Here is a list of select Baltimore and Ohio through trains that operated during the 25 years before Amtrak.

The National Limited

The Diplomat

The Capitol Limited

The Shenandoah

The Chicago Express and
The Washington Express

The Metropolitan Special

The Ambassador

The Daylight Speedliner

The Columbian

The Royal Blue

The Cincinnatian


1. During World War I and up until 1926 B&O trains were permitted to use Pennsylvania Station in New York City.
2. On April 26, 1958 the B&O ended all passenger service north of Baltimore.
3. On May 1, 1971 Amtrak took over most of the nation's inter-city passenger business, including all of the B&O's.

Baltimore and Ohio Passenger Service, 1945-1971 - Volume 1, The Route of The National Limited by Harry Stegmaier, Jr.
Baltimore and Ohio Passenger Service, 1945-1971 - Volume 2, The Route of The Capitol Limited by Harry Stegmaier, Jr.
Baltimore and Ohio Railroad Company Through Passenger Consist Book 25
Baltimore and Ohio: New York to Cumberland by Stephen J. Salamon, David P. Oroszi and David P. Ori
Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


Presented here are a number of charts that show the consists of various Baltimore and Ohio passenger trains as they were in April, 1957. Using these charts you will be able to see where the trains went, how they were made up, how the consists changed during each trip and how various B&O passenger trains relate to each other. So far I've only made charts for westbound trains, perhaps one of these years I'll do the eastbounds too.

On the top of each chart is a listing of one or more trains. The train listings are color-coded and include the numbers, names, cities of origin and final destinations. The first chart covers the Capitol Limited, the Ambassador and the Columbian.

Below that is a header with some of the key cities and towns served by the trains. The header in the first chart includes, from left to right (and east to west), Jersey City (JC), Philadelphia, Baltimore, Washington, Cumberland, Pittsburgh, Willard, Detroit and Chicago.

Next comes the complete consist(s) of each train. The cars are listed in order meaning that the first car listed in each train is the one right behind the locomotive, the next car listed is second, and so on. The color-coding lets you know which train the car is on. As you will see, often cars start out on one train and end up on another.

Using the first chart, let's take a look at the Capitol Limited, color-code blue. The train begins its journey in Jersey City and consist of one coach-lounge, three coaches, a diner, an 8-4 parlor, a 16-4 sleeper and finally a 14-4 sleeper, for a total of eight cars. In Philadelphia a storage mail car is added behind the locomotive. (See it?) Next comes Washington, D.C. and here it gets really interesting. The first two cars end their journeys here. The third car, a coach, is transferred to the Columbian where it will continue onto Chicago. The next four cars, like the first two, end their journeys in Washington. That leaves just the two sleepers and  these are the only two cars that will travel all the way from Jersey City to Chicago on the Capitol Limited. For the trip west another ten cars are added to the consist, one in front, the rest behind. The train is now set up as follows: a coffee-shoppe, the 16-4 and 14-4 sleepers from Jersey City, a 12DR sleeper, a dome sleeper, twin diners, four 10-6 sleepers and an observation-lounge. In Pittsburgh one more sleeper, a 10-5, is added right in front of the observation-lounge bringing the total to thirteen cars that will travel onto Chicago.

Now lets look at the Ambassador, color-code purple. The westbound Ambassador starts out in Baltimore as train number 119. Depending on the day it has seven or eight cars that all travel to Washington. There the entire consist is combined with the Columbian where it will remain until arriving in Willard, Ohio. In Willard the Ambassador cars are removed and the train, now number 19, heads to Detroit while the Columbian continues west to Chicago.







Baltimore and Ohio Railroad Company Through Passenger Consist Book 25

Copyright © 1999-2020 Scott Dunlap

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