1956 in rail transport
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|Years in rail transport|
This article lists events related to rail transport that occurred in 1956.
- January 5 – The General Motors Electro-Motive Division “Aerotrain” makes its initial Chicago to Detroit test run.
- January 11 – The Chicago, Indianapolis and Louisville Railway officially adopts its longtime nickname, Monon Railroad, as corporate title.
- January 22 – Redondo Junction train wreck, Santa Fe Railway's San Diegan passenger train derails just outside Los Angeles Union Passenger Terminal. The accident is announced over the radio and so many doctors, nurses and sightseers drive to the scene that it causes one of the first Sig Alerts.
- February 11 – Rock Island’s Aerotrain, “Jet Rocket” begins service between Chicago and Peoria, Illinois.
- March 5 – The last steam locomotive purchased new by Southern Pacific Railroad, cab forward class AC-12 4-8-8-2 number 4294, is retired from revenue service.
- March 17 – Trailer Train Corporation begins operations. Stockholders include the Pennsylvania Railroad, Norfolk and Western Railroad, Frisco and Missouri Pacific Railroad.
- March 24 – Kansas City Southern Railway officially dedicates Deramus Yards in Shreveport, Louisiana, named in honor of William N. Deramus, Jr., the company's current president.
- March – Mitsubishi Heavy Industries of Japan construct the first batch of 2-10-2 steam locomotives for the isolated Ramal Ferro Industrial Río Turbio (RFIRP) 750 mm gauge railway in the southern Patagonian Desert of Argentina to haul coal from Río Turbio for shipping from Río Gallegos, Santa Cruz.
- April 6 – The East Broad Top Railroad, a 3 ft (914 mm) gauge carrier in Pennsylvania, ceases operations.
- April 28 – Canadian Pacific Railway discontinues the former Imperial Limited passenger train schedule.
- May 22 – The last Chicago and North Western Railway steam locomotive-powered Chicago commuter train drops its fires.
- June 3 – Remaining Second class accommodation on British Railways trains (by now surviving only on Southern Region boat trains) is abolished and Third class redesignated Second class.
- June 30 - The Rochester Subway (Rochester Industrial and Rapid Transit Railway) ceases operation after 29 years.
- July 8 – The Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway equips its El Capitan with new, high-level cars from Budd.
- July 27 – The last two Chesapeake and Ohio Railway 2-6-6-6 “Alleghenies” are taken off standby status. The last revenue run had been made about a month earlier.
- July 31 – Great Northern Railway runs its last electric locomotive over Stevens Pass.
- August 6 – The last big diesel locomotive constructed by Baldwin-Lima-Hamilton at Eddystone, Pennsylvania, is shipped: Columbus Geneva Steel #35.
- August 27 – Pacific Great Eastern Railway, in British Columbia, holds official opening ceremonies to celebrate the beginning of service over its line (which occurred on June 11, 1956).
- September 1 – Last day of steam locomotive operations on the Bessemer and Lake Erie Railroad.
- September 6 – The Chesapeake and Ohio Railway car ferry Badger is launched. It is the last coal-fired, passenger-carrying steamship built in the U.S.
- September 13 – Last day of steam locomotive power for the New York Central Railroad trains in New York City suburban service.
- September 16 – Chicago South Shore and South Bend Railroad begins operating over a relocated alignment through East Chicago, Indiana, reducing travel time on the railroad between Gary, Indiana, and Chicago by ten minutes.
- October 18 – Head-on collision between two Atlantic Coast Line Railroad freight trains at Pineola, Florida in Citrus County kills five crewmen.
- October 30 – Baldwin-Lima-Hamilton ships its last common carrier sized diesel locomotive from Eddystone, Pennsylvania: Erie Mining S12 #403. The locomotive had been built in 1955.
- October 31 – The last surface streetcars operate in Brooklyn, New York.
- November – British Railways agrees specification and plan for national installation of the Automatic Warning System (its version of Automatic Train Control).
- November 8 – Paris Métro introduces pneumatic tires on some trains.
Unknown date events
- Last steam locomotive built for Soviet Railways, express passenger class P36 4-8-4 No. 251, from Kolomna Locomotive Works.
- First China Railways QJ 2-10-2 built: the class will eventually exceed 4,000 in number.
- Benjamin W. Heineman becomes president of the Chicago and North Western Railway.
- The Pullman-Standard "Sun Lounges" debut on the Seaboard Air Line Railroad Silver Meteor.
- The Pullman-Standard "Placid series" sleeping cars enter service with the Union Pacific Railroad.
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- Chicago and Northwestern Historical Society, Chicago & North Western – A Capsule History. Retrieved March 15, 2005.
- Rivanna Chapter, National Railway Historical Society (2005), This month in railroad history – October. Retrieved October 31, 2005.
- Diebert, Timothy S.; Strapac, Joseph A. (1987). Southern Pacific Company Steam Locomotive Conpendium. Shade Tree Books. ISBN 978-0-930742-12-6.
- Kansas City Southern Historical Society, Saga of Kansas City Southern Lines. Retrieved March 24, 2006.
- "90 tonne engines on 75cm gauge". Railways of the Far South. Retrieved 2015-11-13.
- Abandoned Subway, Retrieved April 6, 2012
- "Significant dates in Canadian railway history". Colin Churcher's Railway Pages. August 22, 2006. Archived from the original on August 29, 2006. Retrieved August 25, 2006.
- "South Shore Railroad history". Chicago Post-Tribune. June 29, 2008. Retrieved June 30, 2008.[dead link]
- "Erie Railroad presidents". Archived from the original on March 18, 2005. Retrieved March 15, 2005.
- File:WST Great Train Wreck of 1956(Pineola, Florida) – Wikimedia Commons image
- Hall, Stanley (2000). The History and Development of Railway Signalling in the British Isles, vol. 1: Broad Survey. York: Friends of the National Railway Museum. ISBN 978-1-872826-12-7.
- Simmons, Jack; Biddle, Gordon (1997). The Oxford Companion to British Railway History. Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-211697-0.
- Vanns, Michael A. (1997). An Illustrated History of Signalling. Shepperton: Ian Allan. ISBN 978-0-7110-2551-6.
- Bindi, A.; Lefeuvre, D. (1990). Le Métro de Paris: histoire d'hier à demain. Rennes: Ouest-France. ISBN 978-2-7373-0204-6.
- "Liverpool Overhead Railway". Timbo's Liverpool. Retrieved August 1, 2007.
- "QJ Class 2-10-2". Railography: Chinese Steam Profiles. 2010. Archived from the original on January 18, 2010. Retrieved June 6, 2010.
- Balkwill, Richard; Marshall, John (1993). The Guinness Book of Railway Facts and Feats (6th ed.). Enfield: Guinness Publishing. ISBN 978-0-85112-707-1.
- Welsh, Joe; Bill Howes; Kevin J. Holland (2010). The Cars of Pullman. Voyageur Press. p. 159. ISBN 0760335877. OCLC 401715735.
- Simon, Elbert; Warner, David C. (2011). Amtrak by the numbers: a comprehensive passenger car and motive power roster, 1971-2011. Kansas City, MO: White River Productions. ISBN 978-1-932804-12-6.