19th Century Railroad Timetables

Today, I want to do a graphics intensive post. When railroads crossed Indiana in great numbers, the companies would advertise their routes in the newspapers of the day. I want to show some of those timetables available online in newspaper sources.

4 June 1864, Indiana State Sentinel
All Indianapolis Railroads

This image shows the need for standard time. Notice at the bottom where it states that Cincinnati is 12 minutes ahead of Indianapolis?

28 April 1865, Indiana State Sentinel
All Indianapolis Railroads

08 August 1881, Muncie Evening Press
Pittsburgh, Cincinnati & St. Louis

It should be noted that in the very same newspaper, right next to this ad, the Pittsburgh, Cincinnati & St. Louis Railway, in addition to the Indianapolis & Vincennes and the Jeffersonville, Madison & Indianapolis, both of the latter operated by the Pennsylvania Company, lowered passenger rates, except for short distances, three cents per mile. This meant a discount of at least 13%, and up to 25%.

4 December 1884, Steuben Republican (Angola)
Local Railroads

3 June 1891, Logansport Pharos-Tribune

12 July 1894, Muncie Evening Press
Lake Erie & Western Railroad

12 July 1894, Muncie Evening Press
Big Four Route

30 November 1894, Hamilton County Democrat
Lake Erie & Western

6 June 1895, Princeton Clarion-Leader
Baltimore & Ohio Southwestern Railway

14 October 1898, Logansport Pharos-Tribune
Pennsylvania Lines

14 October 1898, Logansport Pharos-Tribune

14 October 1898, Logansport Pharos-Tribune
Vandalia Line

5 thoughts on “19th Century Railroad Timetables

  1. Terrific work! This is the type of info that should be shared around the net. Shame on Google for not positioning this post higher! Come on over and visit my website . Thanks =)


  2. I noticed that one of the schedules was for the Vandalia Railroad. Having grown up in Wayne Township in Indianapolis and attending Ben Davis High School, we always heard the story about the locals petitioning the railroad to put in a depot near the intersection of Washington St. and High School Rd. The locals named the area Ben Davis after the railroad executive, Benjamin Davis, who worked with them to put in that depot. That’s about all you ever hear of that story, and I’ve never found any more information about it.
    If you’re ever looking for something to write about, learning more about this story would be fantastic. Thanks for all the writing you do! I love this blog and read it religiously.


    1. From everything I have found out, and I put it in today’s article, Ben Davis wasn’t a railroad executive, but a railroad customer. The story about how that depot came to be is in today’s blog, as reported in the Indianapolis News of 11 May 1900. (https://www.newspapers.com/image/40147138/?terms=ben%20davis&match=1) Since the railroad was less than 50 years old at that point, and the station was around 25, I tend to believe this accounting. Also, Ben Davis’ obituary, in the Indianapolis News of 24 January 1899, (https://www.newspapers.com/image/40156416/?terms=ben%20davis&match=1) states the same thing.

      I had often heard the same stories about the creation of the Ben Davis station. And it wasn’t until I read the newspaper articles that I had a reason to not believe them. Hope this helps.


      1. I freaked out about your article about Ben Davis because I didn’t realize you had posted it until about two minutes after I posted my comment above. LOL

        Anyway, I really love this blog and I appreciate you researching Ben Davis. It’s really interesting, and makes me wonder how the story that I learned in high school came to be told. You can actually read it here, in case you haven’t seen it.


        Thanks for writing this blog! It’s really great. Have a great Thanksgiving.


  3. It is amazing how long it took trains to travel distances and then the note about time zones not standardized. But still, I believe some bike riders today could make it faster than the train. One thing I learned is that Mail train did take longer and I suppose it was delivering mail to all the stations between destinations. Puts context when you read in novels a reference taking the mail train. It implies a longer ride.

    Wonder if there are departure and arrival times for the Interurban lines. Always wondered how long it took my grandfather to travel from Indianapolis to Goshen.


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