Friday, January 11, 2013

First US Air-Rail Service

In the collection of Standard Airlines brochures I received from Daniel Kusrow, herin lays an historic copy of Volume 1, Number 1 issue of the Standard Airlines newsletter. As you can read on the headline, it announces the first ever Transcontinental Air-Rail service route in the US! This is the beginning of a large dream Jack Frye had envisioned early in his illustrious career paving the way to what would become TWA.

Points of destination included Los Angeles, Phoenix, Tucson, Douglas Arizona and El Paso Texas. The inaugrural openning of the new service was February 4, 1929, just prior to the horrible US stock market crash later in October of this year. From New York, passengers traveled by rail on the Texas & Pacific Line to St. Louis, then connected with a Ford Tri-Motor to Sweetwater Texas. Then jumped on the 'Sunshine Special' train to El Paso. Jack Frye's Standard Airlines would then take over and fly the passengers to Los Angeles. All in all the Standard Airlines Air-Rail service cut a whopping 16 hours off the trek's travel time to 47 hours!

Here is an early video series that covers a 48 hour flight of what this post is referreing to, and in original B&W footage. How far we have come... Enjoy the show.

Videos provided by twaladybug

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