The United States had once boasted the world's most developed rail transportation system, but after World War II the railway passenger traffic dropped considerably. The 1950s marked the beginning of the end of the Great Railway Era in the USA.
Back then, the Sunset Limited, the oldest train in the United States, running since November 1894, was still in service. Here's a peek inside its cars.
These amazing photos from the SMU Libraries' digital collections taken by American photographer Robert Yarnall Ritchie show the luxury of the Sunset Limited Railroad in 1950s.
At the beginning of the 20th century, the length of the U.S. railroads reached fantastic 258,490 miles even by modern standards.
In the 1950s virtually all rail transport especially the passenger train service started to decline.
The railway decline continued until the 1970s.
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As early as 1957, there was a sharp decline in railroad passenger traffic. The development of high-speed air transport made train long-distance travel no longer needed.
By 1965 only 10,000 passenger cars remained in regular service in the United States, 85% fewer than in 1929.
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