June, 1940 Burlington Timetable

When the Twin Zephyrs began operating in 1936, they took 6-1/2 hours between Chicago and St. Paul, for an average speed of 66 mph. In 1940, however, the Burlington speeded up the westbound Morning Zephyr to just 6 hours, for an average speed of 71 mph–faster than today’s Acela over about the same distance between Boston and Washington. The eastbound Morning and both Afternoon Zephyrs took 6-1/4 hours.

Click image to download a 26.7-MB PDF of this 44-page timetable.

Burlington moved its zephyrs around frequently. For this timetable, the Mark Twain Zephyr connected St. Louis with Kansas City, while that train’s original St. Louis-Burlington route was covered by the Pioneer Zephyr, and the Pioneer‘s original route between Kansas City and Lincoln was held by the Silver Streak Zephyr. For most railroads, the name went with the route, though the equipment may change; for Burlington’s original zephyrs, the name stuck with the trains whatever the changes in routes.

Land of Beauty and Adventure

The Mt. Rushmore memorial was still under construction when the photographs for this booklet were taken. The faces of Washington, Jefferson, and Lincoln were done, but the sculptor had barely begun Roosevelt’s face. He completed it before he died in 1941, but his plan to continue the sculptures to show the bodies of the presidents down to their waists was never completed.

Click image to download a 9.7-MB PDF of this 20-page booklet.

“The Black Hills are an ideal place to spend a week, a fortnight or a whole summer,” says the booklet. “But for those who must pay the Hills only a fleeting visit,” tourists can visit the Black Hills as a part of one of Burlington’s escorted tours or take special, two- or three-day tours of the region.

1937 Burlington Escorted Tours

After the pastels used on the covers of the previous several tour books, the bright orange and purple on the 1937 edition is startling, but it must have been highly visible on travel agency shelves. The number of tours is down slightly–no more tour to Hawaii, for example–but this is mitigated partly by the addition of several bargain tours that used tourist sleepers instead of regular Pullmans.

Click image to download a 1.9-MB PDF of this brochure.

A 21-day Alaska tour was about $320 for two people sharing a lower berth, while a 20-day bargain tour of Alaska was almost $100 less. Considering that you have to multiply by 17 to get today’s dollars, that’s still pretty expensive. Continue reading

The Mark Twain Zephyr

Using the fourth set of streamlined Zephyr equipment made for the Burlington, this train was inaugurated in October, 1935 between St. Louis and Burlington, where it connected with the Aristocrat. In keeping with the theme, the power car was named Injun Joe (injun-engine–get it?) and the cars were named Tom Sawyer, Huck Finn, and Becky Thatcher.


Click image to download a 1.9-MB PDF of this brochure.

The Mark Twain Zephyr continued on the Burlington-St. Louis route for just seven months, after which it was temporarily diverted to Chicago-Denver route to compete with the Union Pacific City of Denver, which was finished before Burlington’s Denver Zephyr. Thus, this brochure must be from late 1935 to early 1936. Continue reading

Zephyr Buffet-Grill Menu

In November, 1934, Burlington put the first Diesel-powered streamliner to work between Kansas City and Lincoln. With the addition of several more zephyrs in 1935, the railroad renamed the original the Pioneer Zephyr in November, 1936. So this menu card must be from 1935, 1936, or, possibly, late 1934.

Click image to download a 414-KB PDF of this menu.

The menu offers hamburgers, hot dogs, lemonade, and orangeade for 20 cents each–about $3.50 in today’s dollars. Colas are not yet ubiquitous, but the menu offers beer, whiskey, gin, and brandy.

1935 Burlington Escorted Tours

I haven’t seen a 1933 escorted tour booklet yet, but we know from the 1934 edition that the format was reduced (again) to 6″x9″, though the page count remained the same at 68 pages (including covers). The 1935 version uses the same cover graphic with a change in coloration.

Click image to download a 22.1-MB PDF of this 68-page booklet.

The tours in this edition are pretty much the same as those in the 1934 edition, which were pretty much the same–but with the addition of a tour to Hawaii–as the 1932 edition. The Hawaii tour is 25-days long, just seven of which are spent in Hawaii, and cost about $500 (almost $9,000 in today’s money).

1931 Burlington Escorted Tours

Here we have the same cover as the 1930 booklet sans yellow background color. It is also the same as 1932 except the grey stripes are brown in the latter year.

Click image to download a 39.5-MB PDF of this 68-page booklet.

Inside it is again the same basic tours with slightly different page arrangements and a few new photos. The Great Depression apparently was not having much of an impact on Burlington’s clientele, who were mostly employed single women who wanted to travel during their vacations but didn’t feel comfortable doing it without an escort.

Burlington Escorted Tours for 1930

We’ve seen this cover before, with slightly different colors, on the 1932 booklet, but it is very different from the 1929 version. The page count is the same as the 1929 edition, but the size of the booklet has grown from 6″x9″ to nearly 7-3/4″x10-1/2″.

Click image to download a 48.5-MB PDF of this 68-page booklet.

Inside, the general format is the same but everything was rearranged between 1930 and 1932. The maps and psychedelically colored graphics are the same, and most of the tours are about the same, but the tours are presented in a different order, page arrangements vary, and lots of the photographs are different. Continue reading

Pacific Northwest/Alaska 1929 Tours

Burlington Escorted Tours published a 68-page booklet (including covers) for 1929, but only two of those pages dealt with Alaska. The booklet advised people interesting in going to that territory to “Ask for special Alaska booklet giving full details and day-to-day itinerary.” The two pages that covered the Northwest also advised, “We have a handsome booklet devoted exclusively to these American Wonderland Tours.” Here is that booklet.

Click image to download a 14.4-MB PDF of this 36-page booklet.

This booklet has a handsome cover, yet only one of the three images shown are from the Pacific Northwest or Alaska. On the left is Multnomah Falls in the Pacific Northwest. On the right is Glacier Park. And in the lower center are some Indians meeting a train, which judging from their dress is almost certainly at the Glacier Park station. Inside are eighteen black-and-white photos, but only four are of Alaska and seven of the Northwest.

Continue reading

Vacations Without a Care: 1926

This little booklet summarized the five escorted tours that were described in detail in yesterday’s booklet. This booklet has an unusual design and the PDF is best viewed in two-page mode. The front cover is 6 inches wide by 5 inches high. Opening it up reveals a booklet within a booklet, with the left three inches of the front cover appearing in every spread and the left page of most spreads appear to be a continuation of the front cover.

Click image to download a 3.3-MB PDF of this 16-page booklet.

The front cover illustration is by an artist named Albert H. Winkler. I can’t find out much information about him other than that he lived in Chicago from at least the early 1920s through the late 1940s and that he illustrated Rotary magazine covers, nature books, books of bible stories, dictionaries, and cookbooks, as well as painted watercolors.