Wabash Railroad Travel Literature Collection

Biographical / Historical Note

The basic template for the Wabash Railroad system was laid out in the 19th century, with a continual series of mergers, reorganizations, and changed names (typical of the growth of railroad systems). Highlights include:

-1838: The nucleus of...

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The basic template for the Wabash Railroad system was laid out in the 19th century, with a continual series of mergers, reorganizations, and changed names (typical of the growth of railroad systems). Highlights include:

-1838: The nucleus of what became the Wabash system started as the Northern Cross Railway (the first railroad in Illinois), a 12-mile line running from Jacksonville to Meredosia in west central Illinois.
-1856: Renamed the Toledo, Wabash and Western Railway Company, the system now covered a 520-mile stretch from Toledo, Ohio, through Indiana to the western border of Illinois (Quincy) and northwest to Keokuk, Iowa. The Wabash line was named for the Wabash River, a 475-mile river running through northwest Ohio, northern Indiana, and Illinois.
-1881: Through the vision of railroad baron Jay Gould, this system, now called the Wabash Railway Company, reached Detroit and Chicago and extended into Missouri via St. Louis. But it never developed into the complete "shore-to-shore" system that Gould had envisioned. Instead, it became the principle artery tapping the great "Heart of America."
-By 1900: The Wabash system extended as far as Kansas City, Missouri; Des Moines, Iowa; Omaha, Nebraska; and Buffalo, New York. Connections could be made from various hubs to the east and west coast via other lines.

The Wabash Railroad was a strong Midwestern carrier. Even during downturns of the 20th century, when many similar sized railroads went bankrupt or were folded into larger systems, the Wabash remained a strong and popular passenger line until Amtrak took over the national railroad system in 1971. It continued its name as a freight carrier until 1991 when it was folded into the Norfolk Southern system.

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Scope and Content Note

The collection is comprised of brochures, tickets, destination flyers, route maps, timetables, advertisements, ticket prices, station locations, special event destinations, railroad station signage, executive biographies, railroad lithographs, and other...

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The collection is comprised of brochures, tickets, destination flyers, route maps, timetables, advertisements, ticket prices, station locations, special event destinations, railroad station signage, executive biographies, railroad lithographs, and other pieces of railroad related material. The acquisition was acquired in a scrapbook form. It was saved from a dumpster by a vice president of the Railroad. Because the scrapbook was in poor condition, the contents were removed and individual files created following the original organization.

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Collection Details

Object ID: 2012.67.0
Creator: Unknown 
Inclusive Dates: 1906-1959
Size: 0.9 cubic ft. and 1 oversize box
Language: English

Collection Access & Use

Item Location: Not Currently On Exhibit

Access Restrictions: The collection is open for research.

Credit: From the Collections of The Henry Ford. Gift in Memory of John A. Barrett.

Digitized Artifacts From This Collection

In many cases, not all artifacts have been digitized.
Contact us for more information about this collection.

Brochure and Timetable for Wabash Railway Company, "Going Away?," 1924

  Details

Brochure and Timetable for Wabash Railway Company, "Going Away?," 1924

View in our Collectionson thehenryford.org 

Artifact

Brochure

Date Made

1924

Summary

The Wabash Railway, with origins dating back to 1838, was a strong Midwestern carrier until Amtrak took over the national passenger railroad system in 1971. This brochure promised that the company's new all-steel cars were safer than the hazardous old wooden railroad cars. Furthermore, unlike automobile travel, railroad passengers were completely taken care of here by conductors, porters, and waiters.

Object ID

2012.67.1

Credit

From the Collections of The Henry Ford. Gift in Memory of John A. Barrett.

Location

By Request in the Benson Ford Research Center

Get more details in Digital Collections at:

thehenryford.org

Brochure and Timetable for Wabash Railway Company, "Going Away?," 1924

View in our Collectionson thehenryford.org 

What is The Henry Ford?

The national attraction for discovering your ingenuity while exploring America’s spirit of innovation. There is always much to see and do at The Henry Ford.

VIEW CALENDAR

  Details

Handbill and Timetable for Wabash-Union Pacific Railway's Overland Route to Yellowstone National Park, 1927

  Details

Handbill and Timetable for Wabash-Union Pacific Railway's Overland Route to Yellowstone National Park, 1927

View in our Collectionson thehenryford.org 

Artifact

Brochure

Date Made

1927

Summary

The Wabash Railway, with origins dating back to 1838, was a strong Midwestern carrier until Amtrak took over the national passenger railroad system in 1971. Railroads made Yellowstone National Park accessible to tourists until cross-country automobile travel became feasible and popular. According to this 1927 brochure, the Wabash Railway promised "thru service" from St. Louis in about two days.

Object ID

2012.67.2

Credit

From the Collections of The Henry Ford. Gift in Memory of John A. Barrett.

Location

By Request in the Benson Ford Research Center

Get more details in Digital Collections at:

thehenryford.org

Handbill and Timetable for Wabash-Union Pacific Railway's Overland Route to Yellowstone National Park, 1927

View in our Collectionson thehenryford.org 

What is The Henry Ford?

The national attraction for discovering your ingenuity while exploring America’s spirit of innovation. There is always much to see and do at The Henry Ford.

VIEW CALENDAR

  Details

Handbill and Timetable for Wabash Railway's "Midnight Limited," Leaving from Delmar Avenue Station, St. Louis, Missouri, 1929

  Details

Handbill and Timetable for Wabash Railway's "Midnight Limited," Leaving from Delmar Avenue Station, St. Louis, Missouri, 1929

View in our Collectionson thehenryford.org 

Artifact

Brochure

Date Made

1929

Summary

The Wabash Railway, with origins dating back to 1838, was a strong Midwestern carrier until Amtrak took over the national passenger railroad system in 1971. In 1928, the Wabash Railway erected the Delmar Avenue Station, providing west-end and suburban St. Louis residents--particularly businessmen--convenient access to their railroad system without having to go all the way downtown.

Object ID

2012.67.3

Credit

From the Collections of The Henry Ford. Gift in Memory of John A. Barrett.

Location

By Request in the Benson Ford Research Center

Get more details in Digital Collections at:

thehenryford.org

Handbill and Timetable for Wabash Railway's "Midnight Limited," Leaving from Delmar Avenue Station, St. Louis, Missouri, 1929

View in our Collectionson thehenryford.org 

What is The Henry Ford?

The national attraction for discovering your ingenuity while exploring America’s spirit of innovation. There is always much to see and do at The Henry Ford.

VIEW CALENDAR

  Details

Brochure for Wabash Railway's Excursions, "See Niagara Falls, America's Greatest Wonder," 1929

  Details

Brochure for Wabash Railway's Excursions, "See Niagara Falls, America's Greatest Wonder," 1929

View in our Collectionson thehenryford.org 

Artifact

Brochure

Date Made

1929

Summary

The Wabash Railway, with origins dating back to 1838, was a strong Midwestern carrier until Amtrak took over the national passenger railroad system in 1971. Niagara Falls was one of America's earliest and most popular tourist attractions. To compete with automobiles, the Wabash Railway offered in this 1929 brochure convenient excursion trips with economical fares to this popular attraction.

Object ID

2012.67.5

Credit

From the Collections of The Henry Ford. Gift in Memory of John A. Barrett.

Location

By Request in the Benson Ford Research Center

Get more details in Digital Collections at:

thehenryford.org

Brochure for Wabash Railway's Excursions, "See Niagara Falls, America's Greatest Wonder," 1929

View in our Collectionson thehenryford.org 

What is The Henry Ford?

The national attraction for discovering your ingenuity while exploring America’s spirit of innovation. There is always much to see and do at The Henry Ford.

VIEW CALENDAR

  Details

Brochure and Timetable for Wabash Railway's "North Star Limited," St. Louis, Missouri to Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota, 1929

  Details

Brochure and Timetable for Wabash Railway's "North Star Limited," St. Louis, Missouri to Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota, 1929

View in our Collectionson thehenryford.org 

Artifact

Brochure

Date Made

1929

Summary

The Wabash Railway, with origins dating back to 1838, was a strong Midwestern carrier until Amtrak took over the national passenger railroad system in 1971. This flyer describes the dining service of the North Star Limited--a speedy line between St. Louis and Minneapolis/St. Paul that was operated jointly by the Wabash Railway and the Minneapolis & St. Louis Railway.

Object ID

2012.67.4

Credit

From the Collections of The Henry Ford. Gift in Memory of John A. Barrett.

Location

By Request in the Benson Ford Research Center

Get more details in Digital Collections at:

thehenryford.org

Brochure and Timetable for Wabash Railway's "North Star Limited," St. Louis, Missouri to Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota, 1929

View in our Collectionson thehenryford.org 

What is The Henry Ford?

The national attraction for discovering your ingenuity while exploring America’s spirit of innovation. There is always much to see and do at The Henry Ford.

VIEW CALENDAR

  Details

Handbill and Timetable for Wabash Railway's "Overnight Bedroom Sleepers between St. Louis and Chicago," 1930

  Details

Handbill and Timetable for Wabash Railway's "Overnight Bedroom Sleepers between St. Louis and Chicago," 1930

View in our Collectionson thehenryford.org 

Artifact

Brochure

Date Made

1930

Summary

The Wabash Railway, with origins dating back to 1838, was a strong Midwestern carrier until Amtrak took over the national passenger railroad system in 1971. Since 1869, railroad Pullman sleeping cars had been available primarily to the wealthy. In 1930, the Wabash Railway announced affordable "Over-night Bedroom Sleepers" for the seven-hour midnight run between St. Louis and Chicago.

Object ID

2012.67.6

Credit

From the Collections of The Henry Ford. Gift in Memory of John A. Barrett.

Location

By Request in the Benson Ford Research Center

Get more details in Digital Collections at:

thehenryford.org

Handbill and Timetable for Wabash Railway's "Overnight Bedroom Sleepers between St. Louis and Chicago," 1930

View in our Collectionson thehenryford.org 

What is The Henry Ford?

The national attraction for discovering your ingenuity while exploring America’s spirit of innovation. There is always much to see and do at The Henry Ford.

VIEW CALENDAR

  Details

Brochure for Wabash Railway Company Delmar Station, "The Best Beginning for Every Winter Journey," St. Louis, Missouri, 1930

  Details

Brochure for Wabash Railway Company Delmar Station, "The Best Beginning for Every Winter Journey," St. Louis, Missouri, 1930

View in our Collectionson thehenryford.org 

Artifact

Brochure

Date Made

1930

Summary

The Wabash Railway, with origins dating back to 1838, was a strong Midwestern carrier until Amtrak took over the national passenger railroad system in 1971. In 1928, the Wabash Railway erected the Delmar Avenue Station, providing west-end and suburban St. Louis residents--particularly businessmen--convenient access to their railroad system without having to go all the way downtown.

Object ID

2012.67.16

Credit

From the Collections of The Henry Ford. Gift in Memory of John A. Barrett.

Location

By Request in the Benson Ford Research Center

Get more details in Digital Collections at:

thehenryford.org

Brochure for Wabash Railway Company Delmar Station, "The Best Beginning for Every Winter Journey," St. Louis, Missouri, 1930

View in our Collectionson thehenryford.org 

What is The Henry Ford?

The national attraction for discovering your ingenuity while exploring America’s spirit of innovation. There is always much to see and do at The Henry Ford.

VIEW CALENDAR

  Details

Brochure for Wabash Railway Company, "Excelsior Springs, the Mecca of Golfers," Excelsior Springs Junction, Missouri, 1931

  Details

Brochure for Wabash Railway Company, "Excelsior Springs, the Mecca of Golfers," Excelsior Springs Junction, Missouri, 1931

View in our Collectionson thehenryford.org 

Artifact

Brochure

Date Made

1931

Summary

The Wabash Railway, with origins dating back to 1838, was a strong Midwestern carrier until Amtrak took over the national passenger railroad system in 1971. Excelsior Springs, Missouri, became a popular resort town after the late-19th-century discovery of mineral springs there. This 1931 brochure advertises two alternate routes to Excelsior Springs from St. Louis, each taking about seven hours.

Object ID

2012.67.7

Credit

From the Collections of The Henry Ford. Gift in Memory of John A. Barrett.

Location

By Request in the Benson Ford Research Center

Get more details in Digital Collections at:

thehenryford.org

Brochure for Wabash Railway Company, "Excelsior Springs, the Mecca of Golfers," Excelsior Springs Junction, Missouri, 1931

View in our Collectionson thehenryford.org 

What is The Henry Ford?

The national attraction for discovering your ingenuity while exploring America’s spirit of innovation. There is always much to see and do at The Henry Ford.

VIEW CALENDAR

  Details

Handbill and Timetable for Wabash Railway Company, "A Mile a Minute between Chicago and St. Louis 'Banner Blue Limited,'" 1935

  Details

Handbill and Timetable for Wabash Railway Company, "A Mile a Minute between Chicago and St. Louis 'Banner Blue Limited,'" 1935

View in our Collectionson thehenryford.org 

Artifact

Handbill

Date Made

1935

Summary

The Wabash Railway, dating back to 1838, was a strong Midwestern carrier until Amtrak took over the national passenger railroad system in 1971. The "Banner Blue Limited" was the Wabash Railway's answer to competition from both automobiles and to other railroad lines traveling over similar routes. It was still powered by steam--not the newer diesel--but it was speedy.

Object ID

2012.67.8

Credit

From the Collections of The Henry Ford. Gift in Memory of John A. Barrett.

Location

By Request in the Benson Ford Research Center

Get more details in Digital Collections at:

thehenryford.org

Handbill and Timetable for Wabash Railway Company, "A Mile a Minute between Chicago and St. Louis 'Banner Blue Limited,'" 1935

View in our Collectionson thehenryford.org 

What is The Henry Ford?

The national attraction for discovering your ingenuity while exploring America’s spirit of innovation. There is always much to see and do at The Henry Ford.

VIEW CALENDAR

  Details