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Holiday Dining on the Rails

With the holidays approaching like a speeding locomotive, many of us wonder what might be on the table this year for us to feast our eyes and tummy’s on. Most of us dream of that home-cooked meal for Thanksgiving or Christmas, as the snow falls outside and the fireplace crackles. Perhaps, this year, we may…

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

Two 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 1867 George Pullman, founder of the Pullman Company, discovered an opportunity to expand his labor pool by hiring freed black men to work as porters…

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…

Train Safety Tips

According to the Federal Railroad Administration, there are approximately 5,800 accidents involving cars and trains each year. Most of those accidents happen at railroad crossings. Many drivers don’t realize the sheer size and speed a train is traveling at, and what it takes for them to stop in time. The average freight train consists of…

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…

Trains and Railroads in Post-9/11 Age

As we honor the anniversary of one of the greatest tragedies in American history, many of us can remember where we were on that fateful day in September nearly two decades ago. Maybe some of us were in school or at work, going to the grocery store or spending time with a loved one. Some…

The Day the Towers Fell

It was a gorgeous sunny day in September. Schools were in session; the leaves were starting to change colors. It was the perfect day in late summer. All seemed right with the world, and the day was filled with promise. At 8:46 a.m., the entire country would come to a screeching halt as the first…

Train of Tomorrow

As the Second World War was drawing to a close, many American’s were longing to return to a time of prosperity and comfort; a time when restrictions were lifted, and they would have the freedom to move about the country. Many were dreaming of what life would be like after the war, mainly how they…

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