Rio Grande Zephyr Miscellany

Although the Rio Grande Zephyr was a quality operation, as seen yesterday the railroad did not bother to adorn its menus with photos of scenery seen along the way. The same was true with ticket envelopes; while those from the 1960s had photos of the train, the ones from the 1970s were more utilitarian.

Click image to download a 242-KB PDF of this envelope.

No one expects a baggage check to be beautiful, and this one doesn’t even say it was for the Rio Grande Zephyr. However, L. (for Leonard) J. Bernstein’s name gives it away, as he became director of passenger services in 1971, about the same time Amtrak took over, leading to the Rio Grande Zephyr. L.J. was born within a year of another, slightly more famous, Leonard Bernstein, but the latter was only a conductor, not a passenger service manager.

Click image to download a 197-KB PDF of this baggage check.

With only one train, the Rio Grande was able to fit its timetable on a 4″x9″ card. The Rio Grande Zephyr left Denver at 7:30 am on Mondays, Thurdays, and Saturdays throughout its life. As the timetables below show, at some point the departure from Salt Lake on Tuesdays, Fridays, and Sundays was changed from 7:00 am to 7:30 am.

Click image to download a 614-KB PDF of this timetable.

The timetables note that the railroad offered a “Limousine between Salt Lake City and Ogden” for people connecting with Amtrak or otherwise wanting to get to Ogden. “Limousine” is somewhat misleading as it was really just a small bus.

Click image to download a 598-KB PDF of this timetable.

The Rio Grande had tracks to Ogden, but the law creating Amtrak obligated railroads that refused to join Amtrak to keep passenger service only on their existing routes. Since the California Zephyr only went to Salt Lake, and not Ogden, the railroad sent its passenger train only as far as it had to go.

Click image to download a 565-KB PDF of this timetable.

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