According to Harry Stegmaier, Jr.'s book, "Pennsylvania Railroad: Passenger Trains, Consists & Cars - 1952 Volume I," by the 1950-1951 era the PRR had equipped the train with virtually all lightweight equipment featuring new Class P85BR reclining seat coaches, a coach-lounge-bar, six New York-Cincinnati sleepers, a pair of 10-rooomette/6-double bedroom sleepers that ran through over the Louisville & Nashville (reaching each of those respective cities), a 6-double bedroom/bar/lounge, twin unit diner/kitchen-dormitory, a sleeper-observation (2-double bedroom/1-compartment/1-double bedroom along with a bar-lounge), and a pair of head-end cars (a standard New York-Cincinnati RPO as well as a Pittsburgh-New York RPO/baggage running eastbound and a mail car westbound).
Mr. Stegmaier goes on to note that westbound #41 also carried an additional interline sleeper, handled by the L&N, that ran as far as Memphis, Tennessee. The Cincinnati market, however, did have its fair share of competition from both the NYC and B&O including the former's Ohio State Limited (not as luxurious and interestingly the railroad never offered any other notable trains on this corridor) and the latter ran a different routing through the National Limited and Diplomat reaching no further east than Washington. However, the B&O's trains were so heavily patronized and offered very good accommodations (the National was one of its flagships) that the PRR did not even bother offering through Washington-sleepers on the Cincinnati Limited.
(The Cincinnati Limited timetable, circa early 1950s.)
|Read Down Time/Leave (Train #41)
Time/Arrive (Train #40)
|5:25 PM (Dp)||0.0||New York, NY (Pennsylvania Station) (ET)||8:20 AM (Ar)|
|5:40 PM||10.0||Newark, NJ||8:03 AM|
|6:27 PM||58.1||Trenton, NJ||7:14 AM|
|6:56 PM||85.9||Philadelphia, PA (North Philadelphia Station)||6:39 AM|
|7:23 PM||111.4||Paoli, PA||6:15 AM|
|8:06 PM||159.3||Lancaster, PA|
|8:40 PM||194.6||Harrisburg, PA||4:50 AM|
|11:11 PM||325.4||Altoona, PA||2:28 AM|
|1:42 AM||439.9||Pittsburgh, PA||11:45 PM|
|482.5||Steubenville, OH||10:37 PM|
|597.1||Newark, OH (Granville)||8:35 PM|
|5:44 AM (Ar)||630.2||Columbus, OH||7:55 PM (Dp)|
|5:44 AM (Dp)||630.2||Columbus, OH||7:48 PM (Ar)|
|6:49 AM||684.9||Xenia, OH|
|8:10 AM||745.9||Norwood (Cincinnati), OH||5:34 PM|
|8:19 AM||750.4||Winton Place, OH||5:25 PM|
|8:30 AM (Ar)||755.1||Cincinnati, OH (Union Terminal)||5:15 PM (Dp)|
The train offered an overnight schedule in both directions (hence the number of sleepers) departing New York around dinner and arriving in the Queen City the next morning for breakfast (the PRR's timetable also included the L&N schedule to New Orleans for those continuing to travel south of Cincinnati). Conversely, eastbound #40 left Cincinnati just after 5 PM as well and returned to New York after 8 AM the following morning. During the early 1950s the PRR took steps to reduce the growing losses wrought by its immense passenger services. An April, 1956 timetable notes that the Cincinnati Limited ran with a lounge, three Cincinnati-New York sleepers, the Memphis-New York through sleeper, a diner, bar-lounge-coach, and reclining seat coaches.
However, by the 1960s the cutbacks continued and the train became little more than a Columbus-Cincinnati only, as a seciton of the Spirit Of St. Louis with coaches and a sleeper. In the process it also lost its train numbers. During the Penn Central era the Cincinnati Limited name was only listed on the westbound Spirit's schedule (train #31). Despite these reductions of service travelers were lucky with the Spirit; during those dying years of privately operated rail travel the train still offered what would be termed as lavish amenities including a diner and lounge service (along with reclining seat coaches and sleepers). The Cincinnati Limited's final run, at least its name, occurred on April 30, 1971.
Related Reading You May Enjoy