Railroad Timetables

You never know what you’ll come across each day in the field of historic preservation, such as 1882 railroad timetables. Take a look:

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And now I have a desire to travel cross country by train. How about you?

8 thoughts on “Railroad Timetables

  1. richholschuh says:

    Those were colorful and confusing days; nearly all of those original roads are now gone – sold, merged, or abandoned. New England alone had 600-700 different railroads in its travelled past. But fortunately, one can still ride a train cross-country and at least get close to most other places. Local railroad history is a great source of constant interest to me; there is always an entertaining story and another rabbit hole to explore behind it. Vermont is just rife with potential on this subject! Thanks for the post!

    • Kaitlin says:

      I agree, the railroads were fascinating. And we’ve since lost so many lines of track. Though I suppose the rails to trails program is a good modern interpretation!

  2. Mark says:

    Rail travel was incredibly frustrating in the earliest days, with confusing time zone differences and difficult railway gauge differences. Before Standard Time, each locale had their own time zone, creating nightmare scenarios for scheduling from town to town, or region to region. The rail gauge issue was just as localized, and meant that if you traveled from NY to SC (for example), you might have to stop and transfer 6 or 7 times b/c each line used a different gauge of rails. The U.S. and Canada eventually settled on wide gauge for the sake of universality.

    • Mark says:

      Don’t know if anyone noticed, but these schedules are from 1882. That’s a very critical date, since times weren’t standardized until 1883. Before 1883, all times were much more local, and confusion frequently resulted. :

      “On October 11, 1883, the heads of the major railroads met in Chicago at the former Grand Pacific Hotel and agreed to adopt Allen’s proposed system. The members agreed that at noon on Sunday, November 18, 1883, all United States and Canadian railroads would readjust their clocks and watches to reflect the new five zone system.”

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