January, 1951 Union Pacific Timetable

This timetable is not a lot different from the September, 1951 edition shown here two-and-one-half years ago. One addition to the later timetable is the City of St. Louis to Los Angeles. That train began operating in 1946, but only as far west as Cheyenne, where its Los Angeles-bound cars were added to the Utahn, which originated in Omaha. The railroad acquired enough streamlined passenger cars to make the City of St. Louis a through train to Los Angeles in April, 1951.

Click image to download a 39.6-MB PDF of this 52-page timetable.

As a result, the Utahn, trains 3 & 4, was terminated and no longer on the September, 1951, timetable. Its place was taken by a train called the Idahoan, trains 11 & 12, which in the January timetable just went from Portland to Green River, where it was added to the Utahn, but in September the train continued under its own name and numbers all the way to Omaha. Thus, there was no real reduction in mainline train service, just a rerouting and renumbering of trains.

Union Pacific scheduled nine westbound transcontinental trains out of its Omaha headquarters in January, 1951. First, the City of Denver left at 12:50 in the morning. The City of Portland departed exactly one hour later. The City of San Francisco left at 2:55, followed just fifteen minutes later at 3:10 by the City of Los Angeles.

At 5:45 am, the San Francisco Overland departed Omaha. At 8:30 am, the Gold Coast left Omaha; it would eventually be split with cars going to Portland, San Francisco, and Los Angeles. The even slower Mail and Express left at 9:55 am; the timetable doesn’t say, but it probably just carried a coach for revenue passengers. Most of there rest of the day saw nothing but freight trains until 9:25 pm, when the Los Angeles Limited left Omaha. Finally, at 10:00 pm, was the combined Utahn and National Parks Special; they would be split at North Platte with the former going to Cheyenne and the latter to Denver.

In all, there were four trains a day each from Omaha to Los Angeles and Omaha to Portland; three trains from Omaha to San Francisco; and two to Denver. Denver also saw the arrival of three trains a day–the City of St. Louis, Pony Express, and an unnamed local train–from Kansas City, two of which continued to Cheyenne where they were combined with other trains to the West Coast. Effectively, Union Pacific ran a dozen daily trains from the Midwest to the West Coast, plus three more to Denver.


Leave a Reply