1940s and 1950s – The Golden Age of American Passenger Trains…


Pullman and American Passenger Trains – Social History – Photos – 1940s and 1950s – The Golden Age of American Passenger Trains…  



New York Central’s streamlined Mercury

One of New York Central’s two class K-5a Pacifics (Nos. 4915 and 4917) that the road streamlined in 1936 for the Chicago–Detroit Mercury appears to have the train well in hand. Famed industrial designer Henry Dreyfuss created the “upside-down bathtub” styling.


Mixed Rio Grande diesels on the California Zephyr

Two Denver & Rio Grande Western Alco PA’s and an EMD F3B twist through South Boulder Canyon east of Pinecliff, Colo., with the California Zephyr in mid-1951. The Alcos wear a short-lived silver-and-orange paint scheme.W. H. Mitchell photo


1937 Hiawatha parlor car

The Milwaukee Road’s 1937 Hiawatha parlor cars featured fully rotating and reclining seats as well as small drop-leaf tables below the windows. MILW phot


Texas Chief ready to leave Chicago

In October 1951, Santa Fe’s Kansas Cityan (left) stands ready to depart the dreary trainshed of Dearborn Station, Chicago, as inbound passengers, probably just arrived on the Texas Chief (right), stream past. Meanwhile, two F7’s arrive with a Chicago & Eastern Illinois train. Linn Westcott photo


Boarding the Texas Chief

Inaugurated in 1948, Santa Fe’s Texas Chief provided attractive, well-patronized service for decades. Here it boards passengers at Chicago’s Dearborn Station while Monon’s streamlined Hoosier waits to the left. Bill Wight photo


Chief and Super Chief at Albuquerque

At Albuquerque, N.Mex., Santa Fe No. 17, the Super Chief (at left behind E units) has caught up to a late-running train 19, the Chief, at 4:20 p.m. on a spring day in 1946. The Super left Chicago 7 hours after No. 19 and was scheduled to arrive in Los Angeles 1 hour 15 minutes earlier. Fred N. Houser photo

Our thanks to CLASSIC TRAINS MAGAZINE.  For a great view of America’s wonderful passenger trains please visit their website and subscribe to their magazine along with their online services. 



About Michael L. Grace

During the mid-80s, Michael Grace worked as a writer on the TV Hit Series THE LOVE BOAT. He wrote many of the two hour special featuring great stars of the past, including Lana Turner, Claire Trevor, Anne Baxter, Ethel Merman, Alexis Smith, etc. The public’s access to these stars, in familiar dramas and comedies, made them want to go on a cruise. They could see the stars in an ordinary world as “regular” people. The phenomenally successful series was responsible for creating the cruise industry as we know it today. By the time he was writing for Love Boat, the great steamship companies and their liners were flying hand me down foreign flags, painted like old whores, scrapped or doing three day cruises to the Bahamas. He had sailed on over thirty ships and liners with his parents, aunt and grandmother in late 50s to early 70s. The very successful CRUISING THE PAST website has been an outgrowth of Michael’s strong interest in cruise and social history. Drawing on his own knowledge and a vast maritime and social history collection, he is able to produce a very successful website. Michael is part of the award winning team that created the internationally performed award winning musical SNOOPY, based on PEANUTS by Charles M. Schultz. He has written for television and films. Read more by going to "About" (on the above dashboard) and clicking "Editor"…