Production of next-generation Acela Express fleet underway
Stadler unveils TEX Rail Flirt DMU
Siemens invests in remote monitoring specialist Wi-Tronix
DB consortium selected for California high speed rail
Judge puts the skids on state’s proposed rail trail
Amtrak's CEO shares his vision for rail's future
Flight Rail: a new type of train?
America’s short lines play the long game
New York rail operator bolsters security after London bombing
As outlined in Part 1 of this article, TTX Company was founded on November 9, 1955 as Trailer Train Company. Trailer Train’s founders/owners were the Pennsylvania Railroad (PRR), Norfolk & Western Railroad (which was partially owned by the PRR) and Rail-Trailer Corporation. The new company’s name was the result of an employee contest held by the Pennsylvania Railroad.
Trailer Train revolutionized the railroad industry by using flatcars that could haul truck trailers, beginning the intermodal era. At the time, the practice hauling truck trailers on flatcars was called “piggybacking.”
According to the TTX website, the new company’s owners had three objectives for Trailer Train Company. They were:
A Pennsylvania Railroad train. (Photo: University of Pennsylvania)
The Pennsylvania Railroad was deeply involved in Trailer Train’s launch and early success.
Established in 1846, by 1882 the Pennsylvania Railroad was the largest railroad (by traffic and revenue), the largest transportation enterprise and the largest corporation in the world. At that time, its budget was second only to that of the U.S. government.
Over the years, the PRR acquired, merged with or owned part of at least 800 other rail lines and companies. In the 1920s, it carried nearly three times the traffic as other railroads of comparable length. But by the 1950s the PRR and its rivals were looking for ways to generate more revenue as the nation and the railroad industry were changing. Except for the Northeast corridor, passenger traffic was dwindling as the airlines and passenger cars became more cost-effective. Railroad freight became more important to the railroads, but trucking continued to expand its percentage of freight moved.
James Newell, who had been the PRR’s Vice President Operations, was named as the first president of Trailer Train. He was a vocal proponent of the pool concept of piggyback car ownership. Rail-Trailer subsidiary Van-Car Corporation was contracted to manage the new Trailer Train Company. Its management was headquartered in Philadelphia (where the PRR corporate headquarters was also located), while its operating headquarters were placed in Chicago.
An early TTX photograph. (Photo: TTX Company)
The Trailer Train Company held its inaugural Board of Directors meeting on December 16, 1955 – only five weeks after the company was formed. At the meeting, the board authorized the purchase of the company’s first railcars – 500 75-foot flatcars bought from the PRR. Each railcar was able to haul two 35-foot truck trailers. Trailer Train was up and running.
TTX railcars carry domestic intermodal containers through spectacular scenery. (TTX Company)
By 1958, the length of the flatcars used for the piggyback service was increased to 85 feet.
In addition, these new flatcars were equipped with trailer hitches, which made securing the cars easier and faster.
During the 1960s – the company’s first full decade of operations – there were a number of innovations and improvements made. Examples include:
TTX boxcars with the yellow paint job and the TTX logo. (Photo: TTX Company)
The 1970s continued the company’s expansion, growth and innovation. Highlights include:
A train with TTX covered hoppers moves past hills and a somber sky. (Photo: TTX Company)
Innovations and expansion continued in the 1980s. Examples include:
A train with TTX railcars (with domestic intermodal containers) is stopped at the Banff train station in Canada.
(Photo: TTX Company)
In the 1990s, the company continued its expansion and made other significant moves as well. Examples include:
Since 2000, TTX has continued to expand and innovate. Examples include:
A train with a TTX boxcar passes a beautiful waterfall. (Photo: TTX Company)
The highlights outlined above were adapted from the TTX corporate timeline, which is found on the company’s website. TTX has had a history of significant accomplishment, adding different types of railcars to its fleet to meet the changing needs of the railroads it serves and the industries that they serve. Its fleet has grown significantly over the decades – not only in number, but in types of railcars. To read Part 1 of the TTX profile, click here. To learn more about this innovative company, visit its website.
This article first appeared on www.freightwaves.com
About this website
Railpage version 3.10.0.0037
All logos and trademarks in this site are property of their respective owner. The comments are property of their posters, all the rest is © 2003-2021 Interactive Omnimedia Pty Ltd.
You can syndicate our news using one of the RSS feeds.