Postcard depiction of the train headed by a Wabash diesel, 1964. The train was built by American Car Foundry.

The Union Pacific shield and the Wabash flag are seen on the locomotive's nose. Click to enlarge.

(Curt Teich for Wabash Railroad, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons)



The City of St. Louis was a streamlined passenger train operated by the Union Pacific Railroad and the Wabash Railroad between St. Louis, Missouri and Los Angeles, California. It operated from 1946 to 1971.


Norfolk and Western's City of St. Louis at Union Station in 1967. Roger Puta took this from the rear car of Kansas City Southern Train Number 1, the Southern Belle, on July 30, 1967. Look at all that REA business lining the platforms. - Marty Bernard.  Click to enlarge. (Photo by Roger Puta, via Marty Bernard, railfan 44, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons)



The City of St. Louis began operating on June 2, 1946, between St. Louis, Missouri and Cheyenne, Wyoming, where its cars were switched to other Union Pacific trains to continue west to the Pacific coast. In April 1951 it became a separate train from St. Louis to Los Angeles, California, skipping Cheyenne; it still carried some cars to switch to trains to other coast cities. In 1964 it was combined with the City of Los Angeles west of Ogden, Utah, and in 1968 with the City of San Francisco from Cheyenne to Ogden.

Between St. Louis and Kansas City, the train ran on the Wabash Railroad, then on the Norfolk & Western which leased the Wabash in 1964. This part of the run became a separate train on June 19, 1968, retaining the City of St Louis name until its discontinuance in April 1969; after June 1968 the Union Pacific train was the City of Kansas City, which lasted until Amtrak took over on May 1, 1971.


Route map showing Laramie to Los Angeles. Click to enlarge.

(Union Pacific, Public domain, via


Major stations, 1951

  • St. Louis
  • Kansas City
  • Topeka, Kansas
  • Denver
  • Ogden
  • Reno
  • Sacramento
  • Oakland (ferry connection to San Francisco)
    • Branch to Los Angeles:
  • Salt Lake City
  • San Bernandino
  • Riverside
  • Los Angeles
    • Branch to Portland & Seattle:
  • Pocatello
  • Boise
  • Nampa
  • Portland
  • Tacoma
  • Seattle


Dining car from the City of St. Louis, 1964. Click to enlarge.

(Union Pacific and Norfolk and Western Railroads, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons)



The original 1946 version of the train required three consists to protect its schedule. The consists contained a mix of heavyweight and lightweight equipment:

Heavyweight baggage-mail (UP No. 5808-No. 5810)
Three lightweight 48-seat coaches (UP No. 5331-No. 5365)
Heavyweight dining car (UP No. 4627, UP No. 4629, or WAB No. 32)
Heavyweight club-lounge (UP No. 1540, No. 1543, or No. 1544)
Heavyweight 10-section, 1-drawing room, 1-compartment sleeping car
Lightweight 4-compartment, 2-drawing room, 4-double bedroom sleeping car (UP Lakeside, Palos Verdes, or Verdugo)
Lightweight 6-section, 6-roomette, 4-double bedroom sleeping car (UP American Army, American Monitor, or American Trooper)
Heavyweight postal car (UP 2200-series)
The 10-1-1 sleeping car operated through to Portland, Oregon; cars used in this service included Balsam Fir, Douglas Fir, Inland Empire, Pinion Pine, Poudre Lake and Silver Spruce. The 6-4-4 sleeping car operated through to Los Angeles. The 2200-series postal car was added in Denver, Colorado for Cheyenne.


A City of St. Louis timetable from 1951. Click to enlarge.

(Union Pacific, Public domain via


A City of St. Louis Brochure from 1964. Click image to download a 1.09 mb PDF file.

(Union Pacific and Norfolk and Western Railroads, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons)



Service type: Inter-city rail
Status: Discontinued
Locale: Western and Midwest United States
First service: June 2, 1946
Last service: April 30, 1971
Former operators: Union Pacific Railroad, Wabash Railroad (later Norfolk and Western Railway)
Route Termini: St. Louis, Missouri (Wabash/N&W), Kansas City, Missouri (Union Pacific) / Kansas City, Missouri
(Wabash/N&W), Los Angeles, California (Union Pacific)
Stops: 34
Distance traveled: 2,328 miles (3,747 km)
Average journey time: 46 hours 50 minutes (St. Louis - Los Angeles), 46 hours 45 minutes (Los Angeles - St. Louis)
Service frequency: Daily
Train numbers: 209-9-103 (St. Louis - Los Angeles), 104-10-210 (Los Angeles - St. Louis)
On-board services
Seating arrangements: Reclining seat coaches
Sleeping arrangements: sections, roomettes, double bedrooms
Catering facilities Dining car
Observation facilities: club-lounge car
Operating speed: 49.7 mph (St. Louis - Los Angeles), 49.8 mph (Los Angeles - St. Louis)