On November 9, 1955, Trailer Train Company is formed with three owners: Pennsylvania Railroad, Norfolk & Western (partially owned by the PRR) and Rail-Trailer Corporation. The name “Trailer Train” was chosen from 6,000 entries in a Pennsylvania Railroad employee contest.
Three Objectives of the New Trailer Train Company
- Standardize the rail equipment of piggybacking with the two-trailer car as the basis
- Foster the growth of piggybacking, provide its members with the best available equipment, and keep its members abreast of new developments
- Furnish equipment to its members at the lowest possible cost
Trailer Train’s first president was James Newell, Vice President Operations, Pennsylvania Railroad who championed the pool concept of piggyback car ownership. Van-Car Corporation, a Rail-Trailer subsidiary, was placed under contract to manage Trailer Train Company with Operating Headquarters in Chicago and Management Headquarters in Philadelphia.
Trailer Train’s first employee was Ed Martin, borrowed from the Pennsylvania Railroad. On December 16, 1955, the first Board of Directors meeting was held during which Trailer Train’s first rail cars, 500 75-foot flat cars capable of hauling two standard 35-ft trailers were purchased from the Pennsylvania Railroad. Operations began
85-ft flatcars equipped with trailer hitches became the state of the art in piggyback service. Without the trailer hitch, the securement of trailers was a labor-intensive and time-consuming task.
The first low-level cars were purchased for piggyback service in the Eastern states where clearances were an issue.
The first low-level cars equipped with auto racks entered service. The percentage of new automobiles shipped by rail had declined to 10% by 1960.
First 89-ft cars entered service.
First cars equipped with End-Of-Car Cushioning devices were purchased.
First 60-ft and 85-ft general service cars added to the fleet.
25,000th car delivered to Trailer Train.
First 89-ft flatcars entered piggyback and autorack service.
First all-purpose flush deck prototype cars entered service.
First 60-ft cars equipped with heavy duty tie-down chains for hauling construction machinery.
Low-profile trailer hitches applied to piggyback and all-purpose cars eliminating the need for risers.
First 62-ft bulkhead flatcars entered service.
First 100-ton 68-ft flatcars entered service.
50,000th car delivered to Trailer Train.
The highly visible Trailer Train yellow paint scheme replaces the old freight car red paint scheme.
Offices moved to Chicago, IL, from Philadelphia, PA.
Mobile vans in Chicago and St. Louis began operation to provide railroads with hitch parts and repair expertise in order to keep cars in service. These laid the frame work for the future FMO network.
Trailer Train purchases Hamburg Industries (now called SRD-North Augusta).
Railbox is formed as a subsidiary of Trailer Train Company and places orders for 10,000 50-ft boxcars. The first car is delivered on October 15, 1974.
The first low-level flush deck design 89-ft flatcar enters the fleet for application of a new generation of rack equipped with roofs and end doors.
75,000th car delivered to Trailer Train.
10,000th Railbox car delivered on June 9, 1976.
First ABOX car delivered to Railbox.
TTX opens Calpro in Mira Loma, CA, as its second repair facility.
Two prototype lightweight, 2-unit drawbar-connected hitch cars are built at Hamburg.
Railgon formed as a subsidiary of Trailer Train on May 24, 1979.
100,000th car delivered to Trailer Train/Railbox.
TTX opens Delpro as its third repair facility. It was closed in July 1982 due to the recession and was later sold to Amtrak in 1984.
TTX opens Acorn in Jacksonville, FL, as its fourth repair facility.
The TTX “4-Runner” enters service in the joint C&NW/UP Chicago-Los Angeles Falcon Service.
TTX moves from 300 South Wacker Drive to 101 North Wacker Drive in Chicago.
Modification of over 20,000 cars to handle two 45-ft trailers (Twin-45) begins.
One prototype single-axle, single-platform hitch car and two articulated hitch cars are tested.
First Field Maintenance Operations (FMOs) begin in Chicago and Houston.
Single-axle, single unit 50-ft flatcars equipped with one hitch are added to the fleet. These were given the name “Front Runner® .”
Modification of 89-ft and 89-ft 4-inch hitch cars to Twin-45/Triple-28 configuration begins.
Modification of surplus 60-ft General Service cars to container service is undertaken.
Double-stack cars are purchased.
Two 89-ft flatcars connected by drawbars enter into service. These cars were given the name “Long Runner® .”
Trailer Train purchases Draco in Waterford, MI.
First TTAX all-purpose articulated spine cars enter service.
Name changed to TTX Company.
Heavy-duty flatcars added to the TTX Company fleet.
Total Quality Management effort initiated.
First drawbar and stand-alone well cars acquired.
125,000th car delivered.
The major program to apply premium trucks and cushioning units to cars in multilevel service is initiated.
Articulated bi-level cars added to the fleet.
Reload who manages the distribution of autoracks is absorbed by TTX.
First 53-ft double-stack cars purchased.
Pipe service/100-Ton 89-ft flatcars added to the fleet.
QTTX cars built by Hamburg.
Raymond C. Burton, Jr. retires as President and Chief Executive Officer. Andy Reardon becomes President and Chief Executive Officer.
TBOX and FBOX boxcars enter the fleet.
48 to 40-ft cut down programs initiated for double-stack cars.
TTIX cars added to fleet. Cars equipped with combination winches, lading ties, side stake pockets and hydraulic end of car cushioning (EOCC).
Windmill carrying cars enter service.
Andy Reardon retires as President and Chief Executive Officer. Thomas F. Wells becomes President and Chief Executive Officer.