The New York Central Railroad's Xplorer on June 4, 1956.

(Ed Nowak, New York Central Railroad Staff Photographer (work-for-hire), Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons)


Xplorer logo.


The Xplorer, or Ohio Xplorer, was a named train of the New York Central Railroad (NYC) that traveled between Cleveland and Cincinnati, Ohio. Although the railroad first announced the train in its April 29, 1956, timetable, that timetable did not contain its schedule. The train entered revenue service on June 3, 1956.


A Sinclair ad from 1956 featuring the Xplorer.

(Sinclair Oil and Refining Corporation, via W. Lenheim Collection)



The Pullman-Standard Car Manufacturing Company constructed the train's streamlined coaches to its lightweight Train-X design. A Baldwin RP-210 diesel-hydraulic locomotive pulled the train's consist.

The train contained the locomotive and nine short all-aluminum coaches that were articulated together. The center car had two axles (one at each end), with the remaining cars having a single axle each, being supported by adjacent cars at the end opposite the axle. The ride was rough, as with most of the other lightweight trains of the period, and the train was not a success.



The NYC's July 15, 1956, timetable was the first to contain the train's schedule. The train, numbered 421 southwest-bound and 422 northeast-bound on the timetable, was an attempt by the New York Central to modernize intrastate rail travel in Ohio and lure people out of their cars.

The train made its last run on August 17, 1957, after less than 15 months of operations. As a result, the train's name (Ohio-Xplorer or Xplorer) did not appear on the railroad's October 27, 1957, timetable.

The equipment was retired in 1960, and was sold to Jones Tours for excursion service. After a long period of storage in South Carolina, the train and locomotive were scrapped around 1970.



Service type: Inter-city rail
Status: Discontinued
Locale: Midwestern United States
First service: 1956
Last service: 1957
Former operator: New York Central Railroad
Route Termini: Cincinnati, Ohio / Cleveland, Ohio
Distance traveled: 290.0 miles (466.7 km)
Service frequency: Daily
Train numbers: 421 (southwest-bound); 422 (northeast-bound)
On-board services
Seating arrangements: Reclining seat coaches
Catering facilities: Food service
Observation facilities: Lounge coach
Track gauge: 1,435 mm (4 ft 8+1⁄2 in)