This collection of postcards, donated by Rev Rokeby, brings back the “golden age” of the United States railways. The collection also consists of images of bus stations, airports, cog and incline railways, bridges and docks. Many are from the first half of the 20th century.
From a British perspective the use of trains in the USA is puzzling. We rely on them a great deal but in a bigger country like the USA they have been in decline since the 1950s. In the main they have been replaced by private car use, as cars became more affordable after the Second World War. Long distance trips were increasingly made by plane.
In the late 1960s and early 1970s rail passenger use declined dramatically. Lines were closed, stations demolished or put to another use. However, some cities still retain and upgrade their local area rail use, such as New York and San Francisco. The national carrier Amtrak took over running some stations and still run trains from coast to coast, but they are mainly for tourists and are quite slow in comparison to high speed rail in France or Japan.