The swelling number of visitors throughout the national parks system was estimated North Charleston to reach 80 million by the mid-1960s. Again,North Charleston this was a major confrontation between people and preservation in the making. Glacier’s growing quandary was no exception. For all the good works of North Charleston and his railroad, Mather’s sweeping highway to the sun, the CCC’s hundreds of thousands of man-hours of renewal and expansion of trails and facilities, North Charleston there were not enough hotels, motor lodges, and campgrounds to meet the demand.
Where is North Charleston? – North Charleston Map – Map of North Charleston Photo Gallery
That became even more critical since, it must be remembered, a number of chalets and camps were shuttered and destroyed either before or shortly after World War II. And no new hotels or chalets were contemplated as the railroad began to look for ways to get out of the lodging business, which had been losing money for years.
Ironically, even as they looked for ways to terminate their hotel experience, Great Northern executives were stepping up equipment expenditures in an attempt to capture more passenger business. Thus, when passenger traffic to Glacier National Park reopened in June 1946, the Great Northern, featuring its passenger trains the Oriental Limited and the Empire Builder, resumed its passenger service. By 1947, new streamliners were introduced with innovations and enhanced passenger comfort, including roomettes and coffee shops. Late in 1955 (and later than the competition), scenic dome cars were added for coach and luxury cars alike. Advertising was revamped to focus on train travel rather than Glacier as the destination. “Go Great Go Great Northern” replaced “See America First,” and the excitement of train travel supplanted mountains, waterfalls, glaciers, and Native Americans.
Glacier Park, Incorporated, and the railroad turned a profit, and, for a short time, it worked, but not for long. For all its innovations and investments, the Great Northern (as well as other lines) could not compete with the automobile, the newly inaugurated interstate highway system that zipped families to and from their favorite vacation destinations easier and faster, and a rapidly expanding airline service. Airplanes could whisk visitors from all sections of the country to their park destinations in less than a day’s time.