The Gulf, Mobile and Ohio
The Alton Route
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
Similar 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: