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Home > Archives > Christening the Lake Shore Limited, 1978.

Christening the Lake Shore Limited, 1978.

Black and white photograph from the October 1978 issue of Amtrak NEWS.

Christening the <i>Lake Shore Limited</i>, 1978.

To drum up interest in specific trains, the Amtrak Marketing department developed “route blitzes,” sustained campaigns focused on particular routes that generally tied into bigger events. The Broadway run of On the Twentieth Century, a Tony award-winning musical whose action takes place on the famous train of the same name, was used to advertise the Lake Shore Limited (which largely follows the historic train's route between New York and Chicago).

A “Twentieth Century Week” on the train (Sep. 26-Oct. 4, 1978) included special touches such as discount theater tickets for Amtrak passengers, a glass of champagne at dinner and napkins emblazoned with images from the show’s Art Deco style poster. In the Fiscal Year 1978 Annual Report, it was noted that the brief tie-in increased business on the Lake Shore Limited by $50,000.

In this image, actress Imogene Coca christens the round-end Observation car of the Lake Shore Limited with a bottle of champagne. With her is Al Michaud, Amtrak vice president, marketing. The Observation car was specially added for the week, as were other cars similar to those used on the original Twentieth Century Limited.

Photographer: Unknown for Amtrak.