The 49er led by UP No. 2906, a streamlined 4-6-2.

(Courtesy the W. Lenheim Collection)


49er drumhead.


The 49er was an all-Pullman passenger train that ran between Chicago and San Francisco and was jointly operated by the Union Pacific, Southern Pacific, and the Chicago and Northwestern. Inaugurated in July of 1937, it was considered a supplement to the City of San Francisco, which at that time ran only five times a month, and was created in conjunction with the Worlds Fair. The train's final run was in July of 1941.

The train was pulled by streamlined locomotives in UP and C&NW territory and consisted of semi-streamlined cars that included a combination baggage-crew dormitory-kitchen car, a diner, three sleepers, and a combination observation-sleeping car.


UP 7002, a streamlined 4-8-2 Mountain locomotive. Note the train's unusual color scheme.

(Courtesy the W. Lenheim Collection)


Streamlined UP Locomotives

Union Pacific applied streamlining to two of their steam locomotives in 1937. These were UP 2906, a 4-6-2 Pacific built in 1920, and UP 7002, a 4-8-2 Mountain built in 1922. Both of these locomotives had received roller bearings in 1936, along with other modernization features to reduce their overall weight and to increase their speed. The intention was to use them as protection for the company's modern diesel-electric streamlined locomotives, but when the opportunity arrived, both locomotives were typically assigned to the Forty-Niner. These two streamlined locomotives also saw regular service on some of the UP's other trains, including the seasonal National Parks Special.

After the Forty-Niner train stopped running in 1941, both units had their streamlined cowling removed.


Semi-Streamlined Consist

Car Name Year Built Configuration Notes
Donner Lake 1928 Baggage-Dormitory Built as Pullman K-100. Heavyweight car.
Angel's Camp 1928 Diner-Lounge Built as Pullman D-100. Heavyweight car.
Joaquin Miller 1925 4 double Bedroom 3 Compartment - barber shop Built as Pullman "Yosemite Park". Heavyweight car.
James Marshall 1925 12 Section 1 double Bedroom Built as Pullman "McClinchy"; the James Marshall was replaced in April 1938 by Roaring Camp (ex-Eagle Rock) a 17 roomettes-1 sect car. Heavyweight car.
Roaring Camp 1925 17 Roomette 1 Section Built as Pullman "Eagle Rock" (replaced "James Marshall"). Heavyweight car.
Capt John Sutter 1925 12 Section 1 double Bedroom Built as Pullman "St Leon". Heavyweight car.
Gold Run 1925 12 Section 1 double Bedroom Built as Pullman "McGill". Heavyweight car.
Bear Flag 1936 12 duplex Roomette 2 double Bedroom Built as Pullman "Advance". Lightweight Car.
California Republic 1936 3 double Bedroom 1 Compartment - Lounge observation Built as Pullman "Progress". Lightweight car.