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