Christmas orders are not guaranteed after 12-5-2023
Cart 0
Union Line Faded Glory Shirt

Union Line Faded Glory Shirt


Union Line Faded Glory Shirt

  • Printed on Front
  • 4.2 oz., 52% airlume combed and ringspun cotton, 48% polyester, 32 singles
  • Shirt Color - Yam, Bella + Canvas Unisex shirt

 The Star Union Line was the 1st of the so-called “fast freight” companies that came into being during and shortly after the Civil War. At the time, car interchange as we know it today had not even been thought-of. Virtually all freight consignments were transferred from the cars of one railroad to those of another at all points of interchange. (See our page on Ramsey’s Car Truck Shifting Apparatus.)

Star Union Line was organized with the unofficial blessing of the Pennsylvania Railroad and chartered in April 1863 under the ambiguous title Western Insurance & Transportation Company, with authority to transport shipments between “any points and places” and the necessary power to make contracts with owners and shippers of freight. About the only permission withheld was the right to build a railroad.

The New York Central and the Erie had stolen a march on PRR with their Merchants Dispatch and Great Western Dispatch, respectively—services that enabled first-class shipments only, to be sent westward out of New York on bills of lading through to destination, with full responsibility being taken for the receipt and delivery of consignments, together with guarantee of prompt adjusting of losses.

By furnishing through-car service for freight shipments, the Star Union Line overtook and passed its competitors at one bound. The reason for maintaining the company ostensibly as a separate organization was to relieve the PRR of an acute car shortage resulting from military demands during the Civil War, without at the same time making the railroad financially responsible for the creation of a freight-car fleet that might prove too large when hostilities ended. Too, legal council [sic] advised that the Pennsylvania state charter did not grant permission for the railroad to own such transportation companies.

... it is interesting to note that the Star Union Line cars were fitted with broad threads [sic] to permit their operation on both standard-gage tracks and the five-foot gage then commonly used in Ohio and Indiana.

Text in red is from Nov 1945 RR magazine.

Share this Product

More from this collection