The Washington–Chicago Express
The Washington–Chicago Express, an American named passenger train of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad (B&O), was one of four daily B&O trains operating between Washington, D.C., and Chicago, Illinois, via Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania during the 1920s–1960s. Other B&O trains of that period on the route were the Capitol Limited, Columbian, and the Shenandoah.
Operating westbound as Train No. 9, the Chicago Express, and eastbound as Train No. 10, the Washington Express, it was an "accommodation" train, meaning that it made stops at most stations along the route bypassed by B&O's other trains, resulting in a slower timecard than the more prestigious Capitol Limited. The Washington–Chicago Express required a leisurely 18½ hours for its 767-mile journey, compared to the faster Capitol Limited 's 16-hour pace. The Washington–Chicago Express was also B&O's primary train for mail and Railway Express Agency shipments, having heavy head end equipment consisting of several Railway Post Office (RPO) cars, baggage cars, and bulk mail boxcars.
The Washington–Chicago Express continued to offer Pullman sleeping car and dining car service into the mid-1960s, but the ending of B&O's mail contract in the late-1960s by the U.S. Postal Service spelled the doom of the train, resulting in its discontinuation before the advent of Amtrak in 1971.
In 1961, the westbound Chicago Express Train No. 9 operated on the following schedule:
City / Departure time
Baltimore, Md. (Camden Station) 1:00 p.m.
Washington, D.C. (Union Station) 2:15 p.m.
Martinsburg, W. Va. 3:56 p.m.
Cumberland, Md. 5:45 p.m.
Connellsville, Pa. 8:20 p.m.
McKeesport, Pa. 9:16 p.m.
Pittsburgh, Pa. 10:10 p.m.
Youngstown, Ohio 11:41 p.m.
Akron, Ohio 12:56 a.m.
Gary, Ind. (CT) (Union Station) 6:36 a.m.
Chicago (Grand Central Station) 7:40 a.m.
(Source: B&O timetable, October 29, 1961)
The Baltimore & Ohio's Washington–Chicago Express at La Paz, Indiana, July 1963. The train is led by EMD E8 No. 1439.
By Lawrence and David Barera - Flickr: La Paz B&O Jul 1963 2-33, CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=33181295
Route of the Chicago-Washington Express.
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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.