Delivered new from American Car & Foundry in 1955 as 8008, this car was sold to the original Auto Train in 1972 and remained on its roster until 1981. A year later it was transferred to Kansas City Southern, where it was to be renumbered as car 19, but never saw service. UP reacquired the car in 1990 and named it for its Chicago-Portland Streamliner that ran from 1935 to 1971.
CITY OF PORTLAND
Dome Diner – Stabled at Council Bluffs
The City of Portland, No. 8008, was one of 10 dome diners built by American Car & Foundry in 1955. Union Pacific reacquired the car in 1990 and rebuilt it for excursion service. The car was named City of Portland after the famous streamliner passenger train.
Chicago to Portland streamliner passenger service began in June 1936, as a seven-car train operating every third day. It was the second streamlined train to be put in service. The train was delivered to Union Pacific in the fall of 1934, but it was so revolutionary, it was sent on a national tour to promote this new concept of a seven-articulated-car train. The train included the 1,200-horsepower power unit, a baggage-railway post office, three sleepers, a 54-seat coach buffet and diner lounge.
The train was dubbed by some reporters as the “Flying Banana” or the “Saffron Whiz,” because of the bright yellow paint scheme that has become a Union Pacific tradition.
The City of Portland set the long distance speed record between Los Angeles and New York City, making the run in 56 hours, 55 minutes–a record that still stands. It may have made the trip faster, but the New York Central would not allow it to pass its passenger train, 20th Century Limited, between Chicago and New York. The City of Portland also set several shorter distance speed records, including 120 mph in some flat stretches of the Platte Valley in Nebraska.
Configuration: City of Portland is a Dome Diner with a kitchen at one end and half of the belly. The seating is three square-tops, each of which seats four and three smaller square top tables-for-two, providing seating for 18 in the dome. The belly has two square-tops, each of which seats four, allowing for a total seating of eight in the belly. The dining room has three round-tops, each of which seats four, and three round-top tables-for-two, providing seating for 18 in the dining room. In total, the car has seating for 44.
The City of Portland remained in service until 1971.
Photo Credit UP Official Website