The most famous incarnation of the 20th Century Limited was the new streamlined version, designed by Henry Dreyfuss, that debuted on June 15, 1938. This also marked the debut of a red carpet embossed with the train's logo that was literally rolled out on the platform at Grand Central.

However, the complete streamlining didn't last long, with the cowled steam locomotives giving way to diesel power soon after World War II.

New equipment debuted in 1948, but it was only 10 years before the Century lost its all-sleeping car status, with the coach section of the train called the Commodore Vanderbilt (a similar situation to the Illinois Central's Panama Limited/Magnolia Star combination).

Less than 10 years after that, on December 2, 1967, the 20th Century Limited passed into timetable history, replaced by an unnamed train.

Amtrak's equivalent train on the same route was first named the Lake Shore, then the Lake Shore Limited.

In 1956, although now only on a 6-day-a-week schedule (no Saturday departures) and with the red carpet getting a little threadbare, the Century still retained much of its past glory (and was on a 15-3/4-hour schedule, making only two suburban stops, plus Albany westbound only).

READ DOWN                 READ UP
  5:00P Dp New York    Ar  8:30A
  5:46P    Harmon, NY      7:32A
  7:45P    Albany          -----
  7:30A    Hammond, IN     3:59P
  7:45A Ar Chicago     Dp  3:45P

The Amtrak Train Names Project