This on-board stationery doesn’t mention the name of a train, so it was probably used on a variety of lesser trains. The linen finish is found only on older railroad stationery, and the phrase “Sunset Ogden & Shasta Routes” was used on Southern Pacific china before 1920. This letterhead therefore probably dates from the 1910s or, at the latest, the 1920s.
About six months ago, I posted a PDF of an envelope that used this illustration, which is based on a 1930 painting by Maurice Logan, saying I had the envelope but no letterhead. It turns out I do have the letterhead, and here it is.
I have no idea when SP might have used this letterhead. Certainly it is after 1930, when the painting was made, and before 1960, when SP was into much more modern designs. I’d rank it more modern than the Apache letterhead, which was from before 1938, but older than the monochrome letterheads used for the Argonaut, Cascade, and other trains, which I suspect date from the 1950s. That suggests this letterhead is from the 1940s.
The Southern Pacific’s first line from Portland to California was a windy route through the Siskiyou Mountains of southern Oregon and northern California. In 1926, the railroad opened a new line across the Cascade Mountains southeast of Eugene, Oregon that was 25 miles shorter with fewer grades and curves. To serve this new route, SP inaugurated the Cascade in April, 1927.
At various times, the train was an all-Pullman affair. This included two brief months after it was streamlined in August, 1950, with two-tone-grey passenger cars (SP’s usual color scheme for overnight trains). Although SP added coaches in October, it coordinated with Union Pacific to run sleepers through to Seattle which returned to Portland on Northern Pacific’s Seattle-Portland train.
This six-panel brochure describes the escorted tour available to California during the 1965 tourist season. After leaving Chicago on the City of Los Angeles, the nineteen-day tour includes bus trips to Hoover Dam, Disneyland, and Beverly Hills and a train (on the Santa Fe) to San Diego. The tour takes a bus to Bakersfield and then the San Joaquin Daylight to Merced, from which travelers motor coach to Yosemite. Another trip to Oakland on the San Joaquin Daylight is followed by four nights in San Francisco that include a bus trip to Monterey. Travelers then return to Chicago on the City of San Francisco.
Travelers spend one night at the Fremont Hotel in Las Vegas, two nights at the Mission Inn Garden Hotel in Riverside, two nights at the Hotel Del Coronado in San Diego, three nights at the Biltmore in Los Angeles, two nights at Yosemite’s Ahwahnee Hotel, and four nights at the St. Francis in San Francisco. These are all first-class hotels, and I only wonder why tour planners chose a Riverside hotel when one in Anaheim would have been closer to both Disneyland and the train to San Diego.
This eight-panel brochure is the same size as the 1952 Summer Tours brochure but aimed at people who aren’t interested in escorted tours. One entire side of the brochure is devoted to a map of “the Union Pacific West” (which in this case is not signed by Willmarth or any other artist), while the other side is about half a description of UP trains and half a summary of various tourist destinations.
In addition to the usual destinations–California, Colorado, Pacific Northwest, Yellowstone, southern Utah–the brochure describes Sun Valley, dude ranches, and “Las Vegas – Hoover Dam.” Union Pacific offered separate brochures specifically for Vegas/Hoover Dam, but as near as I can tell it did not publish one in booklet format.
This brochure with its colorful Yellowstone bears dates from 1953, the same as yesterday’s similarly formatted Colorado brochure. The color ends on the cover: inside are just two black-and-white photos, one of Yellowstone and one of Grand Teton Park, while the back has black-and-white photos of Denver city hall and the Mormon Temple.
Like yesterday’s brochure, there is no clip-out coupon to obtain a copy of the full Yellowstone booklet. But unlike yesterday’s, the brochure at least mentions the option: “For copies of booklet describing these tours in detail, ask any Union Pacific or C&NW representative or write C. H. Mertens, manager, Department of Tours.”
This four-page, 8-1/2″x11″ brochure briefly summarizes the information found in the Colorado booklets of the period. In addition to the cover photo, there are three black-and-white photos of scenery on the inside and three black-and-white photos of UP train interiors on the back. The back also has a map of the Denver/Rocky Mountain Park corner of the state.
The brochure briefly mentions escorted tours. Unlike yesterday’s Summer Tour brochure, however, this one does not have a clip-out coupon to send in to obtain a free copy of the full escorted tour booklet.
This eight-panel brochure briefly describes each of the nine escorted tours that are detailed in the 1952 Summer Tours booklet. One panel includes a clip-out coupon people can use to order a FREE! copy of “this colorful vacation guide book,” meaning the booklet linked above.
The brochure points out that “tours are truly all-expense” and “coupons are provided for all dining car meals with liberal values. If meal is not taken, or if meal check is less than the value of the coupon, a cash refund is made at the time of service.” Presumably, if the meal costs more than the “liberal value” of the coupon, the customer pays the difference.
This cheerful letterhead for Portland’s freight department features General Motors E units pulling a domeliner and Fairbanks-Morse Erie-built Diesels pulling a freight. UP acquired the Erie-built locomotives for passenger service between 1945 and 1948, but didn’t start running them in the Northwest until 1953, where they lasted in freight and passenger service until 1961. So this letterhead dates from sometime between 1955 (when the City of Portland become a domeliner) and 1961, but probably the earlier part of that period as they wouldn’t want to publicize a locomotive that was about to be scrapped.
As noted here some time ago, Fairbanks-Morse Diesel locomotives were unusual in using opposed pistons, which meant that each cylinder drove two pistons, making a 10-cylinder engine more than twice as powerful as an ordinary 16-cylinder engine. Often used in submarines and other boats, the U.S. Navy considered these Diesels more reliable than ones built by General Motors, but the railroads ended up happier with GM locomotives. FM built just 111 Erie-builts, while GM sold more than 500 E7s. Though designed by Raymond Loewy, all known Erie-built locomotives have been sadly scrapped.
The Columbine was a Union Pacific-Chicago & North Western train between Chicago and Denver that operated from 1929 to 1950. For a few years it was the premiere train on the route, but was eclipsed by the City of Denver in 1936. The streamliner was nearly twice as fast as the heavyweight Columbine, taking 16 hours for the 1,048-mile journey compared with nearly 32 hours required by the older train.
Of the same vintage as the Portland Rose, the two trains shared the distinction as the only UP trains to each have their own china. Since it was used on only one overnight train for so few years, the Columbine pattern is particularly rare today.