Postcard photo of the observation car of the Gulf, Mobile and Ohio Railroad's "Abraham Lincoln". The train was formerly with the Alton Railroad. In the foreground is parlor-observation car No. 5998, originally built in 1935 for the Royal Blue by American Car and Foundry. Circa 1970.
Original 1935 consist
No. 5751 baggage/mail car
No. 5803 chair car (64 seats)
No. 5804 chair car (64 seats)
No. 5805 chair car (64 seats)
No. 5701 lunch counter/diner
No. 5932 parlor car (24 seats)
No. 5933 parlor car (24 seats)
No. 5999 parlor-observation car
American Car and Foundry (ACF) constructed two lightweight trainsets for the B&O, one for the Abraham Lincoln and one for the Royal Blue, which ran between New York City and Washington, D. C.. Each trainset consisted of eight cars: a baggage/mail car, three coaches, a lunch counter/diner, two parlor cars, and a parlor-observation car.
The B&O rebuilt both baggage/mail cars in 1936: the Abraham Lincolns became a baggage/buffet car with seating for 24, while the Royal Blue's became a baggage/chair car with seating for 44. On July 26, 1937, the Abraham Lincoln received the Royal Blue 's equipment, while the Abraham Lincoln 's original equipment was assigned to the Ann Rutledge. This consist included a 60-seat chair car (No. 5806) that the B&O had built in its own shops in 1936. Both of the consists had the first 64-seat chair car rebuilt into a buffet-lounge, while the lunch counter/diners became full dining cars.
The Gulf, Mobile and Ohio ordered additional chair and parlor cars from ACF in 1947 but otherwise made few changes to the trains' equipment. The new cars seated 68 and 31, respectively.
A postcard view of the Alton Railroad's streamlined Abraham Lincoln train, circa 1939.
The Abraham Lincoln departing St. Louis in 1940. Photo by Otto Perry.
The original streamlined Abe Lincoln was one of two non-articulated, streamlined trains built with government assisted funding in 1935. The locomotive, B&O No. 50, was powered by an 1800-hp box-cab diesel made by EMC. After delivery, No. 50 was retrofitted with a quasi-streamlined, sloped front end. The Abraham Lincoln continued to operate following the Alton Railroad's merger with the GM&O in 1947, and one of the streamliner trainsets survived into the 1960s.
Following its takeover of most passenger rail service in the United States on May 1, 1971, Amtrak retained the Abraham Lincoln as a daily Chicago-St. Louis service, operating in tandem with the GM&O's old Limited. In November of that year Amtrak extended both the Abraham Lincoln and the Limited (now known as the Prairie State) through Chicago to Milwaukee, Wisconsin. In October 1973 replaced the rolling stock with the new Turboliner; as part of this change the trains were re-branded as Turboliners the schedules truncated to Chicago. In February 1976 Amtrak returned conventional rolling stock to the route and revived the Abraham Lincoln name along with the Ann Rutledge. Amtrak added the State House to the Chicago-St. Louis corridor in 1977; in 1978 it dropped the Abraham Lincoln name altogether. Today service between Chicago and St. Louis is handled by the "Lincoln Service".
Classic Streamliners - TRAINCYCLOPEDIA
Text: wikipedia.org. Images: Public Domain; http://www.commons.wikimedia.org (unless otherwise specified) and 17 U.S. Code § 107 fair use. References: Lewis, Robert G. The Handbook of American Railroads. New York: Simmons-Boardman Publishing Corporation, 1951, 2nd Edition 1956. Site Map Contact webmaster HERE.
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