Two world’s fairs, two views on trains worlds apart

Pennsylvania Railroad PRR S1 steam locomotive at the New York World’s Fair, July 15, 1939

The New York City Transit Museum Annex at Grand Central Terminal opened an exhibit this summer commemorating the anniversary of New York’s two World’s Fairs.  The opening of the two fairs – the first in 1939 and second in 1964 – were separated by 25 years.  And, in that short period of time, railroads had gone from “being the backbone of the country” to a mode of transportation with a severe case of osteoporosis.  This is illustrated with railroads at the 1939 Fair put on “parade“.  While in 1964, this picture of happy LIRR execs symbolizes the smaller transportation role rail roads were now playing.


LIRR executives sit on a miniature train for a photo at the 1964 New York World’s Fair


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