The Oriental Limited

The Oriental Limited was the Great Northern’s premiere train from 1905 through 1929, when it became secondary to the Empire Builder. The Empire Builder himself, James J. Hill, always had his eye on the Orient, briefly owning steamships Dakota and Minnesota that connected Japan with his trains in the Northwest.

Click image to download a 5.6-MB PDF of this brochure.

The Depression forced GN to cancel the train in 1931, but the railroad revived it in 1946 to carry the large numbers of anticipated post-war passengers. When the Empire Builder was streamlined in 1947, the Oriented Limited covered secondary stations skipped by the faster train, including Glacier National Park. The name “Oriental Limited” was finally retired in 1951 when the streamlined Empire Builder was replaced with all-new equipment and the 1947 train became the Western Star. About half of the above 1948 brochure is devoted to describing the train, while a quarter entices readers to Glacier Park and the rest briefly covers Seattle, Portland, and Spokane.

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