Pekin Express - AT&SF - 1940-1960

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Pekin Express - AT&SF - 1940-1960

  • I am attempting to refresh childhood memories of trips from Chicago to Eureka, IL, the last leg of which was on the Pekin Express. If anyone can point me to timetables for the period 1940-1960 for this run, I would be most appreciative. I found an 1895 timetable at:

    It seems to confirm my recollection that the service provided in a car similar to that illustrated at ran from Streator to Pekin, although the timetable starts in Chicago:

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    Here it is referred to as the Santa Fe Doodlebug, the name I recall being in common usage. I no longer recall the departure station or if the first leg from Chicago to Streator was provided by the AT&SF.

    We sometimes made trips "down home" on the Rock Island Rocket to Peoria, but these necessitated someone having to drive from Eureka to Peoria to fetch us. We had two choices to get from Highland Park, a suburb north of Chicago. We could use the C&NW or the CM&NS electric interurban which used the Chicago elevated railway tracks in the city. I remember that sometimes we traveled from station to station in Parmalee Transfer Company limousines. I understand they had a city granted franchise for inter-station transportation and seem to recall that the service was one part of a physically very long railroad ticket.

    Can anyone expand on my recollections?







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  • Welcome to the forum, baumgrenze!Welcome

    Looking in the February, 1950, issue of the Guide, which I currrently have by my computer desk, I see that SFe trains 13 and 14 are shown as running through between Chicago and Pekin, using motor car equipment. This was a daily except Sunday operation, with #14 leaving Pekin at 7:00 in the morning, stopping in Eureka at 8:08, and arriving in Chicago at 12:10 in the afternoon. westbound, #13 left Chicago at 1:35 p. m., stopped in Eureka at 5:10, and arrived in Pekin at 6:00 p.m.

    As to Parmalee, this company was the standard means of transferring between stations--and it was also possible to use Parmalee to get to a downtown hotel (I did so in 1969). All interline tickets which required changing stations in Chicago had a Parmalee coupon. Yes, interline tickets could be quite long. The longest one I ever had was a Birmingham, Ala., roundtrip ticket to San Francisco which I used in the spring of 1972 (Amtrak was still using the railroads' forms then); it had eleven coupons. The second longest was one I used in 1968; it had only ten coupons.


  • Check out this YouTube video:

    At 1:42, there is a shot of the train board at Dearborn Station showing the Pekin Express, Train 14 departing at either 12:11 pm or 12:41 pm.  It is the only "local train" on the Santa Fe board.  The film was made in the early 50's.