Track 3 - The Northeast


Home to the greatest concentration of railroads in North America, the Northeast was and remains the region with the broadest and most comprehensive passenger service on the continent. I cannot begin to do justice to the full breadth of operations in this region. What you see here must regrettably be a mere taste of a banquet too vast for any one man to devour completely. Still, I hope that you can leave here with some sense of its flavor.

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The Trains:

The Black Diamond

Through passenger service between New York City and Buffalo operated by the Lehigh Valley, with occasional connecting service to and from Philadelphia operated by Reading.
Black Diamond - December, 1940

The Capitol Limited

Baltimore & Ohio's flagship train competed against the Pennsylvania in the New York/Washington to Chicago market.
Capitol Limited - June, 1941
Capitol Limited/The Ambassador/The Columbian - August, 1963
Capitol Limited - April, 1971

The Commodore Vanderbilt

The New York Central's backup train to the 20th Century Limited. Originally all-Pullman like the Century; later downgraded to coach-and-Pullman and eventually consolidated with the Century.
The Commodore Vanderbilt/Advance Commodore Vanderbilt - May, 1948

The Congressionals

The Pennsylvania's premier trains along the Northeast Corridor between New York and Washington, DC.
The Congressionals - December, 1952

The Crusader

Reading operated this pocket streamliner which provided premium amenities on the quick run between New York (Jersey City) and Philadelphia.
The Crusader - September, 1938

The Erie Limited

The Erie Railroad's namesake flagship between New York and Chicago. After the Lackawanna merger, would operate briefly as the Erie-Lackawanna Limited.
Erie Limited - March, 1951

The Federal

The Pennsylvania and the New Haven combined on this overnight train connecting Boston and Washington, DC via New York.
Federal Express - September, 1938
The Federal - April, 1971

The Flying Yankee

A pioneering streamliner, only the third one ever built, this three-car articulated trainset served Boston and Portland & Bangor, Maine over the B. & M. and Maine Central routes.
Flying Yankee - May, 1936

The General

The Pennsylvania Railroad's coach-and-Pullman backup to the Broadway Limited between New York and Chicago could have qualified as a premier train on many other railroads.
The General - December, 1948
The General - June, 1967

The Keystones

These "Tubular Trains" would be the last hurrah for Pennsylvania's in-house design department when they made their debut between New York and Washington DC in 1956.
The Keystones - July, 1956

The Knickerbocker

New York Central operated this service between New York/Boston and St. Louis via Buffalo and Cleveland.
The Knickerbocker - March, 1946

The Lake Cities

The Erie Railroad operated this service which originally connected New York (Jersey City) with the "Lake Cities" of Buffalo and Cleveland. In the postwar years service was extended to Chicago, with connections at Youngstown for Pittsburgh and Cleveland.
Lake Cities - September, 1938
Lake Cities - July 1956

The Liberty Limited

The Pennsylvania Railroad's flagship on the Washington to Chicago run.
Liberty Limited - September, 1938
Liberty Limited - April, 1955

The Manhattan Limited and the Pennsylvania Limited

These trains provided Pennsy's third-string service between New York and Chicago, stopping at several smaller towns which their premium stablemates passed by. They would endure until the eve of Amtrak.
Manhattan Limited/Pennsylvania Limited - April, 1971

The Merchants Limited

The New Haven's crack train between New York (Grand Central Terminal) and Boston was the last all-parlor-car train in North America, retaining its exclusive all-first-class status until mid-1949.
Merchants Limited, February 1933
Merchants Limited, March 1949

The Metroliners

These experimental high-speed trains, the first U.S. trains to achieve 125 miles per hour in revenue service, served on the Penn Central's Northeast Corridor between New York and Washington.
The Metroliners - February, 1970
The Metroliners - April, 1971

The National Limited

Baltimore & Ohio's entry between New York/Washington and St. Louis, via Cincinnati.
National Limited - June, 1941

The New England States

New York Central's crack through train between Chicago and Boston, via Albany and Buffalo.
New England States - March, 1951

The Penn Texas

Operated by the Pennsylvania to serve as the connecting link between New York and trains to Texas and the southwest via St. Louis.
Penn Texas - December, 1948

The Phoebe Snow

The Lackawanna's answer to mighty New York Central in the New York to Buffalo market. Later extended by successor Erie Lackawanna through to Chicago.
Phoebe Snow - July 1954
Phoebe Snow - December 1964

The Potatoland Special

Bangor and Aroostook's oddly named local made every stop between Bangor and Van Buren, Maine.
Potatoland Special - July, 1954

The Royal Blue/The Columbian

Baltimore & Ohio's daytime streamliner service between New York (Jersey City) and Washington DC.
Royal Blue/Columbian - September, 1938

The St. Louisan

The Pennsylvania Railroad's secondary train in the St. Louis to New York market.
St. Louisan - July, 1956

The Senator

The crack daytime express service along the Northeast Corridor between Boston and Washington, operated by the Pennsylvania and the New Haven.
The Senator - April, 1955

The "Spirit of St. Louis"

Pennsylvania's premium service between New York/Washington and St. Louis. All-Pullman for most of its life and teamed with the Jeffersonian which provided premium coach service on nearly the same schedule.
The "Spirit of St. Louis"/The Jeffersonian - May, 1948

The Trail Blazer

The Pennsylvania Railroad's premium all-coach train between New York and Chicago.
The Trail Blazer - March, 1946

The Westerner/The New Yorker

Through trains between New York (Hoboken, NJ) and Chicago by the Nickel Plate/Lackawanna team.
The Westerner/The New Yorker - September, 1960

The Wolverine

Overnight service between Chicago/Detroit and New York City via the Windsor/Buffalo corridor, operated by the New York Central and its affiliate Michigan Central.
The Wolverine - August, 1950

See Also:

Track 1:  The George Washington
Track 4:  The Nickel Plate Limited
Track 5:  The 20th Century Limited and the Broadway Limited
Track 12: Long Island Rail Road/The Cannonball

All comments, original material and page design copyright 2006-2016 by Eric H. Bowen. Page modified 2016-01-02.