• Rexall Drug Store Train - 1936

  • Discussion relating to the NYC and subsidiaries, up to 1968. Visit the NYCS Historical Society for more information.
Discussion relating to the NYC and subsidiaries, up to 1968. Visit the NYCS Historical Society for more information.

Moderator: Otto Vondrak

  by chnhrr
Here a is little known history that I stumbled upon recently.

Does anyone know why Rexall approached and enlisted the services of the NYC for this advertising campaign? Walgreen’s should have teamed up with the competing Pennsylvania Railroad.

From Wikipedia -
The Rexall Train of March to November 1936 toured the United States and Canada to promote Rexall drug store products, and to provide the equivalent of a national convention for local Rexall druggists without the cost of travel. Free tickets for locals to see displays of Rexall products were available at local Rexall drug stores. The 29,000 mile tour went to 47 of the 48 contiguous states (missing Nevada) and to parts of Canada. The blue and white train of 12 air-conditioned Pullman cars with displays in 4 cars, convention facilities in 4 cars and a dining car was hauled by a streamlined 4-8-2 Mohawk locomotive, No 2783 from the New York Central Railroad. It was the million dollar brainchild of Louis Liggett, who travelled in the rear observation car.
  by trlinkcaso
The Terminal Railroad Association of St. Louis Historical and Technical Society did an excellent article in their Summer/Autumn 2000 issue of their magazine covering the Rexall Company. Though the article does cover the history of the company, most of it deals with the train. Louis Liggett originated Rexall and was behind the idea of the train - though no one really knows if it was his idea or someone else's within the company. During the depression - most druggist couldn't afford to attend the company's state and national conventions - so Rexall decided to showcase the latest products to the country's druggist via the train.

The issue is still listed on their backissue list:

http://trra-hts.railfan.net/bkissues.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
http://trra-hts.railfan.net/issue5556.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
  by chnhrr
Thanks Terry for the information

Louis Liggett’s venture still must have been pricey nevertheless; especially at the height of the Great Depression. The picture above shows the train at rest near Montpellier, Vermont presumably on the tracks of the Central Vermont. The New York Central probably had to sign several contracts with other rail companies for track and facility usage and to engage the services of respective engineers during the New York Central’s travels on non NYC track.

Alexandria, Virginia
  by ExCon90
The railroads had standing agreements covering special moves; nothing special would have had to be arranged, provided the equipment met AAR standards, which it did. In that era special train movements over several railroads were an everyday occurrence -- Rotary Club, Shriners, Boy Scouts, you name it. In fact, the larger railroads had an entire office devoted to arranging such movements. Train and engine crews were supplied by the railroad over which the train was operated, and the railroad, if it was not charging the user directly, was reimbursed by another railroad according to the standing agreement.