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Brotherhood of the Sleeping Car Porters: Pioneers in Civil Rights Movement

a man standing next to a suitcaseTwo members of the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters carry luggage from a sleeping car in this 1946 photo. The life of a Pullman Porter was far from perfect. In…

This Week in Railroad History – The Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers

November 6th, 1855: On this date in railroad history, 68 engineers from 13 states representing 45 railroads met in Baltimore, Maryland to organize the National Protective Association of the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers of the United States, say that three times fast, forming the nation’s first railroad union. In 1863 it became known as the Brotherhood…

Railroad Uniforms and Accessories 

There is nothing like boarding the train to take you to a far off destination. The elegant brightwork of the coaches, the steam coming off of the cylinders of the locomotive, and of course, the smartly dressed conductor who was ready to punch your ticket. A finely dressed conductor was one of the first things…

The Epitome of Grace

The Harvey Girls came first, followed by the Zephyrette’s. These female pioneers in customer service on the railroads. They were the epitome of grace. When the United States focused on westward expansion, the Transcontinental Railroad completion would connect the coasts, and one businessman focused on travelers’ comforts. Fred Harvey opened a series of diners he…

Owney: The Dog That Traveled the World

There is something inherently special when it comes to stories about man’s best friend. From Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey to Call of the Wild, whether the story is fiction or not, there is nothing more endearing than following the adventures of a loveable dog brings a smile to the face and joy to the…

Demise of the Railway Post Office

Since its establishment by the Post Office Department in 1864 to help facilitate mail delivery over greater distances and quantities, the Railway Mail Service became a reliable entity for the transit of mail across the United States via the railroads. During much of its 113-year existence, the Railway Post Office served as the quickest way…

A (Brief) History of Railroad Safety Crossing Signs and Signals

You’ve probably seen their flashing red lights as you approach the crossing. Maybe you’ve raced to beat the gate arm as it comes down to block you from getting smacked by several thousand tons of rolling freight; next time, don’t do that. Or you may have even heard the dinging bells as you pulled up…