12 - Selected Short
The major Class 1 railroads comprised
only a part of the rail
transportation picture in North America. There were dozens if
not hundreds of narrow gauge and short line railroads scattered
throughout the continent. Some, such as the Nevada Northern,
were intentionally designed and built to service a single community or
industry. Others, such as the Waco, Beaumont, Trinity, and
Sabine, began life with great aspirations only to run into the
roadblock of harsh reality before their builders' dreams could be
realized. Regardless, in the years before the hegemony of the
automobile and the taxpayer-subsidized highway became absolute, they
were an important piece of the transportation picture for the
communities they served.
Camas Prairie Railroad Passenger ServiceThis
short line was created as a joint venture between Union Pacific and
Northern Pacific to tap the potential of the rich timberlands in
eastern Washington state and western Idaho. It operated this passenger
service into the mid-1950s.
Camas Prairie Railroad Passenger Service - July, 1954
The Chili Line
originally intended for his Denver & Rio Grande to enter Mexico
City—but it never reached any farther south than this branch line to
- June, 1941
unofficially named motor train served the residents living along
Missouri Pacific's freight route on the Illinois side of the
Mississippi River south of St. Louis into early 1950.
The "Chippy": - December, 1949
Railroad Mixed Trains 1 and 2
This mixed train service
between Atlanta and Augusta, Georgia lasted into the 1980s.
Railroad Mixed Trains 1 and 2 - April, 1971
Long Island Rail Road ServiceThe LIRR operated an
extensive commuter network on its namesake territory and was—and is—an
essential part of the transportation picture in and around the New York
City metropolitan area.
The Cannonball/Long Island Rail Road service - April, 1971
Santa Fe Mixed Local Trains 71 and 72An otherwise
nondescript mixed local between Wichita and Englewood, Kansas in the
twilight years of branch line passenger service...which sometimes
operated with a highly unofficial "full service" lounge....
Santa Fe Mixed Local Trains 71 and 72 - June, 1968
This line from
Durango to Silverton was
tap the great mining riches of the area--but its spectacular scenery
would keep its passenger service alive long after the Denver &
Rio Grande Western's other narrow-gauge lines had been reduced to
freight-only service and then abandoned. It prospers even
today under new management.
- June 1941
Silverton - August, 1950
The Nevada Northern, built to connect
the copper mines of
to the outside world, maintained this passenger service through late
Valley Flyer - June, 1941
Virginia & Truckee Railway
The legendary line born of the gold and silver rush in the Comstock
Lode would operate for eighty years in Western Nevada.
V. & T. Ry.
Passenger Service - January, 1927
W.B.T. & S. Trains
14, 15, 17,
The Waco, Beaumont, Trinity, and
Sabine Railway began life
as a logging
railroad with high hopes of becoming an East Texas bridge route--and
ended an ignominious footnote in the record books with the longest
in bankruptcy in the history of Texas railroading.
W.B.T. & S.
14, 15, 17, & 18 - September, 1938
comments, original material and page design copyright ©2006-2015 by
Bowen. Updated 2015-07-27.