Track 4—The Midwest

The Midwestern United States—roughly encompassing, for the purposes of this website, the territory between and including the states of Kansas and Ohio and points north—was second only to the Northeast in density and concentration of railroad activity in North America. But with line clearances which were as a rule more generous than in the urban Northeast allowing the widespread use of dome cars and other premium equipment, the variety of services here took a back seat to nobody.


The Trains:

The Abraham Lincoln

One of the first streamliners in the Midwest, the Abraham Lincoln would enter service with then-B. & O. affiliate Alton between Chicago and St. Louis in 1935. It would still be operating 30 years later.
Abraham Lincoln/Ann Rutledge - August, 1950

The Arrow

Milwaukee Road's overnight service between Chicago and Omaha, with connecting service to the west in the years of U. P.-MILW cooperation after 1955.
The Arrow - July, 1957

The Blue Bird

The Wabash Railroad's spectacular domeliner competed in the Chicago to St. Louis market.
Blue Bird - August, 1950

The City of Salina

Union Pacific and Pullman-Standard opened the streamliner era with this pioneering trainset, which operated in revenue service between Kansas City and Salina, Kansas.
City of Salina - September, 1938

The "400"

Flagship of the Chicago & North Western, this speed demon was named after its ability to cover 400 miles in as many minutes on its run from Chicago to Minneapolis/St. Paul via Milwaukee.
The "400" - June, 1941

The Green Diamond

The Illinois Central's first streamliner served St. Louis and Chicago, via Springfield, Illinois.
Green Diamond - September, 1938

The Mercury

New York Central's homebuilt streamliner served the cities of Detroit, Toledo and Cleveland.
The Mercury - September, 1938

Minneapolis & St. Louis Railway

This lightly trafficked road provided a freight bridge service from South Dakota and the Twin Cities to Peoria, Illinois. Local passenger service was provided from Minneapolis south to Des Moines and west to Watertown, S.D.
Trains 3 and 4 - July, 1957

The Missouri River Eagle

The original Eagle in Missouri Pacific's fleet connected St. Louis with Kansas City and Omaha.
The Eagle - June, 1941
Missouri River Eagle - April, 1971

The Nickel Plate Limited

The Nickel Plate Road operated this nocturnal streamliner between Chicago, Cleveland, and Buffalo NY. Eventually it would be renamed the City of Chicago/City of Cleveland.
Nickel Plate Limited - August 1950

The Peoria Rocket
The Des Moines Rocket

Rock Island's original fleet of streamlined Rockets would enter service in late 1937. These trains provided service from their namesake cities to Chicago.
The Peoria Rocket/The Des Moines Rocket - September, 1938

The Pere Marquettes

Regional streamliner service launched by the Pere Marquette Railway, the Michigan affiliate of (and later merged into) Chesapeake & Ohio. Originally operated between Detroit and Grand Rapids; later service expanded under the same name from Grand Rapids to Chicago.
Pere Marquettes - June, 1947

The Pioneer Zephyr

The original stainless steel, Diesel-powered streamliner entered service for the Burlington in November 1934 between Kansas City, Omaha, and Lincoln, Nebraska.
Pioneer Zephyr - September, 1938

The Thoroughbred

The new name for the Monon's day train between Chicago and Louisville, Kentucky following John W. Barriger's revitalization of the once-decrepit line.
The Thoroughbred - March, 1951

The Twin Zephyrs

The Burlington operated these pioneering streamliners, offering morning and afternoon service both ways, between Chicago and Minneapolis/St. Paul.
Twin Zephyrs - September, 1938
Vista-Dome Twin Zephyrs - May, 1948

The "Wabash Cannon Ball"

The Wabash Railroad brought the hoboes' mythical train to life when it renamed its daytime St. Louis-Detroit express after the popular song.
Wabash Cannon Ball - December, 1952

See Also:

Track 2: Three New York Central overnight midwestern trains included with the New Royal Palm.
Track 5:  The Hiawatha
Track 12: The "Chippy" and Santa Fe Mixed Local Trains 71 and 72
All comments, original material and page design copyright 2006-2015 by Eric H. Bowen. Page modified 2015-02-10.