The route of the Cleveland Night Express (in orange). Click to enlarge.

(From collection of User: J G Howes, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons)

B&O herald.


The Cleveland Night Express was an American named train of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad (B&O) on its route between Baltimore, Maryland and Cleveland, Ohio with major station stops in Washington, D.C. and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The B&O inaugurated the Cleveland Night Express in 1915. Its discontinuation in 1962 marked the end of B&O passenger service to Cleveland.


Baltimore and Ohio Railroad timetable from July 1911, showing the arrival and departure times of the Night Express. Click to enlarge.

(American Association of General and Passenger Ticket Agents, Official Guide of the Railways, New York: July 1911, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons)


The Baltimore and Ohio Railroad was chartered in 1827 and grew to be one of the largest passenger railways in the United States, often by acquiring other, smaller railroads. In Cleveland the B&O purchased two local companies, the Cleveland Lorain & Wheeling Railroad and the Cleveland, Terminal & Valley Railway in 1915.

From 1915 until 1962 the B&O provided overnight sleeping car service between Baltimore and Cleveland on the Cleveland Night Express. After June 1934, the Cleveland Night Express used Cleveland's Union Terminal as its passenger station. At times in this period, the train was called the Baltimore-Washington-Cleveland Express westbound and Cleveland-Washington-Baltimore Express.

On February 7, 1956 the train had four passenger cars overturn in a sudden rockslide near McKeesport, Pennsylvania, no deaths occurred with only one injured.


 Baltimore and Ohio Railroad advertisement from 1949 about holiday fares on the

Washingtonian and Cleveland Night Express. Click to enlarge.

(The Cleveland Plain Dealer, December 12, 1949, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons)


Decline and end of the train

In 1962, as railroad passenger traffic was declining nationwide, the B&O discontinued the Cleveland Night Express on December 7, 1962, which ended all B&O passenger service to Ohio's largest city, Cleveland.



Station / State
Washington (Union Station) / District of Columbia
Harpers Ferry (B&O station) / West Virginia
Martinsburg / West Virginia
Cumberland / Maryland
Connellsville / Pennsylvania
Pittsburgh (P&L.E. Station) / Pennsylvania
New Castle / Pennsylvania
Youngstown (B&O Station) / Ohio
Akron (Union Station) / Ohio
Cleveland (Cleveland Union Terminal) / Ohio


Schedule and equipment

In 1961, the westbound Cleveland Night Express departed Union Station (Washington, D.C.) at 9:20 p.m. daily as train No. 17, arriving in Cleveland the following morning at 8:45 a.m., equipped with a Pullman sleeping car, coaches, and a lounge car having a snack bar serving what B&O described in its timetable as a "light breakfast" prior to arrival.

The westbound Cleveland Night Express train No. 17 made the following principal station stops, with a connecting Budd Rail Diesel Car departing at 8:10 p.m. from Baltimore, Maryland:

City - Departure time
Washington, D.C. (Union Station) - 9:20 p.m.
Silver Spring, Maryland (B&O station) - 9:35 p.m.
Harpers Ferry, West Virginia - 10:29 p.m.
Martinsburg, West Virginia - 11:20 p.m.
Cumberland, Maryland - 1:05 a.m.
Connellsville, Pennsylvania - 3:35 a.m.
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (P&L.E. Station) - 5:15 a.m.
New Castle, PA - 6:28 a.m.
Youngstown, Ohio (B&O Station) - 6:43 a.m.
Akron, Ohio (Union Station) - 7:45 a.m.
Cleveland, Ohio (Cleveland Union Terminal) - 8:45 a.m.

(Source: B&O timetable, October 29, 1961)



Service type: Inter-city rail
Status: Discontinued
Locale: Mid-West/Mid-Atlantic
First service: 1915
Last service: 1962
Former operator: Baltimore and Ohio Railroad
Route Termini: Baltimore, Maryland / Cleveland, Ohio
Distance traveled: 194.2 miles (312.5 km) (1960)
Service frequency: Daily
Train numbers: 17 (westbound), 18 (eastbound)
On-board services
Seating arrangements: Reclining seat coach
Sleeping arrangements: Roomettes, double bedrooms (1960)
Catering facilities: Lounge car