Colorado Land Cruises

For 1964, instead of relying on tour buses to Rocky Mountain Park and other Colorado destinations, Burlington offered people a Hertz rental car for a week. While people were free to drive the car at whatever speed they wanted, they had to follow a general itinerary to stay at specific hotels along each of three different tour routes.


Click image to download a 11.7-MB PDF of this 16-page brochure.

Two of the tours included a sightseeing bus to the top of Pikes Peak and one included a round trip on Rio Grande train from Durango to Silverton. Though a photo of the Rio Grande Royal Gorge in its namesake gorge is in the brochure, travelers would only get a chance to see, not ride, this train.

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Burlington Historic Tours in 1963

For only $34 (about $200 today), the Burlington offered Chicagoans a two-day tour to Nauvoo, Illinois (an early Mormon settlement) and Hannibal, Missouri (boyhood home of Mark Twain). The weekend tours went via the Nebraska Zephyr to Burlington, bus to Nauvoo and Hannibal, a Mississippi river boat trip at Hannibal, then the Kansas City Zephyr back to Chicago.


Click image to download a 2.6-MB PDF of this 16-page brochure.

The back of this poster-sized (8-3/4″x18″) brochure offered one-day tours from Chicago to Dubuque, with a two-hour river boat trip, and a walking tour through Galena, where Ulysses Grant once lived. This tour, which included lunch, dinner, and travel about the Twin Zephyrs, cost just $15 (about $90 today). Both of these tours were offered every weekend from May 18 through October 27.

1957 California Zephyr Brochure

This 16-page brochure has two Bruce Bomberger paintings on the cover plus 19 color and seven black-and-white photos inside. Both the paintings and many of the photos are familiar from other advertising.


Click image to download an 11.3-MB PDF of this brochure.

For example, the Bomberger illustration on the right was also used in the March, 1952 National Geographic ad shown below. Notice that the illustration in the ad is cropped very differently; the original painting must include detail in the corners that is missing from both illustrations.

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Mississippi River Scenic Line by Vista-Dome

Burlington updated its Mississippi River Scenic Line brochure after adding vista-domes to the Twin Zephyrs. The new brochure still includes the history of the region–for some reason, no longer credited to Lucia Lewis–and the city-by-city guide, with updated population data.


Click image to download a 11.7-MB PDF of this 16-page brochure.

This particular brochure is dated 1954. I have one that is almost identical, except for the cover, dated 1949. I may post it here in the future but for the moment I’ll just include the cover below.

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From Wagon Wheels to Stainless Steel

At first glance, this 1950 brochure appears to be a general history of transportation, but a close look reveals it is actually the Chicago-Denver version of yesterday’s Chicago-Twin Cities along-the-way brochure. Like yesterday’s brochure, the first half is a history of travel over the route and the second half–separated by a picturesque map–is a city-by-city guide along the way.


Click image to download a 13.4-MB PDF of this 20-page brochure.

While most pages of the Mississippi brochure were highlighted with blue (probably for the river), this brochure is decorated with two colors: an orangish-brown that is probably meant to evoke the reddish soils of Colorado and a brighter brown that is probably meant to evoke the gold taken from Colorado mines. The back cover is an ad for Burlington’s “fourteen stainless steel Zephyrs and a fleet of fine steam trains.”

Mississippi River Scenic Line

This 1939 brochure includes six pages of history of the upper Mississippi, a colorful centerfold map, and five pages describing towns and sights seen from the Twin Cities Zephyr or another Burlington train. The back cover advertises the Morning and Afternoon Zephyrs and mentions “three fine night trains,” the Black Hawk, North Coast Limited, and Empire Builder.


Click image to download a 11.6-MB PDF of this 16-page brochure.

The six-page history liberally quotes Mark Twain as well as other writers. It was written by Lucia Lewis, the travel editor for the Chicago Daily News. Lewis won numerous awards for her writing, including the first presentation of the Mark Twain Travel Writer of the Year award in 1955, winning that award again in 1960 and 1962.

Burlington 1948 Timetable

This timetable provides a snapshot of the Burlington during the post-war transition period. The Empire Builder had been streamlined, and the Twin Zephyrs had some of the nation’s first dome cars. But the California Zephyr had yet to be introduced and the North Coast Limited was still a heavyweight train.


Click image to download a 28.6-MB PDF of this 36-page timetable.

The timetable opens with condensed schedules for six transcontinental trains: the Empire Builder, Oriental Limited, North Coast Limited, the Northern Pacific Alaskan–identified here only as trains 49 and 22 on the Burlington, 3 and 4 on the NP–the Exposition Flyer, and trains 42 and 43–which timetable 12 names, in tiny print, the Adventureland–between St. Louis and the Pacific Northwest via Billings. This is followed by Chicago-Denver, Chicago-Twin Cities, other Chicago trains, trains out of St. Louis, and trains out of Denver.

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Colorado & Southern 1946 Timetable

The Colorado & Southern traces its history to several Colorado railroads connecting mining communities such as Georgetown, Leadville, and Cripple Creek with Denver and Colorado Springs. Other lines went to Pueblo and Cheyenne, Wyoming. The Union Pacific bought controlling interest in these lines in the late 1880s. In 1888, a railroad called the Denver, Texas and Fort Worth built from Pueblo, Colorado to the Texas border, where it met the Fort Worth and Denver, which was a separate company due to a Texas law requiring all Texas railroads to be incorporated and headquartered in Texas.


Click image to download a 9.4-MB PDF of this 12-page timetable.

In 1890, UP merged these railroads (except the Ft. Worth & Denver) into the Union Pacific, Denver and Gulf Railway. But UP lost control of them when it went bankrupt after the Panic of 1893. A man named Frank Trumbull became receiver of UP’s Colorado subsidiaries, and in 1899 he merged them together to form the Colorado and Southern (keeping the FW&D independent, of course).

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Vacations West

This 1946 four-panel brochure is 5-1/2″x8-1/2″ folded but opens to 22 inches wide. The brochure briefly describes each of the main destinations reached by the Burlington and its parent railroads, GN and NP (though they are only mentioned on a map). These include the Colorado Rockies, Glacier Park, Yellowstone Park, the Pacific Northwest, California, the Black Hills, and dude ranches.


Click image to download a 4.0-MB PDF of this brochure.

The map panel shows the Burlington, GN, NP, and SP&S in thick lines, the D&RGW and WP in medium lines, and the SP and Santa Fe in thin lines. The SP&S-owned Oregon Electric from Portland to Eugene is a thick line even though passenger service ended in 1933. The SP&S-owned Oregon Trunk to Bend is a medium line even though it still offered passenger service, while the GN from Bend to California is also medium even though it never saw passenger service.

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Burlington Escorted Tours 1941

For 1941, Burlington Escorted Tours offered 36 different tours, including many tours combining two or more destinations such as Glacier, Yellowstone, the Pacific Northwest, California, and the Canadian Rockies. To fit all these tours in the booklet, it is 8 pages longer than the 1939 and 1940 booklets.


Click image to download a 59.4-MB PDF of this booklet.

A few of them are labeled as “bargain tours,” meaning they use tourist sleepers instead of Pullmans. However, some that use tourist sleepers aren’t called bargain tours, and some that are genuine bargains aren’t called that, nor do they seem to use tourist sleepers.

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