Welcome to Vintage Railroad Postcards!

Thank you for stopping by! This is the blog for the Russell P. Panecki Collection of vintage railroad-related postcards. The entire collection consists of nearly one thousand so far with images dating from circa 1904 to the 1950s. To leave a comment, ask a question, to contribute or correct historical information, a comment box is located to the left for your convenience.

Each page, including this homepage, has an index located in the lower portion of the page. In addition to the index, posts were updated with historical information, new postcards added from storage files, while some posts were completely rewritten or edited for corrections. Three articles have been added and are worth reading. They include how vintage postcards were made, the history of Pennsylvania Station, and the history of Grand Central Terminal.

My apologies, but the postcards in my collection and on this blog are not available for sale, copying, or for contribution to projects. Please keep in mind that I reserve all rights to the images and content of this blog.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

The Overland Limited

When cross county rail travel was a dependable reality, there became a real need for first class accommodations. Riding on hard seats without sleeping cars and on-board dining arrangements were certainly not going to attract a wealthier clientèle. In 1887, the Union Pacific Railroad, in partnership with the Southern Pacific and the Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Louis & Pacific railroads, began the operation of the famous grand train deluxe "Overland Limited". The route left Chicago over the rails of the CM&St.P, in later years over the Chicago and Northwestern to Omaha, Nebraska, over the Union Pacific to Ogden, Utah and finally over the Southern Pacific where it would terminate in Oakland. The passenger cars were then loaded onto a ferry for transfer for its final destination in San Francisco. Passengers could board the train in Chicago and step off in San Francisco without ever having to leave the train. Service was, disappointingly, discontinued in 1963. Here is a complete set of  circa 1915 postcards showing the interior of the train with its modern amenities, views of the train at speed, cards from the C&NW, the CM&St.P, the entire train aboard the ferry 'Solano' being transferred from Oakland to San Francisco, a station stop in Reno, Nevada, and the steam motive power. First, we'll look at some interior views showing compartments, barbershop, shower facilities, dining car, observation car, buffet lounge car, and the stenographer's office. For more information on 'The Overland Limited', click Here.



Here are four cards from CM&St.P, circa 1904 though 1912.

These two cards, circa 1906 and 1910, show the train when under the flag of the Chicago & Northwestern.

This circa 1914 view shows the train at the Reno, Nevada station. Note the double-headed, oil-fired motive power with 'whale-back' tenders prior to the assignment of larger locomotives.

In this circa 1920 view, we see the "Overland Limited" again at another station stop in Reno. Here the train is pulled by a cab-forward locomotive equipped with the standard 'whale back' oil tender. 

Upon arrival at Oakland, the cars were loaded aboard one of two ferries, either the 'Solano' or the 'Contra Costa' for off-loading at San Francisco. Here is a view of the 'Solano', one of the largest ferries in the world. 

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