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1940s

The luxurious liner Awatea was the “only way to cross” the Tasman Sea from Australia to New Zealand!

Far away from the Trans-Atlantic services – “Down Under” – Union Steam Ship Company operated a fleet of excellent passenger ships between Australia and New Zealand until 1960. In her day the Awatea was regarded as one of the most luxurious and fastest liners of the period. Her history was brief and she was destroyed in World War2 like so ... Read More »

Chicago’s streamlines ELECTROLINER – 90 MPH north to Milwaukee

The North Shore Line’s Electroliners streamline interurban trains operated from the 1940s into the early 1960s. For most street railway and interurban lines the coming of the automobile put an end to an industry that was just a few decades old.  The 1920s and the Great Depression later that decade bankrupted and shutdown many intermediate lines while the strongest companies ... Read More »

Retro Thursday: The CHICAGO CUBS cruise to Catalina

CATALINA ISLAND, CHICAGO CUBS

Chewing gum magnate William Wrigley Jr.’s twin interests in baseball and Catalina Island – he bought Catalina in 1919 and gained a controlling interest in the Chicago Cubs in 1921 – dovetailed nicely when he made the decision to have the Cubs train on Catalina starting in 1921.  In doing so, he became the first baseball owner to bring a ... Read More »

Elsa Maxwell: the greatest celebrity of all-time…

Pianist, gossip columnist, TV star, and above all a giver of great parties, Elsa Maxwell was famous for being herself. She was most likely far more interesting than the celebrities she covered. Elsa Maxwell first worked as a theatre pianist after leaving school at the age of 14 and before touring with a troupe in various music halls. Elsa Maxwell, ... Read More »

RED CARPET treatment started with the 20TH CENTURY LIMITED

20th Century Limited, New York Central, Red Carpet, Marshall Field, Bing Crosby,  Robert R. McCormick, Bob Hope, Bette Davis,  Doris Day, Wrigleys, Henry Dreyfuss Art Deco, Dwight D. Eisenhower, Beatrice Lilly, Carole Lombard,  John Barrymore, Alfred Hitchcock, North by Northwest,  all-Pullman, streamliner, MICHAEL L GRACE, CRUISING THE PAST

Have you wondered where the much-overused phrase “the red carpet treatment” originated? It all started with the 20th Century Limited. The train of tycoons and movie stars. The “Century” was an express all-Pullman passenger train operated by the New York Central nightly from New York to Chicago. From 1938 until the last run in 1968, passengers walked down a crimson carpet ... Read More »

The Panama Limited – All-Pullman Chicago and New Orleans

Panama Limited, Illinois Central, Michael L. Grace, Cruising The Past, Pullman, Trains, All-Pullman, Famous trains

The Panama Limited was a first class passenger train operated by the Illinois Central Railroad between Chicago, Illinois and New Orleans, Louisiana. It operated from 1911 to 1971. Offering the best in American railway deluxe services. The Panama Limited took its name from the Panama Canal, then under construction and three years from completion. For most of its career the ... Read More »

FRANK SINATRA starring in PAL JOEY heads to San Francisco on a Southern Pacific train and ferry boat…

In the 1957 musical film Pal Joey, Frank Sinatra gets off a Southern Pacific train and then heads across the bay to San Francisco aboard one of the SP Ferry Boats. Oakland Long Wharf was the western terminus of the Southern Pacific Railroad. From there, ferries carried both commuters and long-distance passengers between the Long Wharf and San Francisco. FRANK ... Read More »

Trains in the movies: MGM’s Oscar winning Bad Day at Black Rock features the Southern Pacific’s Daylight

John Sturges, Spencer Tracy,Robert Ryan, Anne Francis, Dean Jagger, Walter Brennan, Lee Marvin, Ernest Borgnine. Southern Pacific, Bad Day At Black Rock, Daylight train, Streamliner, Michael Grace, Cruising the Past.

Oscar-winning Bad Day at Black Rock was the first MGM film to be shot in Cinemascope. An American thriller film, directed by John Sturges and starring Spencer Tracy and Robert Ryan, that combines elements of the western genre with that of film noir. The supporting cast includes Anne Francis, Dean Jagger, Walter Brennan, Lee Marvin, and Ernest Borgnine. Released in 1955, the movie was filmed in California. A town was built on location at Lone ... Read More »