1950 SP&S Timetable

This timetable is for the SP&S, Oregon Trunk, and Oregon Electric Railways, which–the timetable duly notes–were “subsidiaries of Northern Pacific and Great Northern Railways.” The is the first timetable I’ve posted, mainly because timetables are lengthy, tedious to digitize, and not very colorful, but they are packed with information.

Click image to download a 9.0-MB PDF of this 12-page timetable.

In 1950, the SP&S had three trains a day each way between Portland and Spokane. At about seven hours, trains 1 & 2 were the fastest, connecting in Spokane with the streamlined Empire Builder. Trains 3 & 4 connected in Spokane with Great Northern’s secondary train, the Oriental Limited and took about 9-1/2 hours to get between Spokane and Portland. That same train connected in Pasco with Northern Pacific’s North Coast Limited. Portland passengers on Northern Pacific’s secondary train, The Alaskan, also took trains 3 & 4 but had nearly three-hour layovers each way. Trains 5 & 6 were locals that took about 9-1/2 hours, but were also the only day trains through the Columbia Gorge offered by the SP&S.

This timetable shows only three other SP&S trains. Trains 102 and 103 went to Bend, connecting with trains 3 and 4 in Wishram, a railroad town in the Columbia Gorge. Train 120 also connected with train 4 at Lyle, Washington, going 30 miles north to Goldendale, Washington. Its counterpart, train 121, did not have a good connection with any other train at Lyle. The Bend and Goldendale trains were all at night.

Finally, trains 21 and 22 connected Portland with Astoria and Seaside, on the Oregon Coast. This train made a daily round trip during daylight hours, taking 3-1/2 to 3-3/4 hours to go the 100 miles between Portland and Astoria and then another 50 minutes to an hour to go the 18 miles between Astoria and Seaside.

The rest of the timetable shows connecting trains, fares, a few advertisements, and a map of the SP&S system. The back cover shows an SP&S freight train pulled by Alco FA locomotives in the Columbia Gorge. Since the SP&S’s most prestigious passenger trains did most of their travel at night, there wasn’t much opportunity to take photos of them at the railroad’s most scenic spots.

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