Trainumentary Trivia: Chicago Union Station

In what year was the Great Hall inside Chicago Union Station originally completed? The answer can be found beneath the two photos below, which offer a glimpse of what the freshly renovated Great Hall looks like as of January 2016.

Photos c. 2016 by

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a. 1925

The Great Hall at Chicago’s train station was “…Originally designed by famed architect Daniel Burnham (“make no small plans, they have no magic to stir men’s blood”) and completed in 1925 by the Graham, Anderson, Probst and White Firm, the Great Hall is considered to be one of the greatest indoor spaces in the United States.” ~~ quote from

Trainumentary Trivia: GCR No. 29-The little engine that can

Grand Canyon Railway No. 29 “can pull ____ fully loaded cars up our steepest grades unassisted,” according to informational literature displayed in front of the locomotive as of January 2016.

Find the answer to this question beneath the two photos of GCR No. 29, which are C. 2016 by

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This 111-year-old locomotive is located just off to the side of the Grand Canyon Railroad’s train station.

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Answer: Eight (8) fully loaded cars

Source: See photo below

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photos c. 2016 by

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Trainumentary Trivia: Candid Caboose

At some point in the 1830s, as railways became longer, cabooses began appearing on the train track horizon. This was because railroads had started to provide functional housing for employees in shanties, which were often constructed directly onto flatcars or boxcars.

Aside from serving as the office for the train’s conductor, there were typically two other trainmen stationed in the caboose. They were:

a. Electrician and Doctor

b. Brakeman and Flagman

c. Candlestick Maker and Cook

d. Topographer and herbalist

The correct answer can be found beneath this photograph of the yellow Union Pacific caboose, which is stationed at Greenville Railroad Park, PA.

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The correct answer is “b,” Brakeman and flagman, according to information posted at the Union Pacific website

Photo c. 2015 by

Feature photo shows The Texas & Pacific Railway caboose that is presently on display in Mineola, TX. This image is c. 2016 by



Trainumentary Trivia: Tasty Texas Treat

Passengers aboard the Texas Eagle often look forward to briefy stepping off the train at its El Paso stop to get their hands on which tasty treat?

Follow @trainumentary on Twitter OR sneak a peek at the answer beneath the featured photo to learn the answer to this well-kept secret.

Below: This rich Rio Grande view is what Texas Eagle riders see as the train glides above it. Both photos by Christine Lorraine taken January 12, 2016.  Above – Steeple in El Paso, TX near the Amtrak station.

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Answer: Passengers often enjoy a fresh, hot burrito from a well-known local vendor while the train stops in El Paso.


Q: In the early 2000s a man set the new world record for pulling a 6,069-pound train 32 feet with his _ _ _ _ _ .
This is the view looking down the Pend O’Reille River sleeper car, which is part of the Lake Shore Railway Historic Society Museum in North East, PA. Above shows the Bessemer steam engine on display at the Greenville, PA train museum. Both photos by Christine Lorraine, c. 2014 and 2013, respectively.
A: His beard.
Ismael Rivas Falcon of Spain pulled a 6,069-pound (2,753 kg) train 32.8 feet (over 10 meters). He performed this feat on the Spanish TV program “El Show de los Records.”

Trainumentary Trivia: 600 B.C. Railway?

Q: What was the basic form of railway system utilized around 600 BC called?

Scroll down beneath the photo of the Amtrak Station in Jacksonville, FL to learn the answer.

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Amtrak station Jacksonville, FL photo by c. 2015


A: The Rutway

According to Wikipedia: “A basic form of the railway, the rutway, existed in ancient Greek and Roman times, the most important being the ship trackway Diolkos across the Isthmus of Corinth. Measuring between 6 and 8.5 km, remaining in regular and frequent service for at least 650 years, and being open to all on payment, it constituted even a public railway, a concept which according to Lewis did not recur until around 1800. The Diolkos was reportedly used until at least the middle of the 1st century AD, after which no more written references appear.”

Trainumentary Trivia: Casey Jones’ hand

Q: When Casey Jones’ body was recovered, one hand was on the whistle cord, the other was on the

_ _ _- _ _ _ _ _     _ _ _ _ _

Find the answer beneath the image showing the interior of Bessemer steam engine 304/604, which sits in immense solitude at the Greenville, PA Railroad Park. Photo c. 2015 by
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A: Air-brake lever
 Jones had instructed his fireman, Sim Webb, to save himself just before the crash, so Webb managed to survive with only minor injuries. Webb was quoted as stating, “As I jumped Casey held down the whistle in a long, piercing scream.” He attributed this fact to be the reason Jones was still clutching the whistle cord and air-brake lever as he traveled into death’s grip.
Source: “The True Story Of Casey Jones” From “Erie Railroad Magazine” Vol 24″ (April 1928)