Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Sunday trains

From: "Wendell Huffman" wwhuffma@clan.lib.nv.us

With the completion of the transcontinental railroad, the Central Pacific began operating trains on Sundays. This was clearly a more appropriate alternative than leaving passengers and crews sitting wherever they happened to be until the Sabbath had passed. I do believe that the CPRR operated Sunday trains for a brief period at the commencement of operations back in 1864, but the change in 1869 was so notable that it was remarked in the newspaper (Sacramento Bee, 21 May 1869).

My question is, how common were Sunday trains before Promontory? What had the UPRR been doing?

It strikes me that this change played a role in the gradual alteration of American society, perhaps a silent consequence of the Pacific railroad. But what do we know about the context?

Wendell W. Huffman
Curator of History
Nevada State Railroad Museum
2180 South Carson Street
Carson City, NV 89701
(775) 687-8291 v
(775) 687-8294 f