Thoroughbred (train)

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Thoroughbred (24219755702).jpg

Two EMD F3s lead the Thoroughbred through South Chicago in 1965
PredecessorDay Express
First service February 15, 1948
Last service September 30, 1967
Former operator(s) Monon Railroad

The Thoroughbred was a streamlined passenger train operated by the Chicago, Indianapolis and Louisville Railway (Monon) between Chicago, Illinois and Louisville, Kentucky via Monon, Indiana. It operated from 1948 to 1967. The Thoroughbred was the last passenger train operated by the Monon. It was named for the Thoroughbred horse breeds, a nod to the horse racing heritage of Louisville.


A streamliner is a vehicle incorporating streamlining in a shape providing reduced air resistance. The term is applied to high-speed railway trainsets of the 1930s to 1950s, and to their successor "bullet trains". Less commonly, the term is applied to fully faired recumbent bicycles. As part of the Streamline Moderne trend, the term was applied to passenger cars, trucks, and other types of light-, medium-, or heavy-duty vehicles, but now vehicle streamlining is so prevalent that it is not an outstanding characteristic. In land speed racing, it is a term applied to the long, slender, custom built, high-speed vehicles with enclosed wheels.

Monon Railroad Defunct American Class I railway

The Monon Railroad, also known as the Chicago, Indianapolis, and Louisville Railway from 1897 to 1956, was an American railroad that operated almost entirely within the state of Indiana. The Monon was merged into the Louisville and Nashville Railroad in 1971, and much of the former Monon right of way is owned today by CSX Transportation. In 1970 it operated 540 miles (870 km) of road on 792 miles (1,275 km) of track; that year it reported 1320 million ton-miles of revenue freight and zero passenger-miles.

Chicago City in Illinois, United States

Chicago, officially the City of Chicago, is the most populous city in Illinois and the third most populous city in the United States. With an estimated population of 2,716,450 (2017), it is the most populous city in the Midwestern United States. Chicago is the county seat of Cook County, the second most populous county in the United States, and the principal city of the Chicago metropolitan area, which is often referred to as "Chicagoland." The Chicago metropolitan area, at nearly 10 million people, is the third-largest in the United States, the fourth largest in North America, and the third largest metropolitan area in the world by land area.



Following World War II new Monon president John W. Barriger III embarked on a program to renew the Monon's passenger service, long neglected. The centerpiece of this program was a group of 28 surplus hospital cars originally built by the American Car and Foundry Company (ACF) in 1944–1945 for the U.S. Army. The Monon rebuilt these cars in their shops, creating enough lightweight coaches, parlor-observation cars, dining cars and mail/baggage cars to create three new streamliners: the Chicago-Indianapolis Hoosier and Tippecanoe , and the Chicago-Louisville Thoroughbred. [1] :153 [2] :23

World War II 1939–1945 global war

World War II, also known as the Second World War, was a global war that lasted from 1939 to 1945. The vast majority of the world's countries—including all the great powers—eventually formed two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis. A state of total war emerged, directly involving more than 100 million people from over 30 countries. The major participants threw their entire economic, industrial, and scientific capabilities behind the war effort, blurring the distinction between civilian and military resources. World War II was the deadliest conflict in human history, marked by 50 to 85 million fatalities, most of whom were civilians in the Soviet Union and China. It included massacres, the genocide of the Holocaust, strategic bombing, premeditated death from starvation and disease, and the only use of nuclear weapons in war.

John Walker Barriger III was an American railroad executive; he successively led the Monon Railroad, Pittsburgh and Lake Erie Railroad, Missouri-Kansas-Texas Railroad and the Boston and Maine Railroad. In 1969, he was chosen as Railroader of the Year by industry trade journal Modern Railroads.

American Car and Foundry Company manufacturer of railroad rolling stock

American Car and Foundry is an American manufacturer of railroad rolling stock. One of its subsidiaries was once (1925–54) a manufacturer of motor coaches and trolley coaches under the brand names of (first) ACF and (later) ACF-Brill. Today, ACF is known as ACF Industries LLC and is based in St. Charles, Missouri. It is owned by investor Carl Icahn.

The Thoroughbred made its first run on February 15, 1948, replacing the Day Express. Monon discontinued the Thoroughbred on September 30, 1967. It was the final passenger service on the Monon, although Amtrak's Hoosier State continues to use part of Monon's route between Indianapolis and Chicago. [2] :23-28

Amtrak Intercity rail operator in the United States

The National Railroad Passenger Corporation, doing business as Amtrak, is a passenger railroad service that provides medium- and long-distance intercity service in the contiguous United States and to nine Canadian cities.

Hoosier State (train) Amtrak train route between Chicago, Illinois and Indianapolis, Indiana

The Hoosier State is an Amtrak passenger train that provides service on a 196-mile (315 km) route between Chicago and Indianapolis. It runs on the four days each week that the Cardinal does not run – departing Indianapolis Sunday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday mornings and departing Chicago on Sunday, Monday, Wednesday, and Friday afternoons – giving the Chicago–Indianapolis market daily rail service.


The route length was 324 miles (521 km); the train operated as #5 (southbound) and #6 (northbound) and used Dearborn Station in Chicago.

Dearborn Station former railway station in Chicago, Illinois

Dearborn Station was the oldest of the six intercity train stations serving downtown Chicago, Illinois. It currently serves as office retail and entertainment space. Located at Dearborn and Polk Streets, adjacent to Printers Row, the station was owned by the Chicago & Western Indiana Railroad, which itself was owned by the companies operating over its line. The station now houses a shopping mall.

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