The Gulf – Mobile and Ohio – The Alton Route


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The Gulf, Mobile and Ohio

The Alton Route

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The Main Line CHICAGO TO ST. LOUIS

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GM&O 40 - Mar 28 1959 - Baldwin Passenger Units @ Jackson TENN-L

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GM&O's only E-8 unit is passing through Normal, Illinois just prior to making a stop at the Bloomington station.  Once again, this is Train No. 1, The Limited, the most often photographed GM&O passenger train due to it's mid-day schedule

GM&O’s only E-8 unit is passing through Normal, Illinois just prior to making a stop at the Bloomington station. Once again, this is Train No. 1, The Limited, the most often photographed GM&O passenger train due to it’s mid-day schedule

Abraham Lincoln (train)

GM&O 43 - Mar 28 1959 - Gulf Mobile power units 353 354 352 @ Iselin Shop - Jackson TENN-L

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Gulf, Mobile & Ohio The Route of the Rebel

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GM&O Slideshow

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FA1-OBS2Similar to the Chessie System in the east, the Gulf Mobile and Ohio of the Midwest and South was a short-lived railroad whose legend continues to live on today. The GM&O wasn’t created until the early days of diesel power and it was gone by the early 1970s. However, during its roughly 40 years of operation it was a fierce competitor and although always surrounded by giants it held its own in many of the markets it served, which is not surprising as the railroad is also known as The Rebel Route.

Aside from the GM&O’s maverick attitude the railroad is also well known for a number of its passenger trains including the Gulf Coast Rebel, the Alton Limited, and the Midnight Special. Its most famous trains, however, were the Rebel, Abraham Lincoln, and Ann Rutledge (which continues today under Amtrak). These trains carried a beautiful livery of two-tone maroon/red with yellow trim. Below is a brief history of a number of the GM&O’s notable accomplishments, especially regarding its passenger operations, courtesy of the Gulf Mobile and Ohio Historical Society:

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Viewing Album: Gulf Mobile & Ohio

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Gulf, Mobile & Ohio Railroad Co. Alton Streamlined Parlor Car built 1947

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Amtrak – Bloomington/Normal Illinois

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Welcome to the GM&O Historical Society

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GM&O 40 - Mar 28 1959 - Baldwin Passenger Units @ Jackson TENN-L

GM&O in southern Illinois 1972

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GM&O 42 - Mar 28 1959 - Rebel Car King Cotton in scrap line @ Jackson TENN-L

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"I live in a trailer at the edge of town!" Neil Young=Revolution Blues
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13 Responses to The Gulf – Mobile and Ohio – The Alton Route

  1. Aeon10101110 says:

    “Good mornin’ America, how are ya?
    Hey doncha know me, I’m yer native son…” :)

  2. My Grandpa was a bridge engineer for the GM&O.

  3. Jorge says:

    Nice article, thank you.

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  5. Pingback: Amtrak – Bloomington/Normal Illinois « Dummidumbwit’s Weblog

  6. Pangloss says:

    I remember going on a cross country train trip in the late 1960s or early 1970s, and we pulled into St. Louis’ Union Station during a heavy rain storm. While we were stopped there for about half an hour, I stuck my head out of the door on the platform under the train shed roof (which is still there today, covering the mall). About 1/3 of the filthy glass panels were broken, and rain was pouring through the roof in thick, dirty streams. It was an indelible memory of the severe decline and neglected squalor of a once elegant form of travel.

  7. dummidumbwit says:

    The Hiawatha’s in Minneapolis St Paul run were always cleaner looking that the GM&O trains, but the Twin Cities depot was run down too. The decline was sad, but they are still the Local passenger trains, but I loved the Hiawatha’s.

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  10. Pingback: Amtrak – Bloomington/Normal Illinois | Dummidumbwit's Weblog

  11. Nathaniel Hawk says:

    My grandfather and father both worked for the Chicago&AltonR.R.and the GM&O R.R. in Roodhouse,ILL.I have great memories of a great railroad.

  12. Robert C Clayton says:

    June 29, 2013 at 3:00 pm. I Robert C Clayton was a Engineer on the GM&O R.R.out of Glen Ill doing switching and industry work

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