There was a time when travelers dressed up to board a train and airlines served hot meals on real dishes!
For any kind of long train ride, in the old days people used to get dressed up if they were at all able to. It was considered rude to show up unkempt and the sense of traveling was more formal. With observation cars, sleeping cars, and dining cars, its no wonder that there was a sense of formality about riding the train. Passenger train lines during WWII had done well because of the rations on gasoline, in the U.S. had done But, train companies were suffering hard after the losses they suffered to car and air travel beginning in the 1950s. Many once-grand lines had to abandon their full-service passenger routes, with a scant few retaining their sleeping cars. While there is no doubt by train is an ideal way to see vast miles of scenery, the prices aren’t what they used to be. But, there are some retro lines that have been restored and give a sense of what the old passenger cars used to feel like on the inside.
Even commuter trains once had a higher standard of service. Bar cars are now thing of the past, but once had a dedicated clientele who used them to relax on the way home from work. While there are no more bar cars, there are still a few commuter lines that will sell passengers a beer.
It was a different time: we got dressed up to board a train, we looked forward to airline food, and we willingly spent days upon days in cars with our family in an effort to see the country. While today’s standard dress code for flying often involves jeans or sweats, there was a time when ladies wore heels and pearls to travel and when bars on trains were no biggie. Traveling today just isn’t quite the same!