THE FLORIDA SUNBEAM was operated by the New York Central System, the Southern Railway System, and the Seaboard Airline Railroad. On Jan. 1, 1936 the Florida Sunbeam was inaugurated as a winter-only train between Cincinnati and both coasts of Florida with through cars from Great Lakes cities. In 1949 it was replaced with the much faster, streamlined NEW ROYAL PALM on a changed routing. This linen postcard depicts an ALCO DL-109 diesel locomotive pulling the train. It was advertised as being diesel powered between Cincinnati, Ohio and Valdosta, Georgia.
One of the New York Central System’s most famous trains was the Empire State Express, which ran through upstate New York to Buffalo and Cleveland. With its main offices in New York City, the New York Central was a large railroad with several subsidiaries whose identity remained strong in local loyalties. In the broadest of geographic terms, the New York Central proper was everything east of Buffalo with a line from Buffalo through Cleveland and Toledo to Chicago The NYC included the Ohio Central Lines (Toledo through Columbus to and beyond Charleston, West Virginia) and the Boston & Albany Railroad (neatly defined by its name). The Michigan Central Railroad was a Buffalo-Detroit-Chicago line and everything in Michigan north of that. NYC’s Grand Central Terminal in New York City is one of its best known landmarks. The New York Central System, like many Eastern U.S. railroads, resulted from mergers, consolidations, acquisitions, and leases.