Scenic Highlights on the NP

This 12-page brochure from the mid- to late-1960s purports to be an “along-the-way” travelogue, but in face only four of the pages provide a city-by-city guide to the Northern Pacific’s route between the Twin Cities and the Pacific Northwest. The rest of the brochure advertise destinations that can be reached by taking NP trains.

Click image to download a 7.8-MB PDF of this brochure.

Yellowstone, the Pacific Northwest, and the East each get a full page, while another page is divided between dude ranches and Grand Tetons while Alaska, California, Hawaii, and the Orient all share a page. Page 2 is devoted to the amenities aboard the North Coast Limited, including the domes, diner, and Traveller’s Rest car.

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Great Northern Summer 1947 Timetable

The streamlined Empire Builder was introduced in February, 1947, so this is the first summer timetable featuring that train. A full 21 pages of this 44-page booklet are devoted to Great Northern trains (including connecting Burlington and SP&S trains), partly because 9 of those pages are used to present the Chicago-Seattle route of the Empire Builder and Oriental Limited in excruciating detail.

Click image to download a 29.4-MB PDF of this timetable.

A dozen more pages have more than 80 timetables for local trains, one of which (Wenatchee to Mansfield, WA) went only on Wednesdays and Sundays; another (Evansville to Elbow Lake, MN) only on Tuesdays; and other schedules were freight only. There are a few timetables for buses and one for the Lake Chelan (WA) Boat Company.

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Great Northern Baggage Tag

This baggage tag doesn’t have a date, but the Rocky logo dates it to 1967 or later. The back of the tag indicates it was specially made for tour groups, and this particular tag was used for a “Univ Hi” tour. University High School was a Minneapolis school located on the University of Minnesota campus to allow university students to get experience teaching. The school closed in 1982.

Click image to download a PDF of this baggage tag.

The tag also has a destination scrawled on it that looks like “B.m.” Assuming the tour was on the Western Star, which usually handled tour groups, that could be Breckenridge, Minnesota. However, Great Northern fans reading this post may have a better idea what this abbreviation means.

Seaboard Coast Line Stationery

In 1967, rival railroads Seaboard Air Line and Atlantic Coast Line merged to become the Seaboard Coast Line. This merger was justified on the grounds that it would reduce operating costs by allowing the railroads to shut down duplicate routes and facilities. However, it also reduced competition. Just as the Great Northern-Northern Pacific merger led to an eventual reduction in the number of major railroads in the West to just two, the Seaboard Coast Line merger did the same for railroads in the South.

Click image to download a PDF of this on-board letterhead.

Historically, Seaboard had been a weaker railroad than Atlantic, and by 1960 it still had fewer route miles: about 4,135 compared with ACL’s 5,570. ACL also controlled the Louisville & Nashville’s 6,000 route miles as well as a number of other smaller railroads. But “Seaboard” ended up dominating the merged railroad’s name.

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SP&S F3 Locomotive Card

The SP&S favored American Locomotive Company Diesels, as its Diesel roster featured a total of 118 Alcos, but only 20 from General Motors. The latter included the two F3s shown on this card, which were originally numbered 800-A1 and 800-A2.

Click image to download a PDF of this card.

When the third F3 was purchased and numbered 802, the first two were renumbered 800 and 801. The 800 was featured on this brochure shown here last week. Later, SP&S also bought four F7s from GM and numbered them 803 through 806. SP&S also owned just one E7, numbered 750, and six GP-9s, numbered 150 through 155. While the Alcos were used exclusively for freight, most of SP&S’s General Motors locomotives, including the GP-9s, had steam boilers so they could be used with and heat passenger cars.

GN Brochure for 1948 Chicago Rail Fair

In the summer of 1948, little more than a year after Great Northern introduced the streamlined Empire Builder, Chicago held what some have called the “last great rail fair.” Great Northern was one of 39 railroads that participated.

Click image to download a 4.0-MB PDF of this brochure.

Like many rail fairs, the highlight of the Chicago fair (which was repeated in 1949) was a “pageant of trains” presenting a series of historic locomotives and trains moving under their own power. The Great Northern’s contribution was the William Crooks, an 1861 locomotive that was the first to be purchased by the Minnesota & Pacific (but soon renamed St. Paul & Pacific), the Great Northern’s earliest predecessor.

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Golden State Locomotive Card

This card is for E-7 locomotives built for the Golden State. The back of the card provides specifications similar to the card for the Shasta Daylight locomotive, except it notes that the Golden State locomotive consists of one lead and two booster units rather than two leads and one booster. Three sets were built numbered 6000A-B-C, 6001A-B-C, and 6002A-B-C.

Click image to download a PDF of this card.

The color scheme for the Golden State was striking but oversimplified, with just two stripes–orange above and silver below–and no pinstripes. The placement of the words “Southern Pacific” in silver rectangles on the orange stripe interrupts the streamlined appearance of the locomotives and would have looked better if they had put black or silver letters on the orange background. Considering that SP simplified its paint schemes in the 1960s, it is ironic that it replaced the simple scheme on its Golden State locomotives with the more intricate, and arguably more beautiful, Daylight scheme just a couple of years after GM delivered these locomotives, mainly so it could use the locomotives for a variety of trains rather than have them dedicated to just the Golden State.

General Motors Daylight Locomotive Card

For many years, General Motors issued a series of 7.5″x3.3″ cards for each of the locomotives it built for the various railroads. This card is for E-7 locomotives built for the Shasta Daylight.

Click image to download a PDF of this card.

The back of the card provides specifications for the “locomotive,” which “consists of two lead and one booster units.” Apparently, even after World War II, the railroads worried that treating a three-unit locomotive as three different locomotives would lead unions to demand that separate crews be hired to run each of the units. Unlike pre-war General Motors Diesels, however, these locomotives were not semi-permenently coupled and could easily be separated into different units.

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Gulf, Mobile & Ohio On-Board Stationery

This oddly off-center letterhead served four different trains: the Abraham Lincoln, Ann Rutledge, and Alton Limited, all of which connected Chicago with St. Louis; and the Gulf Coast Rebel, between St. Louis and Mobile. The Gulf, Mobile & Ohio Railroad which issued the letterhead was an amalgamation of three different railroads: the Gulf, Mobile & Northern, which connected Jackson, TN with Mobile, AL and had a branch to New Orleans; the larger but financially weaker Mobile and Ohio, which connected St. Louis and Mobile with a branch to Montgomery; and the Alton Railroad, which connected St. Louis with Chicago with a branch to Kansas City.

Click image to download a PDF of this letterhead.

In 1935, the GM&N began operating one of the first pre-war streamliners–and the first streamliner in the South–the Rebel, between New Orleans and Jackson, TN. When the GM&N acquired the M&O, the train was extended to St. Louis and a second streamliner, the Gulf Coast Rebel was added to serve the St. Louis-Mobile market. The Rebel was discontinued in 1954 while the Gulf Coast Rebel continued to operate until 1958, so this letterhead dates to some time in the intervening four years.

The Georgian On-Board Stationery

The Georgian began life in November, 1946 as a six-car (four coaches, diner, and tavern-lounge) streamlined day train built by American Car & Foundry that operated between St. Louis and Atlanta. This route was apparently not particularly successful, however, and the train was terminated on May 15, 1948. On June 1st of that same year, the train was revived as an 11-car overnight train between Chicago and Atlanta. The train used the same equipment as the earlier train plus a heavyweight baggage-dorm and four heavyweight sleepers painted aluminum to match the streamlined coaches. Some time during the 1950s, lightweight cars replaced the heavyweight sleepers.

Click image to download a PDF of this letterhead. Click here to download a PDF of a matching envelope.

In its Atlanta-St. Louis incarnation, the train rode exclusively over the rails of the Louisville & Nashville Railroad and its wholly owned subsidiary, the Nashville, Chattanooga & St. Louis. To reach Chicago, however, the train used the Chicago & Eastern Illinois from Evansville, Indiana to Chicago. This letterhead obviously is from the Chicago train.