Category Archives: Railroad History

Old Pictures From An Early AMTRAK

In posters from the era, trains were pitched to passengers as the most modern and aspirational way to travel.


With taglines in the 1970s encouraging travellers to ‘get off your wheels and on to ours’ Amtrak showcased a series of vibrant adverts depicting the freedom of the network


President Ford on an Amtrak train in the 1970s surrounded by supporters and the press


Staff members known as Red Caps at Santa Fe Depot in Fort Worth, Texas, move sacks and parcels between the baggage car and depot. Red Caps helped passengers with baggage navigate through the station; here they wear a jumpsuit introduced in early 1972 and their trademark red hats. The baggage car features the Phase II paint scheme introduced in 1975.


A color photograph showing the TurboTrain stopped at Petersburg, Virginia, during its 1971 national tour. This type of train was primarily used between New York and Boston until its retirement in 1976


Passenger service representative Patty Saunders speaks with travellers in a first-class Metroliner club car – known as Metroclub. In her role, Saunders assisted customers on the train and served them food and beverages at their seat. The first class Metroclub had roomy, individually reclining swivel parlour chairs and there was also a phone booth available to passengers

Read more:

Some Pictures of the Dying Circus Train

With the upcoming demise of the Ringling Brothers, Barnum & Bailey Combined Shows, it is time to find great pictures and publish them.

Looking through old pictures, (link below) I posted my favorite as “featured image”
Asia, the matriarch of the Red unit elephants, gets off first. When the circus could park in VA, the elephant cars were brought out to Fairfax Station, where the elephants would would walk up Rt 123 to the Fairfax arena (after midnight so not to mess up traffic).
Sorry PETA, this elephant was always treated better than most children are..

Looking for a runner-up, below is what happens when circus asks Union Pacific to handle a circus train:

Now the link:

New York Central Shops At Harmon: Important to the Railroad

We just finished a new WebPage about the New York Central Railroad’s Shops at Harmon, New York

Take a look at it, even if you do not normally follow railroad history.

Great picture of New York Governor Thomas E. Dewey dedicating the new “NIAGARA” locomotive and four young ladies actually pulling a new “Niagara”.



Harmon Shops was responsible for preparing the “20th Century Limited” for it’s nightly trip. Had heard that it was the responsibility of the “Master Mechanic at Harmon” to ensure that Train 25 (the 20th Century Limited) reach Chicago without a hitch. Found an interesting post to a NY Central forum from Gordon Davids who knows this stuff:

“In the 1950’s time frame, there was no Master Mechanic at Harmon. The Master Mechanic was a division-level official, with his headquarters in the Grand Central Terminal office building until 1961, then in the division offices in 466 Lexington Ave. The road power for No. 25 (and all other “division steam jobs”) was maintained, serviced and placed on the train at Harmon. The Harmon engine house foremen and car inspectors were under the general supervision of the Master Mechanic of the Electric Division at New York (until 1956, then the Hudson Division). He would have had to answer to the Division Superintendent and System officers for any power failures en route. The same would apply to 25’s car equipment, which was serviced at Mott Haven and inspected at GCT under his jurisdiction. I believe that the Harmon Diesel and Electric Shop was a System shop, under the jurisdiction of a Shop Superintendent who reported directly to the System Mechanical Dept., but the actual servicing and inspection of the power for service was a Division function.”

Still looking for our picture of Governor Dewey boarding a train in Albany when he was the Presidential Candidate Accompanied by ONLY a New York State Trooper.


It took the assination of Bobby Kennedy until Presidential Candidates got Secret Service protection.

Mark Tomlinson’s great newsletter on New York Central Railroad history

Again, we are taking Mark Tomlinson’s great newsletter on New York Central Railroad history and adding comments or photos. Thanks Mark for the REAL work !!

December 7, 1929 The New York Central’s deluxe coach train “Motor Queen” makes its last run between Detroit and Cincinnati. The extra features offered on the train have not made it profitable.

December 7, 1941 The New York Central, with much fanfare, launches the new streamlined “Empire State Express”. The bombing of Pearl Harbor puts an immediate damper on the planned festivities.
Yes, beautiful trainset !

New York – Cleveland – Detroit 
(December 7, 1941) 
New York – Cleveland 605 miles 
New York – Detroit 687 miles 

The New York Central System inaugurated the two train sets that comprised the lightweight streamlined EMPIRE STATE EXPRESS on December 7, 1941 between New York City at the one end and both Cleveland and Detroit at the other. This date is best remembered as the date the United States Naval base at Pearl Harbor and other military installations in Hawaii were attacked by Imperial Japanese forces plunging the U. S. into WW II. The Detroit and Cleveland sections of the EMPIRE STATE EXPRESS split at Buffalo with the Detroit section operating across Southern Ontario to its destination. This section was generally anywhere from one to three Parlor cars a dining car and two or more coaches. The remaining cars operated through to and from Cleveland the two New York Central EMPIRE STATE EXPRESS lightweight streamliners departed from their respective terminals and after exchanging their Electric Locomotives at Harmon and the outskirts of Cleveland on the west. The new J3A streamlined 4-6-4 Hudson Locomotives and Tenders took over for the run to the opposite electrified territory. The two streamlined J3A Hudson Locomotive and tenders were 5426 and 5429 with stainless steel installed on the tenders to match the trailing consists and stainless steel installed on the boiler Jacket cover. The roofs of the otherwise all stainless steel Budd built consists were painted black and the top of the Tender and Locomotive were painted black to match. The EMPIRE STATE EXPRESS consists shown below were between Buffalo and New York City on December 7, 1941. The named cars in each train set were named for former Governors of the State of New York. 


5426 Streamlined J3A 4-6-4 Hudson Locomotive & Tender 

ALONZO B. CORNELL Baggage 60’ Railway Post Office Car 

GROVER CLEVELAND Baggage Buffet 36 seat Lounge Car 

CHARLES E. HUGHES 30 Revenue seat Parlor Car with 5 seat Parlor Drawing Room 

HERBERT H. LEHMAN 30 Revenue seat Parlor Car with 5 seat Parlor Drawing Room 

NATHAN L. MILLER 30 Revenue seat Parlor Car with 5 seat Parlor Drawing Room 

GEORGE CLINTON 44 seat Dining Car 

REUBEN E. FENTON 56 Revenue seat Coach 

2569 56 Revenue seat Coach 

2567 56 Revenue seat Coach 

2566 56 Revenue seat Coach 

HAMILTON FISH 56 Revenue seat Coach 

DEWITT CLINTON 44 seat Dining Car 

DAVID B. HILL 56 Revenue seat Coach 

MORGAN LEWIS 56 Revenue seat Coach 

WILLIAM L. MARCY 56 Revenue seat Coach 

THEODORE ROOSEVELT 56 seat Tavern Bar Lounge Observation 


5429 Streamlined J3A 4-6-4 Hudson Locomotive & Tender 

JOHN A. DIX Baggage 60’ Railway Post Office Car 

MARTIN VAN BUREN Baggage Buffet 36 seat Lounge Car 

LEVI P. MORTON 30 Revenue seat Parlor Car with 5 seat Parlor Drawing Room 

ALFRED E. SMITH 30 Revenue seat Parlor Car with 5 seat Parlor Drawing Room 

SAMUEL J. TILDEN 30 Revenue seat Parlor Car with 5 seat Parlor Drawing Room 

JOHN JAY 44 seat Dining Car 

2564 56 Revenue seat Coach 

EDWIN D. MORGAN 56 Revenue seat Coach 

2565 56 Revenue seat Coach 

2568 56 Revenue seat Coach 

WILLIAM H. SEWARD 56 Revenue seat Coach 

HORATIO SEYMOUR 44 seat Dining Car 

DANIEL D. TOMPKINS 56 Revenue seat Coach 

CHARLES S. WHITMAN 56 Revenue seat Coach 

SILAS WRIGHT 56 Revenue seat Coach 

FRANKLIN D. ROOSEVELT 56 seat Tavern Bar Lounge Observatio


December 8, 1921 The Cleveland Union Terminals Company contracts with the New York Central, Big Four and the Nickel Plate for the use of its depot.

December 8, 1960 In Kalamazoo MI, A cement truck traveling on Interstate 94 strikes a freight train at a grade crossing with the New York Central. No one is hurt, but four railroad cars derail. The crossing has since been converted to a highway overpass.
December 10, 1850 The Michigan Southern Railroad reaches Coldwater from the east.
December 10, 1968 The Brotherhood of Railway Trainmen, the Brotherhood of Locomotive Firemen and Enginemen, the Switchmen’s Union of North American and the Order of Railway Conductors and Brakemen vote to merge their four unions into a single organization, the United Transportation Union.


December 11, 1867 Cornelius Vanderbilt is elected President of the New York Central railroad without opposition, giving him control of railroads between New York and Buffalo.


December 11, 1906 The first revenue MU electric train on the New York Central & Hudson River Railroad enters Grand Central Station.

December 13, 1902 For the last time, the New York Central Yard in Elkhart IN switches a car equipped with a link and pin coupler.
December 13, 1945 New York Central places an order for 420 new passenger cars. It is the largest passenger car order placed by any railroad to date.

December 14, 1878 William H. Vanderbilt contracts with a British steamship company to ship grain from the New York Central & Hudson River’s new terminal at 65th street in New York. Previously, the NYC&HR has used the infrastructure associated with the Erie Canal for its shipments but now has to make its own arrangements.
December 14, 1934 New York Central unveils the “Commodore Vanderbilt”, the first streamline steam locomotive and the inspiration for one of Lionel’s most popular toy locomotives. Check it out at the New York Central Railroad WebSite

December 15, 1907 The New York Central & Hudson River Railroad extends the running time of the Twentieth Century Limited by an hour and a half to allow for delays due to snowstorms.
December 15, 1937 A merger agreement is signed placing eight New York Central subsidiary lines into the Cleveland, Cincinnati, Chicago & St. Louis Railway.

December 16, 1915 The United States Attorney General rules that New York Central’s ownership of the Nickel Plate, Lake Shore & Michigan Southern and Michigan Central violates U.S. anti-trust laws and orders divesture.
December 17, 1870 The Kalamazoo & South Haven RR (later MC, NYC, PC, CR) is completed.
December 17, 1947 The New York Central Railroad announces it has ordered 111 diesel locomotives.
December 18, 1881 The Michigan Central reaches the Straits of Mackinaw from Bay City. (Some sources say December 31)

December 22, 1914 The New York Central & Hudson River, the Lake Shore & Southern Michigan and several other subsidiaries consolidate with the New York Central. The Boston & Albany, Big Four and Michigan Central remain leased lines.
December 22, 1928 A record 854 long distance trains enter and leave Grand Central Terminal over 24 hours.

December 26, 1917 President Wilson announces that the federal government will be taking over operation of the railroads under the authority of the Army Appropriations Act of 1916. The railroads will be administered by the United States Railway Administra

December 27, 1906 Michigan Central buys the Chicago, Kalamazoo & Saginaw (later NYC, PC, CR; one branch GTW, CN) to thwart plans by the Pere Marquette to make it a link in a shorter Chicago-Detroit route. The MC has little interest in operating the line and the Sergeant family continues to run it much as they had before the purchase.
December 27, 1941 The Office of Price Administration begins the rationing of rubber. The lack of rubber for automobile tires will lead many travelers to choose the train.


December 28, 1825 George Featherstonhaugh (pronounced fen-shaw), of Duanesburgh NY, runs a newspaper notice announcing the formation of the Mohawk & Hudson Rail Road Company.
Dewittt Clinton picture.
December 28, 1917 The United States Railroad Administration takes over operation of all U.S. railroads at 12:00 noon.

December 29, 1841 The Central Railroad of Michigan reaches Jackson from the east.
December 29, 1876 The Lake Shore & Michigan Southern’s train No. 5 “The Pacific Express” falls into the Ashtabula River in Ohio after the collapse of the bridge. Eleven of the passenger cars burn in a fire started by the car stoves. Sixty-four people are killed and 64 injured out of 159 people on board. It is the worst U.S. train wreck to date.
December 29, 1932 “Twentieth Century”, a play by Ben Hecht and Charles MacArthur set on the famous New York Central passenger train opens on Broadway.
December 29, 1953 The last electric train runs through the Detroit River tunnel. It’s replaced by diesels.

December 30, 1871 Grand Duke Alexis of Russia and his party travel through Kalamazoo on their way to Chicago from Detroit, traveling via the Michigan Central Railroad. The Grand Duke tours rebuilding efforts following the Chicago Fire.
December 31, 1883 Michigan Central carferry service at Detroit begins.
December 31, 1900 The Monongahela Railroad is incorporated, owned 50/50 by the Pennsylvania and the Pittsburgh & Lake Erie.
January 1, 1866 The first train arrives in Schoolcraft on the Schoolcraft & Three Rivers Railroad. [Later K&WP, LS&MS, NYC, PC, CR, NS, GDLK]
January 1, 1867 A third rail for standard gauge equipment is placed in service on the broad-gauge Great Western Railway of Canada, opening a continuous standard-gauge line from Chicago to New York with the new train ferry Great Western between Detroit and Windsor. The Great Western is the largest iron or steel vessel on the Great Lakes. Through sleeping car service is inaugurated between Suspension Bridge (Niagara Falls) and Chicago.
January 1, 1870 The first train into Kalamazoo on the Kalamazoo & South Haven Railroad. [Later MC, NYC, PC, CR]
January 1, 1870 Grand River Valley Railroad completed from Jackson to Grand Rapids via Charlotte and Hastings [later MC, NYC, PC, KBECR].
January 1, 1922 The New York Central leases the Toledo & Ohio Central.
January 1, 1930 The Toledo & Ohio Central begins operations into Columbus Union Station.
January 1, 1954 “K” style air brakes are banned
January 1, 1954 EMD introduces its 567-C engine and the “9” line of diesels: GP-9, F-9 and SD-9, all rated at 1750 horsepower.
January 1, 1960 The New York Central drops its membership in the Railway Express Agency, citing large losses from the express business.

A sad day for railroading. Head End on NY Central was an important part of profit.

January 2, 1871 The first train runs from Kalamazoo to South Haven on the Kalamazoo & South Haven Railroad.
January 2, 1930 The New York Central system acquires the lease of both the Michigan Central and Big Four” lines.

January 3, 1870 The Kalamazoo & South Haven (later MC, NYC, PC, CR) is completed from Kalamazoo to Kendall MI.

January 4, 1877 Commodore Vanderbilt dies at his home at the age of 82. He leaves the bulk of his estate and control of the Vanderbilt Lines to his son, William Henry.


The annual CNE 2017 Trip will be on Sunday April 2, 2017.
We will be departing Renegade Stadium, Wappingers Falls at 9:00 AM.

Our route takes us on the mountain division of the NYNH&H between
Hopewell Jct. and Danbury which employed pushers up the hill.

Our route shows what we can see of the row which is still in place and we are using the
57 seat coaches which have PA’s and restrooms.

The cost includes lunch and guide book and is still $55 per person.

Make your check out to Joe Mato-CNE 2017 and mail it to
Joe Mato, 62 Wood Rd, Redding, CT 06896

For further questions, I can be reached at (203) 938-9992 or email at

Please arrive at 8:30 AM for guide-book, coffee and muffin. We will depart
promptly at 9:00 AM.

Renegade Stadium Address:
1500 Rt. 9D
Wappingers Falls, N.Y. 12590

Find out more about the Central New England Railway

Mineville Is Getting Back On The Map NOW

MINEVILLE, N.Y. Some look at an abandoned, centuries-old iron mine in New York’s Adirondacks and see a relic. But, an ambitious group of engineers sees the shafts in Mineville as a new way to provide a steady flow of electricity in a growing market for renewable energy. They are pitching a plan to circulate some of the millions of gallons of groundwater that have flooded the mine shafts over the years to power an array of 100 hydroelectric turbines a half-mile underground.

They envision the operation as a solution for solar and wind power producers, who need ways to ensure an uninterrupted flow of energy when the sun isn’t shining and winds are still. While logistically complex, the plan is at the same time incredibly simple: Engineers would drain roughly half of the water from the shafts and pump the remainder into an upper chamber. The water would then be released into a lower chamber, powering turbines and creating electricity. The turbines would be reversed to pump the water back up to repeat the process. Technically, the pumped water is considered stored energy, to be released strategically when power is needed.

For the locals, the pumped storage project would breathe new life into a depressed former mining town, doubling the local tax base, generating hundreds of construction jobs and a dozen permanent ones, and providing extras like a new highway garage and water lines, said Tom Scozzafava, supervisor of the surrounding town of Moriah. Gov. Andrew Cuomo has called for 50 percent of the state’s electricity to come from renewable sources like wind and solar by 2030.


So what and where is (was) Mineville? Well, I turned to the NEB&W Railroad.

The NEB&W Railroad is an “HO” scale railroad associated with R.P.I, a noted engineering school located in Troy, New York. The NEB&W still serves Mineville and Troy (where much of the products of the mine went).

Products went from the mine”minevillemine” to repunlicsteelfromtroymenandsbridgeRepublic Steel in Troy

US Sugar to Repair Old Florida East Coast Steam Engine

U.S. Sugar today welcomed home the return of Engine No. 148, a steam locomotive it used in the 1950s to haul sugarcane from the fields to its mill.

U.S. Sugar re-acquired the steam engine from a private owner and plans to spend the next year or more restoring the retired Florida East Coast engine. Eventually, U.S. Sugar hopes to make the engine operational and add vintage passenger cars for offering public train rides.

“This steam locomotive is part of our history, and we wanted to bring it home,’’ said Judy Sanchez, senior director of corporate communications and public affairs for U.S. Sugar, during a welcoming home celebration in Clewiston. “We intend to restore Engine No. 148 to its former glory.’’

The engine was shipped via rail from Colorado to Clewiston, where a team of about two dozen U.S. Sugar mechanics and others will inspect the engine and perform an engineering study. U.S. Sugar plans to return the 97-year-old engine to operating condition after its decades-long retirement.

“These engines helped fuel Florida and its growth. To be able to save such an important piece of our past is an incredible opportunity that will benefit generations to come,’’ said Seth Bramson, company historian for the Florida East Coast Railway, the only rail system along the east coast of Florida, which dates back to Henry M. Flagler. “This is an indication of the caring and interest of this company in honoring its past and the state’s great history.’’

Founded in 1931, U.S. Sugar has long used railroad as an efficient means for transporting goods throughout the region and beyond. It’s the only sugarcane farming company in the continental United States that transports all of its cane to a sugar factory by railroad, which saves on fuel and reduces truck traffic and fossil fuel emissions. Its South Central Florida Express transports sugar, citrus products, fertilizer, farm equipment and other agricultural freight year-round. Its Sugarcane Train hauls sugarcane from the fields to the mills during harvest season. In all, the company operates a dozen locomotives and 800 rail cars over 300 miles of track.

To monitor the progress of Engine No. 148, check out #148Homecoming and #USSugar on social media or visit for updates.

About U.S. Sugar

Founded in 1931 and headquartered in Clewiston, Fla., U.S. Sugar is a recognized leader in the growing and processing of sugarcane, citrus and sweet corn. Its local farmers provide 10 percent of all sugar produced in the United States, up to 90 million gallons of premium Florida orange juice and half of Florida’s sweet corn crop.

Connecticut’s WALK BRIDGE: Save It, Replace It or Reuse Parts?

A lot of more than just local interest in the “WALK BRIDGE” in Norwalk, Connecticut. The Metro-North Railroad Walk Bridge in Norwalk, Conn. Some Norwalk officials are calling for the Connecticut Department of Transportation to replace the Walk Bridge with an ‘iconic’ structure and some residents will likely miss the existing 120-year-old bridge. The Norwalk Preservation Trust states that the bridge is on the National Register of Historic Places and if the state must replace the bridge it should fully fund a Norwalk Historical Society Museum exhibit on the bridge and railroad.

This bridge carries not only dozens of Metro-North commuter trains, but also vital to AMTRAKs NorthEast Corridor between Boston and Washington, DC.

As the state gears up to replace the Walk Bridge, sentimentality is growing among local people over the iconic structure that has marked Norwalk’s skyline for 120 years.
“The loss of the existing bridge, its catenaries and high towers, as well as its brownstone structural elements would forever change the character of the area,” wrote the Norwalk Preservation Trust in its response to the Connecticut Department of Transportation’s report on the project. “We respectfully request that the repair and retention of the existing bridge be given further study in the hopes that demolition can be avoided.”

If the railroad bridge and its “associated elements must be demolished,” the NPT wants the DOT take a number of mitigation measures such as leaving the historic granite or brownstone abutments in place, or reusing them as part of the new bridge.

When built in 1896, the bridge was both state-of-the-art and also the last of its breed.
“In its wide proportions and heavy steel construction, the Norwalk bridge exemplifies the railroad swing bridge at its height of development: after the mid- 1890s, nearly all movable bridges were bascules of one type or another,” reads a portion of the nomination report that landed the bridge on the register.

Dick Carpenter of East Norwalk, author of “A Railroad Atlas of the United States in 1946,” said the Walk Bridge is the only four-track swing bridge that he knows of on a major rail line in the nation. That and its age are its distinguishing characteristics, he said

DOT, after considering more than 70 design concepts, ruled out repairing the existing bridge or replacing it with a fixed-bridge. The state’s preferred replacement is a 240-foot vertical lift bridge that would cost $425 million to $460 million to build. Work is slated to start in mid-2018.

“We are aware of numerous other century old bridges across the country that have been repaired and maintained and are expected to last for another century and beyond, such as the Williamsburg Bridge in New York,”

New York Central In History: October 2016

September 29, 1929 The New York Central inaugurates the “Commodore Vanderbilt”, an all-first class, extra fare train. This gives the NYC nine trains running between New York and Chicago on a 20-hour schedule. The NYC has adopted the Pennsylvania Railroad strategy of a fleet of fast trains, rather than just one name train.

September 29, 1951 The New York Central’s Putnam Division is dieselized.

September 30, 1906 The New York Central & Hudson River Railroad holds its first public demonstrations of its third-rail electrification in New York City.

September 30, 1923 The New York Central and the Michigan Central Railroads inaugurate the “Detroiter”, running between New York and Detroit.

October 1, 1836 The Erie & Kalamazoo Railroad begins official operation using horses for power. It is the first railroad in the former Northwest Territory but not the first west of the Alleghenies, as many sources report. The 40-mile trip between Port Lawrence [Toledo] and Adrian can take two days. Operation of the line will be irregular at first due to the rails sinking into bogs along the way.

October 1, 1848 The Michigan Central Railroad reaches Niles from the east.

October 1, 1927 In the Third Annual Inter-Company baseball Championship held at Cleveland OH, The Pennsylvania’s Terminal Division team defeats the New York Central’s Michigan Central team. While the game is going on, the two Presidents of the respective railroads play golf.September 30, 1923 The New York Central and the Michigan Central Railroads inaugurate the “Detroiter”, running between New York and Detroit.

October 1, 1836 The Erie & Kalamazoo Railroad begins official operation using horses for power. It is the first railroad in the former Northwest Territory but not the first west of the Alleghenies, as many sources report. The 40-mile trip between Port Lawrence [Toledo] and Adrian can take two days. Operation of the line will be irregular at first due to the rails sinking into bogs along the way.

October 1, 1848 The Michigan Central Railroad reaches Niles from the east.

October 1, 1927 In the Third Annual Inter-Company baseball Championship held at Cleveland OH, The Pennsylvania’s Terminal Division team defeats the New York Central’s Michigan Central team. While the game is going on, the two Presidents of the respective railroads play golf.

October 1, 1998 A saved and refurbished Grand Central Terminal is rededicated.

October 2, 1926 The second annual Pennsylvania Railroad-New York Central baseball game is held at Indianapolis. NYC’s Indiana Harbor Belt team wins, 3-1.

October 2, 1935 Two young men, aged 12 and 13 are taken off a boxcar roof on a Detroit bound freight train at the Augusta MI New York Central coal dock. In spite of carrying a single loaf of bread and no cash, they had hopes of seeing the Detroit Tigers play in the World Series.

October 2, 1947 Construction begins on the Toledo Central Union Terminal.

October 2, 1963 The ICC concludes its hearings on the Penn Central merger. The transcript runs to 20,000 pages and represents the longest railroad merger hearing to date.

October 7, 1871 The first Grand Central Depot opens in New York City at 42nd St. and Park Ave. for New York & Harlem Railroad trains, which vacate 27th Street Station. The building is patterned after St. Pancras Station (1865) in London. Its 12-track train shed (900′ x 275′) is billed as the “largest room in North America”. (Some sources say October 9)


October 7, 1940 The New York Central takes delivery of its first class L-3 dual-service 4-8-2 “Mohawk” locomotive.

October 8, 1882 William H. Vanderbilt utters his famous “The public be damned!” quote. The rest of the quote is “I am working for my stockholders. If the public want the train, why don’t they pay for it?” (The train in question is a premium fare, deluxe weekly).

October 9, 1910 The first Michigan Central freight traffic moves through the Detroit-Windsor tunnel.

October 11, 1869 “Vanderbilt Bronze”, a large sculpted pediment celebrating Cornelius Vanderbilt’s career and featuring the larger than life statue now at Grand Central Terminal, is unveiled in a special ceremony at the St. John’s Park Freight Station in lower Manhattan.

October 11, 1922 The Ft. Wayne Union Railway is incorporated to serve the International Harvester plant on the east side of Ft. Wayne. It is jointly owned by the Pennsylvania, Nickel Plate, New York Central and Wabash railroads, each with a 25% share in the new company.
October 12, 1950 The New York Central places an order for 200 diesel locomotives from four builders.

October 14, 1960 Senator John F. Kennedy begins a 14-hour whistle-stop tour through Michigan in Ann Arbor. He will tour the state aboard the private car of New York Central President Alfred Perlman.

October 15, 1860 The New York & Harlem Railroad begins through ticketing with the New York Central to Albany. The trip takes 4 hours, 18 minutes.

October 15, 1910 First Michigan Central passenger trains through the Detroit-Windsor Tunnel.

October 16, 1910 The Detroit River Tunnel Company, owned by the New York Central, routes all of its freight traffic via the new tunnel between Detroit and Windsor ONT, ending the car ferry on the Michigan Central – Canada Southern route.

October 16, 1916 The Michigan Central inaugurates the “Motor City Special”, an all First Class train running between Detroit and Chicago.

October 21, 1950 The Monongahela Railroad ends passenger service.

October 21, 2010 The Arian & Blissfield [MI] finalizes the purchase of an ex-Michigan Central Branch between Lansing and Jackson. It will be operated by an A&B subsidiary “Jackson & Lansing Railroad Company”, reporting marks JAIL.

October 23, 1928 The Pennsylvania Railroad forms the “Keystone Container Car Company” to operate its new LCL container service. The new company will compete with the New York Central’s “L.C.L. Corporation”. The first service by the Keystone Company will be one week from today between Philadelphia and New York.

October 25, 1848 The Galena & Chicago Union Railroad (later C&NW) runs the first steam locomotive out of Chicago. Named “Pioneer” it had worked for the Michigan Central as the “Alert”. Most of its duties on the MC were in the construction of the line west of Kalamazoo. The locomotive has been preserved.

October 25, 1958 New York Central passenger service between Bay City and Midland MI comes to an end.

October 25, 1959 The New York Central adds Budd Slumbercoaches (which it names “Sleepercoaches”) to the “20th Century Limited”. Coaches are removed, returning the “Century” to all-sleeping car status.

October 26, 1905 The New York Central & Hudson River Railroad places an order for 25,000 freight cars. This breaks the record set last week by the Pennsylvania Railroad’s order of 21,000 cars.

October 27, 1904 Informal tests are held at Schenectady of the new General Electric Locomotives bound for Grand Central Terminal.

October 27, 1956 The New York Central removes its Aerotrain from service.

October 27, 1957 The New York Central places its “Train X” set in commuter service between Chicago and Elkhart.

October 28, 1953 Train Telephone service begins on the “20th Century Limited” between Buffalo and Chicago.

October 28, 1956 After a 2-year study, the New York Central introduces its “Travel Tailored Schedule Plan”, an attempt to rationalize local and medium distance passenger service. The plan features short, fast trains with no head-end cars and few sleepers. Intermediate stops at smaller stations are curtailed.

October 29, 2004 Last scheduled run of 1962-vintage former New York Central ACMU cars on Metro-North.

October 30, 1850 The Michigan Central Railroad opens from New Buffalo to Michigan City IN using the charter rights of the New Albany & Salem Railroad (later CIL, L&N, CSX) within Indiana.

October 30, 1960 The “Commodore Vanderbilt” name disappears from New York Central passenger timetables.

October 31, 1903 The New York Central & Hudson River Railroad votes to electrify between Croton-on-Hudson on the Hudson Division and North White Plains on the Harlem Division. The system used will be a 660-volt DC on an under-running third rail. Later this fall they will sign a contract with General Electric for the locomotives.
October 31, 1957 The Canadian National Railway receives permission to operate the former New York Central Lines in the vicinity of Ottawa, Ontario. Some of the lines will be re-laid.

Railway Post Offices Could Be Dangerous Places

I received an historical story about the wreck of the Rouses Point and Albany in 1894. Could not match picture so show 1908 wreck on Delaware & Hudson in Sidney, New York. Thanks to Dr Frank Scheer.

Passenger train #4 of the Delaware and Hudson Railroad left Montreal just after 9am on the morning of December 3, 1894, bound for Albany, New York.The train consisted of six cars, including a mail and an express and baggage car.

The train suddenly derailed near Port Henry, New York. The engineer and fireman testified that prior to the wreck, just before the train came upon a curve, they felt a jerk from the rear. The fireman looked back and accordingto his testimony, saw the end of the first car headed for the lake, “and in an instant the tender was torn from the engine and ran into the lake.” No official cause was named for the wreck.

The tender, mail and express/baggage cars were thrown into Lake Champlain. Two men were killed, Richard Quinn, the express messenger and T.H. Rouse, of Rouse’s Point, New York, the mail clerk.