Empire Builder Ticket Folder

The five trains on the cover of this ticket envelope–really more of a ticket folder–is the first clue that it was for the 1947 Empire Builder, as Great Northern advertising made much of the fact that the railway had purchased five complete sets of equipment to guarantee daily service. Inside, the folder describes the “streamlined Empire Builder” and the “Diesel-Powered Oriental Limited.”

Click image to download a PDF of this ticket folder.

All seats on the streamlined Empire Builder were reserved, and this folder came with a couple of coach reservation coupons. On June 16, 1947–just a few months after the train’s inauguration–someone–likely a couple–took the Empire Builder from Portland to Chicago, riding in seat 22-24 in car P202 (the P standing for Portland, the first 2 for train number 2, and the second 2 for the second Portland coach).

Click image to download a PDF of this coupon.

The other coupon has a slightly different shape and is called a “passenger’s identification and coach reservation coupon.” It is for a ride from St. Paul to Portland on August 13, 1949 in seats 29-31 of coach P102. Separated by two years, the coupons are apparently for two different trips.

Click image to download a PDF of this coupon.

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