Tag Archives: Chicago and North Western

“The City of Los Angeles: Union Pacific’s Top-of-the-Line Streamlined Passenger Train”

Postcard photo of the streamliner City of Los Angeles near Sterling, Illinois and traveling along the Rock River. The train is pulled by a EMC E2 locomotive. The City of Los Angeles was a streamlined passenger train between Chicago, Illinois, and Los Angeles, California via Omaha, Nebraska, and Ogden, Utah. Between Omaha and Los Angeles it ran on the Union Pacific Railroad; east of Omaha it ran on the Chicago and North Western Railway until October 1955 and on the Milwaukee Road thereafter. This train was the top-of-the-line for the Union Pacific, which marketed it as a competitor to the Super Chief, a streamlined passenger train on the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway, and the Golden State, a streamlined passenger train jointly operated by the Rock Island and Southern Pacific railroads. As with the City of Los Angeles, many of the train’s cars bore the names of locales in and around its namesake city. Circa late 1940s.

The Famous “400”

The Chicago and North Western Railway’s most famous train was the Twin Cities 400, which ran from Chicago to Minneapolis/St. Paul. It was introduced in 1935 to compete with the Chicago, Burlington and Quincy’s Zephyrs and the Milwaukee Road’s Hiawathas. This train was named because it traveled the 400 miles between the cities in 400 minutes. C&NW was the first system to start a high-speed Chicago-Twin Cities schedule because it used refurbished instead of new equipment, but in 1939, modernized the 400 with new E3A diesel locomotive pairs and streamlined cars.