Flying Yankee

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Flying Yankee
General Electric Flying Yankee advertisement, February 1938, train only.jpg
Type and origin
Power type Diesel
Builder Budd Company and Electro-Motive Corporation
Model BM-MEC 6000
Build date 1935
Total produced 1
 • AAR B-2
Gauge 4 ft 8 12 in (1,435 mm) standard gauge
Bogies Jacobs Bogie
Prime mover Winton 201-A
Engine type Diesel
Cylinders 8
Operators Boston & Maine Railroad
Locale North America
Delivered February 1935
Last run May 7, 1957
Restored On going project
Current owner State of New Hampshire
Disposition Under restoration
Flying Yankee
Service type Inter-city rail
Status Discontinued
First service 1935
Last service 1957
Former operator(s) Boston and Maine Railroad
Maine Central Railroad
Start North Station
End Bangor Union Station
Distance travelled 254 miles (409 km)
Average journey time 5 hours
Service frequency Daily, except Sunday
On-board services
Catering facilities The Armstrong Company
Timetable number(s) 15

The Flying Yankee was a diesel-powered streamliner built in 1935 for the Maine Central Railroad and the Boston and Maine Railroad by Budd Company and with mechanical and electrical equipment from Electro-Motive Corporation. It was also the name of a passenger train, the third streamliner train in North America after the Union Pacific Railroad's M-10000 and the Chicago, Burlington and Quincy Railroad's Pioneer Zephyr; the Flying Yankee was, in fact, a virtual clone of the latter, except that it dispensed with the baggage/mail space to seat 142 in three articulated cars.[1]


The lightweight train was constructed with welded stainless steel using Budd's patented process. The engine was an 8-cylinder Winton 201-A diesel, driving a generator; the lead truck was equipped with traction motors. It was fitted with air conditioning in all cars. No dining car was provided; instead, meals were prepared in a galley and served to passengers in trays that clipped to the back of the seat in front.[1]

The train was delivered in February 1935, and toured the BM-MEC railroad system before entering service on April 1.[1] The daily route served began in Portland, Maine, then to Boston, Massachusetts, followed by a return to Portland and continuing to Bangor, Maine, returning through Portland to Boston and finally returning to Portland late in the day, a distance of 750 miles per day. This schedule was kept six days a week; the trainset spent Sundays undergoing maintenance. The train proved extremely successful, attracting new ridership and earning a profit for its owners.

Later on, as newer equipment replaced it on one route, it would be switched to other routes, bearing the names The Cheshire, The Minuteman, The Mountaineer, and The Business Man.[1]

Rollout of the Flying Yankee at the Budd Company in 1935.

As railroad passenger ridership declined in the 1950s the Yankee was also getting old, and thus the trainset, as The Minuteman, was retired, running its last on May 7, 1957.[1] The railroad donated the trainset to the Edaville Railroad tourist/museum operation in Carver, Massachusetts. The train remained on static display there for about 35 years until it was moved in 1993 to Glen, New Hampshire after being purchased by the late Bob Morrell, former owner of Story Land.

This "drumhead" logo adorned the end of the observation car on the Flying Yankee.

In 1997, the train was moved to the Claremont Concord Railroad's shops in Claremont, New Hampshire for a complete restoration once purchased by the State of New Hampshire, which is ongoing. By 2004, the major structural restoration had been completed, and detailed restoration of components was proceeding. The eventual goal is to restore the train completely to running condition. The train was moved to Lincoln, New Hampshire, on August 10, 2005, to the Hobo Railroad where the mechanical restoration is taking place.

Most of the train's route is currently operated by Amtrak's Downeaster. However, the modern Amtrak service only runs as far north as Brunswick, Maine; there is no service as far north as Bangor.


HO scale

  • Orion Models/NJ Custom Brass. 1985. Imported scale brass model.
  • Challenger Imports. Imported scale brass model.

O scale

  • Lionel. "pre-war", produced from 1935-1941. Not a scale model. "3 rail" AC power.
  • Sunset/3rd Rail. Imported brass model. Available in both "3 rail" AC and "2 rail" DC power. Scale model, not "selectively compressed"
  • Lionel. 2008. Reproduction of pre-war model.

Further reading[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e "Two Veterans Retire". Boston and Maine Railroad Magazine. May–June 1957. Retrieved 18 May 2012. 

External links[edit]