Great Northern 1954 Annual Report

This year’s front and back covers at least relate to one another, as the front shows the new Hillyard yard office at twilight while the back cover shows the view from inside the same office. The building is a modern or International style, which was probably considered quite fashionable at the time even though it was really several decades old.

Click image to download a 16.6-MB PDF of this 28-page report.

Inside, the third page (which is numbered page 1) shows the Empire Builder along Puget Sound. But the train in the picture is the 1947 Empire Builder, complete with E7s instead of the F3s and F7s used to pull both the Empire Builder and Western Star in 1954.

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Great Northern 1953 Annual Report

The cover photo of this report shows a machinist turning a wheel, an important job on a railroad but not one likely to bring a flutter to a potential investor’s heart. The photo wraps about 2-1/4-inches around the back cover, so I’m showing the entire spread below.

Click image to download a 17.9-MB PDF of this 28-page report.

The rest of the back cover is devoted to a photo–unfortunately black-and-white–of two Western Stars passing somewhere in Montana. A similar photo was in the 1951 annual report, and looking at them closely, I think they are both the same photo but the train on the right has been cut-and-pasted to change its location relative to the train on the left. Notice the train on the right doesn’t cast a shadow on the other train as it does in the 1951 photo.

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1953 Many Glacier Breakfast Menu

This menu has no prices, so it was for tourists on the American plan. Except for the Finnan haddie, it is pretty conventional with eggs, ham, bacon, sausage, griddle cakes, and a variety of cereals, fruits, and juices.

Click image to download a 0.5-MB PDF of this menu.

The menu is dated July 26 and the irregular typography suggests it was hastily printed the night before. The photo of horseback riders shows two horses carrying large packs, suggesting they are on an overnight trip.

January, 1953, Great Northern Goat

As suggested by the cover photo, this issue of the Goat emphasizes winter sports. This includes another article about Timberline Lodge in Oregon plus a curious one-page article about skiing at Snoqualmie Pass in Washington. That’s curious because the Snoqualmie ski resort was owned and served by the Milwaukee Road, having originally been known as the Milwaukee Ski Bowl.

Click image to download an 10.0-MB PDF of this 24-page magazine.

Another article describes the construction of Hungry Horse Dam in Montana, which was completed in late 1952. The Great Northern delivered 4,600 carloads of cement for the dam’s construction. Also, a full-page article describes the Great Northern’s two wall calendars for 1953, one featuring a Winold Reiss painting of a Blackfoot Indian man named Middle Rider, with tear-off months, and the other showing all months on one page with the GN logo on top and a map of the GN at the bottom.

Great Northern 1952 Annual Report

The 1952 annual report has a wrap-around cover, but unlike the 1946 and 1951 reports, the photo only extends about 1-3/4 inches on the back cover. Still, I’m including a PDF of the full cover below.

Click image to download an 18.5-MB PDF of this report.

The cover photo shows a GN train crossing a new irrigation canal built as part of the Columbia Basin project, in which water retained by Grand Coulee Dam was used to irrigate hundreds of thousands of acres in Washington. The Great Northern was certainly pleased by the fact that many of those acres were “served almost exclusively by Great Northern.” The annual report includes a two-page spread about the project; however, that was not placed in the centerfold.

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October 1952 Great Northern Goat

The Great Northern published the Goat for “individuals and organizations engaged directly or indirectly in the handling of industrial traffic matters and travel by railroad.” In other words, it was more likely to be seen by travel agents than the traveling public, but it still served as advertising for GN passenger trains. This particular issue has articles about American Express travel agents visiting Glacier Park; autumn scenery in northern Idaho; and winter sports at Timberline Lodge in Oregon.

Click image to download an 8.5-MB PDF of this 20-page magazine.

Along the bottom of every page are frankly tedious slogans such as “You Go Great When You Go Great Northern” and “The Streamlined Empire Builder,” most of which are used twice. The cute kids on the cover are merely a come-on; while the magazine has a half-page article about the history of Halloween, which is vaguely related to the cover, it has a two-page article about gathering Christmas trees, which isn’t related to the cover at all.

Minneapolis Train Station Timetable

James J. Hill’s Great Northern Railway opened a magnificent station in Minneapolis in 1913. Although the station was prominently marked with the name “Great Northern,” it also served the Northern Pacific, Burlington, Chicago & North Western, Chicago Great Western, and Minneapolis & St. Louis railroads. The St. Paul Road–or, as it was later known, the Milwaukee Road–had its own train station which was also used by the Soo Line, probably because Hill had such an abrasive relationship with the Soo’s parent road, the Canadian Pacific.

Click image to download a 2.5-MB PDF of this timetable.

This timetable, only a portion of which is shown above, was posted in the station from July 20 to September 27, 1952, and shows the arrival and departure times of all trains served by the station. A total of 60 daily trains are listed, plus two Soo Line trains out of the Milwaukee station to Duluth shown as a courtesy as a part of GN/NP/Soo’s pool service. This is far more than the 28 trains a day the Milwaukee station served at its height–and the Great Northern station probably served far more than 60 trains a day before the Great Depression.

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Great Northern 1951 Annual Report

Ralph Budd’s son, John, became president of the Great Northern in May, 1951, so this is the first annual report that signed by him rather than Frank Gavin, who stayed on as chairman of the board. The wrap-around cover shows a silver-trucked F3 pulling the Mid-Century Empire Builder; the full cover is shown below.

Click image to download a 14.7-MB PDF of this 24-page report.

The centerfold features photos of the new Empire Builder, which is also pictured on page 8 while the new Western Star is shown on page 13. Passenger trains had barely received a mention in the 1949 annual report; here there is a full page of analysis.

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Great Northern 1950 Annual Report

After 1949’s boring cover photo, this one is particularly exciting, especially for passenger train fans. It shows the streamlined Internationals, which entered service in June of 1950. The two train sets built by American Car & Foundary would have passed one another somewhere along the Puget Sound between Seattle and Vancouver, BC, three times each day.

Click image to download a 16.0-MB PDF of this annual report.

The centerfold of this year’s report highlighted Great Northern’s rapid Dieselization and the 80 Diesels it purchased in 1950. It has photographs of numerous F units, including F7s purchased in 1950 but also FTs purchased in 1945 and F3s purchased in 1947. Also shown are a General Motors SW-1 switch engine, an Alco S2 switch engine, and a GP7, all of which were purchased in 1950.

Glacier National Park Pleasure Tours

This four-page brochure briefly describes thirty different tours ranging from one day (meaning overnight) to ten nights long. The tours rely mainly on motor coaches; those who preferred to take horseback rides through the park would have to find other literature. All of the tours are oriented to people who arrive by train or bus at East Glacier (if coming from the east) or West Glacier (if coming from the west), usually ending at the other one.

Click image to download a 2.8-MB PDF of this brochure.

A typical ten-day tour included three nights at Glacier Park Lodge, including a boat cruise on Two Medicine Lake; two nights at the Prince of Wales Hotel, including a boat cruise on Waterton Lake; three nights at Many Glacier Hotel, including a boat cruise on Swiftcurrent and Josephine lakes; and two nights at Lake McDonald Lodge. Days not spent on boat cruises were presumably used for golf (at Glacier Park Lodge), hiking, or perhaps day-long horseback trips.

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