TRAINS

Lucius Beebe, famous American railway buff & historian, was a self-described hedonist.

From the 1930s until his death in 1966, he was the image of a celebrity. An author, journalist, historian, raconteur, gourmet and bon vivant extraordinary – this amazing personality was one of the first gay men to have a publicly open relationship.   Columnist Walter Winchell called him “Luscious Lucius.” Beebe is perhaps best known for having coined the term ... Read More »

Part 2 – The Panama Limited – Streamlined and 16 hours between Chicago, St Louis and New Orleans

The Panama Limited was streamlined in 1942, during World War II. The Illinois Central had ordered two lightweight sets of equipment before the attack on Pearl Harbor; after an appeal, the War Production Board allowed their delivery. Casey Jones widow with Panama Limited train Engineer and Conductor.  The first diesel/electric-powered streamlined run of the Panama Limited was on May 3, ... Read More »

The Electroliner… 90 MILES PER HOUR… FROM MILWAUKEE TO CHICAGO…

The North Shore Line’s Electroliners was the interurban’s last gasp at retaining its passenger traffic, which had been slowly withering away since after 1910. For most street railway and interurban lines the coming of the automobile put an end to an industry that was just a few decades old.  The 1920s and the Great Depression later that decade bankrupted and ... Read More »

THE SUPER CHIEF – “THE TRAIN OF THE STARS”

The magic of the Super Chief – “the train of the stars” – is now just a memory. From the late 1930s to the 1950s, Hollywood adopted the Super Chief as the primary mode of travel as well as the subject of novels and motion pictures. In MGM’s The Hucksters, a brutal satire on the ad industry, Clark Gable says ... Read More »

Downtown Los Angeles to Beverly Hills – via Hollywood and West Hollywood – aboard Pacific Electric’s big “Red Cars” during the 1950s…

Big Red Cars heading for West Hollywood, Beverly Hills and connections to Santa Monica. (Left) This car is coming from Los Angeles via Hollywood and (right) this car is coming from Los Angeles. They are meeting at Fairfax and Santa Monica Blvd. Los Angeles used to have a public transit system that covered about 25 percent more track mileage than ... Read More »

THE SUPER CHIEF – “THE TRAIN OF THE STARS” from Clark Gable to Frank Sinatra…

From the late 1930s to the 1950s, Hollywood adopted the Super Chief as the primary mode of travel as well as the subject of novels and motion pictures. In MGM’s The Hucksters, a brutal satire on the ad industry, Clark Gable says to another character: “Only talent agents and kept woman ride the Chief. But theSuper Chief is an exclusive ... Read More »

DINNER IN THE DINER…

In 1968, George M. Pullman, who had won fame as a builder of sleeping cars, introduced the first dining car… The hotel style car was equipped with a kitchen—the first passenger car designed exclusively for cooking and serving meals. The dome dining car on the CITY OF LOS ANGELES during the 1950s… Aboard the Santa Fe in the 1960s… This ... Read More »

Veteran’s Day: Travel by Train in World War 2

Celebrating Veteran’s Day – A look back at wartime transportation in WW 2. Trains were crowded with standing room only. Dining cars were full and most of the trains only served two meals a day. It was a major boom to train travel. The Pullman Company operating all sleeping cars. Pullmans was accommodating 1000s of people on overnight trains. Here ... Read More »

The Pullman Streamliner City of Los Angeles…

Streamliner & Pullman History: The City of Los Angeles was a streamlined passenger train between Chicago, Illinois, and Los Angeles, California via Omaha, Nebraska, and Ogden, Utah. Between Omaha and Los Angeles it ran on the Union Pacific Railroad; east of Omaha it ran on the Chicago and North Western Railway until October 1955 and on the Milwaukee Road thereafter. The train ... Read More »

Classic Retro Video – Cruising to Alaska in the 1950s from Seattle aboard the SS Alaska…

Sailing day meant excitement for the Alaska Steamship Company liners. Here is the SS Alaska sailing from Seattle in 1952. Cruising The Past (www.cruiselinehistory.com) classic video of  the SS ALASKA sailing to Alaska and the Inside Passage from Seattle in the 1950s. This is a wonderful historical video of a 1954 sailing aboard the SS ALASKA on a cruise to ... Read More »