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  • Writer's pictureLawrence Lore

The Wabash Cannonball


Daily Record March 23, 1971


Another legend is passing from the American scene. The famed “Wabash Cannonball” is headed for the end of the line.


A spokesman for the Norfolk & Western Railway said the line would ask the Interstate Commerce Commission (ICC) for permission to drop the train probably May 1,1971.


Routine approval is expected because the “Cannonball’s St Louis-Detroit trip was not included in the National Railpax system uniting 85% of the metropolitan areas of the country.


Not much is known about the Cannonball’s early days, except that it was immortalized in song and verse since its first run back at the turn of the century. The N&W took it over in 1964 when the line merged with the Wabash Railroad. The carrier tried to drop the train last year after it lost $700,000 on the run in 1969. There isn’t much to the Cannonball but legend now. A couple of passenger coaches, a couple of express cars and a diesel engine, said a representative of the N&WRR.”

In Memory of John Hamilton

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