Touring with the Train of Tomorrow

After taking delivery of the Train of Tomorrow from Pullman, General Motors sent the train on a 65,000-mile tour of the continent. Starting in Chicago, the train first took a shake-down and publicity cruise to French Lick, Indiana, where reporters, General Motors and Pullman executives, and other guests spent the night at the French Lick Springs Hotel before returning to Chicago the next day.

Train of Tomorrow in French Lick, Indiana.

On May 28, the train was officially christened with a bottle of champagne at Soldier Field by Jane Kettering, granddaughter of retiring General Motors research head C. F. Kettering.

After being displayed in Chicago for several days, the train left for other cities on June 2.

After touring the East, the Train of Tomorrow headed for the West Coast, visiting Southern Pacific’s Third & Townsend passenger depot in San Francisco on November 25, 1947. On its journey west, the train took the Royal Gorge route in Colorado, which prompted GM executives Cyrus Osborn and Harley Earl to bring their wives to see the spectacular canyon scenery on November 10.

Click image for a larger view.

After leaving San Francisco, the train went north to Portland and Seattle, then south to Los Angeles, then east through Albuquerque and Dallas to Florida, northwest to Memphis, Oklahoma City, Kansas City, St. Louis, Minneapolis (along with many intermediate stops), reaching Milwaukee, where the above photo was taken, on April 26, 1948.

Click image to download a 20-MB PDF of this 20-page brochure.

While most of the visitors were probably invited to pick up copies of yesterday’s small brochure, the above much-larger brochure was probably only given out to reporters and dignitaries.

Train of Tomorrow in Florida. Note the ladder being used by a dome window cleaner.

After Milwaukee, the train spent several months touring numerous Midwestern cities, especially cities where GM plants were located. After taking a month off in late December 1948 and early January 1949 to be completely refurbished by Pullman, including new paint, upholstery, floor coverings, and chrome plating, the train went to New York, where it participated in the GM Auto Show at the Waldorf Astoria. Then it headed south visiting coastal cities down to Florida, after which it took another route north and spent much of summer, 1949, at the Chicago Rail Fair. The fall of 1949 was spent visiting various cities in eastern Canada.

Leave a Reply