The Baltimore & Ohio's Washington–Chicago Express at La Paz, Indiana. The train is led by EMD E8 No. 1439.

(Lawrence and David Barera, CC BY-SA 2.0 <>, via Wikimedia Commons)


B&O herald.


The Washington–Chicago Express, an American named passenger train of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad (B&O), was one of four daily B&O trains operating between Washington, D.C., and Chicago, Illinois, via Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania during the 1930s–1960s. Other B&O trains of that period on the route were the Capitol Limited, Columbian, and the Shenandoah.

Operating westbound as Train No. 9, the Chicago Express, and eastbound as Train No. 10, the Washington Express, it was an "accommodation" train, meaning that it made stops at most stations along the route bypassed by B&O's other trains, resulting in a slower timecard than the more prestigious Capitol Limited. The Washington–Chicago Express required a leisurely 18½ hours for its 767-mile (1,234 km) journey, compared to the faster Capitol Limited's 16-hour pace. The Washington–Chicago Express was also B&O's primary train for mail and Railway Express Agency shipments, having heavy head end equipment consisting of several Railway Post Office (RPO) cars, baggage cars, and bulk mail boxcars. The Washington–Chicago Express continued to offer Pullman sleeping car and dining car service into the mid-1960s.


Latter years

The ending of B&O's mail contract in the late-1960s by the U.S. Postal Service spelled the doom of the train, resulting in the discontinuation of its westbound train in 1967 before the advent of Amtrak in 1971. Between 1965 and 1967 the train's sleeping cars were shortened from Washington – Chicago to Pittsburgh – Chicago. Between 1967 and 1968 the train lost its sleeping cars and its dining car. The eastbound train Washington Express continued into 1968. The train was terminated by 1969, leaving the Capitol Limited as the B&O's only eastbound Chicago-Washington train. The Gateway, an eastbound-only Chicago-Pittsburgh train, briefly continued the No. 10 designation. The train operated as a daytime coach, with a food bar.


Schedule and equipment

In addition to a Washington–Chicago through sleeping car and dining car providing full meal service en route, the B&O's Washington–Chicago Express also offered a "set-out" sleeper in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. In 1961, for example, the set-out sleeper for Washington was parked on a siding at Pittsburgh's Pittsburgh & Lake Erie Railroad Station (used by B&O's long-distance trains) and available for occupancy by passengers at 9:00 p.m., prior to the arrival of the eastbound Washington Express at 10:30 p.m. The sleeper was then coupled to the rear of the train during the 25-minute layover there.


Route of the Washington–Chicago Express (in orange).

(From collection of User: JGHowes - Compiled by User: JGHowes from B&O media guide published March 1, 1960 without copyright notice. Cropped and color highlighted by User: JGHowes, Public Domain,



In 1961, the westbound Chicago Express Train No. 9 operated on the following schedule with connecting Budd Rail Diesel Car from Baltimore, Maryland:

City Departure Time
 Baltimore, Md. (Camden Station)            1:00 p.m.
 Washington, D.C. (Union Station)       2:15 p.m.
     Silver Spring, Maryland (B&O station)       2:30 p.m.
     Martinsburg, W. Va.       3:56 p.m.
     Cumberland, Md.       5:45 p.m.
     Connellsville, Pa.       8:20 p.m.
     McKeesport, Pa.       9:16 p.m.
     Pittsburgh, Pa. (P&L.E. Station)     10:10 p.m.
     New Castle, Pa.     11:16 p.m.
     Youngstown, Ohio (B&O Station)     11:41 p.m.
     Akron, Ohio (Union Station)     12:56 a.m.
     Deshler, Ohio       3:47 a.m.
     Gary, Ind. (CT) (Union Station)       6:36 a.m.
     South Chicago, Ill. (South Chicago)       6:55 a.m.
     Chicago, Ill. (Grand Central Station)       7:40 a.m.

Source: B&O timetable, October 29, 1961



Station State
Baltimore (Camden Station) Maryland
Washington (Union Station) District of Columbia
Silver Spring (B&O station) Maryland
Martinsburg West Virginia
Cumberland Maryland
Connellsville Pennsylvania
McKeesport Pennsylvania
Pittsburgh (P&L.E. Station) Pennsylvania
New Castle Pennsylvania
Youngstown Ohio
Akron (Union Station) Ohio
Deshler Ohio
Gary (Union Station) Indiana
South Chicago (South Chicago) Illinois
Chicago (Grand Central Station) Illinois


Washington–Chicago Express (westbound) / Chicago-Washington Express (eastbound)

Service type: Inter-city rail
Status: Discontinued
Locale: Mid-Atlantic United States; Midwestern United States
First service: 1935
First service: 1960*
Last service: 1936
Last service: c. 1969*
Former operator: Baltimore & Ohio Railroad
Route Termini: Washington, D.C. / Chicago, Illinois
Distance traveled: 767.5 miles (1,235.2 km)
Service frequency: Daily
Train number: 9 (westbound) / 10 (eastbound)
On-board services
Seating arrangements: Reclining Seat Coaches (1961)
Sleeping arrangements: Roomettes, Duplex roomettes, double bedrooms,
Observation facilities: Dining Lounge car
Track gauge: 4 ft 8+1⁄2 in (1,435 mm)