Cloisters of Saint John Lateran, Rome. Source:

Thursday, 31 March 2016

The Streamlined 20th Century Limited. Began June 1938 Between New York And Chicago.

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Text from Wikipedia - the free encyclopaedia.

The 20th Century Limited was an Express Passenger Train on the New York Central Railroad (NYC) from 1902 to 1967, advertised as "The Most Famous Train In The World". In the year of its last run (1967), The New York Times said that it ". . . was known to Railroad buffs for sixty-five years as The World's Greatest Train". The Train travelled between Grand Central Terminal (GCT) in New York City and LaSalle Street Station in Chicago, Illinois, along the Railroad's "Water Level Route".

The 20th Century Limited of The Boston and Albany Railroad, prior to 1920.
This image is available from the United States Library of Congress's
Prints and Photographs division under the digital ID det.4a33145
This File: 20 October 2011.
User: Centpacrr.
(Wikimedia Commons)

The NYC inaugurated this Train as competition to The Pennsylvania Railroad, aimed at Upper Class and Business Travellers. It made few Station Stops along the way and used Track Pans to take water at speed. Beginning on 15 June 1938, when it got Streamlined equipment, it ran the 958 miles in sixteen hours, departing New York City at 6:00 P.M. Eastern Time and arriving at Chicago's LaSalle Street Station the following morning at 9:00 A.M. Central Time, averaging sixty miles per hour (ninety-seven km/h). For a few years after World War II, the Eastward schedule was shortened to fifteen and a half hours.

Its style was described as "spectacularly understated . . . suggesting exclusivity and sophistication". Passengers walked to the Train on a Crimson Carpet, which was rolled out in New York and Chicago and was designed for The 20th Century Limited. 

"Getting The Red Carpet Treatment" passed into the language from this memorable practice. "Transportation historians", said the writers of The Art of The Streamliner, "consistently rate the 1938 edition of The 20th Century Limited to be the World's Ultimate Passenger Conveyance — at least on the ground".

The Streamlined New York Central Train, The 20th Century Limited,
leaving Chicago's LaSalle Street Station on a trial run 9 June 1938.
The Train was put into Service on 15 June 1938.
Date: 9 June 1938.
Source: eBay
Author: Associated Press.
(Wikimedia Commons)

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