The idea for Union Pacific to launch a revolutionary new type of
passenger train was thanks to its then president Averell Harriman, who
used the idea of his father Edward (UP's noted president of the 19th and
early 20th centuries). From the start of the 20th century E.H.
Harriman was looking for ways to reduce expenses of running passenger
trains and one way in which he did this was by
purchasing more than 100 McKeen car from the McKeen Motor Car Company
beginning in 1905. These cars were primarily powered by a gasoline
engine and somewhat resembled the classic "Doodlebug" cars of the 1920s.
The McKeens featured a somewhat streamlined design with a
"wind-splitter" aerodynamic lead nose. However, overall the car was not very successful, primarily because a reliable prime mover was not available.
Using this concept, Averell approached Pullman-Standard about developing an articulated trainset of three cars with a sleek carbody that had never been used on rails before. For power, the Union Pacific contacted the Winton Engine Company about developing a prime mover to be used for the train. Winton, even by that time, was the early pioneer in building engines for use in railroad applications. However, because UP was distrustful of early diesel engine technology it asked that the prime mover be a gasoline-powered distillate engine instead. What Winton came up with was a 600 horsepower engine although it would later prove to be a poor performer in regular main line service. As it were the M-10000 was delivered officially to the Union Pacific on February 25, 1934, not quite two months before the Chicago, Burlington & Qunicy's Burlington Zephyr (later known as the Pioneer Zephyr) was unveiled to the public in Philadelphia.
Pullman-Standard had used
aluminum to construct the carbody making it an ultra lightweight
trainset at just 124 tons (about the same weight as one P-S heavyweight
sleeping car). The train was 204 feet in length with the power car and
its bulbous, turret-like cab doubling as a Railway Post Office
(RPO) and baggage compartment capable of handling 25,000 pounds of
mail. The second car was a standard coach capable of holding 50
passengers and the third, a round-ended-like buffet-kitchen car (while
it looked like an observation there was no rear seating and open glass
to see the passing countryside).
Union Pacific dubbed the train simply The Streamliner and
referred to it as "Tomorrow's Train Today!" The articulated trainset
certainly wowed the public, which was even more impressed by its
interior air conditioning and
speeds reaching 110 mph.
(The below City of Salina timetable is dated effective June of 1938. For additional timetable and consist information please click here.)
|Read Down Time/Leave (Train #99)
Time/Arrive (Train #100)
|5:00 PM (Dp)||0.0||Kansas City, MO (CT)||10:30 AM (Ar)|
|5:05 PM||2||Kansas City, KS||F 10:22 AM|
|5:42 PM||40||Lawrence, KS||9:46 AM|
|6:12 PM (Ar)||68||Topeka, KS||9:18 AM (Dp)|
|6:12 PM (Dp)||68||Topeka, KS||9:18 AM (Ar)|
|F 6:34 PM||92||St. Marys, KS||8:51 AM|
|7:02 PM||119||Manhattan, KS||8:22 AM|
|F 7:21 PM||136||Fort Riley, KS|
|7:30 PM||140||Junction City, KS||7:55 AM|
|F 7:45 PM||152||Chapman, KS||7:38 AM|
|7:58 PM||164||Abilene, KS||7:27 AM|
|F 8:09 PM||172||Solomon, KS||7:16 AM|
|8:30 PM (Ar)||187||Salina, KS (CT)||7:00 AM (Dp)|
Perhaps what was most interesting about the
train, at least from a historical perspective was the livery it chose of
dark "canary yellow" and brown. This paint scheme was essentially the
foundation of Union Pacific's own adopted livery of Armour yellow but
its purpose of being applied to the trainset was for safety reasons so
as pedestrians and motorists could easily spot the train and avoid a
Like the Burlington's Pioneer Zephyr the M-10000
made a publicity tour touting its speed, clipping more than 100 mph on a
24-hour schedule between Chicago and Los Angeles. The train entered
regular service on January 31, 1935 also as a regional run like the Zephyr.
It should also be noted that Union Pacific believed in its new
streamliner so much that it ordered a second trainset in the fall of
1934, the M-10001, even before it took delivery of the original
set. For more reading about the train please click here.
This train was much larger featuring a baggage-dormitory, three
sleepers, and a coach-buffet. Due to the success Burlington's
streamliner was having Union Pacific sent the M-10001 on its own
country-wide tour making a headline-grabbing and record-breaking 38-hour
and 50-minute run between Los Angeles, Chicago, and New York.
Unlike the Zephyr trainsets Union Pacific's streamliners
proved to be not practically useful for the every day rigors of railroad
use. For instance, the Zephyr's stainless steel was much more durable than the aluminum sheathed trainset and the distillate prime mover
was likewise not well adapted for regular use. As such, the train was
pulled from service and scrapped in 1940 after just six years of
service. During its time in operation the M-10000 was renamed as the City Of Salina running daily between Kansas City and Salina, Kansas. This corridor was less than 200 miles in length and was lightly populated resulting in low ridership.
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M-10000/City Of Salina