1951 City of Portland

This booklet is parallel to yesterday’s for the City of Denver. Is the green cover supposed to be reminiscent of Oregon’s evergreen forests while the City of Denver red cover denotes Colorado’s red rocks? Or was UP just trying to keep the booklets visually distinct?

Click image to download a 4.9-MB PDF of this 20-page booklet.

In any case, this booklet reveals the homogenization of Union Pacific’s streamlined trains. While the 1930s trains featured distinctive cars such as the Frontier Shack on the City of Denver and the Little Nugget car on the City of San Francisco, the dining and lounge cars in this booklet look completely generic. The 1951 City of Portland featured a diner, cafe-lounge for coach passengers, and a rear lounge car for Pullman passengers that presumably had a round tail, though you wouldn’t know it from this booklet. None of these looked like they were particularly designed with a Northwest or other unique theme.

1950 City of Denver

Here’s a post-war update to the inaugural booklet for Union Pacific’s Chicago-Denver train. This one has fewer pages and is slightly smaller in size and indicates both the similarities and differences between the 1936 and 1950 versions of this train.

Click image to download a 4.3-MB PDF of this 20-page booklet.

Similarities include the locomotives, as the City of Denver was the last Union Pacific train to be pulled by elevated-cab engines. These were replaced by E-units in 1952 and (like all early UP streamliners) soon scrapped. The observation car and coaches also appear unchanged from 1936.

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The Presidents of the United States

This 1950 booklet, with an associated sheet of stamps showing pictures of each of the presidents through Truman, would have been given to children riding a train. The children would then carefully separate the stamps and glue them in the proper places in the booklet, helping to occupy their time during more boring parts of the trip. Fortunately, someone has already done this for this booklet.

Click image to download a 12.4-MB PDF of this 36-page booklet.

In addition to a space for the picture of each president, each page includes a short biography of the president. This was followed by a brief description of their relationship to the railroads or, at least, the transportation system of their day. For example, John Adams’ page says, “It is not unlikely that on one of his visits to nearby Boston, President Adams witnessed on Beacon Hill the beginning of railway development in America—a crude tramway of wooden rails set two feet apart.”

The Portland Rose

The cover of this brochure resembles this 1943 menu and these 1946 lunch and dinner menus used on the train. However, the text, which says, “Today you see for the first time a train into which has been built the ‘spirit of a city,'” hints that the brochure was published in 1930, when the train was introduced.

Click image to download a 754-KB PDF of this four-page brochure.

The brochure notes that “the design and color of the rose–the decorative motif for the entire train–is in evidence everywhere…, in the rich carpeting, upholstery, lamp shades, stationery, bridge pads, magazine binders and other train accessories.” Some of this can be seen in the postcards below.

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Scenic Overland Route Postcard Folder

This folder opens up to show 18 hand-colored photos of scenes along the Union Pacific. Half of the photos are of Union Pacific train stations, which were not necessarily the most scenic sites along the route.

Click image to download an 6.4-MB PDF of this postcard folder. The PDF repeats part of one page in order to show the complete cover to the folder.

The folder was published by Barkalow Brothers in 1944. Sydney Denise Barkalow owned a news stand in Omaha and his brother Derrick Vail Barkalow was a printer. In 1865 they contracted with the Union Pacific to be news agents on the railroad’s trains, selling newspapers, magazines, books, candy, and other items to passengers. Eventually, they ran train station news stands from Chicago and St. Louis to Portland and San Francisco and for a time were exclusive dealers of postcards and photo booklets for the Union Pacific.

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1940 Summer Tours Summary

This little booklet has the same cover as yesterday’s much larger 1939 tour guide, but this one is actually for the 1940 season. A mail-in postcard on the inside back cover invites people to request the full booklet and shows the cover of the 1940 booklet.

Click image to download an 6.8-MB PDF of this 24-page booklet.

The booklet briefly describes ten different tours. Since there are fourteen tours in the full 1940 booklet, some of the combination tours, such as Yellowstone-Southern Utah and Southern Utah-California, are left out.

1939 Summer Tours

I count 27 beautiful color photos in this booklet. While the cover illustration is intriguing, it is entirely a fantasy: no railroad comes anywhere close to getting a view of Mt. Moran in the Grand Tetons. Old Faithful was popular enough that Union Pacific felt it was worthwhile to include not one, not two, but three different photos of it, two in color (pages 5 and 19) and one in black-and-white (page 11).

Click image to download an 48.4-MB PDF of this 68-page booklet.

With this booklet, I have now posted every Union Pacific summer tours booklet from 1930 through 1940, along with 1925, 1927, 1942, and several post-war booklets. The post-war booklets didn’t change as frequently, but I’ll keep an eye out for 1926, 1928, 1929, and 1941.

The 1936 City of Denver

Union Pacific inaugurated the City of Los Angeles, City of Portland, and City of San Francisco in 1935, with the City of Denver coming in June, 1936. This booklet isn’t dated, but at one point it refers to the train in the future tense: “The Streamliner ‘City of Denver’ will provide fast, safe, economical, and luxuriously comfortable service daily.”

Click image to download a 6.3-MB PDF of this 28-page booklet.

With just five-and-one-half revenue cars–two 50-seat coaches and three-and-one-half sleepers with a total of 82 beds–this train’s capacity was fairly low. Considering it cut nine hours off the schedule of heavyweight trains, UP must have frequently sold almost every seat and berth. Yet unlike the City trains to the West Coast, the railroad charged no extra fare on the City of Denver. The train’s non-revenue spaces included the diner/lounge, the rear half of the observation car, and the unique Frontier Shack, which filled the rear half of a baggage-tavern car.

Alaska for an Air-Cooled Vacation

In 1936, the Alaska Steamship Company published this brochure in cooperation with the Union Pacific. In a few months, I’ll post a similar brochure published in cooperation with the Great Northern.

Click image to download an 4.3-MB PDF of this brochure.

Naturally, most of the information in this brochure is about Alaska, with just three of the twelve panels describing Union Pacific trains and fares. Of the portions about Alaska, most deal with the Inside Passage that was and is used by ships to access the Alaska panhandle. Other than a photo of Mt. McKinley, the rest of Alaska might not exist.

1933 Summer Tours

Whereas the 1932 edition of the summer tours booklet had a natural color photo of the Great White Throne on its cover, the 1933 cover is undecorated by any photos or illustrations. Inside, many of the tours are the same, but the 1933 booklet makes no mention of tours to Alaska or the Pacific Northwest, probably because these were covered in a separate booklet.

Click image to download an 31.6-MB PDF of this booklet.

Inside, the table of contents page of both booklets brag that the natural color photographs “tell the truth,” showing “nature’s masterpieces in the western wonderlands just as the eye sees them.” While they do come closer to reality than the color lithographs in earlier booklets, the differences between nominally identical photos in the 1932 and 1933 editions can be striking. Of course, some of that could be due to differences in the scanners I used to copy the booklets, but much of it is in the originals themselves.