All-Pullman North Coast Limited

Five years after the Great Northern re-equipped the Oriental Limited in 1924, the Northern Pacific completely re-equipped its North Coast Limited. Unlike GN’s premiere train, the North Coast Limited had the extra cache of being an all-Pullman train.

Click image to download a 5.1-MB PDF of this 32-page brochure.

Where Great Northern named its sleeping cars after explorers, soldiers, and rail financiers, Northern Pacific decided to name its sleeping cars after Indian chiefs. This brochure gives a brief biography of each of the 35 chiefs–five cars for each of seven trains–after which the cars are named. In addition to Sitting Bull and Chief Joseph, one of the chiefs is Chief Garry, great-great-grandfather of Alice Garry, who was named “Princess America” at the 1926 Spokane Indian Congress.

A full-page ad in a June 6, 1929 Spokane newspaper offers a 48-1/2-hour trip to Chicago, which is from Spokane, not Seattle.

The 1929 North Coast Limited took 63 hours from Chicago to Seattle and 61 hours on the return trip, about seven or eight hours faster than the previous train. The North Coast Limited retained its all-Pullman status only until 1930, when Northern Pacific added coaches to the train, probably because it was curtailing other trains along the same route.

Click image for a larger view of this 1930 interior photo of a North Coast Limited sleeping car.

Inside the train, the usual Pullman sections had separating panels between each set of upper and lower berths. Interior finishes were in hardwoods, possibly mahogany, leading to somewhat dark interiors.

The train in the video above is probably the pre-1929 version of the North Coast Limited.


All-Pullman North Coast Limited — 1 Comment

  1. That cover photo of the brochure is amazingly evocative; philosophical, even. Also (regarding the “1930 interior photo”), I don’t think I’ve ever seen a better photo of an open section car.

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