Wabash 1964 Timetable

Between 1959 and 1964, the Wabash timetable shrank from a 16-page booklet to a four-panel brochure. The timetable still showed trains on the same routes as in 1959, but services on most of them were reduced. Surprisingly, the Centralia-Columbia passenger and two mixed trains survived in 1964, as did the two St. Louis-Detroit trains. There is also a new train that appears to be a commuter train over the 23 miles from Orland Park to Chicago once each weekday morning and returning each weekday afternoon.

Click image to download a 2.5-MB PDF of this 16-page timetable.

However, the St. Louis-Omaha train was cut back to St. Louis-Council Bluffs. The overnight “Midnight Limiteds” from Chicago to St. Louis and St. Louis to Kansas City disappeared completely. Wabash continued to operate the City of Kansas City until February, 1968, and the City of St. Louis until August, 1968. When the latter train ended, Union Pacific renamed its share of that train that operated from Kansas City to Denver City of Kansas City, which must have confused a few people who were used to taking a train of that name from Kansas City to St. Louis.

Wabash 1959 Timetable

In 1959, Wabash passenger trains apparently served four main routes: Chicago-St. Louis, St. Louis-Kansas City, St. Louis-Detroit, and St. Louis-Omaha. There was also one local route between Centralia and Columbia, Missouri.

Click image to download an 11.3-MB PDF of this 16-page timetable.

The Chicago-St. Louis route was served by the Banner Blue, the domeliner Blue Bird, and the Midnight. St. Louis-Kansas City had the morning domeliner City of Kansas City, afternoon domeliner City of St. Louis, and overnight Midnight Limited.

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Wabash Post-War Blotters

These blotters are for various Wabash trains including Chicago-St. Louis, St. Louis-Kansas City, and one that went from Chicago to Detroit. Like yesterday’s, these are from the Dale Hastin collection.

This blotter may actually be from the pre-war era as the Red Bird was a Chicago-Detroit train that operated from 1941 to 1949. The similarity of this blotter to the next one, however, suggests it might have been published after the war.

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Wabash Pre-War Blotters

The Wabash Railroad had lines to Toledo, Buffalo, Omaha, Des Moines, and upstate Michigan. But today’s blotters from Dale Hastin’s collection all advertise either its trains between Kansas City and St. Louis or between St. Louis and Chicago. Click any image to download a PDF of that blotter; all PDFs are between 0.3 and 0.6 megabytes.

The first blotter lists three trains a day from St. Louis to Kansas City and emphasizes that Wabash uses “all-steel equipment.” Steel passenger cars began replacing wood ones in about 1910 and the transition was complete on most major railroads by the 1920s, so I’d guess this blotter was from the 1910s.

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Panama Limited Menu Blank

This menu is about the same size and uses the same paper as the previous three, so is probably from the same late-1960s era. Unlike the breakfast and dinner blanks, this one is a four-page folder and not just a card.

The menu cover shows a courtyard scene in old New Orleans. Click image to download a 0.5-MB PDF of this menu blank.

That’s appropriate as the Panama Limited was IC’s premiere train, and until the end of 1967 included only Pullman cars. If, like yesterday’s menu, this one is from 1968, that would be after IC started including some coaches in the train. But it would still offer a higher level of service than, say, the City of New Orleans which, thanks to Steve Goodman’s song, is better known today but was not quite as classy.

Illinois Central Buffet-Lounge Menu

This 1968 menu offers a respectable range of dinners from six different sandwich baskets to four “grill specials” including veal cutlets and a “grill sirloin butt steak dinner.” The steak dinner includes juice, French fries, a dinner roll, and beverage for $2.75 (about $19 in today’s money).

Click image to download a 0.4-MB PDF of this menu blank.

Facing the page of dinner selections is a page of alcoholic beverages. The back cover includes other beverages (including both Coke and Pepsi), souvenirs such as decorated glasses and travel bags, cigars and cigarettes, and aspirin and Alka Seltzer.

Illinois Central Dinner Blank

This blank menu is clearly contemporaneous with yesterday’s, which if my guess is correct means it is from the late 1960s. The backs of the two menus are identical.

Click image to download a 0.4-MB PDF of this menu blank.

The front of this menu displays a scene uncomfortably close to an antebellum Southern plantation. New Orleans, the southern terminus of many of IC’s passenger trains, was actually one of the more liberal cities in the South before the Civil War, with many free blacks more-or-less integrated into the social structure. But that did not prevent Louisiana from joining other Southern states in oppressing blacks after the war up to and beyond whatever date his menu was published.

Illinois Central Breakfast Blank

There’s no date on this blank menu, but I suspect it is from the late 1960s when rail ridership and service was rapidly declining. The menu itself is made of glossy paper laminated onto regular paper. The back of the menu (the part on regular paper) has an ad for eating in the diner (which seems redundant since anyone holding the menu would already be there) and, curiously, a space for people to take notes about the “highlights of my trip.”

Click image to download a 0.4-MB PDF of this menu blank.

Just barely visible in the background of the farm scene on the cover is a distant passenger train. Presumably this is supposed to be an Illinois Central train, but the illustrator was unable to give it the distinctive IC chocolate brown color using just the red and yellow covers on the menu cover.

Illinois Central World’s Fair Blotters

This blotter bragged that Illinois Central’s three daily trains between Chicago and St. Louis were all “air-cooled.” Note that only the Daylight is “mechanically air-cooled” while the other two trains are merely “pre-cooled.” Good luck in staying cool on the Michigan Boulevard all the way to St. Louis on a hot summer evening. The blotter doesn’t have a specific date, but it mentions that Chicago’s 1933 World’s Fair is “now under construction,” so I infer it is from 1932 or, perhaps, early 1933.

Click image to download a 0.4-MB PDF of this blotter.

The next blotter urges residents of Sioux Falls to take the Hawkeye “direct to Chicago World’s Fair.” Though there is no date, the World’s Fair began in 1933 so presumably the blotter is from that year.

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Illinois Central Blotters

This beautiful blotter advertises Illinois Central’s all-Pullman Panama Limited from Chicago to New Orleans. The cloche hat worn by the woman in the picture dates the blotter to the 1920s, while the reference to Gulfport, Biloxi, and Pass Christian dates it to after 1924, when Illinois Central acquired control of a rail line to that area.

Click image to download a 0.4-MB PDF of this blotter.

During the 1920s, IC had three trains a day between Chicago and New Orleans: the New Orleans Special (which was called the Through Mail northbound), the New Orleans Limited (which was called the Chicago Limited northbound), and the Panama Limited. All three stopped at Jackson, Mississippi, where passengers could catch a train to Gulfport on the Gulf & Ship Island Railroad. IC operated this railroad as a subsidiary after 1924 and folded it into the railroad in 1946. Passengers traveling on to Biloxi (12 miles east of Gulfport) or Pass Christian (9 miles west of Gulfport) would take an Illinois Central bus.

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