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Pennsylvania Railroad public timetables

Creation: 1919-1968
Accession: 2603


Timetables issued periodically to the public, generally at ticket offices, showing the schedules of passenger trains on various routes.


  • Creation: 1919-1968



1 Linear Foot


Arranged by form number and thereunder, chronologically.

Scope and Content

A collection of Pennsylvania Railroad (PRR) public timetables amassed by William L. Staiger, formerly employed by the PRR at Harrisburg, Pa. They were acquired as issued through the company's local ticket office, supplemented by the purchase of older timetables on the collectibles market. None of the runs of forms is entirely complete, but those for the 1960s and for those routes passing through or easily reached from Harrisburg are more complete than others.

The oldest timetable is dated 1919, and the latest were those in force at the time the Pennsylvania Railroad Company and the New York Central Railroad Company merged to form the Penn Central Transportation Company. By that time, PRR passenger service had shrunk to a few long distance trains between New York, Chicago and St. Louis, the busy New York-Washington line, heavy suburban service at New York and Philadelphia, and vestigial corridor service between Baltimore and Buffalo, Chicago-Louisville, Chicago-Columbus, and Chicago-Cincinnati.

The timetables can be used to track the decline of passenger service, in particular the very steep dropoff that occurred after World War II. Suburban timetables, particularly from the Philadelphia area, show the beginnings of public funding that began in the 1960s. The main line timetables show the accelerating reduction in first class services, such as sleeping cars and full dining cars, and the discontinuance of local trains serving smaller on-line communities. The main line system timetables (Form 1) and the East-West timetables (Form 4) feature color cover artwork, city maps, advertisements for specific trains or tourist travel, and during World War II, a variety of patriotic messages and images. Most of the other form are usually folding leaflets. Some have ads for midrange hotels for the tourist or commercial traveler, package tours, bargain fares and PRR's long-distance trains.

Access Restrictions

No restrictions on access; this collection is open for research.

Related Material

This collection should be used in tandem with a large sample of the same timetable forms, dated 1920 to 1961, in the Pennsylvania Railroad Company records (Accession 1810).

A nearly complete runs of file copies are located at the Pennsylvania State Archives.

Language of Materials


Related Names


Finding Aid & Administrative Information

Pennsylvania Railroad public timetables
Christopher T. Baer
Description rules:
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description:
Script of description:

Repository Details

Repository Details

Part of the Manuscripts and Archives Repository

PO Box 3630
Wilmington Delaware 19807 USA