City of Portland (train)

The City of Portland was a named passenger train operated by the Union Pacific Railroad between Chicago, Illinois, and Portland, Oregon. It started service in June 1935, using the streamlined M-10001 trainset. With only one set of equipment the train left each of its terminals five times a month (or six, for the first few months). The route used Chicago and Northwestern trackage between Chicago and Omaha, Nebraska until 1955, replaced by Milwaukee Road trackage.

City of Portland
UP City of Portland.jpg
"Drumhead" logos such as this often adorned the ends of the observation cars on the City of Portland.
Service typeInter-city rail
LocaleNorthwestern United States
Midwestern United States
First serviceJune, 1935
Last serviceApril, 1971
Former operator(s)1935-1955: Union Pacific Railroad and Chicago and North Western Railway
1955-1971: Union Pacific and Milwaukee Road
TerminiChicago, Illinois
Portland, Oregon; alternate section to Seattle, Washington
Distance travelled2,263 miles (3,642 km) (1954)
Train number(s)105 (westbound); 106 (eastbound)
On-board services
Seating arrangementsLeg rest coaches
Sleeping arrangementsOpen sections, roomettes, double bedrooms, drawing rooms and compartments (1954)
Catering facilitiesDining car
Observation facilitiesClub lounge car
Track gauge1,435 mm (4 ft 8+12 in)

It was the first streamliner with sleeping cars and the first streamliner running from Chicago to the Pacific coast; its 39-hour-45-minute schedule became the standard. (In April 1935 the fastest train took 59 hr 20 min Chicago to Portland.)[1] The M-10001 was withdrawn in March 1938 and replaced with another articulated trainset, the former City of Los Angeles M-10002. In July 1941, M-10002 was replaced with a train powered by the EMC E3 set inherited from City of Los Angeles pulling the former M-10004 cars, with some former M-10001 cars added, as its consist. Service was expanded following the war as the train was joined, then replaced, by full-size trains powered by E6 and E7 locomotive sets. The train was the first of the 40-hour Coast streamliners to run daily, in February 1947. In 1955 the Milwaukee Road tracks were used instead of the Chicago and North Western between Chicago and Omaha; from January 1959 until 1967 the train ran via Denver. The train was discontinued May 1, 1971, with the takeover of Union Pacific's passenger services by Amtrak. The route roughly follows the trail of the defunct Amtrak route, the Pioneer, except that the latter diverted to Ogden, Utah, while the City of Portland did not enter Utah.[2]

In addition to baggage, coach, and sleeping cars, about 1955 the City of Portland added an Astra Dome dome coach, dome observation lounge and dome dining car to each consist. The dome dining cars were unique to Union Pacific and were only operated on this train and the City of Los Angeles.

Major cities servedEdit

Prior to 1955:

Following 1955 rerouting via Milwaukee Road:

  • Chicago, Union Station
  • Marion station (Cedar Rapids via bus connection)
  • Omaha, Union Station
  • Boise, Union Pacific Depot
  • Portland, Union Station

Following 1959 rerouting:

  • Chicago, Union Station
  • Marion station (Cedar Rapids via bus connection)
  • Omaha, Union Station
  • Denver, Union Station
  • Boise, Union Pacific Depot
  • Portland, Union Station

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Mann, Charles F.A. (17 September 1935). "Most Powerful Diesel Ready for Rail Service". The Meriden Daily Journal. Retrieved 28 March 2012.
  2. ^ Streamliner Schedules, City of Portland, July, 1956 schedule

External linksEdit