Railroads’ advertisements, illustrations, pamphlets, and even menus were extremely impacting, particularly for deluxe passenger trains, the streamliners. Some became legendary and profoundly influenced popular culture by focusing on concepts such as power, speed, technological progress, comfort, and luxury service.
We offer a selection of high-resolution files professionally reproduced and digitally restored.

Showing 1–12 of 17 results

  • I Predict … by Lurelle Guild - The Weatherhead Company ad. artwork by Lurelle Guild

    I Predict…by Lurelle Guild. Forecasting the Future of railroads 1944

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    I Predict…by Lurelle Guild. Forecasting the Future of railroads 1944

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    Hi-res digital file. The Weatherhead Company ad published in Fortune in February 1944.
    Artwork by Lurelle Van Arsdale Guild, an architect, industrial and interior designer.

    …The railroad car of tomorrow will make today’s deluxe cars resemble the stagecoach by comparison. I have designed for one of the country’s largest railroads a train embodying numerous new and practical features, including super-efficient heating and cooling to eliminate dust, germs, and draft…

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  • All the Comforts of Roam. American Railroads ad, artwork by James Bingham - Life. April 24, 1944

    All the Comforts of Roam. American Railroads Forecasting the Future 1944

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    All the Comforts of Roam. American Railroads Forecasting the Future 1944

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    Hi-res digital file. American Railroads ad published in Life Magazine on April 24, 1944.

    …The day is coming when a train trip will again be something to look forward to eagerly — something to be enjoyed at ease, in spacious comfort — and all at a moderate price.
    That of course will be after the war is won. It will be when the armed forces no longer need nearly half of all our passenger equipment to move fighting men. It will be when many coaches and Pullmans now busy in war service can be honorably retired to make way for new cars with comfort, convenience, and thoughtful appointments beyond anything the past has known…

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  • Trains of thought for the Future. American Railroads ad - Life. March 27, 1944

    Train of Thought for the Future. American Railroads Streamline 1947. Hi-Res file

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    Train of Thought for the Future. American Railroads Streamline 1947. Hi-Res file

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    Hi-res digital file. American Railroads ad published in Life Magazine on March 27, 1944.

    …Someday this war will be won by America and her Allies.
    Our first duty meanwhile is to meet the demands of the war. This we are doing.
    And we’d like you to know our ideas of comfort and style go far beyond what we’re able to offer today. That’s why we print the picture below….

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  • It's years ahead of schedule. General Motor's Exciting New Train of Tomorrow. artwork by John Clymer - Life. June 16, 1947

    It’s years ahead of schedule. General Motor’s Exciting New Train of Tomorrow. 1946

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    It’s years ahead of schedule. General Motor’s Exciting New Train of Tomorrow. 1946

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    Hi-res digital file. Ad published in Life Magazine on June 16, 1947.

    …Conceived by General Motors engineers and stylists, this new train, from the powerful Diesel locomotive to its unique and beautiful observation car, is packed throughout with vivid and stimulating ideas for future travel pleasure. Among these, there is the Astra Dome, a 32-foot glass-enclosed observation deck built into the roof of every car—giving passengers a giraffe’s-eye view of the passing landscape and skyscape….

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  • Picture your family in a train like this! American Railroads, artwork by John Clymer - Life. December 2, 1946

    Picture Your Family in a Train like This. American Locomotive Ad 1946. Hi-Res file

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    Picture Your Family in a Train like This. American Locomotive Ad 1946. Hi-Res file

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    Hi-res digital file. An American Locomotive ad published in Life Magazine on December 2, 1946.

    …One day soon you’ll board a brand -new train with the kids—and every hour of the trip will be “The Children’s Hour.”
    Skilled attendants will entertain your youngsters in a wonder room made especially for children. There’ll be a building block, storybooks, slippery slides, movies, and games galore to keep their trip—and yours—from being tiresome…..

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  • It’s always fair weather. Pennsylvania Railroad ad - Life. June 30, 1941

    It’s always fair weather. Pennsylvania Railroad Ad 1941. Hi-Res file

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    It’s always fair weather. Pennsylvania Railroad Ad 1941. Hi-Res file

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    Hi-res digital file. A Pennsylvania Railroad ad published in Life Magazine on June 30, 1941.

    …It’s always fair weather because Pennsylvania’s Railroad’s great Fleet goes 365 days a year – come rain, come hail, come storm, come sun. In fact, the weather has nothing to do with its smooth, punctual service….

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  • “North Western” ENLARGES ITS GREAT “400” FLEET. Pullman-Standard ad - Life. November 2, 1946

    North Western enlarges its great “400” fleet. Built by Pullman-Standard. Ad 1946

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    North Western enlarges its great “400” fleet. Built by Pullman-Standard. Ad 1946

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    Hi-res digital file. A Pullman-Standard ad published in Life Magazine, February 11, 1946.

    …Fast, luxurious, dependable, the “400”s have won distinction among the great trains of America. You, the millions who have patronized the “400”s, have given them a service record which has few equals–bot in passengers volume and operating result…

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  • Holiday for Two! New York Central Ad - Life. May 31, 1948

    Holidate for two! on New York Central’s New Luxury Coaches. Ad 1948

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    Holidate for two! on New York Central’s New Luxury Coaches. Ad 1948

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    Hi-res digital file. A New York Central ad published in Life Magazine, May 31, 1948.

    …We Couldn’t Budge on Our Budget! Water Level Route scenery’s a swell background for dining car meals. It makes great sightseeing, too, from the wide windows of our air-cooled coach. We’ll Have More to Spend at the Other End! Coach fares save us enough for extra vacation fun of our trip aboard the world’s largest new luxury coach fleet

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  • Like to ride on a train like this? - American Railroads artwork by John Vickery - Life. May 22, 1944

    Like to ride on a train like this? Travel with comfort with Pennsylvania Railroad 1944

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    Like to ride on a train like this? Travel with comfort with Pennsylvania Railroad 1944

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    Hi-res digital file. A Pennsylvania Railroad centenary ad published in Life Magazine, February 18, 1946.
    Artwork by John Vickery.

    A day coach. Light, bright, roomy, and comfortably air-conditioned. Smooth riding at high speeds with pillow-soft seats that fairly invite you to sink down and relax — wide windows that provide a sweeping view of the scenic landscape — and dozens of important little travel conveniences.

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  • ONE HUNDRED YEARS 1846-1946 - Pennsylvania Railroad ad - Life Magazine. February 18, 1946

    Pennsylvania Railroad One Hundred Years ad. Life 1946. Hi-res file

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    Pennsylvania Railroad One Hundred Years ad. Life 1946. Hi-res file

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    Hi-res digital file. A Pennsylvania Railroad centenary ad published in Life Magazine, February 18, 1946.

    The year 1946marks a century of progress in service to the American people. Reflecting the tremendous industrial growth of the Country itself, this service has steadily advanced from a few trains a day to 1,340 passenger trains and 3,170 freight trains daily, operating over 10,114 miles of line extending from the Atlantic to the Mississippi.

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  • Something New on the table! - Pennsylvania Railroad ad - Life Magazine

    Something new on the table! The first locomotive powered by a turbine drive! 1945

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    Something new on the table! The first locomotive powered by a turbine drive! 1945

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    Hi-res digital file. A Pennsylvania Railroad ad published in Life Magazine, December 3, 1945.

    For the first time, a way has been found to put into a locomotive the same kind of power that sends big battleships forward–turbine drive! Developed by Pennsylvania Railroad research in conjunction with engineering staffs Westinghouse Electric Corporation and the Baldwin Locomotive Works.

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  • Quick - what's it pulling, boxcars or berths? - American Locomotive ad, artwork by Peter Helck - Life Magazine. April 16, 1945

    Quick-what’s it pulling, boxcars or berths? American Locomotive ad 1943

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    Quick-what’s it pulling, boxcars or berths? American Locomotive ad 1943

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    Hi-res digital file. A powerful ad publishedin Life Magazine, April 16, 1945.
    A freight and passengers train, built by American Locomotive and General Electric for the New Haven.
    Artwork by Peter Helck.

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