Oriental Limited

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Oriental Limited
Great Northern Railway Oriental Limited.JPG
Oriental Limited in the Cascade range in Washington state
Service typePassenger
SuccessorWestern Star
Empire Builder
Current operator(s)Great Northern Railway and Chicago, Burlington and Quincy Railroad

The Oriental Limited was a named passenger train that ran between Chicago, Illinois and Seattle, Washington. The train was operated by the Great Northern Railway between St. Paul, Minnesota and Seattle, Washington, and by the Chicago, Burlington and Quincy Railroad between St. Paul and Chicago. The train's name was intended to be evocative of travel to the Far East, since trans-Pacific Great Northern steamships once connected with the railway's trains in Seattle.

The Oriental Limited started in December 1905 as a St. Paul–Seattle train; the route was extended to Chicago in 1909. In summer 1926 it was scheduled Chicago to Seattle in 70 hours.

It was the premiere train on its route until 1929 when the Empire Builder started. The Oriental Limited name disappeared in 1931, and during the Great Depression and beyond the Great Northern operated only one through train between Chicago and the coast. The Oriental Limited name returned in 1946, when the railroad's secondary through train was resumed, but that train became the Western Star in 1951.



  • Dubin, Arthur D. Some Classic Trains. Milwaukee: Kalmbach Publishing Co., 1964. ISBN 978-0-89024-011-3.
  • Hidy, Ralph W., et al. The Great Northern Railway: A History. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2004. ISBN 978-0-8166-4429-2.