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Ready for departure in 1947 from Chicago's La Salle Street Station the opulent Twentieth Century is 16 hours from Grand Central Station, New York. The “Century” was an express passenger train operated by the New York Central nightly from New York to Chicago. Travel time was less than sixteen hours each way between the two cities during its streamlined years. The glamorous departure aboard New York Central’s 20th Century Limited was equal to a sailing on the Queen Mary, Liberte or United States. The gateway to the Century’s platform was peopled with passenger agents, Pullman conductors and NYC conductors.
Known as the “train of tycoons,” the Century was similar to a commuter train for elite Chicagoans heading for Manhattan. The dining room stewards had notebooks filled with their particular meal and drink requests. Red Cap attendants at Grand Central Station are rolling out the red carpet for passengers boarding the all-Pullman streamliner for Chicago. Passengers checking their reservations on a Summer evening at New York's Grand Central for the 6 PM departure. The 20th Century Limited was a repository of the coming and goings – of the rich, tycoons and stars – their habits of dress or drinking, their minds and their manners. Debuting 1902 as the New York Central's luxury train, the Century operated overnight between New York and Chicago. A dining car waiter serves cocktails to Chicago meatpacking executives head for New York before dinner. 1939 prices included the 20th Century Dinner for $1.75 with Canape of Russian Caviar as a starter. In 1928, its peak year, it earned revenues of $10 million and was believed to be the most profitable train in the world.
In 1938 industrial designer Henry Dreyfuss was commissioned by the New York Central to design the streamlined train sets in Art Deco style, with the locomotive and passenger cars rendered in blues and grays (the colors of the New York Central). The first all room train is advertised by New York Central with the Henry Dreyfuss designed engines ready to roll in 1938 carrying the all-Pullman 20th Century Limited.


New York Central advertisement promoting the new dining car fleet on the late 1940s Century. Rosalind Russell heads to the coast aboard the through Pullman car connecting with the Santa Fe Chief. After the World War II, Dreyfuss designed a new train set, which was pulled by Diesel locomotives.
The Century was also the setting for a Broadway musical entitled On the Twentieth Century, based on the 1932 Ben Hecht-Charles MacArthur stage play Twentieth Century, adapted as a film with Carole Lombard and John Barrymore in the lead roles. Gloria Swanson waves farewell from the observation platform as the Century pulls out of Grand Central during the 1920s.
The 20th Century Limited along with other great Pullman trains such as the Panama Limited, Broadway Limited, Sunset Limited, Chief and Super Chief, Golden State, Empire Builder, Florida Limited, Cities of Los Angeles or San Francisco and the California Zephyr are gone.
Waiter seen in the dining car kitchen of the Century with cooks and chef seen in the background. Eva Marie Saint and Cary Grant in a Pullman Drawing Room aboard the 20th Century in Alfred Hitchcock's North By Northwest. Passengers walk down the Century red carpet followed by the Red Cap carrying their luggage.
After returning from the Yalta conference in the Ukraine which discussed the reorganisation of post-war Europe in Ukraine, he addressed Congress from a sitting position on March 1 - an unprecedented admission of his paralysis, for which he apologised.However, he was still in command of his mental faculties and travelled to Warm Springs, Georgia, where he had built a hydrotherapy facility to combat his paralysis.
The views expressed in the contents above are those of our users and do not necessarily reflect the views of MailOnline. But, somehow I discovered Lionel Post War Celebration trains, Williams Trains, Legacy, MTH Long Island Railroad and a host of others. That caused 2 more re-designs of the layout to utilize more trains than my two MTH NYC&HRR sets. I am a tunnel junkie, and totally fascinated by the whole Park Ave (Fourth Ave) Harlem Cut and Mt Prospect and Murry Hill Tunnels. Those are great old photos and your photos of your layout build show you are doing a great job of it! I was at an impasse in my life.  But once the bell tolls, you can’t pretend you don’t hear it.


Everyone has some sort of a life-changing moment.  What was your “ah ha” moment that pushed you to change?  Or, are you still waiting for it?   If so, what are you waiting for?
This entry was posted in advice, anxiety, determination, fear, goal, growth, influences, lessons, Uncategorized, writer's digest, writing, writing inspiration and tagged change, fear, Grand Central, knifepoint, transformation, writer, Writer's Digest.
This was still the only way to “cross the pond” from New York to Europe into the 1950s and Pullman was the only way to travel overnight by train in America. The Century was operated like a private club and the lengthy dining car aptly named the Century Club. Built by the Pullman-Standard Car Manufacturing Company, with interior design by Henry Dreyfuss, the diner was divided into four distinctive dining sections, seating 64 persons at tables, a lounging ante-room and a steward's office. The train also figured prominently as a setting for major scenes in both Alfred Hitchcock's North by Northwest and the Band Wagon starring Fred Astaire showing the through sleeping cars connecting with the Santa Fe Chief for Los Angeles. Its exclusive clientele and blistering schedule between New York and Chicago made it the stuff of legends for 65 years; These signs were posted at the end of every Pullman Car. Thus, the start of Tearing down old Grand Central Depot and Building the New Grand Central Terminal, as well as filling in the old cuts, digging up the yard, but the old stone viaduct remains!
Being a native New Yorker (born a Bronx boy), I love seeing the history as well as your interpretation of that history in your layout. This was unbelievably scary not only because the jumps don’t fall down but also because this was something I never thought I could do.
The train has been the subject of many books with Lucius Beebe’s 20th Century being one of the best. The next day, it straggled into LaSalle Street Station in Chicago 9 hours 50 minutes late due to a freight derailment near Conneaut, Ohio, necessitating a detour over the Nickel Plate (New York, Chicago and St.



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