Western Pacific 1938 Breakfast Menu

The back cover of this menu describes the lands between Salt Lake City and the Sierra Nevada as “the Western Garden of Allah.” Whether this was inspired by the Rock Island Railroad’s Garden of Allah book, or the 1936 movie starring Marlene Dietrick and Charles Boyer, I suspect that even people living in Arabia wouldn’t consider this desolate area to be much of a paradise.

Click on image to download a 1.2-MB PDF of this menu.

Inside, the menu offers sirloin steak, lamb chops, and ham, along with the usual eggs, wheat cakes, and cereals for breakfast. The opposite side of the menu offers a variety of non-alcoholic beverages, many of which were supposed to be hangover cures. Someone has helpfully handwritten “April 13, ’38” on the interior, and presumably that is the date the menu was used on a Western Pacific train.

Rio Grande Postcards

Here are five postcards from two different eras featuring the Denver & Rio Grande railroads. The first three were printed in Germany, which dates them to before World War I.

Click any image to download a PDF of that postcard.

Though issued by the Colorado New Company, each card prominently notes that the featured scene is on the “D&RG RR,” suggesting that they were issued with the cooperation of the railroad. The railroad probably gave the Colorado New Company license to sell the cards in Rio Grande train stations and on board trains. Continue reading

Scenic West

Issued by Curt Teich, this folder contains about 22 color lithographs (including two on the covers), half of which show the Rio Grande portion of the route and the other half the Western Pacific. The quality of the images is somewhat higher than in yesterday’s folder, which was issued by the Interstate Co.


Click image to download a 6.1-MB PDF of this folder.

There’s no date on the folder, but one of the photos matches a Curt Teich postcard, shown below, that was issued (according to the card number) in 1938. The folder must have been issued before 1939 or it would have featured the Exposition Flyer. Continue reading

The James Peak Route

This postcard folder must have been issued shortly after 1934, when the Dotsero Cutoff allowed trains through the Moffat Tunnel to connect to Rio Grande tracks to Grand Junction and Salt Lake City. Soon after that year, the Rio Grande advertised that it had two routes across the Rockies, the Moffat Tunnel and the Royal Gorge routes. But this folder refers to the former as the James Peak route, after the mountain through which the Moffat Tunnel was bored.


Click image to download a 9.3-MB PDF of this folder.

The folder contains 20 color lithographs. Like other postcard folders, I present this in three pages so as to show all of the cover as well as the pictures.

Midland Terminal Railway Postcard Brochure

This brochure with six color and four black-and-white photos advertises the Midland Terminal Railway, as distinct from the Midland Terminal Railroad. The latter began operating from Colorado City (annexed by Colorado Springs in 1917) to Cripple Creek in 1895. It went out of business in 1918 and its assets were taken over by the Midland Terminal Railway in 1919.

Click image to download a 3.9-MB PDF of this twelve-panel brochure.

The Midland Terminal Railway operated passenger trains until 1931, so this brochure must be from somewhere between 1919 and 1931.

Panoramic Views 1914

We’ve seen several editions of Panoramic Views ranging from 1916 to 1950. This one is nearly identical to the 1916 version, but the map is dated 1914.

Click image to download a 9.7-MB PDF of this brochure.

A date on a map is not always a reliable indicator of when a brochure was issued, but since we have another one with a map dated 1916, this one could not have been issued after 1915. The lithographs in the two brochures are identical (with some color variation) and the text is nearly identical. The only differences I can find, other than the date, are that Western Pacific’s San Francisco passenger agent has changed and the map’s addition of the 16.7-mile branch to La Madera, New Mexico.

D&RG Souvenir Folding Postcard

This postcard folder was issued before the Denver & Rio Grande became the Denver & Rio Grande Western, which means before 1920. It is probably from before 1909, when the Western Pacific (which was financed by the Rio Grande) was completed, as the two railroads did joint advertising after that.

Click image to download a 5.2-MB PDF of this eight-page timetable.

The folder contains 22 color lithographs that actually reproduce the colors of Colorado gorges and mountains pretty successfully. As usual with postcard folders, I present it in three pages as the front unfolds in such a way that either the cover or one of the postcards is obscured.

Colorado Midland Booklet

This booklet is missing its cover and I usually don’t post items that are less than complete. But the Colorado Midland is a special railroad that deserves a little attention. While the Denver and Rio Grande headed across the Rock Mountains out of Pueblo, Colorado, and the Denver & Salt Lake went west out of Denver, the Colorado Midland went from Colorado City, now known as Colorado Springs. As the highest-elevation standard gauge railroad in the world, it was highly scenic, but faced huge operational problems that put it out of business before 1920.


Click image to download a 6.8-MB PDF of this booklet.

The Colorado Midland completed construction all the way to Grand Junction, where it met the Rio Grande Western line to Salt Lake. Though the latter railroad was allied with the Denver & Rio Grande, they didn’t always operate in concert, so the the RGW was happy to accept westbound traffic from and share some of its eastbound traffic with the Colorado Midland. Continue reading

Vista-Dome Views: 1968

By 1968, the railroads operating the California Zephyr had changed the Vista-Dome Views booklet into a brochure. This might have made it less expensive to print, but it probably made it harder to use as it unfolded to an unwieldy 16″x18″.

Click image to download a 3.8-MB PDF of this brochure.

The text hasn’t changed much. The photography guide in the 1955 booklet, however, was replaced by a timetable, which is handy in a way and probably should have been included in earlier editions to save the cost of printing separate timetables. Printing brown ink on lighter-brown paper, however, is always a bad idea.

California Zephyr 1965 Timetable

Here’s the 1965 edition of yesterday’s timetable. Except for the cover date, six of the eight pages in the two timetables are identical in almost every respect. The page listing Western Pacific agents is different as some of the agent names and addresses have changed.

Click image to download a 5.4-MB PDF of this 8-page timetable.

The biggest change, however, is the full-page ad for WP freight services on page 6. Neither ad is very effective. The 1964 ad tries to say that, because WP is smaller than it’s competitors, it tries harder to save customers’ money–but the headline phrase, “distribution savings,” doesn’t say it very well. The 1965 ad says that Western Pacific was “first among railroads to adopt a Marketing concept” without ever saying what that concept was. Whatever it was, no one likes to think they are being manipulated by a marketing concept.