Maximum passenger service years : LUSENET : ACL and SAL Railroads Historical Society : One Thread

In looking at some old maps of the Southeast, it seemed that every town, no matter how small, had a branch of the SAL or ACL that ran to it in the 20s or 30s.

What year or years was the passenger service on both the ACL and SAL at its max, when you could take a passenger train to or from any Podunk town in the country? Would it have been in the 20s?


Wes Woodruff Orlando, FL

-- Wes Woodruff (, May 28, 2004


Actually, the time when you could ride a train to nearly every fire plug and pop machine vanished during the reign of the USRA. I have several guides from the teens and, naturally, since there were no roads, one could take the train nearly everywhere there was track.

-- Buck Dean (, June 04, 2004.

I'll have to agree with the 1941 answer. I have a February 1941 Official Guide and it's the thickest one I've ever seen. I think it list every town in the US and places on the ACL & SAL that haven't existed for years.

-- August Staebler (, May 29, 2004.

Wes: If you are speaking from the standpoint of the actual number of passenger trains operated, the answer on the ACL would have to be the period beginning with the 1941-42 Winter tourist season between Eastern points and Florida, and lasting until the war ended in 1945. Beginning in late 1941, tires and gasoline were not available for travel by car. However, people began to have discretionery income for liesure travel which of necessity was made by rail. Counting extra sections of mainline passenger trains to handle the overflow of civilian travel, plus troop trains, which were run as extra sections of passenger trains, when not running as an extra, it was not unusual to have from three to five sections of one passenger train. As a fireman in the through freight pool, we handled all extra sections of passenger trains, as well as troop trains. It was a problem keeping enough mainline locomotives serviceable to handle all that traffic. In the 1920's, branchline passenger service began to either be abandoned or reduced to a mixed train status with the exception of the W&W Line and the Norfolk branch.

-- Bill Sellers (, May 28, 2004.

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