San Francisco to New York in 1886 is a free online Railroad Discussion Forum and Railroad Photo Gallery for railroaders, railfans, model railroaders and anyone else who is interested in railroads. We cover a wide variety of topics, including freight trains, passenger and commuter railroads, rail news and information, tourist railroads, railway museums and railroad history.


New Member
Hello, I'm looking for assistance with a book that I'm writing.

Short version, I'm looking for information about trains traveling from San Francisco to New York in 1886.

I'm stuck in a chase between two characters, and I'm trying to work out the timelines that would allow a cross country chase to happen.

Can anyone help - direct me towards any suitable reference material?

Many thanks


Bill Anderson

Well-Known Member
Welcome aboard. I suggest you research railroad timetables for the period of your book. For starters, here are timetables for the Overland Route (Union Pacific and Central Pacific Railroads) from San Francisco to Omaha, NB.

Your characters can take the Chicago & Northwestern, CB&Q, or Rock Island Railroads to get from Omaha to Chicago. The fastest trains from Chicago to New York City were those of the Pennsylvania and the New York Central Railroads.

Ethan Scott

New Member
Hi Bill,

Thank you for the content. That was very versatile and informative. I guess it will be fun being a part of this forum.

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