Railroad Timetables February 23, 2013February 23, 2013 You never know what you’ll come across each day in the field of historic preservation, such as 1882 railroad timetables. Take a look: And now I have a desire to travel cross country by train. How about you? AdvertisementShare this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to email a link to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pinterest (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Like this:Like Loading... Related
8 thoughts on “Railroad Timetables”
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!
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!
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.
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.”
Nice catch, Mark. Thanks for the information about rail gauge and time zones. Craziness!
I saw a documentary about the many ways the railroad changed the world that mentioned that. It must’ve been crazy beforehand.
I want to travel across the U.S. via train. I know a couple of people who have done this and loved it.