Nashville Chattanooga & St. Louis
Passenger Trains
Memphis, TN

Contributed by Bill Strong
NC&StL 536 Memphis Union Station 1929

City of Memphis

Contributed by Bill Pollard
From S. Kip Farrington's Railroads of Today. "The streamlined City of Memphis was conceived and born in the Nashville shops, the first time a complete train of this character was ever built in company shops in the South. At a cost of $328,240, a rather considerable savings was effected; not only that, a fine streamliner was turned out while other roads were waiting for car manufacturers. The City of Memphis was given modern trucks, roller bearings and the latest in mechanical features. The interiors received deluxe styling and every modern facility for the comfort and convenience of its passengers was provided. The City of Memphis leaves Memphis at 8:05a.m., makes a convenient layover at Nashville and completes the return trip to Memphis at 7:40p.m., making the run of 237 miles each way in five hours flat."

Memphis Press-Scimitar Photo, Robert Tomb Collection
The"City of Memphis" was taken west leg of the wye at Tower 17, as the train was backing into Union Station on its exhibition run on May 16, 1947.

NC&StL Bulletin describing the new train
NC&StL Mail-Baggage 1040 Car Diagram
NC&StL Coach 1100 Car Diagram
NC&StL Coaches 1101-1102 Car Diagram
NC&StL Diner 1200 Car Diagram
NC&StL Obs 1103 Car Diagram
Timetable Information about the City of Memphis
City of Memphis Artifacts

Memphis Press-Scimitar Photo, Robert Tomb Collection
To the right of this photo you can see the cab of Memphis Union Station SW-1, #10.

Contributed by Bill Strong
This picture was taken in Memphis, 5/31/48.
Streamlined pacific #535 (Marie) was the normally assigned power for this train from the inauguration in 1947 until ca. early 1949. The pacific "threw a rod" (his term--- isn't it "dropped" a rod??), resulting in terminal damage and scrapping of the locomotive that year. [He says March 1949 scrapping, but Dec 1949 Bulletin has pic of Santa Claus in the cab of #535, so I would suggest NOT getting too specific on scrap date until more primary source material appears, or until one of us can locate a copy of the Prince book on NC&StL to see what is said.] From "mid" 1949 until delivery of steam generator equipped Geeps in 1951, the train was handled by various J-3 class 4-8-4s. J-3 #580 seems to have been the locomotive most often photographed in this service. With the delivery of Geeps 750-754, one of these locomotives was regularly assigned to the train through the end of NC&StL operation, and perhaps until the end of the train's operation.

The above information was provided by Bill Pollard and Dain Schult, author of a NC&StL book, and head of the NC&StL Preservation Society.

NC&StL #587 is seen in Union Station on Aug. 1, 1948.

Harold Williams photo, collection of Phil Gosney.
Late in 1949, a "J -3" class 4-8-4 number 580 heads the eastbound "City of Memphis" out of Union Station at Memphis.

Contributed by Bill Strong

Elliott Kahn Photo, Louis A. Marre Collection
NC&StL train 5-105, formerly called "City of Memphis", is ready to depart for Jackson, Bruceton and Nashville on April 10, 1956. The GP-7 locomotive and baggage-mail car are still painted in NC&StL livery, while that the last two cars have been repainted into L&N colors. What is the purpose of the compartment on the fireman side of the nose under the number board?

Elliott Kahn Photo, Louis A. Marre Collection
NC&StL coach-observation 1103 is bringing up the remnants of "City of Memphis" train seen at Union Station on April 16, 1956. By this date the train was coaches only and had lost its name and also the dining and lounge cars. The two passenger cars have been repainted in parent L&N livery, however the official merger will not be approved until August, 1957. This coach-observation car became L&N 2599 and operated on the last remaining Memphis to Nashville train service, which was an overnight schedule. Sometimes this car was the only passenger car on the train, however it roamed the L&N system in unassigned service after Memphis service was discontinued. The car still exits and presently resides at the Tennessee Valley Railway Museum in Chattanooga.

Contributed by David Johnston

David writes, "My guess is the location is Aulon, just east if the IC crossing, with the tower behind the train.  This is the dieselized remnant of the City of Memphis. ( yes, with GP7 power) eastbound at Aulon, exact date & photographer unknown.)"

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