Overland Limited (UP train)
The Overland Limited leaving 16th Street Station, Oakland, in 1906
|First service||November 13, 1887|
|Former operator(s)||Union Pacific Railroad
Southern Pacific Railroad
Chicago and North Western Railway
The Overland Limited, known as the Overland Flyer from 1887–1896, and often shortened to Overland, was a Union Pacific Railroad passenger train on the Overland Route between Chicago, Illinois and the San Francisco Bay Area. It ran from 1887 until 1963. The Southern Pacific Railroad handled the train west of Ogden, Utah. East of Omaha, Nebraska both the Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul and Pacific Railroad (the "Milwaukee Road") and the Chicago and North Western Railway at different points during its existence.
The Union Pacific introduced the Overland Flyer on the Overland Route on November 13, 1887. It operated on a daily schedule between Chicago and San Francisco via Council Bluffs, Iowa (the eastern terminus of the Union Pacific). Between Chicago and Council Bluffs it used the Chicago and North Western. At Ogden, Utah, it switched to the Central Pacific Railroad (leased by the Southern Pacific). The Overland Flyer was one of the first named passenger trains in the United States; hitherto the practice was uncommon. The name itself had its roots in the West: Bret Harte, chronicler of the California Gold Rush, had founded a monthly literary magazine named the Overland Monthly in 1868. Previously various stagecoach companies had incorporated "Overland" into their names.
Between 1905–1907 the Overland used the Milwaukee Road between Chicago and Council Bluffs. Lucius Beebe contends that the Union Pacific always intended this as a temporary measure to coerce better performance from the Chicago and North Western, and in fact a section of the Overland continued to use the C&NW during the period.
The introduction of the streamlined City of San Francisco in 1936 relegated the Overland to secondary status on the Overland Route. By January 1955 the train was a shell of its former self, carrying only two Chicago–Oakland through cars. The train was then called the San Francisco Overland in SP territory, the Overland on the UP, and unnamed on the C&NW. Daily operation ended on July 16, 1962, with the City of San Francisco handling what through traffic remained. The San Francisco Overland remained as a seasonal SP train between Oakland and Ogden through 1963. The SP declined to revive the train in 1964 amid some controversy.
The Overland Limited's name varied during its long career, and many people referred to it as the Overland regardless of whatever other nouns might be attached. The Union Pacific introduced the Overland Flyer in 1887. It renamed it the Overland Limited in 1896. The Southern Pacific continued to use the old name on its portion of the route until 1899. The Union Pacific officially dropped "Limited" from the name in 1947. Other names used included the San Francisco Overland and San Francisco Overland Limited.
In 1941–1942 the train was re-equipped with lightweight streamlined cars built by Pullman-Standard. In March 1952, toward the end of its existence as an independent through train, the San Francisco Overland carried Chicago–San Francisco sleepers, a New York–San Francisco sleeper conveyed on alternating days by the New York Central Railroad's Wolverine and the Pennsylvania Railroad's Pennsylvania Limited, and a summer-only sleeper for Yellowstone Park conveyed to the Idahoan at Green River, Utah.
The Southern Pacific introduced a "Hamburger Grill" car between Oakland and Ogden on October 24, 1954. The SP was bullish, saying the burgers were among "the finest meat products of Southern Pacific territory." Lucius Beebe was unimpressed, noting the car, and the coffee-shop car which replaced it, as part of the decline of the train.
- Overland Limited of the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway
- Passenger train service on the Union Pacific Railroad
- Beebe 1963, p. 28
- Beebe 1963, p. 27
- Beebe 1963, p. 31
- Beebe 1963, p. 50
- Beebe 1963, p. 51
- Beebe, Lucius Morris (March 8, 1964). "Highball On Overland Limited Is Memory". The Fresno Bee. p. 19. Retrieved August 30, 2014 – via Newspapers.com.
- "Railroad Dispute". Daily Independent Journal. July 22, 1964. p. 2. Retrieved August 30, 2014 – via Newspapers.com.
- Welsh 2008, p. 31
- Solomon 2000, p. 74
- Welsh 2008, p. 85
- Maiken 1989, p. 339
- "S.P. Glorifying Hamburger With New-Style Car". Nevada State Journal. October 24, 1954. p. 9. Retrieved August 30, 2014 – via Newspapers.com.
- Beebe 1963, p. 51
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Overland Route (Union Pacific Railroad).|
- Beebe, Lucius Morris (1963). The Overland Limited. Howell-North Books. ISBN 0831070382.
- Maiken, Peter T. (1989). Night Trains: The Pullman System in the Golden Years of American Rail Travel. Chicago: Lakme Press. ISBN 0-9621-480-0-8. OCLC 20461978.
- Solomon, Brian (2000). Union Pacific Railroad. Osceola, WI: MBI. ISBN 0760307563. OCLC 44406086.
- Welsh, Joe; Bill Howes (2004). Travel by Pullman: a century of service. Saint Paul, MN: MBI. ISBN 0760318573. OCLC 56634363.
- Welsh, Joe (2008). Union Pacific's Streamliners. Minneapolis, MN: Voyageur Press. ISBN 9780760325346. OCLC 182621492.