We Deeply Regret the End of the Silver Age

Despite having purchased $5 million worth of new or refurbished passenger cars since 1962, ridership dwindled on the Kansas City Southern, so this 1968 brochure announces that the railroad was discontinuing all passenger service. The brochure blamed the decline in ridership on government-subsidized roads and airports, but in fact most intercity roads and commercial airports were paid for with gas taxes and landing fees.

Click image to download a 1.1-MB PDF of this brochure.

The brochure from the Bruce Adams collection also indicates the proximate cause of the discontinuation: the Post Office’s cancellation of railway post office cars on trains in January, 1968. These cars brought in around $700,000 a year, not enough to offset the $2.9 million in annual losses from passenger service, but enough to make the railroad lose interest in continuing such money-losing trains.

Leave a Reply