Los Angeles Limited 1942 Dinner Menu

This June 24, 1942 menu departs from the Union Pacific’s usual photo format, perhaps to distinguish the train from its streamlined counterpart. The New York Public Library has a breakfast menu with the same cover dated one month earlier. The interior of both editions feature a sketch of Mission Santa Barbara along the centerfold. The dinner menu shown here has four table d’hôte meals–salmon, sirloin, chicken pot pie, and ham–ranging in price from $1.10 to $1.40 (about $16 to $20 today). In a reversal from today, the salmon is the least expensive and the chicken pot pie the most.

Click image to download a 2.0-MB PDF of this menu.

Early ads for for the Los Angeles Limited include the logo of the “Salt Lake Route,” shorthand for the Los Angeles and Salt Lake Railroad, which was half owned by the Union Pacific until 1921, when UP acquired full control of the line.

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By the late 1920s, any mention of the Salt Lake Route has been dropped from advertising. This blotter would have been printed after 1926, when the Los Angeles Limited‘s schedule was reduced to 63 hours, but probably before 1930, when the Depression led to a reduction in train service. The blotter mentions three “other fine California trains”: Gold Coast Limited, Pacific Limited, and Continental Limited. The first two served both Los Angeles and San Francisco, being split at Ogden.

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The Continental Limited started in 1901 as a through train from New York to San Francisco. That probably didn’t last long. I have another blotter that lists the Continental Limited serving Portland, so it may have been split three ways. Given the lack of other information about it, I suspect it was cancelled near the beginning of the Depression.

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