Tag Archives: streamlined passenger train

“New York Central System’s GM Aerotrain: The Road to the Future”

A postcard depicting a General Motor’s Aerotrain. From the back of the card: The New York Central System “The Road to the Future.” A General Motors “Aerotrain” is shown on display here at Buffalo, New York in Feb. of 1956. The train failed in regular operation and was in service on the Central less than a year. It was part of a futile effort to upgrade passenger service. Similar units were used briefly on the Pennsylvania and the Union Pacific Railroads. By 1969 the Road to the Future had proved to be the Road to Ruin. The card was distributed in 1970 by Owen Davies, Bookseller.


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.

“The Flying Yankee: An Early Streamlined Articulated Trainset”

The Flying Yankee was a diesel-powered streamliner built in 1935 for the Maine Central Railroad and the Boston and Maine Railroad by Budd Company and with mechanical and electrical equipment from Electro-Motive Corporation. It was also the name of a passenger train, the third streamliner train in North America after the Union Pacific Railroad’s M-10000 and the Chicago, Burlington and Quincy Railroad’s Pioneer Zephyr; the Flying Yankee was, in fact, a virtual clone of the latter, except that it dispensed with the baggage/mail space to seat 142 in three articulated cars.

“The New Streamlined Olympian Hiawatha Speedliner, circa 1947”

The streamlined Olympian Hiawatha operated from 1947 to 1961 and was one of several Milwaukee Road trains to carry the name “Hiawatha.” The Olympian Hiawatha was designed by industrial designer Brooks Stevens and included the distinctive glassed-in “Skytop” observation-sleeping cars, and later featured full-length “Super Dome” cars. See more at http://www.ClassicStreamliners.com and follow us on Facebook at http://www.Facebook.com/RailStream.

“The New York Central’s Art Deco Mercury Streamliner”

Mercury was the name used by the New York Central Railroad for a family of daytime streamlined passenger trains operating between Mid-western cities. The Mercury train sets were designed in 1936 by the noted industrial designer Henry Dreyfuss, and are considered a prime example of Art Deco design. The success of the Mercury led to Dreyfuss getting the commission for the 1938 redesign of the NYC’s flagship, the 20th Century Limited, perhaps the most famous train in America.

“Illinois Central’s Panama Limited: A Luxurious Ride on the Rails”

The Panama Limited was an all-Pullman car train between Chicago, Illinois and New Orleans, Louisiana. For most of its history a St. Louis section operated between St. Louis, Missouri, and Carbondale, Illinois, where it connected to the main train. The Panama Limited was always operated by the Illinois Central Railroad except for its last three years (1971–74) when it was operated by Amtrak. The train ran overnight between Chicago’s Central Station, St. Louis Union Station and New Orleans Union Station (replaced in 1954 by the current New Orleans Union Passenger Terminal). At times it carried through sleepers for connections to Gulfport, Mississippi, Little Rock and Hot Springs, Arkansas and San Antonio, Texas. The train began on February 4, 1911, replacing the Chicago and New Orleans Limited and was named in honor of the anticipated opening of the Panama Canal. See more at http://www.classicstreamliners.com and Follow Us on Facebook at http://www.Facebook.com/RailStream.

“The New York Central’s Empire State Express”

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.

Riding On the City of New Orleans

Riding On the City of New Orleans

The Illinois Central Railroad (reporting mark IC), was known as the “Main Line of Mid-America” and was a Class I railroad in the central U.S. that extended over 6,500 miles across thirteen states that included Iowa, South Dakota, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Missouri, Tennessee, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama. The Illinois Central reached into all three ICC geographic districts; Eastern, Southern, and Western. The IC’s primary routes connected Chicago, Illinois with New Orleans, Louisiana (921 miles) and Mobile, Alabama. Another line connected Chicago with Sioux City, Iowa. There was an important branch to Omaha, Nebraska west of Fort Dodge, Iowa and another branch reaching Sioux Falls, South Dakota starting from Cherokee, Iowa. The Sioux Fall branch has since been entirely abandoned. In 1998, the Canadian National Railway (CN) gained control of the Illinois Central, and it is now a subsidiary and part of the CN Southern Region.