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Happy Valentine’s Day from the New York Central Railroad! Advertisements History

Valentine's Day card
If you’re into relatively inane holidays, have I got a card for you! This 1951 advertisement for the New York Central was just dying to be made into a card for Valentine’s Day.

Obviously, the above is photoshopped, but for veracity’s sake, below you’ll find the original advertisement – which is not at all for Valentine’s Day. The main concept it depicts is traveling in between the “heart” of cities, as the railroad does. With the mention of no “stormy skies” the ad seems to reference commercial air travel – to which the railroads were steadily losing passengers. While most railroad stations are more towards the center of the city (especially the case with Grand Central in New York), many airports are far outside it. Unfortunately, most people would rather take a short flight than a long train ride, even if they had a nice amenities, accommodations, and food on a train.

The original advertisement

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Comments
  • Jeff M.:

    Given your comment about “stormy skies” and the loss of passengers to commercial air travel, how ironic is it that the trains are collectively referred to as New York Central’s “Dreamliners”—the identical name to Boeing’s troubled new 787?

  • Michael Napolitano:

    Evidently, naming something “Dreamliner” is the kiss of death. Love the reference to the Ohio State Limited; brings me back to my youth when I was a terrific Brooklyn Dodger baseball fan and happened to be in GCT one summer afternoon in 1954 when I watched the team members boarding that train for a crucial series in Cincinnati. They were in a tough pennant race which they would eventually lose to the hated Giants, and they didn’t look too happy to be hitting the road.

  • JOhn:

    Of important note is that NYC CLOSED it’s downtown station in Buffalo in favor of using the Buffalo Central Terminal on the fringe of the city at around this time, so one would need to take a 15min taxi ride to the nearest hotel (unbearable by our standards). Also, they discontinued trains to Niagara Falls shortly thereafter, and there was, and still is, almost no mass transit in the area at all by this point. Such was (and is) the case in many of the now dying rust-belt cities the Central once passed through. So the picture was never really that rosy to begin with, and not much has changed since.

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