Timeline of United States railway history
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The Timeline of U.S.A Railway History is as follows:
- 1810s-–1830s: Various inventors and entrepreneurs make suggestions about building model railways in the United States; In 1825 John Stevens (inventor) builds a test track and runs a locomotive around it in his summer home estate, Hoboken, New Jersey.
- 1820s and 1830s: The Baltimore and Ohio is incorporated in 1827 and officially opens in 1830.:21 Other railroads soon follow, including the Camden and Amboy by 1832.
- August 8, 1829: The Stourbridge Lion, first steam locomotive in the US, is tested along tracks built by the Delaware and Hudson company.
- 1830s–1860s: Enormous railway building booms in the United States. Railroads replace canals as a primary mode of transportation.
- 1850s-1860s: Railroads begin using the electric telegraph to control train movements through the use of train orders. This practice reduces train collisions and improves efficiency.
- 1853 Indianapolis' Union Station, the first "union station" in the world, opened by the Terre Haute & Richmond, Madison & Indianapolis, and Bellefontaine railroads.
- 1865: George Pullman becomes well known for luxury sleeping cars, called Pullman cars in his honor, after he loans one of his cars to house the coffin of Abraham Lincoln after Lincoln's assassination.
- 1869: Union Pacific and Central Pacific complete first transcontinental railway link at Promontory Summit.
- 1869: George Westinghouse establishes air brake company.
- 1870s: Railroads begin to install automatic block signals which improve safety, allows faster train speeds, and allow more efficient utilization of trackage.
- 1870s and 1880s: Strikes break out against railroads and the Pullman Palace Car Company. Corporations hire Pinkerton guards to break up the strikes. Nonetheless, much violence occurs in the strikes. Many people were killed, buildings and rolling stock were burned, and reports of rioting shocked middle-class Americans.
- 1883: Standard time zones adopted by railroads.
- 1886: Many southern states convert from broad gauges such as 1,524 mm (5 ft) to standard gauge 1,435 mm (4 ft 8 1⁄2 in). (See also Broad gauge#United States.)
- 1887: Congress creates the Interstate Commerce Commission (ICC) to regulate railroads and ensure fair prices.
- 1891: Webb C. Ball establishes first Railway Watch official guidelines for Railroad chronometers.
- 1893: Railroad Safety Appliance Act requires air brakes and automatic couplers on all trains, which greatly reduces railroad worker injuries and deaths.
- 1896: Supreme Court rules in United States v. Gettysburg Electric Ry. Co. that the Takings Clause under eminent domain could be applied for historic preservation.
- 1901: Nine locomotive manufacturing companies are combined in a merger to form the American Locomotive Company (ALCO).
- 1902: Twentieth Century Limited inaugurated by the New York Central railroad.
- 1910s: Pennsylvania Railroad builds Pennsylvania Station in New York City; New York Central builds current version of Grand Central Terminal.
- 1916: US railroad trackage was 230,468.32 mi (370,902.81 km), the highest in history. The trackage would increase to over 300,000 mi by the next decade.
- 1917: President Woodrow Wilson orders nationalization of the railroads shortly after the US enters World War I. The United States Railroad Administration manages the system until 1920, when Congress returns control to the railroad companies.
- 1920s and 1930s: Automobiles, airplanes and the Great Depression contribute to a decline in railroad ridership and mileage.
- 1926: Congress passes the Railway Labor Act to settle disputes and avoid strikes (law amended in 1934 and 1936).
- 1934: Burlington railroad's Pioneer Zephyr completes its inaugural run from Denver, Colorado to Chicago, Illinois, first diesel-powered streamliner in America.
- May 12, 1936: The Santa Fe railroad inaugurates the all-Pullman Super Chief between Chicago and Los Angeles, California.
- 1940s: World War II brings railroads the highest ridership in American history, as soldiers are being sent to fight overseas in the Pacific Theater and the European Theater. However, automobile travel causes ridership to decline after the war ends.
- March 20, 1949: The Chicago, Burlington and Quincy Railroad, Denver and Rio Grande Western Railroad and Western Pacific Railroad jointly launch the California Zephyr between Chicago and San Francisco, California as the first passenger train to include Vista Dome cars in regular service.
- 1950s and 1960s: Drastic decline in passenger travel in the United States, due to automobiles and also airplanes, as first jetliners take to the air. Railroads respond through mergers and attempts to shed unprofitable trains and rail routes. The speed of these efforts is reduced through the difficulties of Interstate Commerce Commission hearings.
- 1957, The Nashville,Chattanooga and St,Louis is absorbed into its parent road the Louisville & Nashville.
- December 1, 1959: ICC approved Virginian Railway merger into Norfolk & Western begins modern-day period of railroad mergers and consolidation.
- July 1,1967:rivals Atlantic Coast Line and Seaboard Air Line merge to form Seaboard Coast Line after 9 years of negotiations and ICC hearings.
- December 3, 1967: Twentieth Century Limited makes last run.
- February 1968: Pennsylvania Railroad and New York Central merge to form Penn Central. The New Haven was added in 1969. *March 1 1970 Burlington Northern is created with the consolidation of the *Chicago Burlington & Quincy, Great Northern, Northern Pacific and Spokane Portland & Seattle railroads.
- 1970s: Era of deregulation. 
- March 22, 1970: The California Zephyr, on its last run, arrives in Oakland, California from Chicago; the train name will soon be resurrected by Amtrak on a train travelling almost the same route as the original train.
- June 21 1970 the Penn Central files for chapter 7 Bankruptcy,becoming the largest corporate failure up to that time in US history.
- 1971: Amtrak created by act of Congress to assume and operate National network of passenger trains from private railroads after years of dropping ridership and massive deficits force railroads to drop passenger service And ask for Government help. *March 1972.the Gulf Mobile & Ohio is merged into the Illinois Central,forming the Illinois Central Gulf.
- 1970s: Conrail,is created from the remains of the bankrupt Penn Central,Erie Lackawanna,Central of New Jersey,Reading and Lehigh Valley Railroads in the Northeastern US, Beginning operations April 1st 1976.
- 1970s and 1980s: Amtrak introduces double-deck Superliner rolling stock. Auto-Train Corporation begins running as independent line (1971), but fails in 1981; In 1983, Amtrak revives service and runs slightly renamed "Auto Train" as one of its more-heavily-promoted lines.
- 1977 Amtrak carried 19.2 million passengers an average of 226 miles.
- 1980: Railroads deregulated by Congress by Staggers Rail Act of 1980.
- March 1 1980,The Rock Island ceases Operations after bankruptcy liquidation.
- September 15, 1981: The John Bull becomes the oldest operable steam locomotive in the world when it runs under its own power inside Washington, DC.
- 1981: Union Pacific 3985 is restored to operating condition, making it the largest operable steam locomotive in the world.
- July 1 1982, Norfolk & Western and Southern Railway merge to form Norfolk Southern.
- January 1, 1986: The Milwaukee Road is merged into the Soo Line Railroad in the largest railroad bankruptcy proceedings to date .
- July 1 1986, Seaboard System and Chessie System merge to form CSX Transportation corp.
- 1990s: Amtrak funding comes under heavier scrutiny by Congress, while Amtrak creates new trains such as the Talgo and the Acela Express.
- 1995: ICC abolished; Congress creates Surface Transportation Board to assume the remaining regulatory functions.
- 1997–99: Conrail assets sold to Norfolk Southern Railway and CSX Transportation.
- September 11, 2001: Terrorists destroy World Trade Center in New York and destroy part of the PATH system in the process. Full PATH service resumed November 23, 2003.
- 2015. Total rail traffic declined 2.5 percent to 28 million carloads. Call remains the largest volume, at 5.1 million carloads. Cold volume fell 12 percent in 2015, as natural gas replaces coal and electricity plants. The lower volume allowed better service and faster speed, but low Fuel prices are giving an advantage to trucking. 
- History of rail transport in the United States
- Oldest railroads in North America
- Timeline of railway history
- Timeline of transportation technology
- Harwood, Jr., Herbert H. (1979). Impossible Challenge: The Baltimore & Ohio Railroad in Maryland. Baltimore, MD: Barnard, Roberts. ISBN 0-934118-17-5.
- "Ceremony at "Wedding of the Rails," May 10, 1869 at Promontory Point, Utah". World Digital Library. 1869-05-10. Retrieved 2013-07-20.
- Blaise, Clark (2000). Time Lord: Sir Sandford Fleming and the Creation of Standard Time. Random House Digital. p. 103. ISBN 978-0-375-72752-8.
- Interstate Commerce Act of 1887, ch. 104, 24 Stat. 379, approved 1887-02-04.
- Act of Mar. 2, 1893, 27 Stat. 531, recodified, as amended, 49 U.S.C. § 20302.
- "The USRA Era, 1900-1916, Part I". N.P. Ry. Tell Tale Extra. PW2.Netcom.com. Retrieved 2011-05-25.
- Presidential Proclamation 1419, December 26, 1917, under authority of the Army Appropriation Act, 39 Stat. 45, August 29, 1916.
- Esch–Cummins Act, Pub.L. 66-152, 41 Stat. 456. Approved 1920-02-28.
- Railway Labor Act, May 20, 1926, ch. 347, 44 Stat. 577. 45 U.S.C. § 151 et seq.
- William E. Thoms, "Clear Track for Deregulation American Railroads, 1970-1980." Transportation Law Journal 12 (1981): 183+.
- Joseph R. Daughen, and Peter Binzen, The wreck of the Penn Central (1999).
- Steven A. Morrison, "The Value of Amtrak." Journal of Law and economics 33 (1990): 361+
- Clifford Winston, "The Success of the Staggers Rail Act of 1980" (AEI-Brookings Joint Center for Regulatory Studies, 2005) online.
- Brian Solomon, CSX (Voyageur Press, 2005).
- Interstate Commerce Commission Termination Act, Pub.L. 104–88, 109 Stat. 803; 1995-12-29.
- Laura Stevens, "Railroads face more tough track, Wall Street Journal 11 January, 2016
- Chandler, Alfred D., ed. (1981). The Railroads: The Nation's First Big Business - Sources and Readings. Arno Press. ISBN 9780405137686.
- Churella, Albert J. The Pennsylvania Railroad, Volume 1: Building an Empire, 1846-1917 (2012) excerpt and text search; 976pp
- Deverell, William (1994). Railroad Crossing: Californians and the Railroad, 1850–1910. (Berkeley, CA: University of California Press). ISBN 9780520205055.
- Ducker, James H. (1982). Men of the steel rails: Workers on the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railroad, 1869-1900.
- Fish, Carl Russell (1917). "The Northern Railroads, April, 1861," The American Historical Review, Vol. 22, No. 4 (Jul., 1917), pp. 778–793 JSTOR 1836240; old but still valuable
- Frey, Robert J. (1988). Railroads of the Nineteenth Century. Volume 2 of "Encyclopedia of American Business History and Biography." (New York: Facts on File). 490pp. ISBN 9780816020126.
- Gallamore, Robert E.; Meyer, John R. (2014). American Railroads: Decline and Renaissance in the Twentieth Century. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press. ISBN 9780674725645.
- Grant, H. Roger. Railroads and the American People (2012) excerpt and text search
- Hayes, Derek. Historical atlas of the North American railroad (2010); 400 historical maps
- Hubbard, Freeman H. (1981). Encyclopedia of North American railroading: 150 years of railroading in the United States and Canada. (New York: McGraw-Hill). ISBN 9780070308282.
- Jenks, Leland H. (1944). "Railroads as an Economic Force in American Development," The Journal of Economic History, Vol. 4, No. 1 (May, 1944), 1-20. JSTOR 2113700.
- Kirkland, Edward Chase (1948). Men, Cities and Transportation, A Study of New England History 1820-1900. (2 vol.) Harvard University Press.
- Klein, Maury (1997). The Life and Legend of Jay Gould Johns Hopkins University Press. ISBN 9780801857713.
- Klein, Maury (2000). The Life & Legend of E. H. Harriman (2000) University of North Carolina Press. ISBN 0-8078-2517-4. Online edition.
- Marrs, Aaron W. Railroads in the Old South: Pursuing Progress in a Slave Society (2009) excerpt and text search
- Martin, Albro. James J. Hill and the Opening of the Northwest (1990) excerpt and text search
- Martin, Albro. Railroads Triumphant: The Growth, Rejection, and Rebirth of a Vital American Force (1992) excerpt and text search; wide ranging overview
- Meyer, Balthasar H. History of Transportation in the United States before 1860 (1917) online
- Middleton, William D. ed. (2007). Encyclopedia of North American Railroads. Indiana University Press. ISBN 9780253349163.
- Miner, Craig. A Most Magnificent Machine: America Adopts the Railroad, 1825-1862 (University Press of Kansas; 2010) 325 pages; Documents the enthusiasm that accompanied the advent of the railroad system
- Nice, David C. Amtrak: The History and Politics of a National Railroad (1998) online edition
- Nock, O.S., ed. Encyclopedia of Railways (London, 1977), worldwide coverage, heavily illustrated
- Riegel, Robert Edgar. The Story of the Western Railroads 1926 online edition
- Riley, C. J. The Encyclopedia of Trains & Locomotives (2002)
- Saunders, Richard. Main lines: Rebirth of the North American railroads, 1970-2002 (Northern Illinois University Press, 2003).
- Stover, John. The Routledge Historical Atlas of the American Railroads (2001)
- Stover, John. History of the Illinois Central Railroad (1975)
- Stover, John. Iron Road to the West: American Railroads in the 1850s (1978)
- Turner, George E. Victory rode the rails: the strategic place of the railroads in the Civil War (1953)
- Ward, James Arthur. J. Edgar Thomson: master of the Pennsylvania (1980) 265 pages
- Ward, James A. "Power and Accountability on the Pennsylvania Railroad, 1846-1878." Business History Review 1975 49(1): 37-59. in JSTOR
- White, Richard. Railroaded: The Transcontinentals and the Making of Modern America (2011) excerpt and text search
- Wolmar, Christian. The Great Railroad Revolution: The History of Trains in America (2012), survey to 2012; emphasis on 19th century; 448pp excerpt and text search
- Railroads in U.S. History (1830-2010) (2010), set of 4 DVDs, directed by Ron Meyer; #1, "Railroads come to America (1830 - 1840);" #2, "The First Great Railroad Boom (1841- 1860)"; #3, "A New Era in American Railroading (1861 - 1870)," #4, "The Second Great Railroad Boom (1871 - 2010)" link
- http://www.americanhistoryprojects.com/downloads/railroad.htm "Railroad History"] Bibliography by Richard Jensen, Montana State University-Billings