Serving New York, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Akron, Chicago, and intermediate points
Amtrak train numbers: 40 and 41
Predecessor railroad train numbers: Pennsylvania Railroad 28 and 29
The Pennsylvania Railroad inaugurated a new train traveling on a 20-hour schedule between New York and Chicago, the Pennsylvania Special, on June 15, 1902, on the same day the New York Central inaugurated its new train traveling on a 20-hour schedule between New York and Chicago, the 20th Century Limited. Although the Pennsylvania Special made more stops than the Century and had to go through the Allegheny Mountains, it managed to make the run in the same amount of time as the Century because the Pennsylvania's route was more direct. In 1912, the train's name was changed to Broadway Limited, named not for the New York street but for the Pennsylvania Railroad's 4-track main line between Philadelphia and Harrisburg.
Until the Century was discontinued in 1967, the two trains figuratively raced each other on their overnight schedules from the East to the Midwest; when one railroad managed to shave a few minutes off its train's schedule, the other followed suit soon afterwards, until each train took less than 16 hours to make the run. Both trains' new streamlined versions were unveiled on the same day, too, June 15, 1938.
After the Pennsylvania Railroad became part of Penn Central in the late 1960s, the Broadway Limited managed to remain in service long enough to continue as Amtrak's sole New York-Chicago train after the 1971 takeover.
For a time, Amtrak's Broadway Limited was combined with the National Limited between Harrisburg and Pittsburgh to provide St. Louis-New York and Chicago-Washington service. Beginning in 1981, the Broadway Limited was combined between Pittsburgh and Chicago with a new Chicago-Washington train, the Capitol Limited, which began operating as a completely separate train in 1986.
In 1990, the Broadway Limited was permanently rerouted between Pittsburgh and Chicago because its old route was being downgraded by then-owner Conrail. The largest city on that part of the route became Akron instead of Fort Wayne.
Five years later, on September 10, 1995, the Broadway Limited name disappeared from the timetable due to Amtrak budget cuts. It was eventually replaced by the Three Rivers.
Condensed historical timetables:
READ DOWN READ UP
(1956) (1972) (1987) (1994) (1994) (1987) (1972) (1956)
5:00P 4:55P 2:30P 12:45P Dp New York Ar 5:50P 10:34A 9:50A 8:30A
6:21P 6:23P 4:00P 2:30P Philadelphia 3:29P 8:44A 8:21A 7:03A
12:50A 1:42A 11:45P 11:02P Pittsburgh 7:40A 1:32A 1:06A 12:36A
----- ----- ----- 2:12A Akron 3:45A ----- ----- -----
5:22A 7:30A 5:07A ----- Fort Wayne ----- 5:58P 7:18P 6:15P
7:45A 9:00A 8:15A 7:55A Ar Chicago Dp 8:35P 3:00P 4:00P 4:00P
The Amtrak Train Names Project