Dining Car 369

Union Pacific Railroad

Heavyweight 36-Seat Dining Car

Built by:

Pullman Company – 1921

Lot No. 4626  •  Plan No. 3366

Length & Weight:

83′ Long  •  78 Tons

Donated by:

Union Pacific Railroad – 1954

New at the Pullman Factory - 1921

Union Pacific Diner No. 369 was among the first all steel, 36-seat dining cars built by Manufacturing Division of the Pullman Company.  The car was one of 14 identical diners purchased by Union Pacific for its deluxe Los Angeles Limited  – the railroad’s premier train running between Chicago and Los Angeles.  Advertisements described the Los Angeles Limited as a “Palatial Train for Particular People”.  Aboard the posh train were all the luxury amenities one might imagine, including plush Pullman sleeping cars, a barber shop and a lady’s maid.   The cuisine served in the mahogany-paneled dining car was equal to that of the finest metropolitan hotels.

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More about our Dining Car:

The dining room has seating for 36 hungry travelers at tables of two and four.  The car has a pantry and a full kitchen – complete with wood-fired range, charcoal broiler, ice boxes, and sinks with hot & cold running water.  When operating, the car would normally carry a crew of 11 men: a Steward was in charge of the whole operation, with 6 Waiters, a Chef and 3 Cooks.  The car would serve three meals a day, which on a busy train could mean upwards of 300 meals each day!  At night, the tables were taken down and bedding was set up on the floor of the dining room to allow a short night’s sleep for the car’s crew.

When our Diner 369 was new in 1921, electricity was a wonderful NEW convenience! Each table in the car had its own electrical outlet - and fantastic new appliances like an electric toaster could be used right at your table!

After her initial assignment on the Los Angeles Limited, our dining car saw service on another top notch Union Pacific train, the Portland Rose, running between Chicago and Portland, Oregon.   In the 1930s, U.P. diners of the “300” series were renumbered to “3600” series – our No. 369 became 3669.   At that same time, a big technological milestone sweeping the railroad industry was the advent of mechanical air conditioning – Diner 369 had air conditioning installed in 1936.  Two years later, with the advent of the new Streamliner trains, Diner No. 3669 was downgraded to “Coffee Shop” service as part of The Challenger fleet – a Union Pacific train service aimed specifically at economy-minded travelers.  The beautiful mahogany interior was painted over and linen tablecloths gave way to paper placemats. In subsequent years, many of her sister cars were structurally “modernized” to look more like the newer streamlined cars; however, the 3669 did not receive the “modernizing treatment” and thus still retains her original structural appearance. 

In honor of the car’s 100th Birthday in 2021, Diner 369 is undergoing a complete cosmetic restoration – including replacement of all her wooden windows and refinishing of the fine mahogany interior!  The Foundation gives great thanks and appreciation to our generous partners in historic preservation: The Griffith Trust, The Union Pacific Foundation, The Los Angeles Breakfast Club, and The Community Foundation of the Verdugos for helping to make this restoration possible.  You can help too by making a donation to our restoration project!

UPRR postcard promoting "Low-cost Meals" served in The Challenger dining cars.