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Union Pacific's "City to Everywhere"

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Union Pacific's "City to Everywhere"
Posted by NP Eddie on Friday, March 21, 2014 10:27 PM

In the middle 1960's to AMTRAK, the Milw/Union Pacific ran one large "City to Everywhere" between Chicago and Los Angeles, San Francisco, and maybe Portland.

Were these trains switched at Ogden or Green River?

What was the train make-up leaving Chicago, that is were all the coaches together and sleeping cars in another block of the train. Also how many dining and lounge cars did the train have?

Finally, did the Union Pacific man the dining and lounge cars or was there a Milwaukee crew or two in the rotation?

I remember a "Trains" letter or article by the Car Foreman who handled this switching but cannot reference is on the "Trains" 1940-2010 CD.

Ed Burns

Retired NP-BN-BNSF and an ATCS host

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Posted by dakotafred on Saturday, March 22, 2014 6:35 AM

Ed, I'm a former U.P. hand and will try to help you out with some of this in a day or two. In the meantime, the vernacular was "City of Everywhere," consistent with the actual train titles.

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Posted by timz on Saturday, March 22, 2014 12:53 PM

City of Everywhere started 1969. As I recall it was the only streamliner east of Green River, so it had to cut the CofP out there, then separate the CoSF at Ogden.

Combined trains started earlier-- CofD with CofP in 1958 or 1959, CoLA with CoSF in 1960, but the CofE didn't start until 1969.

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Posted by Deggesty on Saturday, March 22, 2014 1:52 PM

The train was switched (eb) in Ogden, Green River, Cheyenne, and Julesburg.

Ogden, add the cars from San Francisco on the days that train ran.

Green River, add the cars from Portland (every day).

Cheyenne, remove the cars to Kansas City (or St. Louis, as long as they were operated through).

Julesburg, add the coach from Denver.

I rode from Portland to Chicago, leaving Portland 15 April, 1971. I actually do not remember if the cars were sorted in Green River or Cheyenne, but I do not think they were.

The Portland diner and lounge ran only Green River-Portland. As I recall, the diner was changed in Omaha, as the steward for breakfast was not the same one I had for lunch and dinner the day before, and I have a memory that the diner was a Milwaukee car--but my memory has played tricks on me, as several of you already know.

As an aside, I met a widow from Boise about an hour or so out of Portland; we had pleasant conversation for five hours, and we were married fifteen months later.

The City of Everywhere--a pleasant train to ride; I wish the dome diners had still been in service.

Johnny

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Posted by timz on Saturday, March 22, 2014 4:49 PM

The 4/70 timetable shows the westward City of Denver separating at North Platte, as you'd expect. Anyone got a timetable showing it being switched out at Julesburg?

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Posted by rcdrye on Saturday, March 22, 2014 5:54 PM

I rode the City of Denver eastbound in April 1970.  The train was combined at North Platte, which consisted of adding the 10-6 and coach from Denver to an already bloated train.  The Dome Diner was still in service at that point.  My August 1970 OG lists only a through coach from Denver.

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Posted by Deggesty on Saturday, March 22, 2014 6:50 PM

My error; I had forgotten that North Platte, and not the junction at Julesburg, was the point at which the Denver car(s) was/were switched.

Johnny

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Posted by dakotafred on Sunday, March 23, 2014 9:03 AM

I had the great good fortune to work in the Cheyenne baggage room, 1966-72 (yes, for even a year after Amtrak). So I got in on the last days of the streamliners, whose hub was Cheyenne beginning in September 1967.

That's when the Post Office took First Class mail off the U.P. and most other roads around the country, changing everything. It also diverted some mail from other classes to freight service.

Mail trains like U.P.'s 5 & 6, which could run 25-40 cars, lost everything. The streamliners did retain a significant amount of 2nd thru 4th class -- plenty to keep our baggage room forces busy, particularly after the lineup was shuffled to run everything thru Cheyenne.

Formerly, of the Cities trains, we had seen only 103-104, the combined Cities of LA/SF. The City of Portland (combined with the City of Denver) ran around us via Julesburg, Denver and the Borie Cutoff. The City of St. Louis also missed us via the cutoff to and from Denver. The switching of cars among the streamliners was all done at Green River and Ogden.

That changed big-time in September 1967. In the chapter on U.P. in his excellent Twilight of the Great Trains, Fred Frailey says the trains were all run into Cheyenne to save money on switching at Ogden. I would suggest there was more to it than the switching -- mainly, the U.S. mail.

Our baggage agent, W.C. Bailey, was a regular mother hen about his baggage room, which stood to lose most of its 30-some jobs from loss of the mail on 5-6, 27-28 and 17-18 (the Portland Rose). He also happened to be the brother of U.P. President Edd Bailey.

Do the math -- and include in the equation that Bailey's baggage room had recently been commended by the national post office for the excellence of its operation. Also, moving more of the mail handling to Cheyenne let U.P. cut platform jobs in Green River and Ogden. (Our gain, their loss -- but what else was new around the railroad?)

The new westbound lineup gives the flavor. The City of Portland dropped its Denver cars at North Platte and arrived in Cheyenne at 9:15 a.m. The City of St. Louis -- up from Denver on the old Denver Pacific line -- dinged in at 9:30. And the queen of the fleet, No. 103, called at 9:45.

How the cars were shuffled, switch engines attacking from both ends of the yard! How the mail sacks flew! (We handlers were "all a-holes and elbows," as the saying had it.) When the dust had settled and all the blue flags were off, and everything had gone right, solid trains for Oakland (San Francisco), Portland and L.A. were on their way, one after the other, at 10:15, 10:30 and 10:45.

Eastbound, in the afternoon/evening, it all happened in reverse.

There's more to tell, but that will have to wait until later. After working all that mail, I need to go for beans!   

  

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Posted by daveklepper on Sunday, March 23, 2014 10:15 AM

If I remember correctly, having ridden the train twice, the last eastbound City of LA on 31 May 71, LA-Elgin, and westbound from Salt City to LA May 1970, plus  City of SF SF-Ogden May 1969, my impression is that the crew could be independent of the owner of the dining car.  As long as the dome diners were on the City of LA, it was possible for a Milwaukee crew to service a UP dome diner.  The dining car crews ran through if I am not mistaken, with the thru diner running to LA.. with one out of four crews Milwaukee.  That was my impression, and if I am mistaken, I will be corrected.

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Posted by dakotafred on Sunday, March 23, 2014 5:28 PM

U.P. at Cheyenne (cont.):

The remaining mail was steady, but the passengers continued to drift away. The eastbound City of Portland arrived in town one spring afternoon with 4 passengers aboard, per the conductor.

The N&W won reprieve from its end of the City of St. Louis bargain, and that train became the City of Kansas City. S&P went tri-weekly with the Oakland section. By 1970, there was one very long Cities train between Cheyenne and Green River.

Our day foreman was just sure the logic of U.P.'s efficient approach to service to three West Coast destinations would prove irresistible to Amtrak. Alas, no. We got the bastard triweekly "San Francisco Zephyr" between Denver and Ogden, and that was it.

No mail on Amtrak, but a day shift survived at the baggage room for about 15 months beyond A-Day to work a setout boxcar of mail from Omaha. When the P.O. decided to put the mail in a trailer on a flatcar, and drive it to the post office for working there, the baggage room was done after a colorful history of almost 105 years.

A single clerk remained to handle the meager baggage and (mostly) assorted work unrelated to the old mail/baggage function.

Original poster Ed asked about individual cars and where they ran. For this, I will recommend Fred Frailey's indispensable Twilight of the Great Trains, previously mentioned, which belongs in the library of everyone who remembers the old trains.

He includes three incredibly detailed schemes from three time periods showing the car makeup of each U.P. train and what happened to those cars as they progressed down the road. 

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