City of Los Angeles
- For the city, see Los Angeles, California.
The City of Los Angeles was a streamlined passenger train jointly operated by the Chicago and North Western Railway and the Union Pacific Railroad. The service ran between Chicago, Illinois and Los Angeles, California.
This train was the top-of-the-line for UP, which marketed it as a direct competitor to the Super Chief, a streamlined passenger train operated by the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway, and the Golden State, a streamlined passenger train jointly operated by the Rock Island and Southern Pacific railroads. As with the City of Los Angeles, many of the train's cars bore the names of locales in and around its namkesake city.
CNW / UP used one of only two EMD E2 locomotives ever built as motive power for the train beginning in 1937. The UP scored a public relations coup in the mid-1950s when the City of Los Angeles was prominently featured in two consecutive episodes of the then popular television series I Love Lucy. In 1955 the Milwaukee Road assumed the service, replacing the Chicago and Northwestern between Chicago and Omaha. Actor Ronald Reagan often traveled on this train and even did a full page print ad for it that appeared in the National Geographic magazine. In a cost-cutting move, the City of Los Angeles was combined with the City of San Francisco in 1960.
- May 15 1936: The weekly City of Los Angeles makes its first run between Chicago, Illinois and Los Angeles, California.
- 1941: The Hollywood, a lounge car built for use on the City of Los Angeles, becomes the first passenger car whose interior is built entirely out of synthetic materials, which featured the newly-invented materials formica and naugahyde.
- 1947: The City of Los Angeles train frequency is upgraded to daily.
- 1955: Dome cars are added to the City of Los Angeles as regular equipment.
- May 1, 1971: UP ends the City of Los Angeles train as Amtrak takes over long-distance passenger operations in the United States.
In 1979, Amtrak created the Desert Wind. It first ran from Los Angeles to Ogden, Utah, but was upgraded by late 1980 to run to Chicago, roughly duplicating the City of Los Angeles route. That line ceased operation in 1997.
Other railroad uses of the name City of Los Angeles
The City of Los Angeles name has also been applied to a 48-seat diner built by the St. Louis Car Company in 1949. The car was originally UP No. 4808 and is currently owned and operated by the Union Pacific as part of their excursion fleet.
A typical City of Los Angeles train consist around 1955 included:
- EMD E9 A-B-A diesel locomotive set
- Mail express 5707
- Baggage 5606
- Baggage dormitory 3107
- Sleeper 11 double bedroom Placid Lake
- Sleeper 11 double bedroom Placid Dune
- Sleeper 4-4-2 Imperial Hill
- Vista dome diner 8008
- Sleeper 4-4-2 Imperial Club
- Sleeper 5-2-2 Ocean Beach
- Sleeper 5-2-2 Ocean Bay
- Vista dome lounge observation 9009
- Schafer, Mike and Joe Welsh (1997). Streamliners: History of a Railroad Icon. MBI Publishing Co., St. Paul, MN. ISBN 0-7603-1371-7.
- Passenger train service on the Chicago and North Western Railway
- Passenger train service on the Union Pacific Railroad