A surge in summer traffic
For many railroads, summer was the busiest time of year for passenger service, as riders began their vacations down at the depot.
Before air conditioning and automobiles, life in a big city during hot weather wasn’t much fun, and the best way get out of town was by train. This put an extra load on popular scheduled trains, requiring additional cars, or additional sections to handle the overflow of long-distance vacation travelers.
The very wealthy might charter a private car, or simply arrange to use their own, which would transport them to the station nearest their summer home. Since these folks were usually owners, investors or important customers of the railroad, these movements were given the utmost care and attention.
Many railroads ran “fisherman’s specials” only during the summer season, taking vacationers to and from resort areas, some of which were owned and operated by the railroads themselves. Weekend getaways were also possible on trains to nearby lakes, beaches or amusement parks.
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