CP&StL: from first class to no class
Despite being acclaimed as the world’s “finest” train, the Red Express met a premature death when the rate war launched by the Jacksonville Southeastern and Chicago, Peoria & St. Louis ran amok.
This rate war was capitalism at its best. Railroads attracted new riders, while passengers received a break. But it was too good to last. In the summer of 1893, the Western Passenger Association called an end to the conflict, ordering all member lines to restore the old fares. The JSE and CP&StL refused, a decision that amounted to snatching defeat from the jaws of victory.
Rather than defy the Western Passenger Association, Red Express partner Santa Fe refused to handle the Red Express, which forced the suspension of service between Peoria and Chicago on Thursday, Aug. 10, 1893. Through service to Chicago was over.