Best of the Northwest

Dated January, 1947, this blotter advertises the streamlined Empire Builder, which didn’t begin service until February 7 of that year. Of course, GN had used the locomotives shown in the picture since their delivery in 1945, so the picture didn’t give away any secrets, if there were any, about the new train.

Click image to download a PDF of this blotter.

The map is labeled “Route of the New Empire Builder,” but it shows all Great Northern lines, not just the ones traversed by the railway’s premiere train. It also shows the Burlington line from Chicago to St. Paul and SP&S route from Spokane to Portland (both of which were on the route of the Empire Builder), as well as the SP&S routes from Portland to Astoria and Eugene and Wishram to Bend, plus the Great Northern route from Bend to Klamath Falls and (indicated by an arrow) California. By 1947, the Portland-Eugene and Bend-Klamath Falls routes no longer had passenger service of any kind.

Most surprisingly, the Southern Pacific route from Eugene to Klamath Falls is shown in orange, as if it were a Great Northern route. Was this a slip of the draftsman’s pen, or is GN just trying to suggest that people can get to California by first taking its trains to Seattle or Portland?

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