In 1952, the Association of American Railroads estimated that there were 13,000 daily trains in the United States, including “local and suburban [i.e., commuter] trains,” but not subway or other urban transit trains. Of the 13,000, about 650 were distinguished enough to deserve names, and this booklet lists those names, the railroads that operated them, where they went, and whether they were powered by steam, Diesel, or electric locomotives. Canadian trains such as the Continental Limited and Dominion are included as well.
Romantic names including the Empire Builder, Orange Blossom Special, and Twentieth Century Limited are all listed here, but there were plenty of trains with less distinctive names. Two different railroads had trains called the Chicago Express, one of which also ran a Chicago Limited. Two other railroads had trains called the Chicago Night Express, while a third had a Chicago Daylight Express. Then there was a Chicago Mail, a Chicago Special, and two different railroads with trains called the Chicagoan. While the Southern Pacific made the name Daylight famous, at least four other railroads ran at least six other trains with the word “daylight” in their names.