Burlington’s last timetable before the Burlington Northern merger in March, 1970, showed a sad remnant of the railroad’s past passenger train glory. What had been a 24-page timetable barely three years before was now down to the equivalent of just six pages, unfolding into a 24″x9″ sheet.
Just four timetables are included: Chicago-Lincoln-Denver, Chicago-Twin Cities, Chicago-Kansas City, and Chicago-Omaha. The Chicago-Denver schedule shows the Denver Zephyr and the California Zephyr, the Western Pacific leg of which would be cancelled just three weeks after the BN merger. The Ak-Sar-Ben, trains 3 & 4, continued to go between Chicago and Lincoln while trains 11 and 12, which earlier timetables had called the Nebraska Zephyr, went only as far as Omaha.
Chicago-Twin Cities was down to three trains a day from seven a few years earlier. This wasn’t because trains had been cancelled but because the Empire Builder, North Coast Limited, Western Star, and Mainstreeter were combined with the Morning and Afternoon Zephyrs and overnight Blackhawk.
Chicago-Kansas City was served solely by the American Royal Zephyr, as the Kansas City Zephyr had been cancelled in 1968. Unnamed trains 5 & 6 (once called the Ak-Sar-Ben but called the Quincy Local here) between Chicago and Quincy also appear on both the Chicago-Kansas City and Chicago-Denver timetables.
Finally, trains 35 and 36, known only as the Kansas City-Omaha Local, has its own timetable. This route was served by five trains a day in 1948 and three in 1966.
Gone are trains to Texas, St. Louis, and Billings. The Texas Zephyr disappeared from the timetable in 1967. The Mark Twain Zephyr from St. Louis to Burlington and General Pershing Zephyr from St. Louis to Kansas City were long gone.
Billings once had trains from Denver and Kansas City–the latter briefly called the Adventureland. Burlington passenger service reached its nadir in the late 1960s when the railroad received permission to cancel one of the Billings trains and abruptly kicked the passengers off the train in a Wyoming field in the middle of the night.