- May 1
- 1872 – The Buckfastleigh, Totnes and South Devon Railway, in England, opens.
- 1872 – The Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railroad begins construction westward from Newton, Kansas, toward Colorado.
- 1917 – The Santa Fe de Luxe passenger train between Chicago and Los Angeles is discontinued as it is not considered essential for the war effort.
- 1971 – Amtrak (pictured) begins operations of most intercity passenger train service in the United States.