Langley’s work with time distribution and railroads was also integral to the national establishment of standard time and time zones years later. On Nov. 18, 1883, all railroad companies in North America adopted four time zones and began operating on standard time. In 1918, Congress officially adopted standard time. [HienzHistoryCenter]Alton, source: http://www.r2parks.net/alton.html
- The Alton was the first railroad to install a sleeping car designed by George Pullman and built in the C&A's Bloomington shops. This went into service on the Chicago to East St. Louis line on September 1, 1859.
- The Alton was the first railroad to install a dining car, the Delmonico, in regular service. It was built by George Pullman in the CB&Q Railroad's Aurora, Illinois shops. Two more dining cars, the Tremont and the Southern were also built and leased by the Chicago and Alton, providing dining car service on all of its Chicago to East St. Louis trains.
- In 1932 the Alton was the first Chicago-St. Louis Railroad to install air conditioning on its passenger trains.
- The Alton was the leading Railroad in Chicago to St. Louis service.
|Alton Railroad||Time||284 miles|
|2- Abraham Lincoln||4:55|
|19- Ann Rutledge||5:20|
|1- Alton Limited||5:30|
|5- The Mail||6:35|
|7- The Fast Mail||10:15|
|9- Midnight Special||10:45|
|Illinois Central System||294.2 miles|
|51- Green Diamond||4:55|
|17- Night Diamond||7:25|
|Wabash Railroad||285.7 miles|
|21- Blue Bird||5:15|
|11- Banner Blue||5:30|
|Chicago and Eastern Illinois Railroad||290.4 miles|
|21- The Zipper||5:00|
|23- Silent Knight||7:23|
SantaFe, source: https://www.bnsf.com/aboutbnsf/history/santafe.html
- Santa Fe developed the first land-bridge container train, linking Asia with Europe using Santa Fe and Penn Central (Conrail) lines.
- In the mid-1970s, Santa Fe people developed the first articulated intermodal railcar, featuring a skeleton design for lighter weight, a lower center of gravity and reduced fuel consumption. This "Six-Pack," which later became the "Ten-Pack Fuel Foiler," was the forerunner of today's articulated intermodal cars.
- Santa Fe is credited with industry-wide improvements to other types of railcars as well, including the development of the Super Hopper and the articulated autoveyor.
- In the late 1980s, Santa Fe developed improvements in locomotive cab design which later set the standard for the industry.
- Also in the 1980s, Santa Fe stunned the transportation industry with the announcement of its intermodal partnership with J.B. Hunt, the first such partnership between a railroad and a trucking firm.
- In 1993, a centralized Systems Operations Center in Schaumburg, Ill., became the world's largest fully distributed transportation management system.
- source: page 4 of Rail&Wire, Jan/Feb, 1998, the newsletter of the IRM.
The first "Gallery Car" in the Chicago area was constructed by Budd in 1950 for the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy. Car 700, the first of 30 cars in this order, is still in service today. Because of the need to replace aging suburban equipment, the railroads here closely watched the Burlington experiment. When it proved to be successful, several other lines embraced "Gallery Car" technology and purchased the cars that have become the standard suburban cars of today.- first dome car
source: A reprint of a 1902 history written by the C&NW Traffic Department in the Jan/Feb, 1998, issue of Rail&Wire.
- 1902: first double-track railway between Chicago and the Missouri River.
- Oct 10, 1848: first locomotive, Pioneer, delivered to Chicago on the brig Buffalo. It was a 4-2-0 and was at the Field Colombian Museum in 1902 and is now at the Chicago Historical Society.
- Nov 20, 1848: A party of stockholders and newspaper men road from Chicago 10 miles west. "On the return trip a load of wheat was transferred from a farmer's wagon to the train, the first grain shipment by rail Chicago ever received. At this time the road's rolling stock consisted of six freight cars, one passenger coach, and the Pioneer."
- 1955: ordered 16 gallery cars with a seating capacity of 169, the highest in US.