Sunday, October 18, 2015

Train Travel in 1925

From: "Anne Louise Bannon"

I'm writing a novel in which my character is travelling in October, 1925 from New York to Los Angeles (or Pasadena? Some other L.A. station? I know the Los Angeles Union Station didn't open until 1939). The fun part is that she's riding first class for the first time in her life. And I mean the kind of first class that an uber-millionnaire would be taking. So in addition to schedules, I need to get a sense of what it would be like from the time she arrives at the train station (Grand Central or Pennsylvania?) to the time she gets off the train in L.A., plus some sense of what a similar trip would be like for someone of considerably more modest means. While I don't need to know the exact cost of the trip, I would need to know how much of any incidental expenses, such as meals, would be pre-paid or on her husband's tab, as it were. He will not be with her at the time since he's gone ahead of her to California.

Is there a good online source for schedules, photos of 1920's Pullman cars and diners, perhaps a menu or two? Would she be changing trains in Chicago? One of your notes suggested that folks on the Pullman cars didn't necessarily. If she doesn't change trains, would the car be hooked up to another train. To the best of my knowledge, it wasn't a straight shot. ...

Anne Louise Bannon, Writer and Columnist


Anonymous Anonymous said...

From: "Kyle Wyatt"

Part of it depends on how "uber" an uber-millionaire they are. At the upper reaches she would likely travel by private car – either one owned by her husband (or his family or his connections), or one owned by the Pullman Company and chartered for the trip.

If not in that elite level, she would probably travel in a Pullman sleeping car compartment.


10/19/2015 6:28 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

From: "Larry Mullaly"

There were many ways to get to Southern California by 1925. One very stylish way, not usually found in books was by sea from the Southern Pacific Terminal in New York City to New Orleans, and then by train across the southwest. This route, and some very good color on the Los Angeles Station scene at the time is found in Larry Mullaly and Bruce Petty’s, The Southern Pacific in Los Angeles, 1873-1996 (Golden West Books 2003). I will leave it up to the Santa Fe and Union Pacific aficionados to describe other routes. ...

—Larry Mullaly

10/19/2015 6:35 AM  

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