Serving Boston, Buffalo, Toledo, Chicago and intermediate points
Assigned Amtrak train numbers: 38 and 39
Predecessor railroad train numbers: 27 and 28
When the newly streamlined Twentieth Century Limited made its debut in 1938, in order to speed up its schedule, its Boston-Albany section was discontinued, thus avoiding a delay in Albany to either switch out or switch in the cars to or from Boston.
Lost in the hoopla over the inaugural of the upgraded Twentieth Century Limited was the New York Central's simultaneous inaugural of the New England States, a new Boston-Chicago train to replace that discontinued Boston-Albany section. As the crack overnight train over that route, it made only limited stops along the way, not even including Albany; however, unlike the all-Pullman consist of the Twentieth Century Limited, there were both coaches and sleeping cars on the New England States.
The New England States lasted until the late 1960s. Beginning in 1975, service between Boston and Chicago was provided by a Boston-Albany section of Amtrak's Lake Shore Limited, with, as in the early part of the 20th century, delays in Albany to switch out or switch in the cars from Boston.
In the mid-1990s, with visions of profitable mail and express (freight) business dancing in the eyes of Amtrak management, tentative plans were made to replace the Boston-Albany section of the Lake Shore Limited with a new, separate Boston-Chicago train, to be given numbers 38 and 39, and to have probably been given the name New England States. Amtrak was counting on a lucrative contract from UPS to make the new train feasible, but Amtrak and UPS never came to an agreement. Plans for the new New England States were scrapped, and it never even made it into the timetable, unlike its sister stillborn train, the Skyline Connection.
Condensed historical timetable (1956):
READ DOWN READ UP
2:00P Dp Chicago Ar 7:15A
7:01P Toledo 4:10A
11:40P Buffalo 11:33P
9:45A Ar Boston Dp 1:30P
The Amtrak Train Names Project