Thursday, May 15, 2008

What I learned today: 20th Century Limited

20th Century Limited was an express passenger train operated by the New York Central Railroad from 1902 to 1967, during which time it would become known as a "National Institution" and the "Most Famous Train in the World."

Interesting stuff about this train
  • Passengers walked to and from the train on a plush, crimson carpet which was rolled out in New York and Chicago and was specially designed for the 20th Century Limited, thus the "red carpet treatment" was born.
  • Carnations were given to men boarding the train, and perfume and flowers to the women.
  • In 1928, its peak year, it earned revenues of $10 million and was believed to be the most profitable train in the world.
  • Also in 1928, Erwin "Cannon Ball" Baker, who eventually became the first commissioner of NASCAR, raced the 20th Century Limited from New York to Chicago in an automobile, beating the train.
  • In 1938 industrial designer Henry Dreyfuss was commissioned by the New York Central to design the streamlined train sets in Art Deco style, with the locomotive and passenger cars rendered in blues and grays (the colors of the New York Central). The streamlined sets were inaugurated on June 15, 1938. His design was probably the most famous American passenger train of all time

Source: Wikipedia

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