The following section is courtesy of GNRHS member, Bruce
Brighton, Minnesota. This is a complete pamphlet entitled, "Great Northern
Secrets" which Bruce spent a great deal of time putting together for this
web page. Thanks, Bruce! And now without further ado, I will let Bruce present a
brief introduction of the train and the recipes from its dining car.
To start reading the entire brochure, click on the page links
to the left. Enjoy!
Dining With Rocky on the Oriental Limited
The “Oriental Limited” was the premier transcontinental train of the Great
Northern Railway from 1905 until the Empire Builder began service in 1929.
In 1924, a major upgrading of the Oriental Limited occurred. Seven entirely new
all-steel consists were put into service. This train was arguably the finest
train of its time, in the grandest era of passenger trains. Incidentally, Rocky
(the widely recognized corporate symbol of the Great Northern) made his first
ever appearance in passenger service on that train, having been placed on the
drumhead at the back of the observation car. Every possible comfort and
convenience of the day was included. As one would expect, included each consist
was an elegant and luxurious dining car. They were built by the Pullman Company
and named after a state served by the Great Northern. The interiors were painted
in shades of green, with “adornments” of lighter tones. Fresh-cut flowers
from the GN’s own greenhouse in Monroe, Washington were put on the tables
daily. Each east-bound train slowed at Stryker, Montana, so that fresh-caught
mountain trout could be handed up to the dining car. Dinner was announced by
melodious chimes, and the menu consisted of delectable selections such as
GN-style individual chicken pot pies, baked Salmon, GN-style vegetables, North
Dakota beef, and Wenatchee apple pie.
The Great Northern Railway wanted to be known as having the finest train running
between Chicago and the Pacific Northwest, and the dining service was heavily
promoted by the publicity department. In addition to advertisements and
brochures featuring dining, promotional postcards, menus, and even booklets
containing recipes for the dining car specialties were distributed freely.
Dining patrons could address these items to friends and relatives and leave them
on the table, and train personnel would add postage and mail them without
One such booklet was called Great Northern Secrets, and included recipes for
many of the railway’s most promoted dining car specialties. That brochure is
presented on the following pages. We hope that you enjoy looking at it, and that
perhaps you will even try a few of the recipes. You may soon be Dining With
Rocky in your very own home!