1948 Lunch Menu

This menu has a date but doesn’t say what train used it. The steam locomotive on the cover suggests that it wasn’t a zephyr. Tiny print on this menu reads, “12/47,” which I presume is the date it was printed, followed by a string of mostly two-digit numbers: “32-33, 31, 20, 27, TZ-21,” which I presume are the trains that might have used it. Train 21 was the northbound morning Twin Zephyr, so perhaps a menu like this was used on a zephyr.

CLick image to download a 1.3-MB PDF of this menu.

However, someone who presumably kept the menu as a souvenir has handwritten in it, “Friday, February 28, 48,” and “Ate lunch between Guernsey and Wendover.” In 1948, the only train between Guernsey and Wendover was train 31, which began in Alliance, Nebraska and went to Casper, Wyoming via Northport, Nebraska, which seems a circuitous route (241 miles vs. 218 by the shortest highway route today). The train left Guernsey at 11:10 am and passed through Wendover at 11:30 am, which is about the right time for an early lunch. Train 31, and its eastbound counterpart 32, didn’t have a name or even an equipment list in the timetable, but must have had a diner.

As noted yesterday, post-war menus had fewer choices than those before the war, but this one seems unusually sparse. The a la carte side has four sandwiches and three salads but no hearty entrées, while the other side has just four full meals (including one on a clipped-in card that is included as pages 4 and 5), featuring hot chicken sandwich, tenderloin tips, filet of unspecified fish, and pork chops. Perhaps the limited choice reflects the tertiary nature of the train.

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