California Zephyr 1950 Timetable

The California Zephyr began operating in 1949, so this timetable, which went into effect on March 1, 1950, is one of the earliest ones produced for the train. In addition to departure times from all 30 or so cities along the route, the timetable has some brief notes about the scenery: “From Granby parallel the Colorado River for 235 miles”; “Byers Canyon, Gore Canyon, Red Canyon, Glenwood Canyon, Ruby Canyon”; “Feather River Canyon–116 miles through Sierra Nevada Range.”

Click image to download a 1.2-MB PDF of this timetable.

One panel advertises the dining car and cafe car. “Both the dining car and Vista-Dome buffet-lounge car are smartly decorated, fully carpeted, and windows have Venetian blinds. The Vista-Dome in buffet-lounge car is for the use of sleeping car passengers only.” In other words, coach passengers shared the first three domes while sleeping car passengers had the last two.

It’s around 3 pm as the westbound California Zephyr crosses Altamont Pass, an hour outside of Oakland, on April 22, 1950. Photo from Viewliner Limited.

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