Blue Ridge Limited

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Route of the Blue Ridge Limited (in orange)

The Blue Ridge Limited was one of six daily American named passenger trains operated by the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad (B&O) during the late 1930s between Washington, D. C. and Chicago, Illinois, via Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Inaugurated in 1934, the once high-status train was discontinued in 1949.


In 1934, the B&O's eastbound train number 16 was named the Blue Ridge Limited and in 1937 its westbound counterpart, train 15 was also named the Blue Ridge Limited.[1]

With ridership dropping after World War II, the B&O discontinued the Blue Ridge Limited on February 20, 1949.

Schedule and equipment[edit]

In the early years, the Blue Ridge Limited's consist was consistent with a first-class train, including reclining seats in coaches, a sleeper and a lounge with sleeping accommodations. A diner car, added in Pittsburgh, served breakfast and lunch to passengers going west.[1] It was steam-powered until well after World War II.

The westbound Blue Ridge Limited left Washington a few hours ahead of the Shenandoah but had a slower schedule due to the numerous head-end cars it carried.[1] The eastbound Blue Ridge Limited's schedule was revised in 1938 so that it began in Pittsburgh, instead of Chicago, thus reducing the number of Chicago-Washington trains.

A lounge car was added in 1945 between Washington and Akron to increase ridership, and in 1947 the lounge car was extended all the way to Chicago.