San Francisco to New York in 1886

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Hello, I'm looking for assistance with a book that I'm writing.

Short version, I'm looking for information about trains traveling from San Francisco to New York in 1886.

I'm stuck in a chase between two characters, and I'm trying to work out the timelines that would allow a cross country chase to happen.

Can anyone help - direct me towards any suitable reference material?

Many thanks


Bill Anderson

Well-Known Member
Welcome aboard. I suggest you research railroad timetables for the period of your book. For starters, here are timetables for the Overland Route (Union Pacific and Central Pacific Railroads) from San Francisco to Omaha, NB.

Your characters can take the Chicago & Northwestern, CB&Q, or Rock Island Railroads to get from Omaha to Chicago. The fastest trains from Chicago to New York City were those of the Pennsylvania and the New York Central Railroads. is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to