Initially, at least, the Great Northern tried to offer nearly identical service on the Western Star as on the Mid-Century Empire Builder. The railway had two routes from Minneapolis to Fargo; two from Fargo to Minot; and two from Havre to Shelby, Montana. The Empire Builder took the short route but residents of bigger cities, such as Grand Forks and Great Falls, on the longer routes had their own streamliner in the Western Star.
Click image to download PDF of these reservation cards. Unfortunately, my collection is missing the 5:00 pm reservation card.
By 1962, according to one former dining car employee, there were some differences between the two trains. Cooks on the Empire Builder made pies, muffins, and mashed potatoes from scratch. The Western Star served pies and muffins made in the Great Northern commissary and instant mashed potatoes.