Timeline of United States railway history
From Academic Kids
The Timeline of United States railway history is as follows:
- 1810s-1830s: Various inventors and entrepreneurs make suggestions about building model railways in the United States; In 1825 John Stevens (inventor) builds a test track and runs a locomotive around it in Hoboken, New Jersey.
- 1820s and 1830s: The Baltimore and Ohio is incorporated in 1827 and officially opens in 1830. Other railroads soon follow, including the Camden and Amboy by 1832.
- 1830s-1860s: Enormous railway building booms in the United States of America. Railroads replace canals as a primary mode of transportation.
- 1853 Indianapolis' Union Station, the first "union station" in the world, opened by the Terre Haute & Richmond, Madison & Indianapolis, and Bellefontaine railroads.
- 1865: George Pullman becomes well-known for luxury sleeping cars, called Pullman cars in his honor, after he loans one of his cars to house the coffin of Abraham Lincoln after Lincoln's assassination.
- 1869: Union Pacific and Central Pacific complete first transcontinental railway link at Promontory Summit.
- 1869: George Westinghouse establishes air brake company.
- 1870s and 1880s: Strikes break out against railroads and the Pullman Palace Car Company. Corporations hire Pinkerton guards to break up the strikes. Nonetheless, much violence occurs in the strikes. Many are shot dead, buildings and rolling stock are burned, and reports of rioting shocks middle-class Americans.
- 1887: The Interstate Commerce Commission (ICC) is created to regulate railroads, to ensure fair prices.
- 1891: Webb C. Ball establishes first Railway Watch official guidelines for Railroad chronometers.
- 1901: Eight locomotive manufacturing companies are combined in a merger to form the American Locomotive Company (ALCO).
- 1902: Twentieth Century Limited inaugurated by the New York Central railroad.
- 1910s: Pennsylvania Railroad builds Pennsylvania Station in New York City; New York Central Railroad builds current version of Grand Central Terminal.
- 1916: US railway reaches peak length.
- 1920s and 1930s: Automobiles and airplanes contribute to a decline in ridership and mileage, as well as the Great Depression.
- 1934: Burlington railroad's Pioneer Zephyr completes its inaugural run from Denver to Chicago, first diesel-powered streamliner in America.
- May 12 1936: The Santa Fe railroad inaugurates the all-Pullman Super Chief between Chicago, IL, and Los Angeles, CA.
- 1940s: World War II brings railroads the highest ridership in American history, as soldiers are being sent to fight overseas in the Pacific Theater and the European Theater. However, automobile travel causes ridership to decline after the war ends.
- March 20 1949: The Chicago, Burlington and Quincy Railroad, Denver and Rio Grande Western Railroad and Western Pacific Railroad jointly launch the California Zephyr between Chicago, IL, and San Francisco, CA, as the first passenger train to include Vista Dome cars in regular service.
- 1950s and 1960s: Drastic decline in railroad travel in the United States of America, due to automobiles, trucks, and airplanes, as first jetliners take to the air. Railroads respond through mergers and attempts to shut down trains and railroad lines. However, the ICC refuses to let railroads shut down many trains.
- December 1 1959: ICC approved Virginian Railway merger into Norfolk & Western begins modern-day period of railroad mergers and consolidations
- December 3 1967: The New York Central's Twentieth Century Limited makes last run.
- 1968: Pennsylvania Railroad and New York Central merge to form Penn Central.
- June 21, 1970: Penn Central declares Chapter 7 bankruptcy.
- 1971: President Richard Nixon and Congress create Amtrak and eliminate several passenger routes.
- March 22 1970: The CB&Q, D&RGW and WP railroads' California Zephyr on its last run, arrives in Oakland, CA from Chicago, IL; however the train name will soon be resurrected by Amtrak on a train travelling almost the same route as the original
- 1970s: Conrail, a freight railroad, founded from the remains of the bankrupt Penn Central and a number of other bankrupt railroads in the North-Eastern USA.
- 1970s and 1980s: Amtrak introduces double-deck Superliner rolling stock. Auto-Train Corporation begins running as independent line (1971), but fails in 1981; In 1983, Amtrak revives service and runs slightly renamed Auto Train as one of its more-heavily-promoted lines.
- 1980 Railroads deregulated; ICC abolished.
- September 15 1981: The John Bull becomes the oldest operable steam locomotive in the world when it runs under its own power outside Washington, DC.
- 1981: Union Pacific 3985 is restored to operating condition, making it the largest operable steam locomotive in the world.
- January 1 1986: The Milwaukee Road is merged into the Soo Line railroad in the largest railroad bankruptcy proceedings to date in America
- 1990s: Amtrak funding comes under heavier scrutiny by Congress, while Amtrak creates new trains such as the Talgo and the Acela Express.
- September 11 2001: Terrorists destroy World Trade Center and destroy part of the PATH system in the process. Full PATH service resumed November 23 2003.