Serving Chicago, Omaha, Denver, Ogden, Boise, Portland, Seattle, and intermediate points
Amtrak train numbers: 25 and 26
Predecessor railroad train numbers: Union Pacific 105 and 106 (City of Portland)
The closest predecessor to Amtrak's Pioneer was the Union Pacific's City of Portland, which ran from Chicago via the UP's Overland Route through Wyoming, then through Idaho and Oregon to Portland, where it connected with trains running over the Union Pacific/Northern Pacific/Great Northern Joint Line to Seattle.
The initial incarnation of the Pioneer in 1979 was as a train running between Seattle and Salt Lake City, making a connection at Ogden with the San Francisco Zephyr. A couple of years later, the Pioneer began to run as a through train to Chicago, combined with or separated from the San Francisco Zephyr at Ogden. The service continued when the San Francisco Zephyr became the California Zephyr in 1983, with the car switching now taking place in Salt Lake City.
Beginning in 1991, the switching operation for the Pioneer was moved to Denver, as the train was rerouted through Wyoming over the route that had been abandoned by the San Francisco Zephyr.
The Pioneer made its last run on May 10, 1997, a victim of one of Amtrak's periodic attempts to trim its budget, leaving Wyoming once again without Amtrak train service.
Condensed historical timetables:
READ DOWN READ UP
(1956) (1979) (1987) (1994) (1994) (1987) (1979) (1956)
4:45P ----- 3:15P 3:05P Dp Chicago Ar 4:15P 4:05P ----- 11:30A
1:10A ----- 11:30P 11:35P Omaha 6:50A 6:55A ----- 3:15A
----- ----- 8:50A 9:45A Denver 9:00P 9:15P ----- -----
----- 10:45P 11:57P ----- Salt Lake City ----- 6:48A 7:40A -----
----- 12:05A 1:00A 9:26P Ogden 6:38A 5:13A 6:35A -----
9:40P 7:00A 7:32A 3:59A Boise 11:26P 10:15P 11:10P 4:30A
7:30A 5:30P 5:50P 2:40P Portland 11:40A 11:00A 11:30A 5:00P
----- 9:20P 9:40P 6:35P Ar Seattle Dp 7:30A 7:00A 7:30A -----
The Amtrak Train Names Project