"Washington/ Pennsylvania Railroad/ Go By Train" Vintage Travel Poster, 1949

This is a vintage travel poster, printed for the Pennsylvania Railroad, in 1949.  The poster depicts the iconic United States Capitol in Washington, D.C., illuminated at night, with a dark blue sky behind and a watery reflection in the foreground. The text “Washington” appears at the top of the poster in white script. The poster urges viewers to “Go by Train, Pennsylvania Railroad” at the bottom of the poster.

The Pennsylvania Railroad was founded in 1846. Commonly referred to as the “Pennsy,” the PRR was headquartered in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The PRR was the largest railroad in the U.S. for the entire first half of the twentieth century, and was an extremely passenger-oriented railroad. Train travel allowed Americans the ability to leave their towns, head into a city, or escape from it as needed. Finally the general public could entertain the notion of vacations, via affordable weekend train escapes.

During this boom in train travel, countless posters were created to highlight the historic, cultural, and natural beauty of each destination. Often bright and exciting, these graphic posters would feature landmarks and key tourist spots, emphasizing the myriad of new places to explore. In this poster, viewers are encouraged to travel by train to visit the Capitol building, in Washington, D.C. This poster flaunts the building’s striking architecture.


Good condition, with very vibrant colors. Paper is healthy, save overall toning. Small creases in outside margins. Printed "Litho in U.S.A. 2-49" at bottom right. Sold unframed, as-is. Poster dimensions: 40 1/2” H x 25” W.

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