The 1950s
1All glass block and concrete, Toledo's austere station was one of the last of the big-city terminals. NYC
2On their first steam foray, Morgan and Hastings witnessed CP 4-4-0 136 at Ferry, N.B. Philip R. Hastings
3Futuristic Aerotrain never caught on, but Al Kalmbach and David P. Morgan and Rosemary Entringer enjoyed stop at La Junta, Colo., during Trains tour. Jim Shaughnessy
4Pere Marquettes gained Railvans. J. David Ingles
5Steam gave way to diesel on Chesapeake & Ohio. Herbert H. Harwood Jr.
6Geeps of NC&StL would fly L&N flag. David W. Salter
7Former C&O Chairman Robert R. Young jockeyed for NYC. AP
8Destined to be the last, NKP 746 at Oak Point, Ohio. Don Wood


March 5

Centennial of Louisville & Nashville.

April 29

50th anniversary of inaugural of Northern Pacific’s North Coast Limited.

April 30

50th anniversary of Casey Jones’s death.


Roanoke Shops builds N&W 613, last new 4-8-4 in U.S.

August 22

Savannah & Atlanta control acquired by Central of Georgia.

September 11

Lima ships last locomotive, Pennsylvania center-cab transfer diesel 5683.

September 22

1 Toledo’s new Central Union Terminal dedicated.

November 22

Rear-end collision on Long Island Rail Road at Richmond Hill kills 79, injures 352.


January 28

Santa Fe introduces all-new Super Chief, including Turquoise Room dome lounges.

February 10

Centennial of Illinois Central charter.


NYC orders 387 diesels from EMD, Alco, FM, and Baldwin-Lima-Hamilton, largest such order to date.

June 3

Great Northern introduces re-equipped Empire Builder, streamlined consists of 1947 transferred to new Western Star.

June 14

EMD delivers its 10,000th unit, Wabash E8 1009.


TRAINS adds “& TRAVEL” to its name.


July 21

Earthquake rocks Southern Pacific main line at Tehachapi, Calif., closing line for 25 days.

September 12

Pacific Great Eastern reaches Prince George, B.C.

October 28

Burlington opens “Kansas City short cut” from Brookfield, Mo., involving 42 miles of new construction and saving 6 hours on Chicago freights.



David P. Morgan named TRAINS editor.

January 15

PRR Federal Express runs away into Washington Union Station. GG1 4876 winds up in basement; 9 station employees slightly injured.

April 16

FM introduces 2,400 h.p. Train Master, first high-horsepower diesel road-switcher.

May 12

UP opens Sherman Hill line relocation.

June 17

Last run of Southern steam, with 2-8-2 6330, arrives in Chattanooga, Tenn.

October 30

2 David P. Morgan and Philip R. Hastings embark on the first of their steam safaris, this one to New Brunswick to locate CP 4-4-0s.


In its 60th year, Roanoke Shops delivers 447th and last engine, N&W S-1s 0-8-0 244.


January 8

New Orleans Union Passenger Terminal opens.

January 19

Robert R. Young resigns C&O board, sets sights on NYC.

February 13

Construction completed on Quebec North Shore & Labrador, new diesel-powered ore line on north shore of Gulf of St. Lawrence.


TRAINS drops “& TRAVEL” from name.

March 9

Santa Fe completes dieselization.

April 15

Patrick B. McGinnis wins control of New Haven from Buck Dumaine.

April 26

Pullman-Standard introduces trailer-on-flatcar concept with nickname “piggyback.”


N&W introduces C-C-C-C steam-turbine-electric Jawn Henry.

May 26

Robert R. Young wins control of NYC from William White in historic proxy fight, chooses Alfred E. Perlman as next Central president.


Canadian Pacific introduces first cars of all-new Budd domeliner Canadian.


January 4

Last run of Milwaukee Road steam, with 4-8-4 239, arrives St. Paul, Minn.

April 24

Canadian Pacific introduces transcontinental Canadian; Canadian National counters with “longest diesel run” Super Continental.

October 1

Reserve Mining railroad opens in northern Minnesota.


N&W acquires first diesels.

October 30

UP Streamliners shift Chicago-Omaha route from North Western to Milwaukee Road.


January 5

3 General Motors unveils Aerotrain.

January 22

Santa Fe RDC’s derail at speed on curve in Los Angeles, killing 30.

March 1

Missouri Pacific reorganizes, ending 22 years of bankruptcy.

March 1

TRAINS-sponsored GM Aerotrain excursion leaves Chicago for Los Angeles.

April 6

East Broad Top, last operating 3-foot-gauge in East, shuts down when 2-8-2 17 ties up.

April 26

4 C&O unveils RoadRailer trailers, dubbed “Railvans,” for hauling mail on Pere Marquettes.

May 11

Chicago & North Western dieselizes Chicago commuter trains without buying another diesel.

May 16

NYC unveils lightweight Xplorer streamliner, featuring 1000 h.p. BLH direct-drive diesel with hydraulic transmission.

June 10

PGE connects south end, linking Squamish with North Vancouver.

July 31

Great Northern discontinues Cascades electrification.

July 1

T.W.M. “Tom” Long buys steam-powered Reader Railroad in Arkansas.

July 8

Santa Fe introduces all-Hilevei coach El Capitan for Chicago-Los Angeles service.


First TRAINS all-steam issue.


D&RGW converts Monarch Branch to standard gauge.


John W. Barriger III named president of Pittsburgh & Lake Erie.

September 28

5 C&O completes dieselization.

October 28

CB&Q introduces $6.5 million Vista-Dome Denver Zephyrs, featuring two all-new Budd-built trainsets.

December 26

Last standard-gauge D&RGW steam run.


January 23

SP completes dieselization.

March 29

New York, Ontario & Western quits.

May 2

Last run of NYC steam, with 2-8-2 1977 at Cincinnati.


First International Car extended-vision cupola cabooses placed in service, on Frisco.

July 13

Sim Webb, 83, fireman for John Luther “Casey” Jones in April 30, 1900, wreck on IC at Vaughan, Miss., dies in Memphis.

August 30

6 Nashville, Chattanooga & St. Louis merged into Louisville & Nashville.

September 1

Erie Mining railroad completed in northern Minnesota.

December 31

N&W’s Jawn Henry retired.


January 2

Litchfield & Madison merged into Chicago & North Western.

January 17

Last run of Northern Pacific steam, with 2-8-2 1713 at Duluth, Minn.

January 25

7 Robert R. Young, 60, commits suicide in Palm Beach, Fla.

April 3

B&O officially dieselizes as 4-8-2’s between Garrett, Ind., and Lima, Ohio, quit.

April 26

B&O ends passenger service north of Baltimore on Washington-New York “Royal Blue Line.”

June 22

Last run of Illinois Terminal passenger, and electric, service.

August 5

Maryland & Pennsylvania makes last run out of Baltimore.


EMD introduces the 2,400 h.p. C-C SD24, first “second-generation” diesel.

July 2

8 Last revenue freight run of a Nickel Plate 2-8-4, No. 746, Bellevue-Conneaut, Ohio.


Interstate Commerce Commission releases Hosmer Report predicting the end of passenger trains by 1970.

September 15

New York & Long Branch (CNJ) train 3314 runs through open derail, plunges through open drawbridge into Newark Bay, killing 48.

October 2

PGE reaches Dawson Creek, connecting with Northern Alberta Railways.

October 6

Spokane International control acquired by Union Pacific.

October 26

C&NW converts Flambeau and Peninsula 400s to new bilevel equipment.


February 11

Last passenger train on NYC’s West Shore, Weehawken, N.J.-West Haverstraw, N.Y.


TRAINS publishes its “Who Shot the Passenger Train?” issue.

May 14

50th anniversary of Milwaukee Road completing its Puget Sound Extension.

June 9

Last run of Chicago Aurora & Elgin, “the Great Third Rail.”

July 14

Last run of Pennsylvania steam, with B6 0-6-0 5244 at Camden, N.J.

July 18

Last Nickel Plate steamers, 0-8-0s at Conneaut, Ohio, drop their fires.

July 23

Last regular UP revenue freight run behind steam, 4-6-6-4 3713 into Cheyenne, Wyo.

July 27

First revenue train on SP’s Great Salt Lake fill.

September 17

Soviet Premier Nikita Kruschchev rides PRR from Washington to New York.

September 20

Kruschchev rides SP from Los Angeles to San Francisco.

October 25

Reading reintroduces Iron Horse Rambles with 4-8-4 2124.


Kinzua Viaduct abandoned by Erie, purchased by Nick Kovalchick of later EBT fame.

December 1

N&W acquires Virginian.

December 31

Charleston & Western Carolina merged into Atlantic Coast Line.

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