Shenandoah (B&O train)

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B&O Train # 8, the Shenandoah, along the Potomac River near Hansrote, West Virginia, on October 30, 1952

The Shenandoah was an American named passenger train of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad (B&O), one of four daily B&O trains operating between New York City and Grand Central Station in Chicago, Illinois, via Washington, D.C. and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania during the 1930s–1950s. Other B&O trains of that period on the route were the Capitol Limited, Columbian, and the Washington - Chicago Express.[1] After April 26, 1958, the B&O no longer operated passenger trains north of Baltimore, Maryland, which then became the eastern terminus of the Shenandoah for the remainder of its existence.[1]

In the 1940s–1960s, the daily Shenandoah consisted of coaches, five Pullman sleeping cars, a lounge car with a radio, and a full-service dining car. Beginning in the early 1950s, the train also had a Strata-Dome combination sleeper-dome car on alternate days.[2][3]

The westbound Shenandoah, operating as Train # 7, left Washington in the late evening at 11:30 p.m., several hours after the 5 p.m. departure of the Capitol Limited and Columbian from the Nation's Capitol, making it a favorite of travelers seeking to make convenient connections with other railroads in Chicago including the streamliners of the Santa Fe and Union Pacific Railroads.[2] The train also carried a heavy volume of mail and express, with "head-end" equipment such as Railway Post Office cars a regular part of the Shenandoah's consist.[2]

Prior to April 26, 1958, when the B&O discontinued passenger service north of Baltimore, the Shenandoah operated to New York City via Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.[4] As passenger patronage on American railroads continued to decline in the 1960s, the combination sleeper-dome and dining cars were dropped, and trains # 7–8 were renamed the Diplomat in 1964 and then dropped altogether in 1967.[2]

Amtrak revived the name in the 1970s for the short-lived Shenandoah, a Washington—Cincinnati train.


In 1961, westbound Shenandoah Train # 7 operated on the following schedule (departure times at principal stops shown):

The route of the Shenandoah (in orange)
City Departure time
     Baltimore, Md. (Camden Station)          10:00 p.m.
     Washington, D.C. (Union Station)     11:15 p.m.
     Martinsburg, W. Va.     12:56 a.m.
     Cumberland, Md.       2:47 a.m.
     Connellsville, Pa.       5:10 a.m.
     McKeesport, Pa.       6:08 a.m.
     Pittsburgh, Pa.       7:00 a.m.
     Youngstown, Ohio       8:36 a.m.
     Akron, Ohio       9:52 a.m.
     Gary, Ind. (CT)       2:38 p.m.
     Chicago (Grand Central Station)       3:45 p.m.
source: B&O timetable, October 29, 1961[3]


  1. ^ a b Herbert H. Harwood, Jr., Royal Blue Line. Sykesville, Maryland: Greenberg Publishing, 1990 (ISBN 0-89778-155-4).
  2. ^ a b c d Harry Stegmaier, Baltimore & Ohio Passenger Service, Vol. 2 – Route of the Capitol Limited. Lynchburg, Va.: TLC Publishing, 1997 (ISBN 1-883-089-00X).
  3. ^ a b Baltimore & Ohio — Passenger Train Schedules, October 29, 1961.
  4. ^ Stephen J. Salamon, David P. Oroszi, and David P. Ori, Baltimore and Ohio — Reflections of the Capitol Dome. Silver Spring, Maryland: Old Line Graphics, 1993 (ISBN 1-879314-08-8).