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Mike Schafer and I are co-editors of SRHA’s quarterly journal, TIES
. We are distant cousins. If you have an interest in the fascinating Southern Railway, you should consider joining SRHA. You can do so on our website at SRHA.net
I have not done an extensive study on the issue, but I believe 1922 is about the time rail passenger service, nationally, began its inexorable decline (World War II, excepted). I know that’s true for SOU, which handled fewer passengers in 1929 than in 1920.
Thank you Bill, and this is wonderful information. I always wondered about that line.
The earliest passenger timetable I have for the Southern is April 1962. On the map of the rail system, the line to St. Louis is still shown. However, if you look in the index and look up any cities on the line including St. Louis, it will just say freight service only.
It is nice that they did have passenger trains on this line at one time. I don’t know if this is true anymore but maybe 10 years ago or a little more, I read that train service in this country peaked in 1922. Except for a flurry during World War II, it has declined every year since then. Maybe this is no longer valid, or maybe the source was not even completely accurate at the time.
Brooklyn, New York
PS: I don’t suppose you are any relation to Mike Schaeffer who has written some excellent books on passenger trains?
On Sep 9, 2020, at 2:23 PM, Bill Schafer <bill4501@...> wrote:
1910 - SOU ran three each way daily into/out of St. Louis - trains 7-8, accommodation trains Mt. Vernon, Ill.-St. Louis making all local stops; trains 1-2, overnight to/from Louisville with connections to Asheville and other points. Carried a Danville-St Louis sleeper. And trains 23-24 (St. Louis Special
), overnight Asheville-Knoxville-Louisville, day train Louisville-St. Louis. Advertised Asheville-Louisville sleeper, thru coach Knoxville-St. Louis, Parlor-Cafe car Louisville-St. Louis.
1920 - Same train pattern as 1910.Trains 1-2 thru sleeping car and coaches Danville-St. Louis plus Louisville-St. Louis sleeper (all Pullmans were 12 section-1 drawing room cars). Trains 23-24 (St. Louis Special) Thru sleepers St. Louis-Asheville and Louisville-Atlanta.
1930 - Same train patters as 1910-1920. Trains 1-2 Pullman observation sleeper St. Louis-Danville, standard sleeper St. Louis-Louisville. Trains 23-24 (St. Louis Special) sleepers St. Louis-Louisville-Asheville, Louisville-Atlanta. Cafe-parlor car Danville-St. Louis.
1940 - Accommodation train gone by this time; trains 1-2 - same overnight schedule but coaches only. Trains 23-24 - same daytime schedule; meal stops advertised - breakfast/dinner at Louisville; luncheon at Princeton. Sleeper between Louisville and Asheville.
1950 - Trains 1-2 gone. 23-24 originated/terminated at East St. Louis (Relay Station); passengers connected to/from St. Louis via GM&O trains. Still advertised heavyweight sleeper Louisville-Asheville.
Trains 23-24 discontinued between East St. Louis and Louisville in May 1953 (if I remember correctly). Louisville-Danville service continued until 1955.
Southern trains to/from St. Louis always fed the Southern system; did not provide through service for other railroads.
The L&N did not have any through cars to St Louis on Southern passenger trains because they had their own trains that ran to St Louis.
In a message dated 9/9/2020 9:25:48 AM Eastern Standard Time, meadowbrookdairy@...
Yes, it would be nice if they were more attention paid to that division. I wonder if they were through cars on passenger trains from other railroads like possibly Louisville and Nashville.
I do believe that there were thru sleeping cars from New York City to New Orleans with the Pennsylvania Railroad looking after the run as far south as Washington.
Yes their yard and facilities were actually across the river in Illinois, but the passenger trains would likely have continued across the river to St. Louis Union Station on TRRA trackage and the Merchants Bridge.
It is a shame that the Southern’s St. Louis division gets such little attention. It was an interesting stretch of railroad.
Thank you very much. Well it is nice to know that at least there were passenger trains. I think the Southern actually terminated at East St. Louis, didn’t it?
Actually the line to St Louis started just North of Danville and bypassed Lexington to the Southwest.
On the subject of passenger trains I do know there were passenger trains because I have seen a few photos of these trains in Louisville. Unfortunately I don’t have a lot of specific information without getting into some books and Official Guides.
I know that the Southern Railway had a line from Lexington to St. Louis. However, I have
never heard of a passenger train on that route. Did they have any?
Brooklyn New York