Central Pacific Railroad Photographic History Museum


Rights & Permissions; Homework

Click on any image or link to ACCEPT the USER AGREEMENT.
Click any image or link to accept the User Agreement.

© 2014 CPRR.org. Use of this Web site constitutes acceptance of the User Agreement which permits personal use web viewing only; no copying; arbitration; no warranty.

from the Visitors Guide to the Centennial Exhibition and Philadelphia, 1876.

Centennial Guide, 1876, Cover and Title pages

Just seven years to the day after the opening of the Pacific Railroad on May 10, 1869, the nation celebrated the one hundredth anniversary of its founding with the opening of the great 1876 Centennial Exhibition in Philadelphia. This great World’s Fair attracted hundreds of thousands of visitors from all over the nation -- and the world -- most of whom traveled to Philadelphia by railroad. Included in the “Authorized Visitor’s Guide to the Centennial Exhibition and Philadelphia” sold on the Exhibition grounds that summer and fall was the following brief informative section entitled Information for Travelers by Rail. This gives a good overview of the mechanics of planning for domestic rail travel in the United States in 1876.



There are 78,609 miles of railroad in the United States. During the year 1874, 246,640,679 passengers were carried, with a smaller number of resulting casualties per thousand passengers than on any other railway system in the world.

Among the most important rules for the traveler to observe to insure his safety are, to keep his seat in case of accident, and not to put head or arms out of the windows, nor to be on the platforms while trains are in motion.

There are no class divisions on American railways similar to those which prevail in other countries.

Train Conductors assign passengers to seats in accordance with the rules of the companies.  On most of our leading railways the car-seats are secured in position by a lock that prevents their being turned over. Apply to the Conductor if it is desired that they shall be unlocked.

Smoking Cars are attached to all trains. All cars are heated and lighted.

Handsomely fitted-up Drawing-Room and Sleeping Cars are attached to all trains, for the use of which a separate charge is made. Reserved seats or berths on these cars can be procured at the Ticket Offices, Depots, or from Car Conductors.  In these cars it is customary to pay a fee to the Porter of the car.

Travelers having through tickets and desiring to stop off can obtain lay over checks or tickets without extra charge.  Each road has special regulations, which are published officially in the Travelers' Official Guide, or can be ascertained by inquiry at Ticket Offices.

Travelers should understand what Railroads form the through route by which they have purchased tickets.  Such tickets are good only on the roads specified thereon.  Through cars should always be inquired for.

The average speed of trains on American railways is between 25 and 35 miles per hour, including stops.

Travelers can obtain at any of the principal Railway Stations in the United States Accident Insurance Policies for 25 cents per Thousand Dollars Insured good for one day from date.

Tickets at reduced rates, for the round trip to Philadelphia and return, will be sold at every place of importance in the United States, and in all the principal cities of the world.  Special rates will be made for associations and clubs desiring to visit the Exhibition. Tickets can be purchased and baggage checked to all parts of the world, at offices established on the Exhibition Grounds.

As a general rule, the railroad fares are the same between the same points by all routes, without regard to the comparative distance by each.

One Hundred Pounds of Baggage is allowed each passenger, as covered by the regular railroad fare charged.  Overweight charged at the rate of 16 per cent of the passenger fare per 100 pounds.

Railroad Tickets are good until used, except Excursion Tickets, which are only good when used as stipulated on the tickets.

Railroad Companies receiving baggage give a numbered metal check in exchange for each piece, first requiring, however, that the traveler should purchase and show his passage ticket. Railroad Companies are responsible for the safe carrying of Baggage intrusted to their care, and for its delivery at the point to which it is checked. Their responsibility is limited to $100 per package, in event of loss or damage, except in cases of special contract.

Railroad trains stop at proper intervals for meals, the traveler being allowed say twenty minutes, and the cost being almost uniformly 75 cents per meal. Abundant notice is given before trains start.  Hand baggage left on the seat in the car secures the seat for the owner.

Travelers approaching Philadelphia by Rail can have their Baggage delivered at any of the hotels, Boarding-Houses, or Residences.  An authorized Agent of a Transfer Company will pass through the cars, to whom (if delivery is desired) proper directions should be given, together with the Baggage Checks, for which he will give a proper form of receipt.  Messenger Boys of the American District Telegraph Company will be stationed at the different Railroad Depots to carry notes, packages, etc., to any part of the city.

Charges for Baggage delivery are as follows:  Between Girard Avenue, on the north, Washington Avenue, on the south, and east of the Schuylkill River, and to West Philadelphia Depots, for one piece, 60 cents. For each additional piece, 40 cents.  Above Girard Avenue, below Washington Avenue, and west of the Schuylkill River, for one piece, 60 cents.  For each additional piece, 60 cents. Hackney Coaches, Carriages, or Cabs can be engaged of the same Agent, to meet the visitors on arrival at Depots.

Baggage will be called for at Hotels, Boarding-Houses, or Residences, and checked through to destination, by leaving notice at any of the Ticket Offices or Depots after procuring tickets, the charge for this service being the same as for Baggage delivery.  Telegrams can be sent from any of the Ticket Offices or Depots, from the principal Hotels, and from the Offices located on the Exhibition Grounds. Street Cars, Hackney Coaches, Cabs, and Omnibuses are in waiting at Depot upon arrival of all trains. For Street-Car Routes and Rates of fare, see accompanying Map of Philadelphia, and page 33.

Fare of Hackney Coaches, Carriages, or Cabs:  One passenger, with trunk, valise, carpet-bag, or box, distance not exceeding one mile, 75 cents; two passengers, $1.25.  Distance over one mile and not exceeding two miles, $1.25; two passengers, $1.75.  Each additional passenger, 25 cents. If the distance be over two miles, each additional mile, or part of a mile, 50 cents in addition to the sum of $1.25 for the first two miles, and for each additional passenger 50 cents.

Distance average—Ten squares to a mile.
If engaged by the hour, with one or two passengers, with the privilege of going from place to place, and stopping us often as may be required, per hour, $1.50. Each additional passenger, 25 cents.

In cases of dispute apply at the Mayor's Office, 600 Chestnut Street.

Courtesy Bruce C. Cooper Collection.

Images courtesy of:

Copyright © 2000-2003 CPRR.org.  All rights reserved.  [Last Updated 3/11/2003.]
Use of this Web site constitutes acceptance of the User Agreement;
Click any image or link to accept.