Question about late 19th century train travel

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scw1217

Suzanne
I am researching for a book and need to know how someone in New York City in the year 1870 would have traveled south to Florida.

How quickly following the Civil War would train travel have been repaired? How far south did it go before other methods were required? How many days would it take?

Any information you can give me regarding the type of train, the station itself, and especially photographs, is very helpful. Feel free to email me scw1217@yahoo.com or reply to this post. Thanks!
 

Rader Sidetrack

New Member
I am researching for a book and need to know how someone in New York City in the year 1870 would have traveled south to Florida.

How quickly following the Civil War would train travel have been repaired? How far south did it go before other methods were required? How many days would it take?

Any information you can give me regarding the type of train, the station itself, and especially photographs, is very helpful. Feel free to email me scw1217@yahoo.com or reply to this post. Thanks!
I am not an expert :eek: and online references seem hard to find, but I believe that in 1870 it is likely that most travelers NYC-Florida would likely be traveling via water. The steamship had been well established by then, and railways in the South were often still smaller, separate companies. Florida does not seem to be highly populated at that time.
 

Rader Sidetrack

New Member
Your link is improperly formatted. This appears to be the map you are referencing:
http://railroads.unl.edu/documents/view_document.php?id=rail.str.0244

The map, in general, suggests that tracks in the southern coastal states were pretty much focused on reaching the interior land area from the various coastal port cities, rather than forming a north-south transportation link. Wikipedia touches on this:

During the Reconstruction era, Northern money financed the rebuilding and dramatic expansion of railroads throughout the South; they were modernized in terms of rail gauge, equipment and standards of service. the Southern network expanded from 11,000 miles (17,700 km) in 1870 to 29,000 miles (46,700 km) in 1890. The lines were owned and directed overwhelmingly by Northerners. Railroads helped create a mechanically skilled group of craftsmen and broke the isolation of much of the region. Passengers were few, however, and apart from hauling the cotton crop when it was harvested, there was little freight traffic.[8][9][10]

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Histor...tes#Civil_War_and_Reconstruction.2C_1860-1877
 
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scw1217

Suzanne
Sorry about the link! Thanks for the info, that is very helpful. I will have to look toward steamship travel information then.
 

scw1217

Suzanne
Here's an additional question, just arose this morning. If people didn't travel by train much in the south. What about the north? I know the rail system in New York State was better. How common was everyday travel within that area?
 

Rader Sidetrack

New Member
What about the north? I know the rail system in New York State was better. How common was everyday travel within that area?
Much better developed in the North. This site listing railroad timetables may be of interest. The actual schedule contents are not viewable, but the covers often give a good idea of whats inside.

http://www.naotc.org/imagelist_frame.html
Scroll down to the "New York ...." area.
Here's one from 1874 ...
07310-1874may25.jpg


There is a lot of historical material about western NY railroads at this site:
http://www.wnyrails.org/cities_home.htm
 
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Sinamox

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You should look up "Official Guide of the Railways". Multi carrier railway and steam ship line aggregated timetables were being published by that time. The library of congress will have a complete collection. There are also several scanned editions available online from various sources.

A Google search found this as a top hit http://taplines.biz/OFFICIAL-GUIDE-OF-RAILWAYS-COLLECTION-1848-1969-on-DVDs-P1457553.aspx

In a research library or private collection somewhere may be all the information you need about about schedules, rates, and accommodations. For insight into the travel experience you will need to find personal diaries and letters.
 




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