indirect routing from North Platte to Denver by way of the Julesburg cutoff, then from Denver to Cheyenne.
January 11, 1959
The City of Denver and City of Portland were combined and operated via Denver. The combined train ran a Nos. 111-112 between Chicago and Denver, and as Nos. 105-106 between Denver and Portland. (Union Pacific Streamliners, page 153 and 515)
- City of Portland began running via Denver in January 1959. In February its westward Chicago to Portland schedule was 42 hours and 30 minutes, compared to 40 hours and 45 minutes in 1957-1958; eastward was 42 hours in February 1959 and 40 hours 30 minutes in earlier times.
- The City of Denver ran as a separate train until January 10, 1959 and likely used the twin unit diners until then. The train included a 21 Roomette sleeper leased from the Pennsylvania Railroad (and repainted Armour Yellow) featuring coach fares and low space charges to compete with the CB&Q's Slumbercoach service on the Denver Zephyr.
- This arrangement lasted until September 24, 1967 when the City of Portland began running straight through Cheyenne without detouring via Denver.
- After September 24, 1967, the City of Portland carried a sleeper and coaches from Chicago to North Platte which were switched out and run with a cafe lounge over the Julesburg cutoff to Denver.
- This service continued after September 7, 1969 when the City of Portland was combined with the City of Los Angeles/City of San Francisco between Chicago and Green River, Wyoming (informally known as the "City of Everywhere"). The sleeper was discontinued around 1970, and the train's last run was April 30, 1971, the day prior to the startup of Amtrak. Source: "The Union Pacific Streamliners", Ranks and Kratville, 1974
- (Trainorders.com, April 30, 2012)
The January 1959 consolidation of the City of Denver with the City of Portland, and the longer route by way of Denver, changed the Portland train's departure time from Chicago from 5 p.m., to 3 p.m. to provide the normal early morning arrival in Portland. (Trains magazine, February 1964, pages 44 and 47, "When Two Trains Equal One")
Union Pacific ended the use of steam locomotives in regular service
September 25, 1960
The City of Los Angeles and City of San Francisco were combined between Chicago and Ogden. (Jeff Asay, Union Pacific in the Los Angeles Basin, page 401)
The City of Las Vegas was renamed the Las Vegas Holiday Special
April 12, 1964
The City of St. Louis was combined with the City of Los Angeles between Ogden and Los Angeles. (Jeff Asay, Union Pacific in the Los Angeles Basin, page 403)
The last two Train of Tomorrow cars were retired
July 5, 1965
Union Pacific stopped using train numbers in the locomotive indicators.
The following comes from David Seidel, from an email dated June 28, 2009:
"Union Pacific discontinued the use of train number in locomotive indicators. The last train to use train numbers was train #28 that arrived in Omaha. From now on the locomotive number will be displayed and not the train number. The Union Pacific was one of the last railroads to still be using train numbers."
The date of this report was July 5, 1965. Train #28 departed North Platte just after midnight and arrived Omaha 7:00 am - the end of its run. Since the 5th was a Monday, I am guessing the change was effective at 12:01 am, Monday, July 5, 1965.
January 27, 1967
Railway Post Office service ended between Ogden and Los Angeles, on trains 103 and 104, and trains 5 and 6. (Trains magazine, May 1967, page 50; Union Pacific Streamliners, page 518)
Union Pacific participated in the national "Discover America" advertising campaign to promote tourism and travel in America. In addition to other advertising, Union Pacific used the "Discover America" logo on menus for meals on board its streamliner passenger trains. An example was a City of Los Angeles menu dated April 1968 in the collection of David Seidel, and the subject of a recent email discussion.
Started by an April 15, 1967 proclamation by President Lyndon Johnson (Presidential Proclamation No. 3780), the Discover America ad campaign was described by Milwaukee Road in its bi-monthly magazine:
"Discover America" Campaign
A "Discover America Planning Week" Apr. 16-22 will focus on encouraging vacation travel to and within the United States on a year-round basis. The campaign signals a special effort to support DISCOVER AMERICA the program established by Presidential proclamation for the dual purpose of retaining travel dollars and providing people of other countries with a better understanding of the USA. The promotion will be dramatized through radio, TV and billboard advertising, and a variety of other media, such as bumper stickers, a campaign button and official theme song. (The Milwaukee Road Magazine, Volume 55, March-April 1967, Number 1, page 2)
According to a news article in New York Times on March 10, 1967, the campaign was to begin with the voice of Gregory Peck urging radio listeners and television viewers to "This year ... Discover America." The campaign was the result of a Congressional resolution during a recent budget battle and was intended to encourage travel and tourism. A private corporation was established, called "Discover America, Inc.", with headquarters in the Chrysler Building, funded by an association of airlines, railroads, automobile, airplane, rubber and gasoline manufacturers, along with funds from the Hertz car rental company and the Hilton, Leaming and Sheraton hotel chains. The national campaign included a 40-minute film narrated by actor Burgess Meredith, and a "Discover America" theme song that was sent to parade bands, choral groups and television and radio stations.
August 7, 1967
The Las Vegas Holiday Special was discontinued
September 24, 1967
The combined City of Portland/City of Denver stopped operating through Denver, and a separate City of Denver was operated as a "stub" train between Denver and North Platte. (Union Pacific Streamliners, page 518)
October 11, 1967
"The Southern Pacific shut down its portion of the Streamliner RPO operations on October 11, 1967 when the last RPO car left Oakland pier on the COSF." (Union Pacific Streamliners, page 518)
October 12, 1967
The U. S. Postal Service canceled the mail contract with U. S. railroads. (Jeff Asay, Union Pacific in the Los Angeles Basin, page 403)
After the mail contracts were lost in 1967, the UP began to downgrade the passenger trains and the City of Denver ran only as an independent train from Denver to North Platte, where it joined up with the "City of Everywhere" train. The Official Guide from July 1966 shows it running as an independent train and the full equipment running the whole route of the train. (Trainorders.com, April 30, 2012)
September 7, 1968
The City of St. Louis was combined with the City of Los Angeles between Cheyenne and Ogden
The Wabash portion of the City of St. Louis was dropped and the Union Pacific renamed the train the City of Kansas City
"Milwaukee Road wants to consolidate its two Chicago-Omaha streamliners, the City of Denver/City of Portland and the City of Los Angeles/City of San Francisco. UP presumably will follow suit west of Omaha if the petition is O.K.'d" (Trains magazine, January 1969, page 16, "Arrivals & Departures")
June 30, 1969
Trains 5 and 6, the Mail and Express, was discontinued. (Jeff Asay, Union Pacific in the Los Angeles Basin, page 404)
September 7, 1969
The City of Los Angeles was combined with the City of Denver from Chicago to North Platte and the City of Portland from Chicago to Green River, Wyoming and carried cars for the City of St. Louis from Chicago to Cheyenne
Official Guide from October 1969 lists a Cafe-Lounge on the City of Denver from North Platte to Denver. The earlier train also carried a Cafe-Lounge as part of the consist in addition to the Dome diner from Chicago to Denver. (Trainorders.com, April 30, 2012)
The City of San Francisco was reduced to tri-weekly operation
"The Official Guide, at a glance, seems more affluent than it is because although trains have been combined, their names survive. Prime example: The City of Portland, City of Denver, Challenger, City of Los Angeles, and City of San Francisco all depart Chicago on the Milwaukee Road at 6 p.m. (and arrive there at 11:59 a.m.) on one consist." (Trains magazine, April 1970, page 9)
"All-Time Champion -- The Overland Route now has the all-time champion name for a passenger train. One locomotive hauling one string of cars in each direction between Chicago and North Platte, Nebraska, is known officially as the Domeliner City of San Francisco, Domeliner City of Los Angeles, Domeliner City of Portland, Challenger, and City of Denver. Since all that won't fit on a drumhead sign to hang on the rear car, why not borrow the Burlington's old advertising slogan and call the whole operation Everywhere West." (Trains magazine, April 1970, page 50, Robert Wayner letter to the editor)
"City of Denver and Pan American (not a UP train) have lost their sleepers." (Trains magazine, September 1970, page 10, "Arrivals & Departures")
The June 1970 Official Guide shows no UP Trains 111/112, and the following car assignments:
- Dome Coach between Chicago and North Platte
- Reclining leg-rest Coaches, between Chicago and Denver
- Streamlined Sleeping Cars between Chicago and North Platte (Double bedrooms, compartments, drawing-rooms, and roomettes)
- Cafe Lounge Car between North Platte and Denver
- Dining Car between Chicago and North Platte
- Dome Lounge Car between Chicago and North Platte
- The connection between North Platte and Denver operated for about 4 hours and 45 minutes, traveling a distance of 279 miles.
- The City of Denver was a North Platte to Denver stub train at the end in 1971, with coaches and a cafe-lounge.
- The Official Guide for April 1971 lists the City of Denver as Train 103 between Chicago and North Platte, 6PM departure, same as City of Los Angeles; then split at North Platte and becoming Train 111. It is listed as reserved Coach seat.
- (Trainorders.com, April 12, 2016)
October 30, 1970
President Nixon signed what was known as the "Railpax" legislation. "He then appointed eight incorporators who were given from January 1 to May 1, 1971 to organize the company, decide on its routes and services, make contracts with the railroads, and get the show on the road." (Railroad magazine, April 1972, page 37)
May 1, 1971
Amtrak began operation; no Union Pacific trains were retained in the Amtrak schedule, however due to the Denver & Rio Grande Western choosing not to join Amtrak, the San Francisco Zephyr used Union Pacific tracks between Denver and Ogden and was the only Amtrak train to be hosted by Union Pacific at the time.
The following comes from the National Archives:
The National Railroad Passenger Corporation (also know as Amtrak) was established by the Rail Passenger Act of 1970 (84 Stat. 1327). The objective of the Act was to provide the United States with viable intercity rail passenger service, correct problems stemming from years of deterioration, and establish its proper place within the national transportation system. This was to be accomplished by consolidating national passenger rail service in a forprofit corporation. Amtrak was thus incorporated in the District of Columbia on March 30, 1971. The Corporation was governed by a Board of Directors. It consisted of first eleven, then fifteen members. Eight members were appointed by the President. Three members would be elected by the stockholders, with that number rising to a total of seven as the number of commonstock shares in the corporation increased. Amtrak rail service began on May 1, 1971.
Based in part on the research of David Seidel. Portions were originally presented in a different format in his book, "Union Pacific Passenger Equipment". (Read more about David Seidel's book)
Ranks, Harold E., and William W. Kratville. The Union Pacific Streamliners. (Kratville Publications, Omaha, Nebraska.) First printing 1974; fifth printing 1992.
Original basic timeline was taken from the now-defunct web site of Robert West. Mr. West's original timeline was in turn credited as being compiled from Ranks' and Kratville's "The Union Pacific Streamliners."
Much of the timeline information for UP's passenger trains between 1932 and 1949 was taken from a 10-page internal UP document dated May 28, 1949. (Received as photocopy from Union Pacific public relations department, July 1988) (PDF; 10 pages; 3.5MB)
Union Pacific 1st Train through 10th Train -- Information based, in part, on the research of David Seidel and Dick Harley.
Streamliner Timeline -- A chronology of events concerning UP's Streamliner trains, 1934 to 1971.