Facebook Page


All photos by Ron Goodenow. Reproduction without Ron's permission is prohibited.


In December of 1965 I took a business trip from Pittsburgh to Washington on Train 8, the C&O-B&O Diplomat, a day train en route from Chicago with a sleeping car, coaches and diner lounge.

The diner lounge was a friendly place, well decked out warmly with decorations of the season. The broiled rib eye with fried onions was $2.85, the turkey dinner $2.60 and the meat loaf with mushroom gravy $2.60. I don't remember what I ordered, but I do remember an utterly enjoyable on-time ride through hills tinged with snow.

Friendly staff and well-maintained equipment on a route shared with two other trains, the deluxe Capitol Limited and the Washington-Chicago Express. The C&O and B&O had merged recently and it showed with gleaming equipment and a wide range of services.

Seasons Greetings from today and over 30 years ago!


Here's Northeast Direct Train 145 departing from Worcester to Springfield, New York and Washington on Sunday morning, December 26, 1998. The train consisted of 6 Amfleet I coaches and a cafe car. A very large crowd boarded at Worcester's tiny Amtrak station. In terms of intercity transportation, Worcester is one of the worst-served major cities in America. Its new airport is virtually abandoned and a subject of wide-spread ridicule for mismangement, a waste of taxpayer dollars, and letting the airline business go to Providence and Manchester, NH. There are two Amtrak trains a day, #145 and its return being supplemented by the Boston-Chicago sections of the Lake Shore Limited, but there is some hope for improved rail travel. On the right, one can see the platform now serving 5 MBTA trains [in each direction] linking Worcester to Framingham and Boston, with more service to be added as local towns resolve disputes on station locations. In the far distance on the right [the white building] one can see Worcester's soon-to-open Union Station intermodal center -- the original terminal was closed in 1976 and more recently served as a waystation for illegal drugs. The project is plagued by various fits and starts about tenants, just what transportation services will be located there is yet to be clarified, and parking may be very limited. Locals talk of the "Worcester version of the Washington Union Station," such hyperbole being quite common around the city's many on-again-off-again redevelopment projects. Rumors abound about privately financed new trains to the Connecticut gambling casinos and beyond [New London, Providence?] but most of us will be happy to have a big city station and, hopefully, a Worcester connection to the high speed NE corridor trains due to arrive before the end of the year.

I haven't forgotten many friends of Amtrak who live in Canada. Here's a shot of Canadian National's eastbound Panorama taken on a gloomy morning in the Fraser River Canyon, not far from Blue River, British Columbia, in early summer 1966. My wife and I, on a camping trip, followed BC 5, a secondary road of ruts, logs and much mud for many miles along the CNN right of way. The Panorama was one of two transcons run by the railroad in the 1960s -- the other was the Super Continental -- between Vancouver and Montreal [with connects to Toronto]. No secondary mail-express train this. Along the way the Panorama's consist included a coach lounge, reserved seat coaches, sceneramic lounge, sleepers of various kinds -- some including sections -- diners, a club lounge and a refreshment lounge. Alas, these were the days when Canadian long-distance trains were becoming the envy of those of us who lived South of the Border. How times change in 30+ years! There will be many more Canadian photos to come.

It's an early winter morning in 1982. Amtrak's eastbound California Zephyr has just departed Ottumwa, Iowa, on its way to Chicago on the Burlington.


Page created by: Craig O'Connell
Changes last made on: June 30, 2002.



Other rail related links of interest: Train Links