Mail Part II, page 1; Mail, Part 1; SP Pages

Mail & Express Part II, page 2
Ogden, Utah July 3, 1969

For comparison: Above: promtotional booklet picture of the original 1936 City, which was powered by distillate-burning Winton engines. Below: UP's 1969 City of Everywhere.

Sadly, although I hoped to secure a sleeping space onJuly 4 for the westbound City of San Francisco to Oakland, but SP ran only one sleeper (click here for the complete set of my tickets), which really didn't matter, because I would have spent all of my time in the dome car, anyway.

I did get quite a floor show at Ogen by way of compensation. In the photos above and below, one of the all-time impressive trains in railroading, the combined City of LA/SF/Kansas City - more commonly known as the City of Everywhere - arrives a bit late at Ogden on the evening of July 3, 1969, with five - count 'em - E units. After about an hour of intensive switching, a relatively puny City of San Francisco, powered by a single SDP45, departed with me aboard.

An aside: I had arrived at Ogden via Greyhound and the "Jackson - Idaho Falls Stage Line" several hours prior to this event. I was feeling a little unsettled, because the latter company had forgotten to load my suitcase, even though there was only one other passenger on it's elderly, Pre-War Flxible Clipper (at a mid-route rest stop, the bus would not restart due to dead batteries, so the driver and I hooked a tow rope to an available mid-'50's limosine, which the other passenger used to pull-start the bus). Inside my suitcase was ten pounds of firecrackers - YIKES! At least the darn suitcase didn't blow during the two weeks that it took to finally find its way home - each morning I scanned the newspaper headlines for "Greyhound Bus Vaporizes in Nevada Desert "... I was on my way home from a short, abortive career as a cook's helper in Grand Teton National Park, where I had managed to dump a large pan of hot, baked cornish game hens, destined for consumption by the Supreme Court of the United States (Earl Warren & Co. - the John Birch Society should have awarded me a medal), onto a dirty kitchen floor in front of the head chef ("Don't worry kid! Pick 'em up and brush them off. Nobody'll know the difference.").

Anyway, during my wait for the City, I poked around the depot quite a bit (before a bull shooshed me back into the waiting room), and found that the express room was still alive and seemingly well. Boy, during pre-1968 holidays, the place really must have hummed with head end traffic.

Above, Ogden's mail and REA express area. Can you imagine what all of those wagons would sell for today on eBay? Left, express and bulk mail being loaded onto SP Economy Baggage 6612 for the journey westward. Notice the rectangular label on the car side. This was a Car Trac (sp.?) tag, a bar code tracking system that was unsuccessfully tried nationally for a few years in the late 1960's and early 1970's. The bars were Scotchlite, individually applied. They tended to get scratched-off or obscured by dirt, so the system wasn't very dependable (It would be a no-go from the start in today's graffiti-covered railroad world, eh?).

Other Ogden Stuff

Above is Ogden's depot earlier in the afternoon - in the foreground is an older building which I believe served as the main station until constuction of Union Depot building (the brick building beyond). On the near side is a UP Rules Examiner Car. Behind me at the time of the photograph stood boiler-equipped GP-9 #297. Note the "Road of the Streamliners" on the cab side - I thought that this slogan had been discontiued on UP locos some ten years previous. My guess is that the unit was serving as backup power for the still-frequent UP trains through Ogden. A few years earlier, Geep 9's were standard power on the Yellowstone Special, summer only trains that ran from Pocotello to Victor Idaho, where a bus connection took tourists to Grand Teton and Yellowstone Parks.

Through the summer of 1965, the Yellowstone Specials ran combined with the Tri-Weekly Butte Special between Salt Lake City and Pocotello, then split away for its journey to West Yellowstone; Victor, Idaho in later years. Below, the Butte Special makes its 8:20 PM call on Ogden. After that, it was night.

Further reading:
I highly recommend Don Strack's
OGDEN RAILS, Union Pacific’s Streamliners, a history of UP Streamliners and SP connecting trains, centered around Ogden.