Synopses & Reviews
Inaugurated in 1923 and 1925, respectively, the Baltimore & Ohio’s Capitol Limited and National Limited became household names in cross-country transportation. Their outstanding service and cuisine offered in Pullman sleepers and the railroad’s renowned dining cars quickly established both trains as market leaders.
This authoritative and illustrated history from Joe Welsh, one of the most-respected passenger train experts in the United States, provides railfans with an in-depth study of both trains’ motive power rolling stock, services, and facilities through each train’s demise. Dozens of archival black-and-white and color photography from collections around the country, depict the Capitol Limited and National Limited all along their respective Baltimore–Washington–Chicago and Baltimore–Washington–St. Louis routes. Complementing the rare and evocative photography are period ads, timetables, and menus, all comprising a stunning visual account of the heyday of passenger train travel aboard two of the nation’s finest “name” trains.
Welsh also delves into B&O passenger operations dating as early as the 1880s, describes the roles of major players in the railroad’s passenger operations, examines the railroad’s 1938 entry into the streamline era, and analyzes the B&O’s major competitors. In addition, special tables describe Capitol and National Limited consists, and Welsh even re-creates a typical journey aboard the 1960 National Limited.
In 1923 the Baltimore and Ohio's Capitol Limited started its travels between Baltimore, Washington, D.C., and Chicago. Two years later the B&O's National Limited linked the nations capital to St. Louis. Almost at once the two lines became household names, famous for the outstanding service and cuisine offered in their Pullman sleepers and renowned dining cars.
This authoritative, illustrated history takes readers back to the B&O's glory years, with a wealth of images, route information, details of the trains passenger motive power, and the inside story on the frugal railroads means of streamlining its equipment with innovative and aesthetically striking results.
Against a backdrop of dozens of black-and-white archival images and period color photos depicting uniforms, dinnerware, stations, period ads and route maps, and interior views of passenger cars, award-winning rail author Joe Welsh discusses how B&O passenger operations led to the demise of at least one of its rival Pennsylvania Railroads passenger trains; and how, ultimately, market forces did in the B&O's passenger trains as well.
Here is the whole story, with the National Limited's failure under Amtrak's auspices--and the 1981 rebirth of the Capitol Limited as one of Amtrak's most popular trains, keeping a legend alive.
The illustrated, authoritative story of two of America’s best-known lines, linking the nation’s capital with Chicago and St. Louis.
With 40-plus years of passenger service already to its credit, the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad in 1923 inaugurated the Baltimore–Washington–Chicago Capitol Limited. Two years later, it followed with the Baltimore–Washington–St. Louis National Limited. The two trains would become renowned for outstanding services and cuisine.
Noted passenger-train authority Joe Welsh (Travel by Pullman and Pennsylvania Railroad’s Broadway Limited), takes readers along on a marvelously illustrated account describing the development, motive power, and amenities of both trains from the heavyweight era through their respective demises in 1971 and 1968. Illustrated throughout with rare archival photography in both black-and-white and color, along with period ads, timetables, and menus, this look back at the heyday of the passenger train in America also describes the Capitol’s and National’s principle competitors, as well as their B&O running mates. The result is a fitting tribute to one of the most celebrated “name” trains in the annals of U.S. railroading.
The illustrated, authoritative story of two of America's best-known lines, linking the nation's capital with Chicago and St. Louis.
About the Author
Joe Welsh is currently a transportation planner for the City of Auburn, Washington. Prior to working in public-sector traffic and rail engineering, he served as a senior transportation consultant to nationally recognized transit agencies. A regular contributor to Trains magazine, he is the author of nine books, including the critically acclaimed Pennsy Streamliners (Kalmbach Publishing), By Streamliner New York to Florida (Andover Junction), and The American Railroad and Classic American Streamliners (MBI). His 2004 book Travel by Pullman (MBI), co-authored with William F. Howes, Jr., was nominated for the 2005 Railway and Locomotive Historical Society Book Award.
Table of Contents
Chapter 1 A Trip on the National Limited, February 1960
Chapter 2 Predecessors and Early Years, 1880s–1923
Chapter 3 The Standard Heavyweight Era, 1923–1938
Chapter 4 The Streamlined Era, 1938–1958
Chapter 5 An Honorable Retreat, 1958–1971
Chapter 6 Running Mates
Chapter 7 The Competition