The City of Saint Louis

Last revised: January 20, 2023

By: Adam Burns

The City of Saint Louis was just one train in the Union Pacific’s premier fleet of passenger trains. A very late entrant into the railroad's City fleet, the St. Louis was not inaugurated into after World War II.

However, it proved to be a fairly successful train, in no small part to the UP's reputation for impeccable service.

The train eventually operated a routing similar to the City of Los Angeles, although at first it did not reach the Pacific Coast.

The railroad hosted an entire array of plush City trains, all of which were quite successful.  For the St. Louis, it was a short-lived train surviving barely twenty years under its own name. 

Today, the City fleet can still be witnessed, in a manner of speaking, as the UP’s official business train is not only decorated in the Cities’ classic livery but also includes some of the original equipment, right down to a set of E9As and E9Bs that power the consist.

Photos

A Union Pacific company photo featuring a PA-PB-PA set ahead of train #10, the eastbound "City of St. Louis" (Los Angeles - St. Louis), near Lawrence, Kansas circa 1956. Note the train is not yet a "Domeliner," missing its dome-lounge-observation.

History

Union Pacific has a very long and storied history.  The Union Pacific’s City fleet is credited with being the first lightweight streamlined passenger train to operate in the United States. In February of 1934 the City of Salina, the first in the fleet, debuted as a three-car lightweight trainset that the was named the M-10000. 

At A Glance

Route
St. Louis - Los Angeles
Travel Time (June, 1957)

47 Hours, 45 Minutes (Westbound)

46 Hours, 44 Minutes (Eastbound)

Service History
June 2, 1946 - April, 1964*
Train Numbers

9 (Westbound)

10 (Eastbound)

Distance
2328 Miles
End Terminals

Union Passenger Terminal (Los Angeles)

Union Station (St. Louis)

* At this time the train lost its through status as a separate train.  It was combined with the "City of Los Angeles" west of Ogden in April, 1964.  In 1968 the "City of St. Louis"  was combined with the "City of San Francisco," which combined again with the "City of Los Angeles"/"Challenger" in September of that year.  By June, 1968, the train was renamed as the "City of Kansas City."  Its name was retained until the start of Amtrak, although by that point had largely disappeared as a separate run.

Union Pacific was so impressed with the train, and the response it received from the public, the railroad purchased seven more sets and the City fleet was born!   Following the City of Salina, also in 1934, was the City of Portland,  City of Los AngelesCity of San Francisco, and finally City of Denver in 1936. 

Consist (1958)

The later trains, notably the Los Angeles and San Francisco, operated as non-articulated consists using Electro-Motive's new E2 diesel locomotives. 

The City fleet became revered throughout the west and rivaled the Santa Fe’s legendary Super Chief, and every other western passenger train, in exquisiteness and fine traveling.

Once the trains received their Domeliners in the mid-1950s they became the lavish way to travel for many of Hollywood's elite.

The City of St. Louis was another of Union Pacific’s vast City fleet of trains connecting the Midwest with the west coast. The train debuted on June 2, 1946 originally connecting its namesake city (in conjunction with the Wabash Railroad between Kansas City-St. Louis) with Cheyenne, Wyoming via Denver.

Timetable (1958)

For its first four years of service the train only operated through sleeper service to Portland, San Francisco, and Los Angeles via Cheyenne.   However, later in 1951 it began dedicated service as its own train all of the way to Los Angeles.

Not long after the St. Louis hit the rails it was upgraded with lightweight, all-streamlined equipment in 1947 featuring diners, Pullman sleepers, lounges, observations, and even dome cars which were added in 1958 from Pullman-Standard and American Car & Foundry.

The joint Union Pacific/Wabash "City of St. Louis," arrives at St. Louis Union Station on August 31, 1955. American-Rails.com collection.

After the Wabash was leased by the Norfolk & Western Railway in 1964 the latter company ferried the City of St. Louis between St. Louis Union Station and Kansas City Union Station.

Operating on a schedule of nearly 47 hours the train listed as #9 (westbound) and #10 (eastbound) on UP's official timetable, normally carried an average train speed of about 50 mph the entire trip.  

Through the end the City of St. Louis, along with her sister City trains, remained a top-notch, all matching consist (of Armour yellow and grey) by Union Pacific.

Timetable (April, 1967)

Read Down Time/Leave (Train #209/Norfolk & Western) Milepost Location Read Up
Time/Arrive (Train #210/Norfolk & Western)
3:40 PM (Dp)0.0
St. Louis, MO (Union Station) (CT)
3:15 PM (Ar)
4:00 PM5
St. Louis, MO (Delmar Boulevard)
2:40 PM
22
St. Charles, MO
F 2:09 PM
5:39 PM109
Mexico, MO
12:52 PM
5:56 PM (Ar)123
Centralia, MO
12:39 PM (Dp)
5:56 PM (Dp)123
Centralia, MO
12:39 PM (Ar)
6:20 PM (Ar)147
Moberly, MO
12:12 PM (Dp)
6:23 PM (Dp)147
Moberly, MO
12:07 PM (Ar)
8:45 PM (Ar)278
Kansas City, MO
10:00 AM (Dp)
Time/Leave (Train #9/Union Pacific) Milepost Location Time/Arrive (Train #10/Union Pacific)
9:20 PM (Ar)278
Kansas City, MO
9:25 AM (Dp)
F280
Kansas City, KS
F
9:59 PM318
Lawrence, KS
8:19 AM
10:32 PM346
Topeka, KS
7:53 AM
11:25 PM397
Manhattan, KS
7:03 AM
11:49 PM (Ar)418
Junction City, KS
6:30 AM (Dp)
11:54 PM (Dp)418
Junction City, KS
6:20 AM (Ar)
F442
Abilene, KS
F
12:40 AM (Ar)465
Salina, KS
5:22 AM (Dp)
12:55 AM (Dp)465
Salina, KS
5:10 AM (Ar)
F502
Ellsworth, KS
F
F541
Russell, KS
F
3:09 AM (Ar)581
Ellis, KS (CT)
3:09 AM (Dp)
2:19 AM (Ar)581
Ellis, KS (MT)
2:04 AM (Ar)
3:27 AM655
Oakley, KS
12:52 AM
4:10 AM (Ar)708
Sharon Springs, KS
12:05 AM (Dp)
4:13 AM (Dp)708
Sharon Springs, KS
11:59 AM (Ar)
5:38 AM (Ar)814
Hugo, CO
10:31 PM (Dp)
5:39 AM (Dp)814
Hugo, CO
10:30 PM (Ar)
5:57 AM829
Limon, CO
10:10 PM
8:10 AM (Ar)918
Denver, CO (Union Station)
8:40 PM (Dp)
8:40 AM (Dp)918
Denver, CO (Union Station)
8:15 PM (Ar)
F 9:25 AM965
La Salle, CO
9:35 AM970
Greeley, CO
6:57 PM
11:30 AM (Ar)1080
Laramie, WY
5:02 PM (Dp)
11:45 AM (Dp)1080
Laramie, WY
4:50 PM (Ar)
1:35 PM (Ar)1197
Rawlins, WY
3:06 PM (Dp)
1:40 PM (Dp)1197
Rawlins, WY
3:05 PM (Ar)
3:24 PM1316
Rock Springs, WY
1:15 PM
3:50 PM (Ar)1331
Green River, WY
12:55 PM (Dp)
4:00 PM (Dp)1331
Green River, WY
12:45 PM (Ar)
5:41 PM (Ar)1431
Evanston, WY
11:05 AM (Dp)
5:45 PM (Dp)1431
Evanston, WY
7:30 PM (Ar)1507
Ogden, UT
9:35 AM (Dp)
Time/Leave (Train #103/City Of Los Angeles) Milepost Location Time/Arrive (Train #104/City Of Los Angeles)
8:00 PM (Dp)1507
Ogden, UT
8:55 AM (Ar)
8:50 PM (Ar)1543
Salt Lake City, UT
8:00 AM (Dp)
9:15 PM (Dp)1543
Salt Lake City, UT
7:35 AM (Ar)
F1678
Delta, UT
F
12:30 PM (Ar)1750
Milford, UT
3:50 AM (Dp)
12:40 PM (Dp)1750
Milford, UT
3:40 AM (Ar)
F1868
Caliente, NV (MT)
F
4:40 AM (Ar)1993
Las Vegas, NV (PT)
10:05 PM (Dp)
4:55 AM (Dp)1993
Las Vegas, NV (PT)
9:50 PM (Ar)
8:20 AM2177
Barstow, CA
6:30 PM
F 9:00 AM2214
Victorville, CA
F 5:50 PM
10:25 AM (Ar)2259
San Bernardino, CA
4:25 PM (Dp)
10:30 AM (Dp)2259
San Bernardino, CA
4:20 PM (Ar)
11:00 AM2269
Riverside, CA
3:57 PM
11:35 AM2295
Pomona, CA
3:22 PM
12:10 PM2321
East Los Angeles, CA
2:50 PM
12:30 PM (Ar)2328
Los Angeles, CA (Union Passenger Terminal) (PT)
2:30 PM (Dp)

A Union Pacific company photo featuring a PA-PB-PA set with train #9, the westbound "City of St. Louis" (St. Louis - Los Angeles), on the new low-grade alignment along home rails near Cheyenne, Wyoming during the early 1950s.

Final Years

As rail travel patronage continued to slump through the 1960s the train was eventually downgraded, however, and combined with the City of Los Angeles west of Ogden, Utah.

In June 1968 the City of St.Louis was further cut back, operating to only Kansas City and renamed as the City of Kansas City.

In 1970 Union Pacific pulled the popular Domeliners from all of its City trains. While service remained satisfactory, however, this did not secure the Kansas City or other trains’ futures, as none were retained when Amtrak began service in the spring of 1971. Today, the fleet can still be witnessed through Union Pacific's official business train.

Sources

  • Johnston, Bob and Welsh, Joe. Art Of The Streamliner, The. New York: Andover Junction Publications, 2001.
  • Schafer, Mike and Welsh, Joe. Streamliners, History of a Railroad Icon. St. Paul: MBI Publishing, 2003.
  • Welsh, Joe and Holland, Kevin. Union Pacific Railroad.  Minneapolis:  Voyageur Press, 2009.
  1. Home
  2.  ›
  3. Fallen Flags
  4.  ›
  5. Union Pacific
  6.  ›
  7. City of St. Louis

Recent Articles

  1. "Peninsula 400" (Train)

    Jan 27, 23 06:55 PM

    7580028490289597300876.jpg
    The Peninsula 400 was added to the C&NW's fleet during 1942 following the arrival of new equipment. It became one of the railroad's most popular and its routing survived until the start of Amtrak.

    Read More

  2. "Whippoorwill" (Streamliner/Train)

    Jan 27, 23 05:55 PM

    28965209835723562983629068927803908.jpg
    The Whippoorwill was Chicago & Eastern Illinois's only true streamliner built by Pullman and introduced in 19467

    Read More

  3. Sand Patch Grade (Pennsylvania): Map, Location, Tunnel

    Jan 27, 23 05:53 PM

    02699127367892671hh151096087.jpg
    Baltimore & Ohio's Sand Patch crossed the Allegheny Mountains in southern Pennsylvania completed in the 1850s. Today, the double-track line still hosts CSX trains to Chicago.

    Read More

  4. Kentucky Railway Museum: Roster, Events, Overview

    Jan 27, 23 05:35 PM

    krym_am.jpg
    The Kentucky Railway Museum (KRM) is the state's largest and most popular such facility. It does a wonderful job keeping alive its railroad heritage and offers excursion rides throughout the year!

    Read More

  5. Fast Flying Virginian (Train): Timetable, Route, Consist

    Jan 27, 23 05:33 PM

    ffr90801873335857110lcnqqpq98575.jpg
    The Fast Flying Virginian, or F.F.V., was the C&O's first named train dating back to the 19th century. It remained the flagship until eclipsed by the George Washington in the 1940s.

    Read More


SteamLocomotive.com

Wes Barris's SteamLocomotive.com is simply the best web resource on the study of steam locomotives. 

It is difficult to truly articulate just how much material can be found at this website. 

It is quite staggering and a must visit!