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Monday, November 14, 2011

Retro Monday- Rail Passenger Travel

I have been remiss in my "Retro Sunday" posts. So here is the Southern Railway. I am fortunate in that I live in the heart of the land that SR traveled through and it is not a "dead flag" carrier, its name lives on in the Norfolk Southern line now. As I am writing this post, the sound of a CSX train diesel horn moans in the distance. That sound calls me. I have heard by luck or happenstance a train nearby since I left my parents home.

I am a member of the SRHA and here are some scans from the magazine. I really appreciate the effort these people put into "keeping the green light shining". I hope you do too.

(1941 ad)

Passenger travel by rail in a bygone era has always fascinated me much like airline travel long ago.

The Southern Crecsent Limited still runs now under the governance of AMTRAK. I fear that although this is still the route:

I don't think this is pulling it anymore:



The print is one of my most prized possessions obtained in an antique store here some time ago.

So would you rather have 8 peanuts thrown at you for 2 bucks while in a barely pressurized tube or be presented with this:

in the diner car by someone like this:

 I have to choose the latter! 

And back in the day you could actually send a child off alone to travel. Unlike now. Don't get me started on that! 


  1. I remember as a child going from Richmond to Florida and it was just wonderful. Linens, silverware, perfect service and food. Well, I had the bright idea in 2002 to go from California to Virginia on the train mentioning how wonderful it was and how well you could sleep. Big mistake. We had a family compartment in the back which wasn't bad, but everything else was terrible. You couldn't sleep well as they went too fast (behind schedule) so that the cars would bump as they went around curves. The food was passable at best. Many breakdowns, delays and one morning when I asked for bacon, was told that they were out and they were out of many other items during the trip. The workers were well aware of the problems and thought Amtrak might be shut down. I did meet an old porter from the hey days who traveled free and would spout of the wonder days of yore. Boy, as soon as the government gets hold of anything, it rapidly deteriorates.

  2. Very nice! My Grandfather was an Engineer for UP for years.

  3. I have never been on a train of any kind. You'd think a man my age would have at least once. Lu has wanted to for a long time but iut's just never happened. I suppose it's a different animal by now but I don't fly commercial anymore so maybe...

  4. I'd travel more by train if I could - I can't always get my schedule and the train to meet, and I tend to hit the "Oh crud I've got to drive 95 on Sunday" thought too late to get a ticket on holidays. They aren't nearly as comfy as they used to be, but still better than hours of driving.

  5. Brock- +1 one on when .gov runs it!

    NFO- Thanks! I am sure the Union Pacific had some stories to tell too.

    Six- Try it! Take Lu for a "tour" in the restored cars from the 50's. They have a bunch of them and I would enjoy it. Think like its a cruise but on a train. I can send you links if you like.

    PH- True that but still better if conditions allow for the train.

  6. I'd appreciate the links Keads. Thanks!

  7. I rode the Santa Fe Super Chief to Los Angeles when I was a wee lad. Awesome trip for a 4 year old.

  8. BP- Indeed. I bet that was an experience! I can only recreate that here now with limited rail excursions that are fund raisers now.