• January In Rail History (From Back in 1936)

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This forum is for discussion of "Fallen Flag" roads not otherwise provided with a specific forum. Fallen Flags are roads that no longer operate, went bankrupt, or were acquired or merged out of existence.

Moderator: Nicolai3985

  by UPRR engineer
From the January 1936 Railroad Stories Magazine .

January 1

1832-American Railroad Journal, first rail publication in US, inaugurated by D. Kimball Minor, N.Y. city, not to make money but to educate public to need for railroads.
1838-B&O. gets Govt. contract to carry mail between Baltimore and Washington.
1842-P.R.R reaches Pottsville, Pa.
1852-F.M. Ray offers prizes to inventors "to promote safety and comfort in the railroad travel," including $300 for inventor of best "sleeping or night seat" (from which came the first reversible seat back, now common in passenger coaches).
1853-First train from Atlantic seaboard crosses Allegheny Mts. to Ohio River at Wheeling, W. Va., on B&O mainline from Baltimore, MD.
1869-Opening of Uruguay's first railroad.
1870-Jay Cooke, Philadelphia banker who financed the Civil War for the Union, becomes fiscal agent for Northern Pacific Ry.
1874-Direct, continuous line opened between Chicago and New Orleans by extension of 2 roads (now part of I.C.) northward to the Mississippi River near Cairo, Ill.
1882-Wm. C. Van Horne appointed gen. mgr. of Canadian Pacific Ry. (see article by Chas. F. Carter, Aug., '35, issue.)
1889-Work begins on the international railroad tunnel under St. Clair River between Ontario, Canada, and Michigan.
1890- Ontario & Quebec Ry. (now part of C.P. Ry.) opened between London, Ont., and Windsor Quebec.
1893- international agreement for rail and freight traffic becomes effective in Europe.
1895- Bangor & Aroostook Railroad in Maine is opened.
1896-Death of Alfred Ely Beach, inventor of first N.Y. subway line.
1900- P.R.R. pension service established. (This road has since pensioned about 40,000 employees, including Railroad Stories editor's father-Walter W Hubbard, of Philadelphia, P.R.R clerk for 41 years; pensioned Nov. 1, 1935)..... "Casey" Jones, I.C. engineer, promoted to passenger service. (Details in Dec., '32, issue)
1902-Last spike driven on Canadians Northern's Port Arthur-Winnipeg line (now C.N.R.).
1912-Interstate Commerce Commission revises regulations about issuance of passes on all US roads, allowing 4 kinds: annual, trip, suburban or commuters, and telegraph passes; and sharply restricting passes privileges. Before the date railroad passes were given freely for political favors, publicity, charity, ect; now the are virtually limited to railroad employees. (Canadian roads today have a little more leeway than US roads regarding privileges.)
1916-No more wooden cars permitted in the US Ry. Mail Service, by Act of Congress.
1918-US govt. takes over all railroads as war emergency measure.
1923-Under Act of Parliament, all railways of England, Wales and Scotland, numbering 120 are amalgamated into 4 groups; Southern, Great Western, L.M.&S. and L.&N.E.
1925-India Govt. takes over East Indian Ry.
1931-International Engine Picture Club founded. (See article in Jan,. '31, issue, "Collecting Engine Pictures," by Freeman H. Hubbard.)
1934-Trainload of passengers leave Cape Town, South Africa, due at Windhoek Jan. 4th, is marooned by flood. (Passengers did not reach destination until a month later! Details in Nov., '34, issue.)
1936- Atlantic & Northern, said to be Americana's only farm-owned railroad, is abandoned, killed by Iowa motor competition.

January 2
1884-25 killed in railroad collision near Toronto, Canada.
1911-"Overland Limited" held up near Ogden, Utah by 2 bandits; porter slain; loot estimated at $300,000. (Robbers never caught.)

January 3
1831-First B&O dividend declared, 37 1/2c a share.
1905 Death of Engineer Louis Hawks. He made famous run of the old 97, hauling Bloomington fire department to fight big Chicago fire. (Details in Feb., '33, issue.)
1913-First passenger train runs through Winnipeg union station on the new high line.
1916-Gen. Grenville M. Dodge, pioneer builder of U.P., T.&P., ect. dies at Council Bluffs, Ia. (See article by Earle Davis, May, '33.)
1919- Uruguayan Govt. in South America takes over Uruguay Eastern Ry.

January 4
1887-Cornelius Vanderbilt dies, leaving control of N.Y.C. System to son, William..... 20 lives lost in railroad collision near Tiffin, O.

January 5

1832-First railroad chartered in Ohio, the broad-gage Mad River & Lake Erie (Big 4).
1875- Boston & Providence RR opens Park Sq. station, Boston, Mass., said to be the finest in the country. (Abandoned Sept 10 1899)
1876-"Frog War" at Hopewell, N.J. (where Lindbergh baby was kidnapped in 1932). militia involved in fracas when P.R.R. refuses to let Delaware & Bound Brook RR (now part of the Reading System) cross its right-of-way. (Details in Oct., '32, issue.)
Last edited by UPRR engineer on Thu Oct 12, 2006 8:56 am, edited 3 times in total.

  by UPRR engineer
January 6

1835-Boston & Worcester R. R. opened in Mass. (now part of Boston & Albany)
1838-Samuel F. B. Morse sends his first telegraph message at Morristown, N. J.
1888-Inauguration of "Florida Special," crack train on Florida East Coast Ry.
Any one know what the "Florida Special" was? why was the word crack used?
1893-G. N. Ry. completed to Pacific coast.
1919-First R. F. & P. train leaves new Broad St. station at Richmond, Va.

January 7

1926-German National Rys. introduce train telephone service. (This was one-way phone service. Canadian National Rys. were first to use 2-way phone service on trains. Details in Sept., '30, issue.)

January 8

1855-Ill. Cent. R. R. opened.
1863-Gov. Leland Stanford, of Calif., breaks ground at Sacramento for Central Pac. R. R.
1902-Two N. Y. C. suburban trains crash in tunnel leading into Grand Central station, killing 15 persons, injuring 42, due to smoke obscuring signals. (This led to N.Y.C. electrification.)
1910-B. & O. buys Chicago Terminal Transfer R. R. at auction, thus insuring independent entrance over its own rails into Chicago.
1917-Philippine Govt. takes over railway on Luzon Island. (Now about 800 miles long, standard gage. Details in June, '32, issue.)

  by UPRR engineer
January 9
1827-Construction work begins on South Carolina Canal & R. R. (which in 1833 was world's longest continuous railroad, 136 miles; also first road to carry US Mail. Now Southern System).
1835-West Feliciana R. R. (now part of I. C.) issues first railway tariff in America---for passengers, cotton and "all articles except cotton."
1888-Maiden trip of No. 28, world's first successful electric car with overhead power, on Union Passenger Ry. Co. (now Va. Electric & Power Co.), a 12-mile pike in Richmond, Va.
1920-Establishment of German National ministry of Traffic, whose chief function is to run nationalized railroads.
1922 Van Sweringer brothers, O. P. and M. J., organize Vaness Holding Co. (These brothers control 27,000 miles of U. S. railroads. See articles by W. P. Helm in July, Aug., '31, issues.)

January 10

1853-Atlantic & St. Lawrence R. R. completed from Portland, Me., to Island Pond, Vt., 150 miles, 5 1/2 ft. gage (later part of Grand Trunk, now in C. N. R. System).

January 11

1866-N. Y. & Oswego Midland R. R. organized. (125 miles, opened in 1869, now N. Y. O. & W.)... Utical, Chenango & Susquehanna Valley Ry. inc. in N. Y. State (97 1/2 miles, now part of D. L. & W.).
1875- First train runs on Sausalito-Cazadero line of Northern Pacific Coast Ry. in Calif. (Later part of N. W. Pacific.)

January 12

1874-Track-laying begins on narrow-gage Des Moines & Minnesota R. R. (Ran from Des Moines, Ia., to connect with C. & N. W. at Ames, Ia., 137 miles; later exended 160 miles to McGregor, Ia. Now part of C. & N. W.)

  by UPRR engineer
January 13

1882-Webster Wanger, inventor of sleeping-car, and 7 other persons killed in N. Y. C. & H. R. rear-end collision at Spuyten Duyvil, N. Y. (See article by H. R. Edwards, Dec., '35, issue.)
1886-30 soldiers perish in South American train wreck at Valdivia, Peru.

January 14
1860-Martin H. ("Jimmy") Lee, Pennsy speed king, born at Turtle Creek, Pa. ("Famous Engineers," Feb., '35, issue.)
1869-Albany & Schenectady R. R. (now D. & H.) opened through to Binghamton, N. Y.
1878-17 killed when doubleheaded excursion train on Connecticut Western R. R. (now part of N. Y. N. H. & H.) plunges into ice covered Farmington River at Tariffville, Conn. (John F. Jones, supt. of the road at that time is now living at Claremont, N. H.; more than 90 yrs. old.)

  by UPRR engineer
Everyones more then welcome to talk about anything i've posted, right here if you would, clue me in, clue someone else in. If ya take anything from here to another spot here at RR.Net, point me in that direction also so i can read up too. Thanks for reading all my hard work, i have alot more to add still, so keep coming back.

  by BaltOhio
Fascinating stuff, and your efforts are appreciated. On the January 6 "Florida Special" item: The Florida Special as a name train was a seasonal all-Pullman train between NY and Miami that lasted at least into the late 1960s. As for "crack," this didn't mean that it carried carloads of white powder. "Crack" was (even in my time) just an adjective meaning something like "top of the line." Talk about semantic shift, that's a prime example.

  by UPRR engineer
Didnt know that about the word "crack". Thanks for sharing that.
January 15

1829-First imported locomotive to arrive in U.S., the "America," reaches N. Y. City for D. & H. R. R. from Stephenson & Co., England.
1906-Spokane & Inland Empire R. R. organized in Wash. (In june, '07, it began operating system of 213 miles electric lines.)
1916-First through Balkan train leaves Dresden, Germany. Crowds cheer as they notice the destination boards: "Berlin-Dresden-Breslau-Budapest-Sofia-Constantinople."
1933-Electric engines placed in P. R. R. passenger service between N. Y. and Phila.

January 16

1885-Unique head-on collision at Batavia, N. Y.; one engine climes on top of the other.
1914-Unification of operating transit companies in Chicago, under the name Chicago Surface Lines, creates world's largest street railway system; over 1,000 miles of track.

January 17

1872-Bath & Hammondsport R. R. organized in N. Y. State. (Opened June 30, 1873; 3-ft. gage, 9 1/2 miles. Now being abandoned.)

January 18
. .
1933-Joseph B. Eastman of the I. C. C. (now Federal Coordinator) comes out in favor of I. C. C. regulation of motor vehicles and inland waterways.

  by UPRR engineer
January 19

1871-Iceboats "Icicle" and "Zephyr" on Hudson River beat Chicago Express, fastest train on N. Y. C. & H. R. Railroad, in 2-mile race.
1872-Opening of Costa Rica's first railroad.

January 20

1830-Pontchartrain R. R. chartered in Louisiana to run between New Orleans and Milneburg, 5-miles. First railroad chartered west of the Allegheny Mts. (Opened Aug. 15, 1832; abandoned by L. & N. about 100 yrs. later Details in Oct., '33, issue.)
1890-San Francisco-Portland line of Southern Pacific closed by snow blockade (until March 24, probably the longest U. S. rail snow blockade.)
1910-One of Canada's worst wrecks; 65 killed, many injured when westbound passenger train on Soo branch of C. P. R. breaks in two, part of it falling into ice-covered Spanish River at Nairn Centre, Ont., 31 1/2 miles west of Sudbury. Harry Trelford, engineer. Tom Reynolds, conductor.

  by UPRR engineer
January 21

1849-North Carolina R. R. chartered. (Opened Jan. 29, 1856; 223 miles, 5-ft. gage; now standard gage, part of Southern Ry.)
1873-N. Y., Boston & Montreal Ry. organized as consolidation of several roads (now N. Y. C.).
1876-13 killed in collision on Great Northern Ry. at Abbot's Ripton, England. (This collision led to adoption of "somersault" type of semaphore. Details in Aug., '33, issue.)
1883-4 locomotives going to relief of 4 other locomotives stalled in snowdrift in Iowa on Wabash Ry. meet the 4 in head-on collision, all 8 being derailed at once!

January 22

1912-Key West extension on Florida East Coast Ry. between Miami, Fla., and the island and town of Key West via 41 intervening keys is open for use. (Details in Dec., '33 issue.)
1931-D. L. & W. completes electrification of 66.8 miles of N. J. suburban. Costs $18,000,000.
1935-Felix H. Knight installed as general president of Brotherhood of Ry. Carmen of America.

  by UPRR engineer
January 23

1835-First two fatal accidents on Lexington & Ohio R. R. (now L. & N.), first railroad built west of Allegheny Mts. Boy stealing ride on locomotive tender loses his footing and is killed. On same day a passenger dies in derailment.
1837-Richmond, Fredericksburg & Potomac R. R. opened to Fredericksburg, Md., 61 miles. (Now 118 miles long)
1838-John M. Horan born at Burlington, Vt. (Now employed as boiler-washing inspector for Milwaukee, Wis., shops; oldest active railroad man; known as "Soda Ash Johnny" because he originated use of soda ash in treatment of water in locomotive boilers. "Famous Engineers," July, '33, issue.)
1899-Copper Range R. R. inc. in Mich.....Delaware R. R. inc. in Del. as consolidation of 4 roads, totaling 245 miles. (Now part of P. R. R.)

January 24

1838-Morse Code first used at N. Y. University over wire 10 miles long.
1888-Grand Trunk Ry. acquires Northern Ry. of Canada and its leased line, Hamilton & N. W. Ry. (Now part of C. N. R.)

  by UPRR engineer
January 25

1857-Northern Pac. inc. in Washington Terr.
1886-Toledo, Saginaw & Muskegon Ry. organized to build 117 miles in Mich. (Opened Aug. 1, 1888; became part of G. T. System.)

January 26

1856-Africa's first railway opened in Egypt.
1904-Santa Fe special begins record-breaking run from Winslow, Ariz., to Chicago in desperate effort of son of ex-Senator Clark of Montana to reach dying wife.
1906-First train on Paris-Lausanne-Simplon international line uses Simplon Tunnel, Switzerland, en route from France to Italy.

January 27

1830-Lexington & Ohio R. R. chartered.
1854-Citizens of Erie, Pa., begin "war" on railroad to prevent change of gage. (See article by Earle Davis, Jan., '33, issue.)
1891-Perth Amboy & Woodbridge R. R. inc. in N. J. as consolidation of 2 roads (now part of P. R. R. under 949 1/2-yr. lease).

  by UPRR engineer
January 28

1855-Panama R. R. opened throughout; 5-ft. gage. Was inc. in N. Y. State on April 7, 1849. Colombia Govt. granted concessions for road in 1850 (amended to run until 1866; came under control of United States Government in May, 1904. Details in Feb., '32 issue.)
1861-Daniel Willard born at N. Hartland, Vt. (On Jan, 15, 1910, he was elected 14 president of B. & O., succeeding President Oscar G. Murry, who was one of the road's 2 receivers from Feb. 29, 1896, to July 1, 1899.) ("Famous Engineers," June, '34, issue.)
1871-Board of directors of Ohio & Mississippi R. R. (now part of B. & O.) vote to change from 6 ft. to standard gage.
1935-P. R. R. opens electric service service on entire Phila.-Wash. attains speed of 102 m.p.h., covering the 135 miles in 110 mins. at average of 73.2 m.p.h., including stops at Wilmington at Baltimore. Train piloted by C. B. Morris of Wilmington. This breaks the record of special steam train carrying photos of Lindbergh's arrival in Wash., which made non-stop run to N. Y.; it took 111 mins. from Wash. to Phila.

  by UPRR engineer
January 29

1835-Morris & Essex R. R. inc. in N. J. (264 miles, now part of D. L. & W.)
1879-Tryout of new monorail locomotive on "Pegleg" road (see Jan. 17, '78) at Bradford Pa. Her trail trip is her last trip; explosion kills crew of 6 (which doomed the freak road).

January 30

1923-Canadian National Rys. begin operating Grand Trunk Ry. of Canada.
1928-A. N. Boyd, C. N. R. road foreman of engines, dies at the throttle while handling special train of Prime Minister Cosgrave of Irish Free State which jumps switch at Limoges, Ont., near Ottawa. ("Famous Engineers," Sept., '33, issue.)
1931-Wreck of Vinna Express at Ausbach, Austria, caused by Sylvester Matuska, fiend who wrecked trains in 3 countries; 3 killed, many injured. (See article by Z. Rothschild, Nov., '33.)

January 31

1871-Train holdup on Arkansas branch of Iron Mt. R. R. (Mo. P.) at Gads Hill; about $12,000 loot taken.
1880-St. Johnsbury & Lake Champlain R. R. inc. in Vt. to acquire Vt. Div. of Portland & Ogdensburg R. R.
1935-Abandonment of world's first street railway, in N. Y. City; displaced by buses. Began operation Nov. 26, 1832, over route extending from Prince St. and Bowery to 4th Ave, and Union Pl. with horse cars. Became N. Y. & Harlem R. R., first with steam locomotive and finally with electric cars for 37 years.


Thats it for this issue, flipped threw the other Railroad Stories magazines i have, sadly they dont cover everyday like this one does. Wish i had that "Famous Engineer" issue in my hands. My Great-Grand-Pa (these are his magazines) worked in the car department in Evanston Wyoming for the Union Pacific, must not of been too fond of hogheads i guess. :-D

  by UPRR engineer
Carstens Publications, Railroad Stories Magazine