Missouri Pacific Travel Guide

The colorful cover of this 68-page guide shows the Royal Gorge, Moffat Tunnel, and Colorado Rockies juxtaposed with Mexico, ocean beaches, and a major city with skyscrapers too numerous to be Denver in the 1930s. The equally colorful map on the back shows Missouri Pacific trains connecting St. Louis with San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Mexico City, even though MP tracks came nowhere near any of those cities.

Click image to download a 62.7-MB PDF of this booklet.

Inside, five pages describe Missouri Pacific’s “fleet of air-conditioned trains,” focusing on the Sunshine Special (which, according to the map, went to L.A. and Mexico City but in fact merely had through cars on Southern Pacific’s secondary train, the Argonaut to Los Angeles and NdeM’s trains 1 & 2 to Mexico City) and Scenic Limited (which actually did go to San Francisco over the Rio Grande and Western Pacific). The remainder of the booklet covers dozens of different destinations, including a wide variety of national parks, hot springs, and resorts.

Though undated, the booklet breathlessly (and incorrectly) refers to “1934 when the $18,000,000 [Moffat] tunnel was opened to traffic, in time for the summer season.” In fact, the Moffat Tunnel was opened to rail traffic in 1928, but the Dotsero Cutoff which allowed that traffic to reach Salt Lake City was not opened until 1934. Quibbles aside, it seems likely that this booklet was published around 1935.

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