Trains Go to War

Trains Go to War, a special issue from Classic Trains, takes you behind the scenes of the rail industry as it served major war efforts from the 1860s through the 1960s. This edition includes rare color photos as well as coverage of European and Asian war zones.


In this Issue

When Railroading Went to War

Some soldiers, both Union and Confederate, went into battle holding a throttle instead of a rifle

Railroads at the Front

Portable rail lines do a better job of military supply than trucks, and with less manpower

The Very First USRA Engine

Baldwin employed extraordinary measures to complete the first “McAdoo” 2-8-2 in record time

Military Railway Service in Italy

A lieutenant with a flair for art provides an illustrated firsthand account of Army rail operations

Narrow Gauge on Oahu Island

Unencumbered by interchange difficulties, a 3-foot-gauge line far out in the Pacific does a rushing war business

54 Minutes at Marion

Quick action by Erie Railroad men kept a train of troops and their equipment on the move

Herr Goebbels Was Wrong

Despite the predictions of the Nazi propaganda chief, America’s railroads successfully met the challenge of war

They Were Not Scrapped

How the New Haven reactivated 58 old steam locomotives and put them to work moving wartime traffic

Tracks to Victory

How the U.S. Army’s Military Railway Service in North Africa and Europe helped defeat Nazi Germany

Bivouac for Army Railroaders

Railway Operating Battalion personnel trained on a Louisiana pike known as the “Crime & Punishment”

Troop Cars

Boxcar-inspired sleepers and kitchen cars were expeditious answers to the railroads’ wartime capacity crunch

Why We Never Stopped the Red Railroads in Korea

The commanding general of U.S. forces in Korea describes the remarkable resiliency of rail facilities in time of war

The Stewart Special

Soldiers and Marines cheered at the passage of a train carrying desperately needed supplies for Seoul

Railroading Where the Competition is a War

Beset by war and weather for 30 years, South Vietnam’s rail system struggles to keep going