Union Pacific Streamliners, The City Trains

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This page was last updated on March 12, 2020.

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City Of Salina

Train Dates Motive Power
1st Train Jan 31, 1935 to Dec 16, 1941 M-10000

Built in 1934, UP's M-10000 was a three-car version of Pullman's "Railplane," a single car self-propelled streamlined test vehicle, built in 1933.

Roster information for M-10000.

City Of Portland

Train Dates Motive Power
2nd train June 5, 1935 to June 1939 M-10001
3rd Train June 1939 to July 1941 M-10002
4th Train July 1941 to February 15, 1947 LA 4A and LA 4B
  February 15, 1947 to May 1, 1971 (daily) general service pool

Steve Orth wrote in an email dated February 14, 2006:

UP had 15 Dome Observation Lounge cars in the 9000 series that were bought in 1955. Five were for the COP. The end of train cars proved to be an operational pain, so they were *all* converted to mid-train configuration in October 1956. If you want to model the COP anytime from Nov 1956 on, you will want the mid-train cars.

The end of the train was brought up by a sleeper with a tail light hanging on the gate across the diaphragm. Consist listings that I have show a 6-6-4 American sleeper in the 1950s and a 10-6 Pacific sleeper in the late 1960s. Not as elegant as a observation car, but more practical.

A photo of the City of Portland, departing westward from Cheyenne on February 12, 1969, showed a reduced consist, and the following comments.

-- In 1969, the City of Portland, Train 105, still ran separately from the City of Everywhere and left Cheyenne westbound in mid-morning.

--- (Read more about the "City of Everywhere")

-- The consist of the six-car train in the photo was baggage-dorm, dome coach, coach, diner or cafe-lounge, first-class dome-lounge and sleeper.

-- It has a single Pacific (10-6) sleeper, but a dome lounge and a dome coach, plus what appears to be a full diner.

-- By April 24, 1969, it was down to six cars: this consist minus the dome lounge.  And, dining was in a cafe-lounge rather than a dining car.

-- Off season consists were lean, starting in 1967. Generally always carrying a Dome lounge and Dome coach, although I remember seeing a photo of a consist without the dome lounge. Meal service was down to a cafe lounge.

City Of Los Angeles

Train Dates Motive Power
3rd Train May 15, 1936 to December 25, 1937 M-10002 (renumbered to LA-4-A and LA-4-B)
4th Train August 1938 to July 1941 LA-4-A and LA-4-B
7th Train December 22, 1937 to January 28, 1947 LA 1-2-3 (to 900 series, August 1946)
9th Train July 1941 to January 28, 1947 LA 4-5-6 (to 900 series, August 1946)
  January 28, 1947 to May 1, 1971 (daily) general service pool

Changes in the consist of the City of Los Angeles between 1947 and the establishment of the 5th COLA in March 1950, also known as the 21st Train.

Four rear end cars were added to City of Los Angeles service in the rush to get daily operations started in January 1947, "Baldy Mountain", "Sun Valley", 1522 and 1523. "Baldy Mountain" was the only one of the four with bedrooms and carried Pullman loading number "1045" (train _104_, _5_th sleeper). In a nutshell, on the days the "Baldy Mountain" operated, the Pullman/railroad had the four extra bedrooms to sell in addition to the regular bedroom space in the consist. On the other hand, this car cut back on the lounge space when it was part of the consist. This was a short term fix until more streamlined equipment was available. (David Seidel, email dated October 6, 2008)

(Baldy Mountain was a 4 bedroom Observation Lounge built in 1941. Sun Valley was a Club Lounge Observation built in 1937. UP 1522 and 1523 were blunt end Club Lounge, built in 1937.)

Changes in 1950-1956: I discovered in the timetables that through June 21, 1953 they list "Coaches" (plural, which were normally two), but after that they just say "Coach" (singular), implying that only one coach was carried after that(?). But on June 2, 1956, they list no coaches at all (not even dome coaches). (John Thompson, email dated July 12, 2006)

Other changes after 1956:

The following comes from Jeff Koeller, courtesy of John Thompson (John Thompson, emails dated August 18 and 25, 2006):

Which of the COLA cars were lettered "City of Los Angeles" on the letterboard, and until what dates? -- All of the [original] COLA passenger cars were lettered for that train. By the time Daily Service was inaugurated in May 1947 (perhaps Spring 1947), the non-sleepers were jointly lettered for UP and C&NW, while the sleepers were lettered PULLMAN. No COLA lettering on any of the cars (or engines) after May 1947. One exception though: in 1949, the four obs cars got COLA lettering (two COLA cars and both COSF cars now operating on the COLA).

Which of the COLA cars had raised strips below and/or above the windows? -- All of the 1937 cars assigned to the "revised" COLA 7th Train received the "Aluminum Trim Molding" to match the new 1941 cars which were all fitted with the same molding as delivered. Another aspect to consider is that the 1937 sleepers also received "Louver Skirting" in 1941 when they were converted to self-contained cars (not dependent on head end generators for electrical power).

If the COLA trains ever had full-width diaphragms, when were they changed to normal ones? -- All of the 1937 and 1941 COLA cars had full width diaphragms. These were removed in the early 1950s at about the same time the skirting was removed and replaced with 4" skirting (which essentially matched the new cars delivered in 1949 by AC&F).

Finally, there would not be enough E8's in 1950 to create ABB sets. These first sets were delivered in matching AB sets (Nos. 926, 926B through 930, 930B). Photos typically show an E8 AB set along with an E7 B-unit. Or there could be an E8 leading with a couple of E7's trailing, depending on what was available that day. The 1950-built E8's were the only such UP E-units with the F7 style grills. The 1952-1953 units all had the distinctive Farr Air grills (as did all the E9's). After the 1953-built E8's came, all the units were pooled and ran intermixed with the earlier units.

The following comes from Jeff Koeller, courtesy of John Thompson (John Thompson, email dated March 9, 2020):

Concerning the COLA E2s, they were renumbered in August 1946 to 921A, 922B, 923B. In March 1948 they were renumbered again to 984J, 984BJ, 984CJ. Finally, in December 1948 they became C&NW 5003A, and UP 984B, UP 984C.

When the COLA E7s were delivered in 8/46, they displaced the E2s in one of the two COLA consists, although not entirely. I have a Stan Kistler photo dated 10-18-46 showing E2 921A with E6 925B and E7 928B.

Beginning with daily COLA service in May 1947, the COLA consists were reduced to 12 cars and powered with a pair of 4000 HP units. At this point, the E2s with only 1800 HP each were operating regularly in the COStL and LA Limited diesel pools. In early 1949, a third unit was added to the COLA consists, usually a UP F3 B-unit, and the E2 B-units began showing up on the City of Portland. After the E2 cab unit became C&NW 5003A, it did not operate west of Omaha.

In 1941, the E2 cab unit lost its chrome pilot trim and acquired slots. In late 1946, the B-units got a third intake grill, similar to the E6 B-units. In mid-1947, the E2 cab unit acquired a second headlight in the nose, plus large train indicator boards.

Locomotive power for the COLA over Cajon pass in 1946 is relatively simple. The two consists began the year with power already having been balanced late in the war:

1) COLA 7th Train had E6A LA-4(2nd), E2B LA-2, E2B LA-3 (5600 HP)

2) COLA 9th Train had E2A LA-1, E6B LA-5(2nd), E6B LA-6(2nd) (5800 HP)

The three E6s delivered in 1941 used engine numbers that had previously been used on the renumbered M-10004 two-unit engine set (LA-4) and the E3 AB set (LA-5, LA-6)

In August 1946, the three-unit E7s were delivered and the 1937 E2s and the 1941 E6s were renumbered. The E7s took over on one of the COLA consists, while the E6s operated on the other consist. The E2s were relegated to pool service on the COStL and the LA LIMITED. The power for the COLA consists would have looked like this:

1) One COLA consist had E7s 927A, 928B, 929B (6000 HP)

2) The other COLA consist had E6s 924A, 925B, 926B (6000 HP)

At this point, with 6000 HP available for both COLA consists, the E7s and E6s could be pooled with the result that there could be some mixing of units.

June 1958
"City of Los Angeles . . . very fancy -- A fancy way to and from California since 1936 — that's the Milwaukee Road-Union Pacific City of Los Angeles, a 16-car domeliner covering the 2299 miles between Chicago and Los Angeles in 40-3/4 hours westbound and 40-1/2 hours returning. Usual power is three EMD E9's. For the budget-conscious there are 44-seat coaches with leg-rest chairs; a dome-coach; and a cafe-lounge. Tickets are collected only once, and soft blue lights are on from 10 p.m. until 7 a.m. Sleepers are all-room cars, one including a Redwood Lounge. Plus a dome-diner and dome-lounge. Among the extras: heavy carpet runners across the vestibules; fresh cut flowers in the diner; a p.a. system and wire-recorded music; coach attendants. A New York-L.A. sleeping car is forwarded by New York Central." (Trains magazine, June 1958, page 27)

City Of San Francisco

Train Dates Motive Power
4th Train June 14, 1936 to January 1938 M-10004 (to LA 4A and LA-4B in July 1938)
8th Train January 1938 to January 28, 1947
(substitute train, August 1939 to August 1941)
SF 1-2-3 (to 900 series, August 1946)
10th Train August 1941 to January 28, 1947 SF 4-5-6 (to 900 series, August 1946)
  January 28, 1947 to May 1, 1971 (daily) general service pool

City Of Denver

Train Dates Motive Power
5th Train
6th Train
June 18, 1936 to January 10, 1954
(second section added, June 1939)
M-10005 (to CD-05 series, June 1937)
M-10006 (to CD-06 series, June 1937)
  July 1937 3rd train set added (CD-07)
  July 1939 to August 1941 CD-05 substituted for COLA, which was temporarily assigned to fill in for the wrecked COSF
  December 1939 all three trains expanded (3rd locomotive unit added to each train)
  October 1947 to February 1948 Cars from the 4th Train, with M-10002 motive power were used in place of one of the three CD train sets as each was refurbished
  December 1953 to May 1, 1971 Streamliner train sets retired; general service pool (other sources say January 10, 1954)
(CD-05, CD-06 and CD-07 locomotives retired in March 1953)

The City of Denver trainsets were replaced by a pool of general service cars in December 1953. The following cars were part of the pool for less than a year before being replaced.


Dream Lake 4 compartment/1 drawing room/4 bedroom; from COSF
Boulder 12 section; from COSF
1501 club/lounge


Bear Lake 4 compartment/1 drawing room/4 bedroom; from COSF
Greeley 12 section; from COSF
1500 club/lounge

"City Of Seattle" Portland-Seattle Connection, Train 457/458

Train Dates Motive Power
  April 12, 1942 to March 1943 M-10002
  June 18, 1950 to May 1, 1971 general service pool (Train of Tomorrow)

City Of Las Vegas

December 18, 1956 -- City of Las Vegas service started, using the experimental Aerotrain leased from General Motors

September 15, 1957 -- City of Las Vegas was changed to conventional lightweight passenger equipment

August 7, 1967 -- City of Las Vegas service ended

When the City of Las Vegas was changed in 1957 from the experimental GM Aerotrain equipment, to conventional lightweight passenger equipment, the conventional equipment included a Lounge Car that was configured as a "Pub Car" like the car assigned to the City of Denver. This Pub car offered addditional-charge bar service, and Union Pacific continued offering free buffet meals en route.

City of St. Louis

Trains 9 and 10

The new Union Pacific-Wabash Streamliner City of St. Louis began daily operations June 2,1946. Operating between St. Louis, Kansas City, Denver and Cheyenne, the new City of St. Louis carried through cars for Los Angeles, San Francisco and Portland for transfer to UP's fast UP transcontinental trains at Cheyenne, Wyoming. The new schedule reduced running times to Los Angeles by 17-3/4 hours, to San Francisco by 18-3/4 hours and to Portland by 14-1/4 hours.

The City of St. Louis had come about in answer to competitive pressures from other carriers in the St. Louis-Kansas City-Denver corridor. Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific's "Rock Island Express" and "Denver Limited" were tow of those competive trains, as was Missouri Pacific's "Colorado Eagle" and CB&Q's "General Pershing Zephyr" and the combined CB&Q-D&RGW-WP "Exposition Flyer."

Operating as train Nos. 9 and 10 on both the Union Pacific and Wabash, the City of St. Louis replaced the un-named UP Trains 23 and 24, and train Nos. 2 and 9 on the Wabash. At Cheyenne, the Los Angeles cars in the City of St. Louis were then added to train No. l, the "Los Angeles Limited." The San Francisco cars were added train No. 27, the "Overland Limited" and the Portland cars were added to train No.11, the "Portland Rose."


Art Gibson writes that the City of St. Louis was not steam powered. However, there were always some steam powered helpers (such as Sherman Hill) and for sick diesels. There were some regular steam runs, such as the 800s (4-8-4) being used Denver-Cheyenne when the Wabash diesels were turned back at Denver to return to St. Louis on #10. Also, the Wabash 700s (4-6-4) were used from Mobeley, Missouri, to St. Louis, when the UP power (on #10) was turned back at Mobeley to go back on #9. But the first and the last runs of #9 and #10 were diesel powered. (Art Gibson email dated June 16, 2013)

During the years it was known as the City of Kansas City (1968 to 1971), the train ran west from Cheyenne combined with the combined City of San Francisco and City of Los Angeles, a 20-24-car train running as Train 103. The City of Kanasa City ran east (timetable east, but westward out of Cheyenne station, then south to Denver) in late afternoon. The eastbound City of Kansas City's cars ran backward to Denver with its 10-6 sleeper right behind the diesels. The City of Kansas City had no domes.

Here is the consist of the last No. 9 through Topeka, Kansas, on April 30, 1971, the day before Amtrak. Recorded by Bill Gibson, and presented here through the courtesy of Lance Garrels and Art Gibson.

UP 940 (E9)
UP 959 (E9, to Amtrak as #432)
UP 6300 (Baggage)
UP 5474 (Chair)
UP 1409, "Pacific Cove" (6-10 Sleeper, to Amtrak as #2607)
UP 5417 (Chair)
UP 6103 (Dormitory Club)
UP 5007 (Cafe Lounge)

(See also: "The Streamliner" Union Pacific Historical Society, Volume 13, Number 4, Fall 1999; 14 pages)

(See Also: the Wikipedia article for City of St. Louis passenger train)


Research by David Seidel, including portions originally presented in a different format in his book, "Union Pacific Passenger Equipment".

Additional information came from "The Official Pullman-Standard Library, Volume 13, Union Pacific 1933-1937", published in 1993 by RPC Publications.

More Information

GM Train of Tomorrow

GM Aerotrain

The Numbered Trains (1st Train through 10th Train)