Tag Archives: 20th Century Limited

Ad Campaign – 20th Century Limited, 1951

The Time: 6 P.M., any night.  The Place: Grand Central Terminal, New York. The Star: you, stepping from the crimson carpet to the magic carpet that is the famous 20th Century Limited.  It’s the New York Central’s luxury hotel on wheels, your overnight vacation between New York and Chicago, first night on your coast-to-coast week end.

If you love old magazines, then I bet you are like me, always lamenting the total lack of glamour in travel today.  I don’t think it would be so bad if not for these reminders of how travel itself was once an experience to be savored.  Unfortunately, travel today is more likely to just be endured, especially travel by plane.  But even trains are not the luxurious and relaxing places they once were.  But in our busy lives, it is often time that is the luxury, and the speed of modern travel does allow us more time when on a trip.

I’m writing this several days in advance, because when it is published I’ll be on a trip, with two of my dearest friends who knew I needed a change of scenery.  Maybe this post should have been about friendship instead of travel.

I bet you can guess where I am!



Filed under Advertisements, Proper Clothing, Vintage Travel

Roll out the Red Carpet

Here’s another one of those old train ads that makes one long for the fashionable past of train travel.  From 1948, you don’t actually get to see inside the 20th Century Limited, but the red carpet says it all.  In fact, the “roll out the red carpet” saying probably originated with this train.  The special carpet was rolled out at all stops, and since the Limited was mainly a first class train, the saying came to mean “to get first class treatment.”

The 20th Century Limited left New York’s Grand Central and arrived in Chicago in about 15 and a half hours.  It was an express train which made very few stops.

Why the sudden fascination with the 20th Century Limited?  It probably has something to do with the fact that I watched Albert Hitchcock’s North by Northwest on TCM last week.  A lot  of the movie takes place on the Limited, and scenes were actually filmed using the train (although interior scenes were filmed on a set.)  It’s a great movie, whether you like trains, or not.

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Filed under Vintage Travel