Home > Passenger Service > Named GN Passenger Trains > Transcontinentals 

 

Named GN Passenger Trains

- Transcontinentals -

 

The timelines below show Great Northern's transcontinental name-trains and the years they operated, arranged by historic relationship. (For legend see below).

 

 

Primary transcontinentals

  Name   Route

Note

18

85

18

90

18

95

19

00

19

05 19 10 19 15 19 20 19 25 19 30 19

35

19

40

19

45

19

50

19

55

19

60

19

65

19

70
 

Montana

Express

 

 

St. Paul-Butte

v.v.

 

1

 

 

 

 

'88  

 

 

35/36

 

 

 

 

 '07

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Limited

 

 

 

St. Paul-Seattle

v.v.

 

2

 

 

 

 

 

'93  

3/4

     '99  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Great

Northern

Flyer

 

St. Paul-Seattle

v.v.

 

3

 

 

 

 

 

3

'99

/4    1/2

'03 '0

 

5

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Great

Northern

Limited

 

St. Paul-Seattle

v.v.

 

4

 

 

 

 

 

1

 

'0

/2

5

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Oriental

Limited

 

 

St. Paul-Seattle

v.v.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

'0

  1/2

5    '09

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Oriental

Limited

 

 

Chicago-St. Paul-

Seattle/Tacoma

v.v.

5

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

'09

 

 

1/

 

2

 

 

'29 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Empire

Builder

 

 

Chicago-St. Paul-

Seattle/Portland

v.v.

6

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

'29

 

 

 

 

 1/2

 

 

 

 

 

 

'56  

31/32

 

 

'7

 

 

0

Copyright 2005 Ben Ringnalda 

18

85

18

90

18

95

19

00

19

05 19 10 19 15 19 20 19 25 19 30 19

35

19

40

19

45

19

50

19

55

19

60

19

65

19

70

 

Notes:

1. The Montana Express was inaugurated in 1888 by the St.PM&M which became the GN in 1889. Some sources indicate 1904 as discontinue date.

2. The Limited name was used starting in 1895. Before that the train was only known by its number-pair 3/4.

3. The Great Northern Flyer ("Carries the Pacific Fast Mail") was superceded by the Great Northern Limited in October 1905.

4. The name Great Northern Limited was only used from October 1905 to December 5, 1905. 

5. The Oriental Limited was operated by the USRA between May 26, 1918 and May 30, 1920 and did not carry its name during that period.

6. In April 1956 the Empire Builder was assigned numbers 31/32 for the entire Chicago-Seattle route, the same number pair as used on the CB&Q.

 

^Return

 

  Secondary transcontinentals
  Name   Route

Note

18

85

18

90

18

95

19

00

19

05 19 10 19 15 19 20 19 25 19 30 19

35

19

40

19

45

19

50

19

55

19

60

19

65

19

70
 

Puget Sound

Express

 

 

St. Paul-Seattle

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3

'03  

 

'06

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Eastern

Express

 

 

Seattle-St. Paul

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4

'03  

 

'06

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fast Mail

 

 

 

St. Paul-Seattle

v.v.

 

1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3/4

'06   '1

 

 

0

                     

 

 

Fast Mail

 

 

 

St. Paul-Seattle

v.v.

 

1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 '09

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

27/28

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

'6

 

 

0

 

 

Oregonian

 

 

 

St. Paul-Portland

v.v.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3

 

'1

/4

0 '11

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Oregonian

 

 

 

St. Paul-

Seattle/Portland

v.v.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3/4  

'11  '1

 

 

5

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Glacier Park

Limited

 

 

St. Paul-Seattle

v.v.

 

2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

'1

 

5

3/4

 

 

'29

   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Oriental

Limited

 

 

Chicago-St. Paul-

Seattle v.v.

 

3

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3

'29

/4

  '31

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Oriental

Limited

 

 

Chicago-St. Paul-

Seattle/Portland

v.v.

3

 

 

                         

3/

'47

4

'51

       

 

Western

Star

 

 

Chicago-St. Paul-

Seattle/Portland

v.v.

4

 

 

                           

 

 '51

3/4

 

 

'6

27/28

0       '7

 

 

0

Copyright 2005 Ben Ringnalda 

18

85

18

90

18

95

19

00

19

05 19 10 19 15 19 20 19 25 19 30 19

35

19

40

19

45

19

50

19

55

19

60

19

65

19

70

 

Notes:

1. The Fast Mail name for trains 3/4 was changed to Oregonian on July 3, 1910. A new train carrying numbers 27/28 was inaugurated on October 4, 1909 to carry mail. After the Fast Mail name was dropped on trains 3/4, trains 27/28 became known as the Fast Mail.

2. The Glacier Park Limited was operated by the USRA between May 26, 1918 and May 30, 1920 and was not operated west of Havre, MT during that period.

3. Train numbers 3/4 and the Oriental Limited name were not used between 1931 and 1947.

4. In May 1960 the Western Star and Fast Mail were consolidated into one train carrying the Western Star name and Fast Mail's numbers 27/28.

 

^Return 


Legend: 

Grey bars show the period in which a train operated. The numbered Notes give more information on certain changes in a trains history. Trains that operated in both directions are indicated by "v.v." behind the route.

 

 

'15

= Year in which a train was inaugurated or when important changes were implemented.

 

'31

= Year in which a train was discontinued or after which important changes were implemented.

1/2

 

= Train numbers.

^Top