Tuesday, January 13, 2015

East on the Empire Builder [1946]

From our collection, a brochure published by the Great Northern Railway advertising a trip from Seattle to Chicago (and the Historic East) on the Empire Builder.

In 1946 passenger trains were operated by private railroads ... not AMTRAK. The Great Northern Railroad named its transcontinental train the Empire Builder. Today, AMTRAK still uses the name and most of the route.
Route of the Empire Builder
Low Altitude -- High Scenery

Graph of elevation along the line

Enlargement of map section.
Note stops for access to Yellowstone
and Glacier National Parks.

Radio in the Empire Builder Lounge
For some reason this looks like a better way to travel than on one of today's airplanes. Ahhh ... perhaps it's just because we don't fly "first class" LOL. And yes, of course, we want to get there fast, don't we ...

Empire Builder meals are Famous
Thank you for stopping by John's Island.


  1. It does look like a nice way to travel. America would be a different place if the country had gone the way of passenger trains instead of cars. But I do think it was natural for the populace to choose automobiles for transportation because Americans like(d?) to be independent.

  2. Crowding around the radio and listening to it is sure something from times gone by. And travel by air is not longer luxurious but downright painful, if you ask me. I've got it coming up next month and I am gearing myself up for a miserable trip. I guess I should change my attitude and think of how much faster I will be getting there. :-)

  3. I have so many great memories of train rides and the dining cars, etc. And I have to admit to listening to the radio as a kid. Airlines, Ugh! I told hubby that if we can't afford at least business class, I'm not going back overseas on one of those long flights.

  4. I still want to ride a passenger train someday. it's very high on my bucket list :)

  5. so cool - now they're telling folks 'go east, young man!' :)

  6. Great opportunity to enjoy an old ride. Aren't old maps great!

  7. It may have taken longer but somehow I think people enjoyed the traveling better. More relaxed and taking the time to see things along the way.

  8. I enjoyed seeing the old brochure. It always amazes me how they had such fine dining on the train.

  9. I love riding trains, it's so relaxing. This route must be very beautiful. I wish there were as many trains in the US as there are in Europe. There it is so easy to travel by train, and very comfortable and fast as well.


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