The perfection of color photography allowed Union Pacific to issue travel booklets filled with real color photos after World War II. The booklets were smaller in format than those from before the war–about 5-1/4×7-1/2 vs. 7×10–but sometimes made up for this with a greater number of pages. The general format included a full-page color photo on the cover, some representative graphics on the inside front cover, text and photos in the booklet itself with a two-page centerfold photo, five or six pages describing Union Pacific streamliners in the back, a couple of pages listing other tourist destinations, and a fold-out map of the area on the inside back cover.

Click image to download a 12.0-MB PDF of this 44-page booklet.

The booklet contains 20 color photos and 29 black-and-white photos. Other than the fact that the black-and-white photos are usually smaller, there doesn’t seem to be any sense in using black-and-white at all. For example, page 18 has black-and-white photos of Mt. Shasta and Fisherman’s Wharf, while page 23–which is on the same piece of paper–has a color photo of a museum in Sacramento. So they paid for the four-color printing anyway; why not use color on page 18? Certain, Mt. Shasta and Fisherman’s Wharf are colorful subjects.

By 1948, when this booklet was published, the City of Los Angeles and City of San Francisco were in daily service but still required an extra fare to ride. The photos of the trains shown in the booklet were of the third-generation pre-war trains, which were certainly photogenic. Few travelers would notice that the post-war train they were riding was probably hauled by an E7 locomotive instead of the E2s pictured in the booklet.

In addition to the extra-fare streamliners, the booklet offers travel on “limiteds” including the Los Angeles Limited, the San Francisco Overland, the Pony Express (from Kansas City to California), Pacific Limited (from Chicago to LA), and the Gold Coast Limited (from Chicago to San Francisco). St. Louis residents are invited to take the City of St. Louis to Cheyenne, “where its through cars are placed on the Utahn. The through cars to San Francisco are taken at Ogden by the San Francisco Overland. There is no extra fare” for being shunted around from train to train across the country.

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