Rollout of the Flying Yankee at the Budd Company in 1935. Click to enlarge.

(Veedol motor oil, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons)


Flying Yankee drumhead.


BM-MEC 6000 redirects here.

The Flying Yankee was a diesel-electric streamliner built in 1935 for the Maine Central Railroad and the Boston and Maine Railroad by Budd Company and with mechanical and electrical equipment from Electro-Motive Corporation. It was also the name of a passenger train, the third streamliner train in North America. That train ceased passenger service in 1957 and is stored at the Hobo Railroad in New Hampshire and owned by the state of New Hampshire, which plans to open it to public viewing at some time in the future.


February 1938 advertisement for electric trains by General Electric, depicting the Flying Yankee. Click to enlarge.

(General Electric, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons)


Prior to 1935, the name Flying Yankee referred to a passenger train that ran between Portland, Maine, and Boston, Massachusetts, at least back to 1891. The train was pulled by an early 4-6-2 Pacific steam engine; cars were standard heavyweight construction.

The new Flying Yankee in the 1930s was a lightweight train constructed with welded stainless steel using Budd's patented process. The engine was an 8-cylinder Winton 201-A diesel, driving a generator; the lead truck was equipped with traction motors. It was fitted with air conditioning in all cars. No dining car was provided; instead, meals were prepared in a galley and served to passengers in trays that clipped to the back of the seat in front.

It was the third streamliner in service after the Union Pacific Railroad's M-10000 and the Chicago, Burlington and Quincy Railroad's Pioneer Zephyr. The Flying Yankee was a virtual clone of the latter, except that it dispensed with the baggage/mail space to seat 142 in three articulated cars.

The train was delivered in February 1935, and toured the BM-MEC railroad system before entering service on April 1. The daily route served began in Portland, then to Boston, followed by a return to Portland and continuing to Bangor, Maine, returning through Portland to Boston and finally returning to Portland late in the day, a distance of 750 miles (1,210 km) per day. This schedule was kept six days a week; the trainset spent Sundays undergoing maintenance. The train proved extremely successful, attracting new ridership and earning a profit for its owners.

Later on, as newer equipment replaced it on one route, it would be switched to other routes, bearing the names The Cheshire, The Minuteman, The Mountaineer, and The Business Man.

As railroad passenger ridership declined in the 1950s, the Yankee was also getting old, and thus the trainset, as The Minuteman, was retired, running its last on May 7, 1957.

Most of the train's route is currently operated by Amtrak's Downeaster, which runs as far north as Brunswick, Maine.


Photo of The Flying Yankee on its trial run between Philadelphia and Trenton, NJ, February 5, 1935. Click to enlarge. (Acme Newspictures, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons)

Complete menu from the Boston and Maine streamliner "Flying Yankee". The train went into service in 1935 and was renamed, serving other routes during World War II. There was no kitchen or dining car for food preparation on the train; passengers ate at their seats with trays similar to airline service. The food for the train was provided by the Armstrong Company. Click to enlarge. (The Armstrong Company/Boston and Maine Railroad, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons)

Postcard photo of the Boston and Maine Railroad's Flying Yankee, circa 1935. Click to enlarge. (Unknown, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons)

Current location

The railroad donated the trainset to the Edaville Railroad tourist/museum operation in Carver, Massachusetts, in 1957. The train remained on static display there for about 35 years until it was moved in 1993 to Glen, New Hampshire, after being purchased by Bob Morrell, then-owner of Story Land.

In 1997, the train was moved to the Concord and Claremont Railroad's shops in Claremont, New Hampshire, for a restoration after it was purchased by the state of New Hampshire. By 2004, the major structural restoration had been completed, and detailed restoration of components is ongoing with the goal of restoring the train completely to running condition. The train was moved on August 10, 2005, to the Hobo Railroad in Lincoln, New Hampshire.

Plans to move it to Concord, New Hampshire, site of a former Boston & Maine railyard, fell through in 2017. The state hopes to open the train to public viewing in Lincoln.


Photo of the Boston and Maine streamliner Flying Yankee at the Budd Company in Philadelphia, prior to its delivery to the railroad. January 28, 1935. Click to enlarge. (The Edward G. Budd Company, Philadephia, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons)

Postcard photo of the Boston and Maine Railroad Mountaineer. The train was formerly known as the Flying Yankee. Click to enlarge. (Railroad Photographs, Allston, Massachusetts, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons)

Postcard photo of the Boston and Maine streamliner "The Mountaineer" in Crawford Notch. The train was originally known as "The Flying Yankee" but was renamed when it was given another route in the 1940s. Click to enlarge. (The Meridien Gravure Company, Meridien, CT., Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons)

Postcard photo of the Boston and Maine Railroad Flying Yankee in the Edaville Museum, Carver, Massachusetts, some time between 1957 and 1963. Click to enlarge. (Bromley & Company, Boston; photographer: Hugo G. Poisson., Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons)

"Flying Yankee" trainset at Edaville Heritage Railroad, August 1991. Click to enlarge. (Folks at 137, CC BY-SA 3.0 <>, via Wikimedia Commons)

The Flying Yankee sitting off tracks at the Hobo Railroad, without trucks. Click to enlarge. (Delta901, CC BY-SA 4.0 <>, via Wikimedia Commons)


HO scale

Orion Models/NJ Custom Brass. 1985. Imported scale brass model.
Challenger Imports. Imported scale brass model.

O scale

Lionel. "pre-war", produced from 1935 to 1941. Not a scale model. "3 rail" AC power.
Sunset/3rd Rail. Imported brass model. Available in both "3 rail" AC and "2 rail" DC power. Scale model, not "selectively compressed"
Lionel. 2008. Reproduction of pre-war model.


BM-MEC 6000 Type and origin

Power type: Diesel
Builder: Budd Company and Electro-Motive Corporation
Model: BM-MEC 6000
Build date: 1935
Total produced: 1
​• AAR B-2
Gauge: 4 ft 8+1⁄2 in (1,435 mm) standard gauge
Trucks: Jacobs Bogie (Articulated trucks)
Prime mover: Winton 201-A
Engine type: Diesel
Cylinders: 8
Operators: Boston & Maine Railroad
Locale: North America
Delivered: February 1935
Last run: May 7, 1957
Restored: On going project
Current owner: State of New Hampshire
Disposition: Under restoration


Flying Yankee Overview

Service type: Inter-city rail
Status: Discontinued
Locale: New England
First service: 1935
Last service: 1957
Former operators: Boston and Maine Railroad, Maine Central Railroad
Route Termini: North Station / Bangor Union Station
Distance traveled: 254 miles (409 km)
Average journey time: 5 hours
Service frequency: Daily, except Sunday
Train numbers: Northbound: 15, Southbound: 16
On-board services
Seating arrangements: Streamline coaches (1954)
Catering facilities: Restaurant lounge car, catering by The Armstrong Company
Track gauge 4 ft 8+1⁄2 in (1,435 mm)


See Also:

Named Passenger Trains A-K

Named Passenger Trains L-Z

EMC Diesel-Electric Locomotives



Flying Yankee logo: The original uploader was Lordkinbote at English Wikipedia., Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons