Glimpses of 1931

The B&O published various versions of this little booklet for many years. This particular edition says “New York-St. Louis,” implying that a different version came out for New York to Chicago. The 1931 date indicates that it was before air conditioning (which may be why the people on the cover are on the observation platform), Diesels, and streamlining.

Click image to download an 11.0-MB PDF of this 44-page booklet.

The B&O owned very little track in either New York or New Jersey, instead reaching Jersey City over the rails of the Reading and Jersey Central railroads. The only track it owned in New York was the Staten Island Rapid Transit system, which it purchased in 1885 apparently with the intent of turning Staten Island into a seaport. That never happened, but most passengers to New York City wouldn’t have gone through Staten Island anyway.

Instead, New York City passengers took B&O buses from Manhattan across the Hudson to the Jersey Central station in Jersey City. The train then took them to St. Louis via Philadelphia, Baltimore, Washington, Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, and Louisville. At 1,112 miles, B&O’s route to St. Louis was 44 miles shorter than New York Central‘s, but 62 miles longer than Pennsylvania’s. Even with the mileage advantage over New York Central, B&O’s trains were the slowest of the three.


Leave a Reply