Pre-War Challenger Brochure

This brochure is undated, but based on the hair and clothing styles it is almost certainly from before World War II. UP and Chicago & North Western inaugurated the Challenger in 1935 as a second-section of the all-Pullman Los Angeles Limited. The train was so successful that a year later it was placed on its own schedule separate from the LA Limited. In 1937, a second Challenger was added to the timetable going to San Francisco over the Southern Pacific.

Click image to download a 4.2-MB PDF of this brochure.

This brochure for the San Francisco train is unusual for a pre-war advertising flyer in that every photo–there are nine, counting the duplicated cover photo as one–is in full color. The photos show lightweight coaches and lounge car and heavyweight sleepers and dining car. As the Alcoa ad below indicates, the coaches were built with aluminum bodies in 1937.

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Curiously, though the brochure mentions Union Pacific and Southern Pacific, it doesn’t mention the Chicago and North Western. It also says the westbound train departs Omaha “every morning” and the eastbound train arrives in Omaha “evening second day.” Elsewhere in the brochure, however, it mentions that “millions of passengers have traveled ‘the Challenger way’ between Chicago and the Pacific Coast.” This, of course, would include passengers on the older L.A. Challenger. It’s possible that the two trains were combined in Omaha for the leg to Chicago.

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