The "Spirit of St. Louis" was the Pennsylvania's premium all-Pullman train from New York/Washington to St. Louis, followed minutes later by the all-coach Jeffersonian. Steam was still an important part of Pennsy's motive power mix in the late 1940s, and as the newly designed T-1 duplex locos had proved problematic the ancient K-4s Pacifics were often pressed into service.

The K-4 was an excellent and proven design, it's true, but it was underpowered for the length, weight, and speed demands of premium passenger trains in the postwar era. Standard practice was to operate them double-headed which meant twice the fuel and manpower costs. This is just a guess, but looking at the equipment listing for the Spirit I would not be surprised to find that it often operated in two sections between Harrisburg and Indianapolis with the St. Louis cars and diner in the first section and the Indianapolis cars and diner in the second.

Read more about the Spirit of St. Louis train at American Rails (opens in a new window).

From the pages of the Official Guide, May 1948

Pennsylvania RR Keystone herald

The "Spirit of St. Louis"
The Jeffersonian

Pennsylvania Railroad
April 25, 1948

31 65 Train Number 30 64
Daily Daily Miles Services Daily Daily
6 05P 6 15P Dp 0.0 New York, NY (Penna. Sta.) (ET) C R Ar 9 50A 10 25A
R 6 19P R 6 30P 10.0 Newark, NJ C R D 9 34A D10 09A
58.1 Trenton, NJ C R D 8 48A D 9 21A
R 7 38P R 7 46P 85.9 North Philadelphia, PA C D 8 21A D 8 52A
8 03P R 8 11P 111.4 Paoli, PA C D 7 53A D 8 23A
8 46P 8 55P 159.3 Lancaster, PA C R 7 07A 7 36A
9 20P R 9 30P Ar 194.6 Harrisburg, PA T C 6 28A D 6 51A
531 531 Washington Section 530 530
6 20P 6 20P Dp 0.0 Washington, DC (Union Sta.) (ET) C R Ar 10 10A 10 10A
7 00P R 7 00P Ar 40.1 Baltimore, MD C R Dp 9 28A 9 28A
7 05P R 7 05P Dp Ar 9 23A 9 23A
8 35P R 8 35P 96.3 York, PA T C 7 42A 7 42A
9 16P R 9 16P Ar 123.4 Harrisburg, PA T C Dp 7 05A 7 05A
31 65 Continuing Train Number 30 64
9 20P R 9 42P Dp 194.6 Harrisburg, PA T C Ar 6 28A D 6 51A
11 48P R12 02A 325.4 Altoona, PA T C 4 06A 4 29A
2 18A 2 31A 439.3 Pittsburgh, PA C R 1 31A 1 51A
482.5 Steubenville, OH C RF12 19A 12 38A
4 49A 529.8 Dennison, OH (Uhrichsville) C 11 38P
561.7 Coshocton, OH (Saturdays Only) C 11 02P
6 01A 597.1 Newark, OH C 10 10P 10 25P
6 17A 6 46A 630.2 Columbus, OH C R 9 20P 9 35P
7 39A 8 10A 700.9 Dayton, OH (ET) C R 7 56P 8 12P
7 32A 8 07A 742.4 Richmond, IN (CT) C 6 05P 6 21P
8 50A 9 25A Ar 810.6 Indianapolis, IN C R Dp 4 50P 5 07P
326 326 Connecting Train Number 319 319
9 40A 9 40A Dp 810.6 Indianapolis, IN C R Ar 4 18P 4 18P
12 20P 12 20P Ar 921.7 Louisville, KY (CT) C R Dp 2 00P 2 00P
8 50A 9 25A Dp 810.6 Indianapolis, IN C R Ar 4 40P 5 07P
10 19A 10 50A 882.6 Terre Haute, IN C R 3 22P 3 52P
11 24A 11 55A 950.5 Effingham, IL C RF 2 44P
DF12 57P DF 1 32P 1047.3 East St. Louis, IL C RF12 45P RF 1 15P
1 15P 1 50P Ar 1050.6 St. Louis, MO (Union Sta.) (CT) C R Dp 12 30P 1 00P

Train 31 (New York-St. Louis): 14 stops, 20:10, 52.1 MPHTrain 65 (New York-St. Louis): 16 stops, 20:35, 51.0 MPH

Train 531-31 (Washington-St. Louis): 12 stops, 19:55, 49.2 MPHTrain 531-65 (Washington-St. Louis): 14 stops, 20:30, 47.8 MPH

Train 30 (St. Louis-New York): 16 stops, 20:20, 51.7 MPHTrain 64 (St. Louis-New York): 19 stops, 20:25, 51.5 MPH

Train 30-530 (St. Louis-Washington): 13 stops, 20:40, 47.4 MPHTrain 64-530 (St. Louis-Washington): 16 stops, 20:10, 48.6 MPH

NOTE for No. 531 between Washington and Harrisburg: "Only those coach passengers for The Jeffersonian destinations must reserve their coach seats in advance through Ticket Agents."

Serving the Nation

Coaches on all trains, except Nos. 29, 31, 49 and 61.
Regularly assigned cars are Air-Conditioned.


Lounge Car...New York to Indianapolis—(6 Double Bedrooms, Buffet).

Sleeping Cars...New York to St. Louis—(14 Sections)

New York to St. Louis—(18 Roomettes).

New York to St. Louis—(6 Compartments, 3 Drawing-Rooms). (2 Cars.)

New York to St. Louis—(12 Duplex Rooms, 5 Double Bedrooms).

New York to Indianapolis—(14 Sections)

New York to Indianapolis—(18 Roomettes).

Washington to St. Louis—(8 Sections, 2 Compartments, Drawing-room).

Washington to St. Louis—(10 Roomettes, 5 Double Bedrooms).

Observation Car...Washington to St. Louis—(Compartment, 2 Drawing-rooms, Double Bedroom, Buffet).

Parlor Car...Indianapolis to Louisville—(Cafe Lounge).

Dining Cars...New York to St. Louis.

Washington to Indianapolis.

No Coaches.

(All Seats Reserved.)

Coaches...New York to St. Louis—(Reclining Seats).

Washington to St. Louis—(Reclining Seats).

Observation Lounge Coach (Buffet)...New York to St. Louis.

Lounge Coach (Buffet)...New York to St. Louis.

Dining Cars...New York to St. Louis. Washington to Harrisburg.

Coaches on all trains, except Nos. 28, 30, 48 and 60.
Regularly assigned cars are Air-Conditioned.


Lounge Car...Indianapolis to New York—(6 Double Bedrooms, Buffet).

Sleeping Cars...St. Louis to New York—(18-Roomettes).

St. Louis to New York—(6 Compartments, 3 Drawing-rooms). (2 Cars.)

St. Louis to New York—(12 Duplex Rooms, 5 Double Bedrooms).

St. Louis to New York—(14 Sections).

St. Louis to Washington—(10 Roomettes, 5 Double Bedrooms).

Indianapolis to New York—(18 Roomettes)

Indianapolis to New York—(14 Sections).

Indianapolis to Washington—(10 Sections, 3 Double Bedrooms).

Observation Car...St. Louis to Washington—(Compartment, 2 Drawing-rooms, Double Bedroom, Buffet).

Parlor Car...Louisville to Indianapolis—(Cafe Lounge).

Dining Cars...St. Louis to New York.

Indianapolis to Washington.

No Coaches.

(All Seats Reserved.)

Coaches...St. Louis to New York—(Reclining Seats).

St. Louis to Washington—(Reclining Seats).

Observation Lounge Coach (Buffet)...St. Louis to New York.

Lounge Coach (Buffet)...St. Louis to New York.

Dining Cars...St. Louis to New York.

Harrisburg to Washington.