1935 Logo


The 'image page' is where we put a changing variety of New Haven Railroad photographs and advertising material for you to enjoy. Be sure to check back here often because we plan to refresh these images on a regular basis.

Special Trains of the 1950s and 1960s

February 1st, 1999

The New Haven Railroad operated special trains for a wide variety of purposes. Here are just a few advertising brochures for special trains which operated on the New Haven Railroad during the 1950s and 1960s. Advertising materials from the collection of Marc Frattasio. All images have been reproduced at approximately 10% actual size.

Ladies DayPatrick McGinnis implemented a number of new special passenger trains and services during his brief term as president of the New Haven Railroad between April 1954 and January 1956. One of McGinnis's new trains was the Wednesday only 'Ladies Day' shopping trains to New York City. These trains were also called 'Distaff Specials'. This is an early 1956 'Ladies Day' train advertising brochure.

The New Haven Railroad operated special trains from Boston to the Narragansett Race Track in Rhode Island for many years. These special trains were called 'Gansett Specials'. The late Bill McLin, a former leverman, said that you could always identify an inbound 'Gansett Special' from the tower because all the passengers were looking at race forms and that you could likewise identify the returning train by the large number of sad faces (the losers) in the windows!

For more on the history of the 'Gansett Specials', see "Racetrack Trains," in Shoreliner Volume 22 Issue 2 1991.
Gansett Special

Flower Garden SpecialThe New Haven Railroad operated a 'Flower Garden Special' train to the New York Botanical Gardens on June 23rd, 1955. This early new image brochure was designed by the famous Swiss born photographer and graphic designer Herbert Matter with the assistance of Norman Ives. Note the minimalist design, new NH logo, and the new red, white, and black corporate colors.

The New Haven Railroad operated special trains which paced the racing shells during the annual Yale/Harvard college crew races on the Thames River near New London, Connecticut. These were called 'Boat Race Trains'. For many years, the New Haven Railroad used flat cars specially fitted with bench seats for the 'Boat Race Trains'. In later years, however, standard passenger coaches were used. This brochure dates from the late 1960s, well after the old flat cars had been retired!

A brief discussion of the 'Boat Race Trains' can be found in "The 150th Anniversary of the Norwich and Worcester Railroad," Shoreliner Volume 21 Issue 1 1990.
Boat Race Train

Show TrainHere is another early Matter/Ives designed new image brochure from the fall of 1955. The New Haven Railroad operated special trains to Broadway stage productions on a regular basis. Basically, passengers got a train ticket, a show ticket, and bus transportation to and from Grand Central Terminal.

The New Haven Railroad operated special trains for many years to the New England Flower Show which is held every year in Boston, Massachusetts. Like the Broadway Show Trains mentioned above, passengers on the special Flower Show Trains got a train ticket, show admission, and ground transportation from South Station to the New England Flower Show. This brochure dates from the spring of 1956.Flower Show Train

TanglewoodThe New Haven Railroad operated special excursion trains to the annual Berkshire Summer Music Festival held in Tanglewood, Massachusetts during the summer months. This brochure dates from the late spring of 1957.

Another McGinnis era innovation was the 'Zoo Train'. Zoo Trains operated between various New Haven Railroad locations and the Bronx Zoo in New York. Geared towards children, Zoo Train passengers got a train ticket, zoo admission, and ground transportation from the train to the Bronx Zoo and back. Often, the Bronx Zoo sent small animals and their handlers to the Zoo Train to entertain the kids en-route. This brochure dates from the summer of 1956.

For the history of the New Haven's Bronx Zoo Trains, see "The Great Zoo Train Operation," Shoreliner Volume 27 Issue 2 1996.
Zoo Train

School TrainThe New Haven Railroad offered special deals to schools. For a nominal fee, a school could charter a special train for a field trip. This brochure dates from the late 1950s.


January 1999: Ticket Envelopes

December 1998: Holiday Advertising Material

November 1998: New York City Travel Advertising Material

October 1998: Boston Travel Advertising Material

September 1998: The Hurricane of 1938 -- 60th Anniversary

July 1998: The New Haven Goes Back to Cape Cod

June 1998: The 1964/1965 New York World's Fair

May 1998: Official Gifts of the McGinnis Era

April 1998: System Timetables

March 1998: Pre-War Advertising Brochures

February 1998: New Haven Railroad Freight Service Advertising from the 1950s and 1960s

January 1998: The Snow Trains

December 1997: Hotel Montclair Advertisement ca. 1939

The NHRHTA web site is 1999 the New Haven Railroad Historical and Technical Association, Inc.
Do you have comments about our web site? Contact the NHRHTA webmaster.
For other NHRHTA questions, check our NHRHTA contacts page.