As a teenager in the summer of 1956, my mother went on a trip from St. Louis to New York City. From her description of the train and especially of passing the Horseshoe Curve near Altoona in daylight, it seems likely that the train she was on was the St. Louisan. This makes sense, as the families of railroad employees (except, of course, for top brass) were generally restricted to secondary trains when traveling on passes, and the St. Louisan was the Pennsylvania's backup train to the premier Spirit of St. Louis in this market.

From the pages of the Official Guide, July 1956

Pennsylvania RR Keystone herald

The St. Louisan

Pennsylvania Railroad
June 24, 1956

33 Train Number 32
Daily Miles ServicesDaily
11 10A Dp 0.0 New York, NY (Penna. Sta.) (ET) C R Ar 3 30P
R11 25A 10.0 Newark, NJ C R 3 15P
R12 09P 58.1 Trenton, NJ C R 2 30P
R12 38P 85.9 North Philadelphia, PA C R D 2 01P
1 10P 111.4 Paoli, PA C 1 31P
1 53P 159.3 Lancaster, PA C 12 46P
2 28P Ar 194.6 Harrisburg, PA C R Dp 12 13P
Through Sleeper St. Louis-Washington
533 Connecting Train Number 554
11 20A Dp0.0 Washington, DC (ET) C R Ar 5 00P
12 07P 40.1 Baltimore, MD (Penna. Sta.) C R 4 13P
1 37P 96.3 York, PA C 2 37P
2 20P Ar 123.4 Harrisburg, PA C R Dp 1 55P
2 45P Dp 194.6 Harrisburg, PA C R Ar 12 04P
3 47P 255.2 Lewistown, PA C
5 05P 325.4 Altoona, PA C R 9 45A
6 08P 362.9 Johnstown, PA C 8 45A
7 36P Ar 439.3 Pittsburgh, PA C R Dp 7 15A
Through Sleeper Nashville-New York
Connecting Train Number (Pennsylvania) 78
0.0 Pittsburgh, PA Ar 6 40A
315.8 Cincinnati, OH (ET) Dp 11 15P
Connecting Train Number (Louisville & Nashville) 98
316 Cincinnati, OH (CT) Ar 8 30P
430 Louisville, KY Dp 5 15P
Ar 4 55P
617 Nashville, TN (CT) Dp 12 50P
8 01P Dp 439.3 Pittsburgh, PA C R Ar 6 50A
9 10P 482.5 Steubenville, OH C 5 37A
597.1 Newark, OH (Granville) C R 3 31A
11 53P 630.2 Columbus, OH C R 2 40A
1 25A 700.9 Dayton, OH (ET) C R 1 10A
1 20A 742.4 Richmond, IN (CT) C 11 16P
2 35A Ar 810.6 Indianapolis, IN C R Dp 10 05P
Through Sleeper New York-Louisville
94 Connecting Train Number
3 35A Dp 810.6 Indianapolis, IN C R
6 30A Ar 921.7 Louisville, KY (CT) C R
Through Sleeper Pittsburgh-St. Louis
7Connecting Train Number
5 20PDp0.0Pittsburgh, PA (ET)
10 00P190.9Columbus, OH (ET)
1 30AAr371.3Indianapolis, IN (CT)
2 35A Dp 810.6 Indianapolis, IN C R Ar 10 05P
849.5 Greencastle, IN (See Note) C 9 17P
4 00A 882.6 Terre Haute, IN C R 8 40P
5 10A 950.5 Effingham, IL C 7 40P
F 6 35A 1047.3 East St. Louis, IL C F 6 15P
7 15A Ar 1050.6 St. Louis, MO (Union Sta.) (CT) C R Dp 6 00P

Train 33 (New York-St. Louis): 18 stops, 21:05, 49.8 MPHTrain 32 (St. Louis-New York): 19 stops, 20:30, 51.2 MPH

Note for No. 32 at Greencastle, IN: "Stops Sundays only on signal or notice to agent or conductor to receive or discharge passengers."

Regularly assigned cars are Air-Conditioned.


Lounge Car...New York to St. Louis—(3 Double Bedrooms, Drawing-room, Bar).

Sleeping Cars...New York to St. Louis—(6 Sections, 6 Double Bedrooms).

New York to St. Louis—(21 Roomettes).

New York to Louisville—10 Roomettes, 6 Double Bedrooms.) (To 94 at Indianapolis.) (May be occupied until 7:00 a.m.)

Washington to St. Louis—(6 Sections, 6 Double Bedrooms).

Pittsburgh to St. Louis—(6 Sections, 6 Double Bedrooms). (From No. 7 at Indianapolis.)

Parlor Car...New York to Pittsburgh.

Dining Car...New York to St. Louis.

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

Washington to Harrisburg—(Reclining Seats).

Coaches on all trains, except Nos. 29 & 61.

Regularly assigned cars are Air-Conditioned.


Lounge Car...St. Louis to New York—(3 Double Bedrooms, Drawing-room, Bar).

Sleeping Cars...St. Louis to New York—(21 Roomettes).

St. Louis to New York—(6 Sections, 6 Double Bedrooms).

St. Louis to Washington—(6 Sections, 6 Double Bedrooms).

Nashville to New York—(10 Roomettes, 6 Double Bedrooms). (From No. 78 at Pittsburgh.)

Dining Car...St. Louis to New York.

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

Harrisburg to Washington—(Reclining Seats).

Coaches on all trains, except Nos. 28 & 60.

One element of this timetable in particular invites comment: That westbound through sleeper from Pittsburgh to St. Louis which was transferred from local train No. 7 in Indianapolis. But the main stem of the train went through Pittsburgh itself; why was the sleeper not added there? The only answer I can think of is that the Pennsy wanted to have more appealing departure times for those passengers boarding between Pittsburgh and Columbus for St. Louis; No. 7 passed through those points at reasonable hours while the St. Louisan skipped many of No. 7's stops and didn't come through Columbus until the middle of the night. Pittsburgh passengers who wanted to avail themselves of the St. Louisan's later departure could always board the New York sleepers at the train's normal departure time.