February 23, 1970 The Indian Pacific passenger train began its inaugural coast-to-coast trip in Australia. After what the Canberra Times called “a glittering lace-gowned ceremony,” the westbound train left Central Railway Station in Sydney on Australia’s southeastern coast along the Pacific Ocean at 10:50 p.m.  “Train Sets Out to Span the Continent,” proclaimed a headline in... Continue Reading →

January 19, 1947 The Cincinnatian, a luxury passenger train operated by the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad (B&O), made its official debut with regular runs between Baltimore and Cincinnati. The Cincinnatian was the first luxury train introduced during the post-World War II years by the nation’s oldest railroad chartered specifically for public use. The train was... Continue Reading →

October 22, 1934 The Union Pacific Railroad’s M-10001 diesel-electric streamliner train departed Los Angeles at 10:00 p.m. to set a still-unbroken record for transcontinental rail travel in the United States. The M-10001, which had been delivered to Union Pacific only 10 days earlier and was the company’s first diesel-powered train (and the first Pullman-sleeper-equipped passenger... Continue Reading →

June 15, 1928 The first successful aircraft-to-train transfer of mail took place in southwestern Illinois. This pioneering handover from a U.S. Army airship (also known at the time as a dirigible) to an Illinois Central Railroad (IC) train specifically occurred in the vicinity of the city of Belleville. That experiment in mail delivery was a... Continue Reading →

April 9, 1934 At its manufacturing plant in Philadelphia, the Budd Company finished work on a streamliner (a high-speed trainset) for the Chicago, Burlington and Quincy Railroad. (That railroad, which operated in the midwestern United States from 1855 to 1970, was also known as both the CB&Q and the Burlington Route.) The exterior of the... Continue Reading →

February 9, 1875 The Hoosac Tunnel, which passes through a part of both the Berkshires and the Green Mountains known as the Hoosac Range, was opened in western Massachusetts. (“Hoosac” is an Algonquian phrase for “place of stones.”)  Construction on that 4.75-mile (7.7-kilometer)-long tunnel had begun during the early 1850s, and the first train to... Continue Reading →

December 14, 1903 The luxurious Merchants Limited, which became the premier passenger train of the New York, New Haven & Hartford Railroad (NH), first went into service. This train’s maiden journey was a late-in-the-day run between South Station in Boston and Grand Central Terminal in New York City.   The next day’s edition of the Boston... Continue Reading →

December 3, 1967 After 65 years of service, the New York Central Railroad (NYC) express passenger train 20th Century Limited completed its final journey. The half-full train pulled into LaSalle Street Station in Chicago at 6:45 p.m. The Limited had actually been scheduled to arrive nine hours earlier, but was delayed due to a freight... Continue Reading →

April 9, 2019 (Image courtesy Alstom.) The first two X’Trapolis Mega electric passenger trains to be assembled in the Republic of South Africa were officially introduced to the public. The X’Trapolis Mega is a type of high-capacity train produced by the French multinational rail transportation company Alstom and designed for use in suburban and regional... Continue Reading →

December 13, 1937 The Reading Railroad’s express passenger train Crusader made its first regular run along a 90.3-mile (145.3-kilometer) route between the Reading Terminal in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and the Communipaw Terminal in Jersey City, New Jersey. The train received its name thanks to a contest that offered $250 to the winning entry, which was selected by... Continue Reading →

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