Baltimore and Ohio Railroad (B&O) system map in 1960, with the route of the Blue Ridge Limited highlighted in orange.

(Image: From collection of User:JGHowes, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons)


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The Blue Ridge Limited was one of six daily American named passenger trains operated by the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad (B&O) during the late 1930s between Washington, D. C. and Chicago, Illinois, via Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Inaugurated in 1934, the once high-status train was discontinued in 1949.


In 1934, the B&O's eastbound train number 16 was named the Blue Ridge Limited and in 1937 its westbound counterpart, train 15 was also named the Blue Ridge Limited.

With ridership dropping after World War II, the B&O discontinued the Blue Ridge Limited on February 20, 1949.

Schedule and equipment

In the early years, the Blue Ridge Limited's consist was consistent with a first-class train, including reclining seats in coaches, a sleeper and a lounge with sleeping accommodations. A diner car, added in Pittsburgh, served breakfast and lunch to passengers going west. It was steam-powered until well after World War II.

The westbound Blue Ridge Limited left Washington a few hours ahead of the Shenandoah but had a slower schedule due to the numerous head-end cars it carried. The eastbound Blue Ridge Limited's schedule was revised in 1938 so that it began in Pittsburgh, instead of Chicago, thus reducing the number of Chicago-Washington trains.

A lounge car was added in 1945 between Washington and Akron to increase ridership, and in 1947 the lounge car was extended all the way to Chicago.


Station / State
Baltimore (Camden Station) / Maryland
Washington (Washington Union Station) / District of Columbia
Cumberland / Maryland
Pittsburgh (Pittsburgh & Lake Erie Railroad Station) / Pennsylvania
Youngstown (Youngstown station) / Ohio
Akron (Akron Union Station) / Ohio
Garrett (Garrett station, north of Fort Wayne) / Indiana
Chicago (Grand Central Station) / Illinois


Chicago's Grand Central Station was the western terminus of the Blue Ridge Limited. Click to enlarge.

(Photo: [Grand Central Station in Chicago]photograph1960~; ( March 27, 2023), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History,; crediting Museum of the American Railroad.)



Service type: Inter-city rail
Status: Discontinued
Locale: Mid-Atlantic United States, Midwestern United States
First service: 1934
Last service: February 20, 1949
Former operator: Baltimore & Ohio Railroad
Route Termini: Washington, D.C. / Chicago
Train numbers: 15/16
Track gauge 4 ft 8+1⁄2 in (1,435 mm)