The City of Memphis in 1947. Click to enlarge.

(NC&StL photo, Public domain, via W. Lenheim Collection)

City of Memphis herald.


The City of Memphis was a 236.8-mile (381.1 km) passenger train route operated by the Nashville, Chattanooga and St. Louis Railway connecting Nashville's Nashville Union Station and Memphis, Tennessee's Memphis Union Station.



The City of Memphis was powered by one of the very last steam locomotives to be streamlined.

The six cars were all rebuilt and streamlined by the NC&StL shops from heavyweight cars. The six cars were originally Pullman Heavyweight Parlor Cars before purchase by the NC&STL for conversion to coaches in June 1941.

The six car consist had a revenue seating capacity of 204 and was built to operate on a fast five-hour schedule between Nashville and Memphis a distance of 239 miles (385 km). The train set operated a daily round trip and lasted beyond the 1957 Louisville and Nashville Railroad takeover of the NC&StL, although the name was removed from the service by 1955.


RPO stamped envelope commemorating the first trip of the streamlined City of Memphis, May 17, 1947. Click to enlarge.

(Nashville, Chattanooga and St. Louis Railway, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons)



Sample consist
Class K2 4-6-2 Pacific No. 535
Baggage-mail No. 1040
Coach-dinette-lounge No. 1100
Coach No. 1101 (56 seats)
Coach No. 1102 (56 seats)
Dining-tavern No. 1200
Coach-lounge-observation No. 1103

To equip the train the railroad rebuilt six heavyweight Pullman parlor cars. The resulting train consisted of a baggage-mail car, a coach-dinette-lounge, two 56-seat coaches, a dining-tavern car, and a coach-lounge-observation car.


City of Memphis Route map. Click to enlarge.

(Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License 3.0, via Wikipedia)



The City of Memphis
Nashville, Chattanooga & St. Louis Ry.
June, 1950
6 Train Number 5
Daily Miles Services Daily
1 30P Dp 0.0 Nashville, TN (CT) C R Ar 12 30P
2 23P 41.7 Dickson, TN C 11 37A
2 50P 66.5 Waverly, TN C 11 10A
3 12P 86.4 Camden, TN 10 48A
3 25P Ar 95.2 Bruceton, TN Dp 10 35A
106 Continuing Train Number 105
3 30P Dp 95.2 Bruceton, TN Ar 10 30A
4 07P 126.3 Lexington, TN C 9 50A
4 38P 151.8 Jackson, TN C R 9 18A
5 13P 180.9 Whiteville, TN C 8 42A
5 27P 193.8 Somerville, TN C 8 28A
6 14P 232.7 Lenox, TN 7 41A
6 30P Ar 236.9 Memphis, TN (Union Sta.) (CT) C R Dp 7 30A



Streamlined Coach Train.
City of Memphis.
Air-Conditioned Reclining Seat Coaches.

Nos. 105-5 and 6-106.
"CITY OF MEMPHIS"—Memphis-Nashville. Reclining Seat Coaches.

Regularly assigned cars Air-Conditioned.

(©1950 by National Railway Publication Company, not renewed)



Service type: Inter-city rail
Status: Discontinued
Locale: Tennessee
First service: 1947
Last service: 1958
Former operator: Nashville, Chattanooga and St. Louis Railway
Route Termini: Memphis, Tennessee / Nashville, Tennessee
Distance traveled: 236.8 miles (381.1 km)
Average journey time: 5 hrs 00 min
Service frequency: Daily
Train number: Eastbound: 105-5, Westbound: 106-6
On-board services
Seating arrangements: Reclining Seat Coaches
Catering facilities: Tavern-dining car
Track gauge 1,435 mm (4 ft 8+1⁄2 in)