The Oriental Limited Leaves Chicago at 11 PM

The 1924 Oriental Limited left Chicago at 11 pm and arrived in Seattle or Portland at 7 pm. This blotter doesn’t say how many days the journey required, but travelers departing Monday night wouldn’t arrive until Thursday evening, meaning the trip took a full 70 hours. This particular blotter was used by GN’s agent in Des Moines.

Click any image to download a PDF of the blotters. Each PDF is about 0.4 MB in size.

This slightly more colorful blotter conveys the same information (and lack of information about the trip’s duration). The train’s route to Seattle at that time extended about 2,225 miles, so the average speed was under 32 mph. Most regular travelers at that time would be aware of this, but some making their first trip to the West Coast might be surprised if they were relying on the information in this blotter that was distributed by GN’s agent in Boston.

Residents of Great Falls would have to take a local train to Shelby to catch the Oriental Limited. The schedule suggested on this blotter required a 3-1/2 hour train ride to Shelby followed by a 5-1/4-hour layover in Shelby. I wonder why the blotter doesn’t mention train 43, which (at least in 1928) left Great Falls six hours later than the time shown on the blotter and arrived in Shelby just in time to catch the Oriental Limited to Seattle.

Finally, the blotter below doesn’t mention the Oriental Limited but does emphasize the amenities from taking the GN to the Pacific Northwest. This blotter was given out by GN’s agent in St. Louis, which is where train 43 (mentioned above) originated. That train went through Kansas City and Omaha to Billings on the Burlington Route and then to Great Falls and Shelby on the GN, where its cars would either be added to the Oriental Limited or run as a separate section of that train to Glacier Park, in which case passengers going west of Glacier would transfer to the Oriental Limited at Glacier.

GN’s 1928 timetable says that trains 43 and 44 (which briefly would be called the Adventureland) had Pullmans, coaches, and a diner, but did not have a lounge car such as the one shown on the blotter or the Oriental Limited‘s other amenities such as a valet, ladies’ maid, and barber.

The above is a slight variation on the previous blotter. The blotters list the address of GN’s St. Louis office as the Boatmen’s Bank Building (now known as the Marquette Building). The office numbers, however, changed from 203-204 in the previous blotter to 519 in this one, which may be why the second blotter was issued.

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