In 1952, the Southern had five trains between Washington and New Orleans, most of which continued to New York over the Pennsylvania. The premiere train was the streamlined Crescent, which was all Pullman north of Atlanta and added coaches only between Atlanta and New Orleans. The train left Washington at 7:15 pm and arrived in New Orleans via Mobile 23 hours and 40 minutes later. Next was the Southerner, which was also streamlined but which included coaches north of Atlanta. The train left Washington at 8:30 pm and arrived in New Orleans via Birmingham 23 hours and 20 minutes later.
The Piedmont Limited wasn’t streamlined and required nearly 28-1/2 hours to get from Washington to New Orleans. The train left Penn Station in New York at 10:15 pm and Washington at 2:40 am. The Washington-Atlanta-New Orleans Express was a non-streamlined train that didn’t continue to New York and was an express only in the sense that it was 25 minutes faster than the Piedmont, leaving Washington at 1:30 pm. Like the Crescent, these two trains went via Mobile. The fifth train was the Pelican, which took a completely different route to New Orleans, going over the Norfolk & Western to Roanoke then the Southern to Chattanooga and Birmingham but skipping Atlanta. The non-streamlined train left Washington just before midnight and arrived in New Orleans 30-1/2 hours later.
The streamlined Southerner was inaugurated in 1941 and had the train name painted on the locomotive. As illustrated on the timetable cover, by 1952 both the name and the upper white stripe had disappeared.
The Southern had plenty of other trains in 1952, including a fifth Washington-Atlanta train called the Peach Queen, and three trains between the Midwest and Florida: the Ponce de Leon, the Royal Palm, and the Kansas City-Florida Special. The timetable also lists two choices for travelers between Cincinnati and New Orleans via Chattanooga. Additional trains reached Asheville, Augusta, Charleston, Memphis, Shreveport, and other smaller cities. As mentioned yesterday, the New Royal Palm was a winter-only train, and doesn’t appear in this summer timetable.