These days we send "text messages" without a thought. During the heyday of the passenger train, text messages were widely used, too—except they were known as "telegrams". Telegrams were fast, but expensive...a telegram from New York to Chicago might cost 6 cents a word with a 10-word minimum, in a time in which 60 cents would buy you a nice dinner in a café. Fortunately, the address on the telegram was free. Should a telephone number be specified, the receiving office would call you with the message—back in the day, this was cheaper than a long-distance phone call—but most telegrams were hand-delivered by Western Union messenger boys; usually local kids with bicycles earning spending money. Let us not go into the state of child labor laws....

The Grand Canyon Limited was never one of Santa Fe's top-line trains. However, at least in this wartime edition, it certainly carried some premium amenities. Valet service, so that you could have your suit pressed on board (suits were de rigueur for [civilian] male travelers); shower bath; and "daily market reports". Should a business man hear some interesting gossip on board and choose to skirt the rules on insider trading, he could have a telegram sent to his broker from the next station with a buy or sell order. Telegrams could be sent to passengers en route, as this excerpt from a 1928 handbook makes clear:

"Messages for Persons on Trains -- A message addressed to a passenger on a train should show the name of the railroad, train number or name or time due, place where the message is to be delivered, and also the point for which the passenger is bound. If the train is run in sections, the section should be specified if known. A sample address is: "John Smith, en route Los Angeles, Care Conductor, Southern Pacific, Train 103, El Paso, Texas." Even though when the train stop at El Paso and John Smith is paged, he may be pacing the Platform for fresh air and exercise, the conductor will strive hard to effect delivery. If you expect to have occasion to telegraph a friend setting out on a journey, it is a good idea to get from him his Pullman berth and car number, so that you will be able to indicate this on your telegram. Telegraph clerks generally will be found to be courteous in aiding you to determine the progress of the train and station where it most likely can be intercepted."[*]

It also appears, from this and other trains in the timetables, that leisure travel was not entirely shut down during the war years...although leisure travelers had to be prepared to be "bumped" by someone with a higher priority. But the National Parks such as Carlsbad Caverns and the Grand Canyon were still operating and running advertisements soliciting business, although I expect that a great deal of their customers were in fact servicemen on leave.

From the pages of the Official Guide, August 1944

Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Ry. herald

The Grand Canyon Limited

Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Ry.
May, 1944

23 Train Number 24
Daily Miles (Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe) Services Daily
10 15A Dp 0.0 Chicago, IL (Dearborn Station) (CT) T C Ar 6 30P
F 12.7 McCook, IL T F
F 17.4 Willow Springs, IL T F
F 25.1 Lemont, IL T C F
F 29.3 Romeo, IL T F
F 32.7 Lockport, IL T C F
11 05A 37.5 Joliet, IL T C 5 20P
F 46.1 Millsdale, IL T F
F 48.2 Drummond, IL F
F 52.8 Lorenzo, IL T F
F 58.2 Coal City, IL T C 4 49P
F 61.9 Gorman, IL F
F 66.1 Mazon, IL T C F
F 70.8 Verona, IL T F
F 74.8 Kinsman, IL T F
F 79.7 Ransom, IL T C F
F 84.4 Kernan, IL T F
12 08P 89.6 Streator, IL T C 4 10P
F 93.9 Moon, IL T F
F 95.8 Ancona, IL T F
F 102.1 Leeds, IL T F
F 109.9 Toluca, IL T C 3 40P
F 116.0 La Rose, IL T F
F 120.9 Wilbern, IL T F
12 55P Ar 130.1 Chillicothe, IL T C Dp 3 15P
12 59P Dp Ar 3 10P
F 138.1 Edelstein, IL T F
F 144.7 Princeville, IL T C F
F 148.3 Monica, IL T F
F 153.4 Laura, IL T F
F 158.3 Williamsfield, IL T C F
F 163.3 Dahinda, IL T F
F 165.9 Appleton, IL T F
F 171.2 Knox, IL T F
F 174.1 East Galesburg, IL F
2 00P 177.5 Galesburg, IL C 2 10P
F 183.3 Surrey, IL T F
F 186.0 Cameron, IL T F
F 190.2 Nemo, IL T F
F 191.9 Ormonde, IL T F
F 197.1 Ponemah, IL T F
F 201.5 Smithshire, IL T F
F 204.6 Media, IL T F
F 208.9 Stronghurst, IL T C F 1 35P
F 218.9 Lomax, IL T F
F 224.8 Dallas City, IL T C F 1 17P
F 226.6 Pontoosuc, IL T F
F 231.0 East Fort Madison, IL T F
3 15P 232.9 Fort Madison, IA T C 1 05P
3 25P 234.6 Shopton, IA T 1 00P
F 243.4 New Boston, IA T F
F 248.0 Argyle, IA T F
F 252.3 Dumas, MO T F
F 256.0 Revere, MO T F
F 263.1 Medill, MO T C 12 15P
F 272.3 Wyaconda, MO T C F
F 277.6 Gorin, MO T F
F 282.6 Rutledge, MO T C F
F 290.7 Baring, MO T C F11 42A
F 296.2 Kenwood, MO F
F 300.1 Hurdland, MO T C F
F 306.4 Gibbs, MO T F
5 05P 312.7 La Plata, MO T C 11 15A
F 322.9 Elmer, MO T C F
F 329.7 Ethel, MO T F
F 336.3 Hart, MO T F
F 341.5 Bucklin, MO T C F
5 50P Ar 347.3 Marceline, MO T C Dp 10 25A
5 55P Dp Ar 10 20A
F 354.6 Rothville, MO T F
F 360.7 Mendon, MO T F
F 364.7 Witham, MO F
F 368.1 Dean Lake, MO T F
F 374.3 Bosworth, MO T F
F 382.1 Standish, MO T F
6 45P 386.4 Carrollton, MO T C 9 35A
F 396.6 Norborne, MO T C F
F 405.4 Hardin, MO T C F
7 20P 411.3 Henrietta, MO T C 9 00A
F 416.9 Camden, MO T F
F 421.7 Floyd, MO T F
F 426.7 Sibley, MO T F
F 434.0 Atherton, MO T F
F 439.4 Courtney, MO F
F 442.6 Sugar Creek, MO F
F 446.3 Sheffield, MO F
8 35P Ar 451.1 Kansas City, MO T C Dp 8 00A
9 30P Dp Ar 6 30A
455.3 Kansas City, KS (Argentine Station) T C F
461.0 Morris, KS T F
464.2 Holliday, KS T F
F 476.7 Olathe, KS T C F 5 39A
485.3 Gardner, KS T F
496.2 Wellsville, KS T C F
F10 39P 508.0 Ottawa Junction, KS T 4 52A
522.5 Quenemo, KS (See Note) T C F
544.5 Lebo, KS T C F
552.4 Neosho Rapids, KS T F
11 54P Ar 563.2 Emporia, KS T C Dp 3 10A
11 59P Dp Ar 3 00A
574.5 Saffordville, KS T F
582.8 Strong City, KS T C 2 32A
589.4 Elmdale, KS T F
596.7 Clements, KS T F
601.8 Cedar Point, KS T F
608.0 Florence, KS T C F
619.4 Peabody, KS T C F
629.4 Walton, KS T F
1 20A Ar 636.2 Newton, KS T C Dp 1 15A
1 30A Dp Ar 12 50A
646.3 Sedgwick, KS T C F
652.9 Valley Center, KS T F
2 20A Ar 663.4 Wichita, KS T C Dp 11 59P
2 40A Dp Ar 11 40P
3 10A 679.0 Mulvane, KS T C 11 10P
3 50A Ar 697.5 Wellington, KS T C Dp 10 35P
4 00A Dp Ar 10 25P
4 12A 705.6 Mayfield, KS T F
712.7 Milan, KS T F
4 31A 717.8 Argonia, KS T C F 9 51P
F 4 40A 725.1 Danville, KS T F 9 38P
4 55A 732.4 Harper, KS T C 9 27P
738.9 Eula, KS F
5 16A 744.2 Attica, KS T C 9 08P
750.8 Crisfield, KS F
F 5 32A 758.4 Hazelton, KS T C F
5 44A 765.5 Kiowa, KS T C 8 34P
F 5 59A 775.0 Capron, OK T F
6 15A 783.3 Alva, OK T C 8 04P
F 6 33A 794.3 Avard, OK F
6 50A Ar 804.1 Waynoka, OK T C Dp 7 30P
6 55A Dp Ar 7 25P
F 7 13A 814.4 Belva, OK F
F 7 23A 819.8 Quinlan, OK F 6 53P
F 7 35A 825.7 Curtis, OK T F 6 41P
F 7 42A 829.6 Mooreland, OK F 6 35P
8 01A 840.2 Woodward, OK T C 6 17P
850.0 Tangier, OK F
F 8 22A 855.7 Fargo, OK T F 5 46P
8 34A 864.1 Gage, OK T 5 33P
8 50A 871.8 Shattuck, OK T C 5 19P
(Panhandle & Santa Fe)
9 20A 886.1 Higgins, TX T C 4 57P
901.4 Glazier, TX T C F
10 00A 912.5 Canadian, TX T C 4 10P
922.8 Mendota, TX F
10 44A 934.3 Miami, TX T C 3 24P
11 24A 956.3 Pampa, TX T C 2 57P
F11 34A 963.3 Kingsmill, TX T F 2 37P
11 45A 970.2 White Deer, TX T C F 28P
12 08P 983.4 Panhandle, TX T C 2 10P
12 45P Ar 1010.4 Amarillo, TX T C Dp 1 35P
1 05P Dp Ar 1 15P
1 35P 1027.8 Canyon, TX T C 12 48P
F 1 52P 1037.9 Umbargar, TX F12 29P
1044.0 Dawn, TX F12 19P
2 24P 1056.9 Hereford, TX T C 12 02P
F 2 35P 1065.2 Summerfield, TX F11 47A
1072.1 Black, TX F11 37A
F 2 59P 1079.2 Friona, TX T C 11 25A
1091.5 Bovina, TX T C F11 02A
3 45P 1104.8 Farwell-Texico, TX T C 10 45A
(Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe)
4 00P Ar 1114.1 Clovis, NM (CT) T C Dp 10 30A
Through Cars Houston-Oakland
6-75 Connecting Train Number (Gulf, Colorado & Santa Fe) 76-5
6 30P Dp 0.0 Galveston, TX (CT) T C Ar 9 25A
8 30P Dp 53.0 Houston, TX (Union Station) T C Ar M 7 30A
2 20A Dp 240.9 Temple, TX T C Ar 1 00A
6 30A Ar 373.1 Brownwood, TX T C Dp 9 00P
66-77 Connecting Train Number (Gulf, Colorado & Santa Fe) 78-65
9 30P Dp 0.0 Dallas, TX (CT) T C Ar 7 55A
11 25P Dp 31.0 Fort Worth, TX T C Ar 6 10A
4 35A Ar 173.2 Brownwood, TX T C Dp 12 50A
Trains 77 & 78 continue to/from San Angelo
4 50A Dp 173.2 Brownwood, TX T C Ar 12 30A
7 30A Ar 270.3 San Angelo, TX (CT) T C Dp 9 30P
75 Connecting Train Number (Gulf, Colorado & Santa Fe) 76
6 45A Dp 373.1 Brownwood, TX T C Ar 8 35P
10 10A Ar 487.5 Sweetwater, TX T C Dp 5 20P
92-97 Connecting Train Number (Panhandle & Santa Fe) 98-91
10 20A Dp 487.5 Sweetwater, TX T C Ar 5 10P
1 25P Dp 608.8 Lubbock, TX T C Ar 1 35P
4 10P Ar 707.6 Clovis, NM (CT) T C Dp 10 40A
3 30P Dp 1114.1 Clovis, NM (MT) T C Ar 9 00A
1119.6 Gallaher, NM F
1125.0 Grier, NM F
1130.3 St. Vrain, NM F
4 10P 1138.2 Melrose, NM T C 8 25A
1155.9 Tolar, NM T F
1160.2 Taiban, NM T F
1167.5 La Lande, NM T F
5 01P 1174.2 Fort Sumner, NM T C 7 34A
1187.7 Ricardo, NM T F
1201.3 Yeso, NM T F
1213.5 Buchanan, NM T F
1226.4 Duoro, NM T F
6 55P 1244.9 Vaughn, NM T C 6 08A
1261.2 Encino, NM T F 5 31A
1272.9 Pedernal, NM T F
1286.2 Lucy, NM T F
8 30P 1299.5 Willard, NM T C 4 42A
8 55P 1313.1 Mountainair, NM T C 4 23A
1319.6 Abo, NM F
1326.3 Scholle, NM T F
1339.0 Becker, NM T F
10 10P Ar 1353.9 Belen, NM T C Dp 3 00A
10 25P Dp Ar 2 40A
1363.5 Dalies, NM F
1372.3 Rio Puerco, NM T F
1387.1 Suwanee, NM T F
1408.4 Laguna, NM T F
12 20A 1435.8 Grants, NM T C 12 35A
1447.5 Bluewater, NM T F
1462.6 Thoreau, NM T F
1486.5 Wingate, NM T F
1 55A 1498.0 Gallup, NM T C 10 55P
1514.6 Manuelito, NM F
1520.8 Lupton, AZ F
1531.7 Houck, AZ F
1553.5 Navajo, AZ T F
1573.1 Adamana, AZ T F
3 52A 1593.5 Holbrook, AZ T C 8 50P
1603.7 Joseph City, AZ F
4 30A Ar 1625.9 Winslow, AZ T C Dp 8 05P
4 40A Dp Ar 7 55P
1652.5 Canyon Diablo, AZ F
1669.0 Winona, AZ T F
6 45A 1684.3 Flagstaff, AZ (Phoenix via bus) T C 6 30P
1708.1 Chalender, AZ T F
8 00A 1718.2 Williams, AZ (Grand Canyon via bus) T C 5 25P
9 00A 1741.2 Ash Fork, AZ T C 4 20P
9 55A Ar 1768.6 Seligman, AZ (MT) T C Dp 3 25P
9 05A Dp Seligman, AZ (PT) Ar 2 15P
F 1792.0 Yampai, AZ
F 1799.9 Nelson, AZ
F 1805.5 Peach Springs, AZ T
10 31A 1828.9 Hackberry, AZ T
11 05A 1856.3 Kingman, AZ T C 11 33A
F 1880.1 Yucca, AZ T
F 1905.6 Topock, AZ T
12 30P Ar 1917.6 Needles, CA T C Dp 9 30A
12 40P Dp Ar 9 20A
F 1931.8 Ibis, CA
F 1948.5 Goffs, CA
F 1958.1 Fenner, CA T
F 1974.1 Danby, CA T
F 1981.2 Siam, CA
2 40P 1987.5 Cadiz, CA F
F 2000.9 Amboy, CA T F
F 2008.7 Bagdad, CA T
F 2032.2 Ludlow, CA T C F
F 2045.4 Pisgah, CA T
F 2076.4 Daggett, CA T C F
5 35P Ar 2085.2 Barstow, CA T C Dp 5 40A
23 Oakland/San Francisco Section 24
6 10P Dp 2085.2 Barstow, CA T C Ar 4 55A
F 6 26P 2095.4 Hinkley, CA T F 4 32A
F 2118.4 Kramer, CA
7 28P 2136.2 Muroc, CA F 3 20A
8 15P 2156.6 Mojave, CA T C 2 40A
10 40P Ar 2226.2 Bakersfield, CA (See Note) T C Dp 11 50P
10 55P Dp Ar 11 35P
F 2234.2 Rosedale, CA F
11 27P 2244.0 Shafter, CA 11 10P
11 35P 2251.5 Wasco, CA T C 11 00P
F 2257.3 Elmo, CA F
F 2263.0 Kernell, CA F
F 2270.5 Allensworth, CA T F
F 2280.6 Angiola, CA T F
12 23A 2289.4 Corcoran, CA T C 10 10P
F 2298.6 Guernsey, CA T F
12 52A 2306.4 Hanford, CA T C 9 42P
F 2309.7 Banner, CA F
F 2311.8 Shirley, CA F
F 2314.5 Laton, CA T F
F 2320.4 Conejo, CA F
F 2329.6 Oleander, CA T F
1 38A 2333.7 Calwa, CA F 8 50P
1 45A Ar 2336.6 Fresno, CA T C Dp 8 45P
2 05A Dp Ar 8 35P
F 2344.2 Figarden, CA F 8 22P
F 2352.5 Trigo, CA
F 2358.1 Madera, CA T F
F 2364.6 Kismet, CA T
F 2368.8 Sharon, CA T
F 2380.0 LeGrand, CA T 7 43P
F 2385.8 Planada, CA T F 7 37P
3 28A 2394.6 Merced, CA T C 7 25P
F 2400.8 Cuba, CA
F 4 05A 2418.1 Denair, CA T F 6 30P
F 4 15A 2424.3 Hughson, CA T 6 18P
F 2427.7 Empire, CA T F 6 06P
4 35A 2434.8 Riverbank, CA T 5 55P
F 4 43A 2440.1 Escalon, CA T F 5 41P
F 2445.5 Avena, CA
F 2451.0 Burnham, CA
5 20A 2459.9 Stockton, CA T C 5 07P
F 5 35A 2467.8 Holt, CA T
F 5 44A 2473.3 Middle River, CA T
F 2475.3 Orwood, Ca T
F 6 00A 2481.5 Knightsen, CA T
F 6 04A 2484.6 Oakley, CA
6 17A 2490.6 Antioch, CA T C 4 21P
F 6 24A 2494.3 Pittsburg, CA T 4 10P
F 6 30A 2502.1 Port Chicago, CA T 3 56P
F 2507.6 Vine Hill, CA
F 2509.3 Muir, CA
F 2511.9 Glen Frazer, CA T
F 2513.8 Christie, CA
7 10A 2520.0 Pinole, CA T 3 19P
F 2526.3 San Pablo, CA T
7 26A 2528.1 Richmond, CA T C 3 03P
7 45A 2536.1 Berkeley, CA T C 2 40P
7 55A Ar 2539.0 Oakland, CA (40th St. & San Pablo Ave.) (PT) T C Dp 2 30P
8 25A Ar 2546.0 San Francisco, CA (44 Fourth St.) (Via Bus) (PT) T C Dp 2 00P
23 Continuing Train to/from Los Angeles 24
5 55P Dp 2085.2 Barstow, CA T C Ar 5 00A
F 2116.7 Oro Grande, CA T F
F 6 42P 2121.8 Victorville, CA T C F 3 59A
F 2140.9 Summit, CA T F 3 23A
F 2147.4 Cajon, CA T F
F 2155.9 Devore, CA T F
F 2160.9 Ono, CA F
8 20P 2166.3 San Bernardino, CA T C 2 05A
F 2169.9 Rialto, CA T C F
F 2178.7 Etiwanda, CA T F
F 2182.7 Cucamonga, CA T C F
F 2185.9 Upland, CA (Ontario) T C F
F 2189.9 Claremont, CA T C F
F 2191.7 Pomona, CA T C F
F 2192.9 La Verne, CA T C F
F 2195.2 San Dimas, CA T C F
F 2199.4 Glendora, CA T C F
F 2201.9 Azusa, CA T C F
F 2207.4 Monrovia, CA T C F
F 2209.2 Arcadia, CA T C F
F 2210.8 Santa Anita, CA T F
F 2213.0 Lamanda Park, CA T C F
9 50P 2216.5 Pasadena, CA T C 12 30A
F 2218.6 South Pasadena, CA T C F
F 2220.8 Highland Park, CA T F
10 30P Ar 2226.1 Los Angeles, CA (Union Passenger Terminal) (PT) T C Dp 11 55P

Train 23 (Chicago-Los Angeles): 73 stops; 62:15; 35.8 MPHTrain 23 (Chicago-San Francisco): 97 stops, 72:10; 35.3 MPH

Train 24 (Los Angeles-Chicago): 79 stops; 64:35; 34.5 MPHTrain 24 (San Francisco-Chicago): 103 stops; 74:30; 34.2 MPH

NOTE for No. 24 at Quenemo, KS: Timetable shows a regular stop timepoint of 4:52 AM (same as Ottawa Junction). This is almost certainly a misprint; I have substituted a conditional stop with no timepoint.
NOTE for No. 24 at Bakersfield, CA: Timetable has a symbol designating this as a Fred Harvey meal stop. This is almost certainly a misprint.

Santa Fe


No. 23—Daily (Grand Canyon Limited).
No Extra Fare. Completely Air-Conditioned.
(Valet and bath, Radio. Daily market reports.)

Dormitory Lounge Car...Chicago to Los Angeles.

Sleeping Car...Chicago to Los Angeles—10-Section, Drawing-room, 2-Compartments.

Houston to Oakland—10-Section, Drawing-room, 2-Compartments. (On No. 6-75-92-97 to Clovis.)

Tourist Sleeper...Chicago to Los Angeles.

Dining Car...Chicago to Los Angeles. (Fred Harvey service.)

Cafe-Observation Car...Bakersfield to Oakland.

Chair Car...Chicago to Los Angeles. (Free Reclining Seats.)

Bus...Williams to Grand Canyon.

Smoker-Chair Car...Barstow to Oakland.

No. 24—Daily (Grand Canyon Limited).
No Extra Fare. Completely Air-Conditioned.
(Valet and Bath, Radio. Daily market reports.)

Dormitory Lounge Car...Los Angeles to Chicago.

Sleeping Car...Los Angeles to Chicago—10-Section, Drawing-room, 2-Compartments.

Oakland to Houston—10-Section, Drawing-room, 2-Compartments. (On No. 98-91-76-5.)

Tourist Sleeper...Los Angeles to Chicago.

Dining Car...Los Angeles to Chicago. Oakland to Bakersfield. (Fred Harvey service.)

Santa Fe Parlor Lounge Car...San Diego to Los Angeles.

Chair Car...Los Angeles to Chicago. (Free Reclining Seats.)

Bus...Williams to Grand Canyon. Grand Canyon to Williams.

Smoker-Chair Car...Oakland to Barstow.