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The streamlined steam Cincinnatian in 1956.
LocaleMidwestern United States
First serviceJanuary 19, 1947
Last serviceApril 30, 1971
Former operator(s)Baltimore and Ohio Railroad
TerminiDetroit, Michigan (1950–1971)
Cincinnati, Ohio (1950–1971)
Stops14 (incl. Toledo, Lima, Dayton) (1950–1971)
Distance travelled258.1 miles (415.4 km) 1950, southbound from Detroit to Cincinnati
Average journey time6 hours, 35 minutes (southbound and northbound)
Service frequencyDaily
Train number(s)75: westbound (To 1950)
76: eastbound
53: southbound (From 1950)
54: northbound
On-board services
Seating arrangementsReclining seat coaches
Catering facilitiesObservation-lounge diner, with radio;
Stewardess service
Observation facilities"Fiesta car," with radio [1955]
Track gauge4 ft 8+12 in (1,435 mm)

The Cincinnatian was a named passenger train operated by the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad (B&O). The B&O inaugurated service on January 19, 1947, with service between Baltimore, Maryland and Cincinnati, Ohio, carrying the number 75 westbound and 76 eastbound, essentially a truncated route of the National Limited which operated between Jersey City, New Jersey and St. Louis.[2]

This route was unsuccessful due to the thin population along the line, and the route was changed on June 25, 1950, from a Baltimore–Cincinnati daylight schedule to a DetroitCincinnati daylight schedule where it would remain until the creation of Amtrak. On this new routing, originating from the New York Central's Michigan Central Station,[3] the train sets became successful almost from the beginning. This replaced the Great Lakes Limited, which southbound, ran from Detroit to Cincinnati. Passengers wishing to travel all the way to Louisville had to take an unnamed night train counterpart, #57. The northbound night train counterpart was #58.[4][5][6] The 57/58 became named the Night Express in 1960.[7] The Cincinnatian on this route used lots of mail cars, which contributed to the route's success.


The Cincinnatian is most famed for its original dedicated equipment, rebuilt in the B&O Mount Clare Shops. The design work was done by Olive Dennis, a pioneering civil engineer employed by the railroad and appointed by Daniel Willard to special position in charge of such work for passenger service.[8] Four P-7 "president" class Pacific locomotives (5301-5304) were rebuilt and shrouded as class P-7d, with roller bearings on all axles and larger six-axle tenders. Older heavyweight passenger cars were completely stripped and rebuilt as streamliners. The livery used the blue and gray scheme designed by Otto Kuhler, which Dennis laid on the engine and tender in a pattern of horizontal stripes and angled lines.[9] The train's stop in Lima, Ohio was at the Pennsylvania Railroad's Lima station, so passengers were able to transfer to the PRR's east-west trains there.[10]

By fall, 1966, the train switched over to the Fort Street Union Depot for its travel to and from Detroit.[11] In 1970 and 1971, the Cincinnatian was the only B&O train on the Cincinnati-Detroit route. The trains no longer offered checked baggage, as passengers had to carry their own luggage on and off the coaches. Service ended on April 30, 1971.[12] When Amtrak took over service on May 1, 1971, it did not continue operating any of B&O's remaining passenger routes.

Station list[edit]

Stations State
Detroit - Fort St. Depot Michigan
Toledo Ohio
Winton Place


The original 1947 Cincinnatian consisted of rebuilt heavyweight cars:

There were stewardess' rooms in the Oakley and Norwood. Two 52-seat coaches, the Avondale (#3574) and Price Hill (#3575), replaced the College Hill and Walnut Hill.[13]


From Detroit to Toledo, the trains ran with trackage rights on the Pere Marquette Railway and the Wabash Railroad. From Toledo south, the tracks were Baltimore and Ohio owned. The route was straight south Toledo to Deshler (junction with B&O's Washington–Chicago main line), Lima, Piqua, Dayton, Hamilton, then Cincinnati.[14]


  1. ^ C&O/B&O Passenger Timetable, 30 April 1967
  2. ^ Schwieterman, Joseph P. (2001). When the Railroad Leaves Town: American Communities in the Age of Rail Line Abandonment, Eastern United States. Kirksville, Missouri: Truman State University Press. pp. 312–315. ISBN 978-0-943549-97-2.
  3. ^ "Baltimore & Ohio Railroad, Table 50". Official Guide of the Railways. National Railway Publication Company. 87 (7). December 1954.
  4. ^ "".[permanent dead link]
  5. ^ Baltimore & Ohio timetable, July 1948
  6. ^ Baltimore & Ohio timetable, October 1955
  7. ^ "Baltimore and Ohio, Table 15, Named on the consist table, 'Pullman, Coach and Dining Car Service,'". Official Guide of the Railways. National Railway Publication Company. 92 (12). May 1960.
  8. ^ Vrooman, David M. (1991). Daniel Willard and Progressive Management on the Baltimore & Ohio. Columbus: Ohio State University Press. p. 87.
  9. ^ Sagle, Lawrence (1964). B&O Power. Alvin F. Staufer. pp. 241, 266.
  10. ^ 'Official Guide of the Railways,' June 1961, Index of stations
  11. ^ C&O/B&O timetable, January 27, 1964, Table D
  12. ^ "". Archived from the original on May 17, 2006.
  13. ^ Wayner, Robert J., ed. (1972). Car Names, Numbers and Consists. New York: Wayner Publications. p. 54. OCLC 8848690.
  14. ^ B&O 1950 Timetable

External links[edit]