Union Pacific-Rock Island Merger

In 1964, Union Pacific proposed to merge with the Rock Island Railroad. This merger seemed like it would gain quick approval as, at the time, the government favored end-to-end mergers rather than mergers of parallel lines such as GN-NP and NYC-PRR. The merger would give Union Pacific entry into Chicago, while Rock Island’s Kansas City-Tucumcari line would be spun off to the Southern Pacific. This 1965 booklet describes the proposal.

Click image to download a 11.1-MB PDF of this 16-page booklet.

So many other railroads objected that the government took ten years to reach a decision. Approval was not granted until 1974, with the conditions that Rock Island’s Memphis-Amarillo line be sold to Santa Fe, while the Kansas City-Colorado line that paralleled Union Pacific’s route was to be sold to the Rio Grande.

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The Union Pacific Historical Museum

Union Pacific once housed a museum in its Omaha headquarters building. The museum featured documents relating to the First Transcontinental Railroad signed by President Lincoln, an original silver service that came from a Pullman car built for Lincoln that served as his funeral car, and plenty of other mementos of the railroad and the early history of the West.

Click image to download a 3.2-MB PDF of this brochure.

In 2003, Union Pacific moved the museum across the river from Omaha to the former Carnegie library in Council Bluffs, Iowa. The railroad leases the building and pays the building’s operating costs, while the non-profit Union Pacific Museum Association staffs the museum with volunteers and raises money to build and maintain the exhibits. The museum also houses the railroad’s archives, which are not open to the public.

Union Pacific History: 1964

This booklet is very similar to a 1951 booklet describing Union Pacific’s history. While the covers are different, the text and some of the photos in the first 21 numbered pages of this booklet are nearly identical to those in the 1951 edition. The next seven pages, however, are completely different, with a much greater emphasis on freight and only four paragraphs (plus a page of photos) for passenger service.

Click image to download a 10.6-MB PDF of this 32-page booklet.

One of the last pages of each booklet lists the presidents of the Union Pacific since 1862. The last listed president in both cases is A.E. Stoddard, who was president from 1949 to January 1, 1965. While this booklet isn’t dated, it gives some data for 1963 as the most recent full year, showing that it was published in 1964.

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Union Pacific Sells Sun Valley

After nearly 30 years of operations, Sun Valley’s infrastructure was wearing out. Rather than invest the estimated $6 million needed to rehabilitate it, Union Pacific decided to sell the nation’s first destination ski resort to Bill Janns, a southern California developer who happened to be the consultant who came up with the $6 million estimate. Janns paid UP $3 million.

Click image to download a 5.1-MB PDF of this 8-page booklet.

Above is Union Pacific’s last booklet advertising Sun Valley before the sale, while below is Janns’ first booklet after the sale. Union Pacific’s booklet (which put the “front cover” on the back) relied heavily on the color purple.

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1962 Summer Tours

We’ve already seen a 1964 summer tours booklet, and this one from two years before is pretty similar. The two booklets describe the same basic tours, use a lot of the same photos, and much of the same text.

Click image to download a 15.6-MB PDF of this 24-page booklet.

One difference is that the 1962 book naturally advertises the Seattle World’s Fair, which gave a great boost to the passenger business of railroads serving Seattle. A picture showing an artist’s conception of the fair appears on page 16; the 1964 booklet shows a picture of Victoria in the same spot.

Utah Parks Menus

In 1961, guests at Union Pacific’s Utah Parks Company lodges enjoyed these postcard lunch menus. The top of the menu could be torn off and mailed as a postcard, thus doing double duty in advertising the lodges.

Click image to download a 766-KB PDF of this menu.

This one shows Grand Canyon Lodge and offers meals featuring perch, omelet, pork cutlet, or tips of beef with juice or soup, potatoes, succotash, rolls, dessert, and beverage for $1.75 (about $14 in today’s money). The menu also offered a chef’s salad, cold cuts, or a ground beef sandwich on toast with French fries, all apparently for $1.75 as well since no other prices are shown.

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Passenger Station Paint Guide

Union Pacific issued this paint guide for passenger and freight stations in 1956. The guide includes color chips and references to Pittsburgh paint numbers. Exteriors were to be off-white with Kentucky green trim and wainscoting. Station agents were given a choice of interior colors: sunny yellow, seafoam green, blossom pink (more of a beige), and como blue.

Click image to download a 1.2-MB PDF of this brochure.

Most of the paint chips seem to have retained their colors, but I question the chip representing Kentucky green as it appears almost black in my scan. As shown below, at least one of the two images of Kentucky green (Pittsburgh paint number 1-338) I can find on line is much lighter.

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Sun Valley Wednesday Dinner Menu

This Sun Valley menu doesn’t have a date, but judging from the prices it is from the late 1960s. It also doesn’t mention Union Pacific anywhere except in tiny letters for the photo credit, which would confirm it is from after 1964 when UP sold the Sun Valley resort. As a result, this isn’t quite railroad memorabilia.

Click image to download a 1.7-MB PDF of this menu.

The menu purports to have an a la carte section and a “Wednesday dinner menu” (which suggests that the lodge rotated menus by day of the week). In fact, both sections offer nearly complete meals, with “soup, vegetable, potato, salad, bread, [and] beverage.” EntrĂ©es include sirloin steak, filet mignon, chicken, lamb chops, trout, calf sweetbreads, pork chops, prime rib, and crab. There must not have been many vegetarian skiers in those days. Appetizers and dessert were both extra.

City of Portland Bridge Score Pad

Except for the Winged Streamliner logo in place of a rose, this score pad is nearly identical to one we’ve seen for the Portland Rose. Both of them are nearly identical to one we’ve seen for the Great Northern, which uses a “Two Great Trains” logo indicating it was used on both the Empire Builder and Western Star.

Click image to download a 795-KB PDF of this score sheet.

The similarities suggest that both railroads went to the same printer for these score pads. Most likely, the printer had a standard format and just add railroad, hotel, or other logos, plus one page of advertising, to each print jog.

Streamliner Beverage Menu

This is one of the cutest beverage menus used on a railroad. When folded, the front and back show the silhouette of a Union Pacific streamliner. When unfolded and rotated 90 degrees, the menu forms the silhouette of a cocktail shaker. The beverage side also seems to be coated with a thin sheet of aluminum or aluminum-like paper to remind passengers of the aluminum train bodies, which (after 60 or so years) makes that side look somewhat crumpled.

Click image to download a 1.0-MB PDF of this menu.

Although the streamliner on the cover doesn’t have an elevated cab, its paint scheme and front grill otherwise resemble the M-10003 through M-10006. These were delivered in 1936 and lasted until 1953, so the undated menu could have been from any time in that period. The prices–30 cents for a martini, as little as 60 cents for a half-bottle of California wine–suggest this particular edition probably came out before the war.