Page 1
UP Index

updated: 7/21/19

Union Pacific's
Yellowstone Special
Part 2
Cool Stuff
& Further Reading

Automobile Tours:
Formal tours of Yellowstone were conducted using the open automobiles of the Yellowstone Park Transportation Company. The roads/altitude probably were too much for the era's buses.

Tour itineraries, maps, 1
Tour itineraries, maps, 2

UP's Bears: The bear theme figured highly in UP's advertising from 1923 to 1960. The above is from UP's 1923 brochure. At one time Thornton Waite offered a booklet of reproductions (see bibliography).

Map of Yellowstone Park and Tributary UP branches (click on image for large image - 235k)

Union Pacific 3-8-1937 Public Timetable:

Union Pacific 6-20-54 Public Timetable:

Union Pacific 10-27-63 Public Timetable:

Union Pacific 5-15-69 Public Timetable:

UP Yellowstone Park Ads:

UP Yellowstone Brochures:


Purely delightful!

publicity photo: Teddy McKean and Inez Noble signal the opening of the 1924 Yellowstone Park Season.
(click on image for larger version)


1954 Yellowstone Vacation Tours Brochure PDF (click on image)


NOTE: Wx4's recently added Maps & Timetables Pages Two, Four, & Six contain dozens of Idaho Division Employee Timetable PDF's (with maps) that cover the Yellowstone territory.

Below is a neat little 1915 USGS topo map of the Yelowstone Branch (shown here without the legend). It makes a wonderful little wall hanging, so we've created a file (including legend) that will print at approximately 75% of its original size on a standard 8.5x11 sheet of paper at 300 DPI.
map (4.2MB)

UP West Yellowstone Dining Lodge penny postcard views: I bought these new in a store across the street from the Lodge in 1965, and yep, they really cost a penny each.
West Yellowstone Depot: This postcard view apparently dates from shortly after UP constructed the depot. Those familiar with the structure will note that something is wrong here: the photo is a mirror image of the actual scene.

The Competition: Chicago & Northwestern, Burlington, Milwaukee Road, Northern Pacifc all vied with UP for the Yellowstone trade. Northern Pacific's Gardiner, Montana entrance (right) was particularly imposing, if barren. The National Parks Service has several online articles chronicling the Yellowstone railroad era, and Thornton Waite's book, Yellowstone By Train, A history of Rail Travel to America's First National Park, does likewise in extensive fashion. (see bibliography below) Online chapter-excerpts from the book The Northern Pacific & Yellowstone National Park are available at the publisher's website.

Further Reading
The following is by no means a complete bibliography. Readers are envited to submit other sources for inclusion here.

Printed materials:

  • YELLOWSTONE BRANCH OF THE UP: Route of the Yellowstone Special, by Thornton Waite. Published by Brueggenjohann/Reese and Author, 1997; ISBN: 096577290X; 100 pages; soft cover; thorough coverage of the Yellowstone Branch, with some info on Teton Valley Branch. An earlier work, Stories from the Yellowstone Branch, appeared in the July, 1988 (Vol.4, No.3) isuue of The Straemliner, the house organ of the Union Pacific Historical Society.
  • Yellowstone By Train, A history of Rail Travel to America's First National Park, by Thornton Waite. Published by Pictorial Histories Publishing Co. Inc, 2006; ISBN978-1-57510-129-3; 168 pages; soft cover; coverage of all the major railroad serving the park: UP, CNW, MILW, NP, CB&Q; a must-have for anyone interested in Yellowstone rail service; currently out of print in January, 2010, but we noted a new copy on for 25 bucks.
  • YELLOWSTONE BEARS OF THE UNION PACIFIC, by Thornton Waite. Publisher? Date? softcover portfolio displaying eight full-color examples of UP's bear advertisements, with history.
  • Historical Inventory of the Union Pacific Railroad, 1946, by the Intermountain Chapter of the National Railway Historical Society, 1991; approximately 175 pages; a reprint of UP's 1-1-46 List of Agencies Stations, Equipment, Etc. No. 64, this spiral-wound book shows facilities on the Teton/Yellowstone Branches, and has a picture of UP 4-6-2 # 3215 on the head end of train 46 taking water at Victor in 1947.

Online materials:

  • National Parks Service: To the Tetons by Train, by Robert C. Hoyle; This short history of the Teton Valley Branch features much info not available elsewhere. and is part of a National Parks Service Cultural Resource Management's (CRM) Historic Railroads - A Living Legacy series that also contains articles about Northern Pacific's Cinnabar (pre-Gardiner) entrance and historical archeology in the Cinnabar/Gardener area; UP's National Parks Dining Lodges and Cafeterias; historic railroads in the National Parks; an undated map, article about reaching National Parks by train. NPS also has a Yellowstone railroads Brocures and Guides page, featuring scans of maps and brochure covers. (2013 note: Apparently this article is no longer available online, but it is hard to know for sure, because the CRM website is an absolute shambles)
  • Yellowstone Historic Center: The Yellowstone Historic Center is involved in the preservation of West yellowstone's historic buildings, including the UP depot, baggage room, dining lodge and water tank. Their site hosts a short history of the Yellowstone Branch, with some wonderful photographs.
  • OGDEN RAILS, Union Pacific’s Streamliners, by Don Strack; history of UP's Streamliners, and Ogden depot operations
  • Eastern Idaho Railroad - In 1993 UP sold off many of its Idaho branches to EIRR. You can visit the company Website here; obtain a short history Wikipedia here; and go to the Trainweb EIRR roster here.

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