Go East via Glacier National Park

Since the bulk of the population is in the East and the bulk of the nation’s scenic beauty is in the West, most advertising by western railroads was aimed at eastern audiences. But sometimes westerners had to go east, so the the Great Northern, like the Northern Pacific, had a few brochures aimed at them.

Click image to download a 5.3-MB PDF of this brochure.

I don’t see a date on this brochure but it is from after 1955 when the Empire Builder got its domes. It has the same number of panels as the 1956 Western Star brochure, but they are arranged differently: instead of unfolding four across and two high, Go East simply unfolds into one long, eight-panel-wide brochure.

The brochure has a familiar pitch: the Empire Builder has more dome seats but the Western Star is the train that stops at Glacier National Park. One-fourth of the brochure has interior photos of the two trains; another fourth is dedicated to Glacier Park; and another fourth has photos of eastern cities including Minneapolis, St. Paul, Chicago, Detroit, New York, Philadelphia, and Washington.

The last quarter has the cover, which shows the Empire Builder dwarfed by skyscrapers, and what–if the brochure were laid out differently–would be the inside front cover again showing the Empire Builder in a cityscape (see above). This latter image closely resembles the image of the Mid-Century Empire Builder that was also used in the Western Star brochure (see below). But a comparison shows they are different: the newer train is not leaning into the curve as much; the locomotive number is different; and the cars have domes on them.


Leave a Reply