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Front view of M-10000
Rear view of M-10000
Postcard photo of the M-10000 as the City of Salina

The M-10000 was an early American streamlined passenger trainset that operated for the Union Pacific Railroad from 1934 until 1941. It was built by the Pullman Company, and was the first streamlined passenger train to be delivered in the United States, and the second to enter regular service after the Pioneer Zephyr of the Chicago, Burlington and Quincy Railroad.[1]



The M-10000 car design built upon the efforts of William Bushnell Stout, a pioneer of all-metal construction for airplanes who adapted metal fuselage design to the Railplane (not to be confused with the Bennie Railplane), a lightweight self-propelled railcar built by Pullman-Standard in 1932. The tapered car cross-section, lightweight tubular aluminum space frame construction, and Duralumin skin of the Railplane were carried over into the M-10000 design.[2] The streamlined body was developed from a series of wind tunnel tests that were carried out at the University of Michigan.[3]

The M-10000 was a three-car trainset, with a combined power/baggage/railway post office car and two trailing passenger coaches.[3] The power car measured 71 feet 9 inches (21.87 m) long, followed by coaches measuring 58 feet (18 m) and a 71 feet (22 m).[3] Including the space between cars, the trainset had a total length of 204 feet 5 inches (62.31 m), with a width of 9 feet 3 inches (2.82 m) and a height of 11 feet 11.5 inches (3.645 m) at the cab; the coaches were 1 foot (0.30 m) shorter.[3] The aluminum carbodies were constructed to a monocoque design without the structural frame typical of contemporary equipment, and the trainset's total weight of 85 tonnes (85,000 kg) was about the same as a single passenger coach of the time.[3]

The two passenger coaches each had a capacity of 60 people; the last coach also included a small galley at the rear end to prepare meals that were served at passengers' seats.[3] The train was powered by a single 600 horsepower (450 kW) spark-ignited distillate-burning engine built by Winton, a subsidiary of the Electro-Motive Corporation, driving a generator that powered two traction motors on the leading truck of the power car.[4] A diesel engine had been originally specified, but a suitable model was not ready at the time of M-10000's construction.[1]

Service historyEdit

Union Pacific ordered M-10000 from Pullman in May 1933 at a cost of $230,997, following an analysis of passenger traffic that concluded new, more cost effective equipment than heavyweight passenger cars and steam locomotives was required for maintaining profitability, especially on low-traffic routes.[1][4] The trainset was delivered on February 12, 1934, and was sent on a publicity tour across the US for the rest of the year, during which about a million people toured it.[1]

On January 31, 1935, M-10000 was placed in revenue service, operating as the City of Salina between Kansas City, Missouri and Salina, Kansas.[1] It operated until December 1941, by which time its engine required replacement that was deemed prohibitively expensive.[1] The trainset was scrapped the following year, with its aluminum contributed to wartime construction.[1]



  1. ^ a b c d e f g Wegman, p. 44-45
  2. ^ Solomon, Brian (2015). Streamliners: Locomotives and Trains in the Age of Speed and Style, p. 32-37.
  3. ^ a b c d e f Wegman, p.48-49
  4. ^ a b "Radical high-speed trains briefly brightened the Depression". The Baltimore Sun. March 8, 2009. Retrieved December 27, 2018.


  • Wegman, Mark (2008). American Passenger Trains and Locomotives Illustrated. Minneapolis, MN: Voyageur Press. ISBN 978-0-7603-3475-1.

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