Trains.com
You have 7 views remaining.

Home / Railroads & Locomotives / Timelines / 50 years ago in railroad history: April 1959

50 years ago in railroad history: April 1959

By | March 31, 2009

Email Newsletter

Get the newest photos, videos, stories and more.

Classic Trains logo
50 years ago in railroad history … A supplement to the Classic Trains Online Look Back e-mail newsletter

TRAINS magazine devotes its April 1959 issue to an investigation titled “Who Shot the Passenger Train?” The landmark issue examines the (mostly unhealthy) state of the rail passenger business and proposes solutions. . . . [All feature stories from the April 1959 issue of TRAINS are available for download as a PDF in our online store, KalmbachBooks.com.]

New York Central petitions state regulators to end all of its Chicago-Cincinnati passenger service. . . .

General Electric, flirting with the domestic mainline diesel market for a few years, takes another step toward it by completing two 2,500 h.p. B-B road-switchers designated model XP 24-1. Ostensibly test beds for the export market, Nos. 751 and 752 are re-introduced the following year as the first U25B’s. . . .

Alco’s Canadian affiliate Montreal Locomotive Works builds four RSC24’s for Canadian National, the only examples of the model. Designed around derated 244-type engines removed from FPA2 passenger units, the stubby road-switchers have A1A trucks and a 1,400 h.p. rating. . . .

Effective April 26, the Pennsylvania speeds up 18 of its 38 daily trains between New York and Washington; timings for the 226-mile run are cut by 5 to 35 minutes, with 11 trains being timetables at 3 hours 45 minutes or less; a key factor in the speed-up is an agreement with the Post Office that removes working mail from 32 trains, cutting delays at stations. . . .

EMD lands an export order for 40 diesels for the Iranian State Railways; might any still be running there? . . .

Doing their bit for Cold War preparedness, the railroads serving Washington, D.C., team up on April 17-18 for “Operation Alert ’59,” an exercise in public evacuation from the city in the event of an enemy attack; the roads figure they can move 50,000 people out of the capital in the first 24 hours after warning of an attack, then 100,000 in each succeeding 24 hours. . . .

The Monon discontinues two-thirds of its remaining passenger service on April 9; the “Tippecanoe” and “Hoosier” come off, leaving only the “Thoroughbred.” . . .

Japanese National Railways begins construction of high-speed New Tokaido Line between Tokyo and Osaka on April 3. . . .

Seaboard Air Line quits Main Street Station in Richmond, Va., in favor of Broad Street Station.

Learn more about railroad history by signing up for the Classic Trains e-mail newsletter. It’s a free monthly e-mail devoted to the golden years of railroading.

You must login to submit a comment