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Timeline for the 1936 Million-Dollar Rexall Streamlined Train
 
 

This timeline is very much a work-in-progress. Much of what appears here was gleaned from Larry Thomas' fine and exhaustive article on the Rexall Train appearing in the TRRA of St. Louis' magazine, summer 2000. Other newspaper accounts of the day have added considerable depth to the timeline since then, though the schedule is far from being fully reconstructed. Please email with any additions, corrections, confirmations or photos. Where a question mark appears, there is likely a newspaper that mentions the train is headed to or from a certain city, without saying whether it was an actual display city. For example, there is a newspaper account of the train leaving Portland, ME for Wheeling WV. But was Wheeling a display city, or simply where the train would be serviced? Also, it appears that as the train became quite famous, more Rexall druggists would lobby to have the train stop in their town -- which it often did, if only for a morning or afternoon display before moving on. So the list of display cities will likely go well over the 147 that were planned when the train left Boston. Finally, one nagging question is whether the train ever passed through Nevada. Reno? Las Vegas? If it did, that would make the Rexall Train the first trainset to operate in every state in the Union (48 at the time). Otherwise, it appears the 1947 Freedom Train holds that distinction... Any additions or corrections, please email.

 
 
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STOP
DATES
NOTES
1
Boston, MA
March 26-29, 1936
Boston North Station. The locomotive was christened by Miss Edith Minard, one of the 14 original employees of United Drug Co. Departed Boston March 29, 1936 on an eight-month 29,000 mile tour with 147 planned display stops in the US and Canada, 109 of those in conjunction with druggists' conventions held on the train. Louis Liggett, president of the United Drug Company, declares "The depression is over and confidence, the basic factor of recovery, is here." Boy, we could use some of that 73 years later.
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Portland, ME
March 30, 1936
Portland Union Station.
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Wheeling, WV ?
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Cincinnati, OH
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15,000 visit train.
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Indianapolis, IN
April 6-7, 1936
Displayed at Union Station, Track 1.
5
Decatur, IL
April 8, 1936
Spotted between Union and N. Water streets. 2500 visit the train during its short morning visit.
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Springfield, IL
April 8-9, 1936
Afternoon arrival.
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St. Louis, MO
April 10-12, 1936
Parked on track "I" at the west end of the midway at Union Station.
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Moberly, MO
April 13, 1936
Displayed at the Wabash Station. 8,265 people visited the train. Mr. W. W. Greenland of the Moberly Division of the Wabash noted the locomotive made history as the first ever to pass through without a number on it. The local newspaper called this the 7th stop after leaving Boston. We'll consider Boston stop #1.
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Kansas City, MO
April 14, 1936
Displayed at Union Station, Track 1.
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Topeka, KS
April 15, 1936
Displayed at Union Pacific Station. Displayed until noon. Afternoon departure.
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Manhattan, KS
April 16, 1936
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12
Hays, KS
April 17, 1936
More than 5,000 visited the train.
13
Hutchinson, KS
April 18, 1936
Displayed at the Missouri Pacific Depot. Morning display only before pressing on to Wichita to open there in the afternoon. Still,4500 people managed to tour the train!
14
Wichita, KS
April 18-20, 1936
Encountered a blinding sandstorm on the road to Wichita Union Station. 10,000 visited the train.
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Pittsburg, KS
April 21, 1936
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16
Muskogee, OK
April 22, 1936
Displayed on MKT tracks in downtown near Broadway.
17
Tulsa, OK
April 23, 1936
2 hour display.
18
Oklahoma City, OK
April 24-26, 1936
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Little Rock, AR?
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Ft. Smith stop canceled due to timekeeping issues.
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Texarkana, AR?
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Baton Rouge, LA?
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Houston, TX
May 1, 1936
Displayed at Southern Pacific Grand Central Station. 12,000 people visited the train.
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San Antonio, TX
May 2-4, 1936
Downtown MKT station on Flores St.
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Austin, TX
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Dallas, TX?
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Ft. Worth, TX?
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Abilene, TX
May 8, 1936
Parked between Cedar and Drupe streets.
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Lubbock, TX?
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Amarillo, TX
May 9-11, 1936
Afternoon arrival at the Santa Fe depot. The local newspaper called this the 23rd stop. Doubtful.
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Albuquerque, NM
May 12-13, 1936
15,000 visited the train.
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Phoenix, AZ?
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Los Angeles, CA
May 16-20, 1936
Spotted on the Pacific Electric tracks at Exposition Park next to the University of Southern California. The 1947 Freedom Train would display on the same tracks.
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San Diego, CA
May 21, 1936
One-day round trip from LA to San Diego. Displayed at Santa Fe Station downtown.
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Fresno, CA
May 22, 1936
Displayed at the Southern Pacific Depot.
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San Francisco, CA
May 23-26, 1936
Between Los Angeles and San Francisco the Goodyear blimp Volunteer took aerial photos. In San Francisco the train displayed at Southern Pacific's Third and Townsend St. Station. At San Francisco (or shortly before) the words "The Rexall Train" were stenciled on the locomotive's nose. The stenciling remained that way for the rest of the tour.
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Sacramento, CA
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Portland, OR
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Centralia, WA
May 30, 1936
On display at the Union Depot from 8 to 10:45 AM.
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Spokane, WA?
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Yakima, WA?
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Puyallup, WA?
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Seattle, WA
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Vancouver, BC
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Helena, MT
June 4, 1936
Open from 3 PM.
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Calgary, AB
June 5, 1936
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Great Falls, ID?
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Billings, MT?
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Butte, MT?
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Boise, ID?
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Salt Lake City, UT
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Denver, CO
June 14-15, 1936
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Cheyenne, WY?
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Omaha, NE?
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Lincoln, NE?
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Sioux City, IA
June 21, 1936
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Bismarck, ND?
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Regina?
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Winnipeg?
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Minneapolis/St. Paul, MN?
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Wausau, WI?
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Green Bay, WI
July 3, 1936
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Oshkosh, WI
July 4, 1936
On display at the North Side Chicago & Northwestern Depot from 9 to 11:45AM.
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Milwaukee, WI
July 5-6, 1936
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Madison, WI
July 7, 1936
Displayed at the Northwestern Depot all day.
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Chicago, IL
Mid-July until the first of August
Three weeks of refurbishing --the cars at Pullman's Calumet shops and the locomotive at the NYC's Englewood roundhouse.
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Chicago, IL
August 2-4, 1936
Displayed at Union Station.
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Grand Rapids, MI
August 5, 1936
Arrived via the Pennsylvania Railroad.
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Saginaw, MI
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Detroit, MI
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Toronto, ON
August 14, 1936
Per R. L. Kennedy: The train displayed at "Fez-City" a small yard near the waterfront. "This odd name was acquired when a number of Shriner special trains were parked there during the great Shriner convention held in the city in the summer of 1930."
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Ottawa
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Montreal
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Quebec?
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Bangor, ME
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Augusta, ME
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Providence, RI
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Hartford, CT
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Springfield, MA
August 26, 1936
Open 10:30 AM to 12:15 PM and 2:30PM to 9PM.
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New Haven, CT
August 27, 1936
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Kingston, NY
August 27, 1936
Open 7 PM to 10 PM.
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Middletown, NY
August 28, 1936
Open 10:30AM to 12:15PM and 2:30PM to 9PM (Standard Railroad Time)
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Jersey City, NJ?
August 29-30, 1936?
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Newark, NJ
August 31 - September 2, 1936
Displayed at the Pennsylvania Railroad's South Broad Street Yard.
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Philadelphia, PA
September 3-4, 1936
North Philadelphia Station, under catenary.
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Baltimore, MD
September 6, 1936
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Washington, DC
September 7, 1936
19,464 people visited the train.
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Harrisburg, PA
September 9, 1936
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Scranton, PA
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Syracuse, NY
September 16, 1936
New York Central Station tracks on Erie Blvd, between West and Geddes Streets.
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Buffalo, NY
September 18, 1936
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East Liberty, PA
September 22, 1936
According to Chris Baer of the Hagley Museum & Library, the stop would have been on the PRR, so the train must have come down the Allegheny Valley from Buffalo through Oil City and Kiski Jct. and then onto the Brilliant Branch just north of downtown Pittsburgh.
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Pittsburgh, PA
September 23, 1936
Displayed at the B&O Railroad Station.
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Elyria, OH
September 27, 1936
On display from 9AM to 2PM at the New York Central Freight Station. 10,878 toured the train in five hours. 2000 others were turned away.
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Cleveland, OH
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Ft. Wayne, IN
September 29, 1936
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Chicago, IL
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Rock Island, IL
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Davenport, IA
October 3-5, 1936
Displayed at Union Depot at Front and Harrison Streets. 30,000 visited.
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Dubuque, IA
October 6, 1936
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Waterloo, IA
October 6, 1936
13,600 visited the train from the afternoon 'til 9:30PM at the Illinois Central Depot.
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Des Moines, IA
October 7, 1936
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Ottumwa, IA
October 8, 1936
On display 9 to 11 AM.
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Peoria, IL
October 9, 1936
Displayed at Union Station.
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Bloomington, IL
October 10, 1936
Displayed at the Big Four Depot.
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Louisville, KY
October 11, 1936
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Lexington, KY
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Charleston, WV
October 13, 1936
Displayed on New York Central tracks at Morris St.
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Roanoke, VA
October 14, 1936
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Charlotte, NC
October 20, 1936
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Norfolk, VA?
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Knoxville, TN
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Chattanooga, TN
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Nashville, TN
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Memphis, TN
October 30, 1936
Displayed at Memphis Union Station.
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Mississippi?
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Dothan, AL
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According to John Allen, the train came in on the Atlantic Coast Line.
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Tallahassee, FL
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Orlando, FL
November 12, 1936
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Tampa, FL
November 13, 1936
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Miami, FL
November 14-16, 1936
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Jacksonville, FL
November 17, 1936
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Valdosta
November 18, 1936
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Columbus, GA
November 19, 1936
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Atlanta, GA
November 22-24, 1936
The end of the line -- Atlanta's Terminal Station. 25,504 people visited the train on the last day. Over 2.3 million people visited during the tour.
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December, 1936
After the tour ended, the train returned to St. Louis where the exhibit cars were stripped of any displays that could be used for future promotions. The locomotive and cars then went back to service with the NYC and Pullman, respectively.
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