The Pullman National Historic Site, Chicago, Illinois

John Cowgill: Stories of the Railroad


The U.S. city of Chicago, Illinois is known as the ‘Hub of North America’.  Many major interstates pass through the city, and it is a major railroad hub with many railroad lines serving the city.  For this reason, Trains Magazine refers to the city of Chicago as the ‘Railroad Capital of America’.  The city is famous for being a factory town, and one this that was manufactured here was the Pullman Car.


The year is 1857.  A man by the name of George Pullman began to build what became known as the ‘Pullman Car’, a luxurious sleeper car used on long train trips, in a factory in south Chicago.  He employed many people, many of whom were African Americans.  One of the benefits of working for George Pullman was that he built a community for the workers to live in, and they had a short walk to the factory.  A…

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