locked Restoring passenger trains at the end of WWII

George Eichelberger

At the beginning of WWII, the Office of Defense Transportation ordered the discontinuation of many passenger trains where patronage did not justify the equipment or manpower needed to operate them. In many cases, the Southern accepted the Order as the opportunity to get rid of trains that State PUCs wanted to keep running. The ICC/ODT orders did not require PUC approvals.

As the War ended and the ODT orders were lifted, it was not unusual for the same PUCs to insist the trains be reestablished. Obviously if a railroad through a train should have been discontinued in 1941, it was unlikely it would be needed in 1949. The following 11-17-1949 memo is one of several examples in the SRHA archives that describe how the Southern was dealing with the issue.