Wall Street financial whiz Jay Gould gained and lost control of the Erie, Union Pacific, and numerous other railroads. When he died at the age of 56, the largest railroad he left to his son, George Gould, was the Missouri Pacific, which had a line from St. Louis to Pueblo, Colorado. George acquired control of the Denver & Rio Grande, and mortgaged it to build the Western Pacific in order to have his own transcontinental railway.
Though Gould eventually lost control of these railroads, from 1915 to 1946 the Scenic Limited covered the St. Louis-Oakland portion of this transcontinental route. Despite the name and stationery, the Scenic Limited wasn’t really a through train. In fact, at least in the 1921 Official Railway Guide, neither the Missouri Pacific nor the Western Pacific used the name “Scenic Limited” for the trains that connected with the Rio Grande’s trains number 1 and 2.
Instead, Missouri Pacific’s trains number 11 & 12 would have one or two sleeping cars from St. Louis to Pueblo that would continue through to Oakland. Another car on those trains would go to Denver. Also at Pueblo a car would be added to the westbound train that came from Chicago on the Burlington via Denver. At Salt Lake, Rio Grande’s train 1 arrived an hour before Western Pacific’s train 3 departed, while WP’s train 4 arrived an hour before Rio Grande’s train 2 departed. Coach passengers and those riding in second-class tourist sleepers had to change trains at Pueblo and Salt Lake City, and each railroad operated its own dining and lounge cars on its own portion of the route.
This envelope only mentions the Rio Grande and Western Pacific, so might have been used on the Scenic Limited or another train that was broken up at Pueblo with parts continuing east on the MP, Burlington, Rock Island, and/or other railroads. Click image to download.