locked ODT and Pullman routes shorter than 450 miles

George Eichelberger

While looking for the letter from the Southern Railway President to other roads describing the air conditioning systems Southern used in its passenger cars for Ed Mims (not found yet), I came upon this July, 1945 notice from the SR Passenger Traffic Dept cancelling a number of Pullman “lines” per Office of Defense Transportation Order No. 53. Mid 1945 seems late in the war for such an order. I expect it was to prepare for the return of troops from the ETO and PTO. I assume many railroads were effected by the same order?

After the war, several state PUCs demanded the Southern reinstate passenger trains that had been removed by ODT order without PUC review. By 1946-47, with the decline in local passenger services, the Southern did not want to reinstate the trains but the PUC sometimes insisted so the railroad had to go through the entire process.

The passenger train material in the SRHA archives is extensive. Does anyone know if there are similar files at another historical group, archive or library? SRHA is contemplating producing a “Postwar Southern Railway Passenger Services and Equipment” book. If anyone has material on the subject, or would like to participate, please contact me off list.


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