Less Known General Rail History Lore

Below we have compiled some lesser known facts of Railroad History. This page will grow over time and we welcome suggestions.

  • Pennsylvania 6-5000 – The title of one of the more famous by Glenn Miller was a reference to the phone number for the Hotel Pennsylvania, in New York City, where Miller and his band lived for quite some time. Today this grand hotel, with over 1600 rooms still exists and the phone number is still the same, PE65000.  The hotel was built by the Pennsylvania Railroad and  just across the street from Penn Station.  The hotel’s address is 401 7th Avenue New York, New York 10001. Phone Number 212-PE65000!
  • Width/Gauge of Railroad Tracks – The standard gauge (space between the rails on an American Railway is 4 feet, 8.5 inches.
  • Luggage sizes known as Pullmans – Suitcases known as Pullmans are so named because they are the standard height that would fit under a Pullman berth in a railroad sleeping car.
  • Origin of the Name Union Station – Many large towns, such as Washington, Chicago, Kansas City, and Los Angeles have/had Union Stations.  A station was often called a Union Station if it served more than one railroad.  Union stations were often built and operated jointly by the railroads.