Twin Cities – Olympian Hiawatha s (Milwaukee Road)

Twin Cities – Olympian

Hiawatha s

(Milwaukee Road)

Hiawatha leaving Geneseo

Hiawatha leaving Rock Island

Amtrak Hiawatha Milwaukee to Chicago

Milwaukee Road 1952 – “Superdome Olympian Hiawatha” luxury passenger train.




HIAWATHA RAG – The Charlie McNair Skiffle Group

Milwaukee Road Hiawatha ca.1964

Image via Wikipedia

The Milwaukee Road aggressively marketed passenger service through much of its history, maintaining a high quality of service until the end of private intercity passenger operations in 1971. The Milwaukee prided itself on its passenger operations, providing the nation with some of its most innovative and colorful trains. The railroad’s home-built equipment was among some of the best passenger equipment ever run on any American railroad. The Milwaukee’s reputation for high quality service was the principal reason that the Union Pacific shifted its service to the Milwaukee Road for its “City” streamliners in 1955.

The Milwaukee Road’s Pioneer Limited was one of the first named trains and its colorful Hiawatha trains were among the nation’s finest streamliners. The post-World War II Hiawatha trains remain a high water mark for passenger train industrial design.

Starting in November, 1955 the Milwaukee Road assumed joint operation of the Union Pacific’s City of Los Angeles, City of Portland, City of Denver, and Challenger trains as well as the Union Pacific/Southern Pacific City of San Francisco.

After assuming operation of the UP’s services, the Milwaukee Road gradually dropped its orange and maroon paint scheme in favor of UP’s Armour yellow, grey, and red, finding the latter easier to keep clean.

The Milwaukee Road’s streamlined passenger services are unique in that most of its equipment was built by the railroad at its Milwaukee Menomonee Valley shops including the four generations of Hiawatha equipment introduced in 1933-34, 1935, 1937-38, and 1947-48. Most striking were the “beavertail” observation cars of the 1930s and the “Skytop Lounge” observation cars by industrial designer Brooks Stevens in the 1940s. Extended “Skytop Lounge” cars were also ordered from Pullman for Olympian Hiawatha service in 1951.

Hiawath Observation Lounge (Beaver Tail)

Hiawath Observation Lounge

Hiawatha Steam Locomotive

Hiawatha Steam Locomotive (Milwaukee Road)

Beaver Tail Hiawatha
 Hiawatha Milwaukee Road

Beaver Tail Hiawatha
Beaver Tail Hiawatha

Beaver Tail, Hiawatha
Beaver Tail, Hiawatha

Milwaukee Road Hiawatha (Yellow Paint)

Milwaukee Road Hiawatha (Yellow Paint)

Hiawatha Steam Locomotive

Hiawatha Steam Locomotive (4 4 2)

Hiawatha Train into Downtown Minneapolis

Milwaukee Road 261 – Riverdale, Iowa

Amtrak Hiawatha at Glenview IL

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About dummidumbwit

"I live in a trailer at the edge of town!" Neil Young=Revolution Blues
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2 Responses to Twin Cities – Olympian Hiawatha s (Milwaukee Road)

  1. bob browne says:

    Neat pix of the milwaukee road equipment. Unfortunately, of the pix labeled as beavertail, only the last two pix are of that era.
    The first two pix are of the ‘rapids series’ parlor lounge cars with all lounge chairs. Later cars, of the ‘creek series’, were sleeper lounge and can be identified by the extra windows in the lounge area with bedrooms forward of the lounge.

  2. Pingback: Little Joe (electric locomotive) Milwaukee Road | Dummidumbwit's Weblog

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