THE B&O'S CINCINNATIAN
After WWII the rapid decline of the passenger train began to accelerate due to the popularity of the automobile and the increasing capacity and safety of the airplane. The B&O decided that a high speed luxury coach between Baltimore (really Washington) and Cincinnati was just what the industry needed. There were two trains, one running from Cincinnati to Baltimore and the other running from Baltimore to Cincinnati. Due to the terrain these trains went over, in order to maintain the very fast schedule, these trains were limited to only five cars. As much as ownership wanted to add more cars they could not do it.'
The Cincinnatian's route
The two trains were christened simultaneously on January 7, 1947 in Cincinnati and Washington (not Baltimore) as it was the most important stop in the east. That first season all the trips were sold out (this was painful to ownership because they could not add more cars). These salad days didn't last long. Automobiles were pouring out of Detroit as the post war economy boomed and the roads were being rapidly improved. The airlines were increasing in popularity and capacity. It was the coal strike of 1950 that spelled the beginning of the end.
Dining Car Observation Lounge Car Coffee Shoppe Car Reclining Seat Coach
The remainder of the images are not postcards.
B & O publicity photographs of Cincinnatian debut.
All the Cincinnatian cars were named for Cincinnati localities. The first car was a combination baggage/lounge car consisting of a 20' compartment for checked baggage, a small room for clothes lockers, lavatories, and restroom facilities for the crew (a corridor bypassed this room for privacy.) No sleeping arrangements were needed since this train was run only during the day. Next was the buffet kitchen followed by a 29' lounge section with room for 24 people. Behind the lounge area was the conductor's office and an area that housed an ice chest and air conditioning controls. The Combines were #1307 Eden Park and #1308 Hyde Park.
Eden Park car Car layout & Lounge area Scenes in lounge area
The next two cars were 60-seat coaches. The four coaches were: # 3565 Indian Hill, # 3566 Winton Place, # 3567 College Hill and # 3568 Walnut Hills. The seats were "Sleepy Hollow" reclining seats. There were two restrooms at each end with women on one end and men on the other.
Winton Place car 60 Seat Layout Coach interior
The next car was a 56-seat coach. The four fewer
seats made room for a stewardess-Nurse room at one end of the car. This room was
fitted with a restroom, a room with lockers, medicine cabinet, and sofa. The
public address system was also located here. There were the same arrangements of
the men's and women's restrooms that were in the 60 seat coaches. These cars
were numbered 3572 Oakley and 3573 Norwood.
The railroad soon realized that they had made a mistake with regard to the 60-seat coaches in that the women's restroom was not up to the standards set by other trains of the day. 3567 College Hill and 3568 Walnut Hills were replaced with 3574, Avondale and 3575, Price Hill. The new cars had only 52 seats. This allowed the women a larger lounge and restroom, with a water cooler, private toilet, dressing table with wrap-around mirror, double wash basins, and a three-seat couch.
Price Hill & Ladies Lounge 56 Seat Coach Layout 56 to 60 Seat Conversion
The last car was the round-end Cafe-Observation cars. They were named 3304 Peebles Corner and 3305 Fountain Square. It consisted of a full kitchen and six dining tables. The rear observation area had seating for 21 people.
Fountain Sq. car Observation Car Layout 3 views Looking toward rear Looking toward front
A couple of menus
In order to conserve coal, due to a coal strike in 1950, a cutback in passenger service was ordered and the Cincinnatian was one of the victims. The Cincinnatian was taken off the Baltimore-Cincinnatian run on June 24, 1950 and was put into service as the premier daylight train on the B&O's Detroit-Cincinnati service. They were replacements for The Great Lakes Limited. They were on a schedule of 5 hours and 50 minutes from terminal to terminal. The new terrain allowed the locomotives to pull many more cars than previously, such as mail and express cars, including a Railway Post Office. Thus the sleek streamline look was never seen again.
Ad for new route New route map
Many changes were made over the following years and by 1964 the passenger cars had been reduced to one coach with lunch counter service. When the Amtrak party began, she was not invited. She ran for the last time on April 30, 1971.
At Winton Pl. station-1948
The Last Trip of the Steam Locomotive
Pulling the Cincinnatian
Various ads for the Cincinnatian
Front & Back of ticket used in 1947
Thanks to Scott Kabakoff