WWII RAILROADS AT WAR: Life-Line of the Nation


Life-Line of the Nation is a short film from the Association of American Railroads and produced by Carl Dudley in the mid-1940s (most likely 1944) that shows how America’s railroads are ensuring the defense of the nation by meeting the transportation needs of a country mobilized for war. The film opens with a shot of a train moving through snowy terrain. Off in the distance, a train goes over a bridge (01:22). There are several shots of various trains moving along tracks. At the U.S. Capitol Building (02:13), members of the military meet with members of Congress to discuss railroad needs in a wartime situation. 

People gather around a radio to listen to a broadcast of the attack on Pearl Harbor. Military trucks and tanks are loaded onto trains (03:45); men from every branch of the military board trains as they head out to war. A train moves along the track with snow-covered mountains in the background (04:48). Soldiers and equipment leave the trains and board the ships that will take them overseas (05:20). There are more shots of locomotives. A number of tanks are transported on a train (07:05) Iron ore is loaded onto train cars at a mine (07:18). The iron ore is dumped into barges (07:44). A train hauls coal (08:18); there is a shot of a coal plant. Oil tanker cars are pulled by locomotives (08:59). A newly built ship is sent out onto the water from the shipyard (10:05). There is a shot of the inside of the office of the Association of American Railroads—people diligently work to keep the trains running on time (11:00). There is a series of shots of railcars sporting the different railroad companies’ names and logos. A train crosses the border between the U.S. and Canada (13:34). Various railroad employees work on machining equipment for trains (14:10); men inspect a track. There is a shot of a retired locomotive (15:44), a printing press printing papers (16:55), and various locomotives pulling train cars. One of the final shots of the film is a train passing over a river on a bridge (18:32). 



United War Work Campaign : Railroad Army Fundraising WWI

The United War Work Campaign, Inc., was organized by request of President Woodrow Wilson for the purpose of joint fund raising among seven welfare organizations serving the American Army and Navy, including: National War Work Council of the YMCA; War Work Council of the National Board of the YMCA; National Catholic War Council (Knights of Columbus); Jewish Welfare Board; War Camp Community Service; American Library Association; and the Salvation Army. Series includes the certificate of incorporation, UWWC Bulletin nos. 1-13 and 15, financial report (1921) and the report to subscribers listing the budget estimates of the seven organizations, percentages of UWWC funds allocated per organization and agreements between the organizations (1919). The file includes minutes, circular letter, organization manual, publicity campaigns, committee member lists, by-laws, conference attendance lists, Committee of Eleven (composed of representatives of the seven organizations) minutes and recommendations and news releases.

Railway and Locomotive Engineering Journal : The Railway Army Corps first in war first in peace

735th Railway Operating Battalion Reunion group

Again, we have Capt. Francis Lewis' wonderful photos from 735th reunions and a mailing list from 1988. ( thanks John ) Here is a member mailing list from 1988

735th Reunion Mailing List ... by Nancy on Scribd

735th Railway Operating Battalion Capt. Francis N. Lewis

John has worked really hard reproducing some amazing 735th photos from his dad,Capt.Francis N. Lewis

He writes ...It's my hope that members (the few that are left) and decedents of members might find a name or photo that will bring back some memories. If you do post any of my pictures/documents on the internet, all I ask is that some credit be given to my father, Capt.Francis N. Lewis. He went to great lengths to photograph and document not just his activities during the war, but also our personal family history. He has made my job much easier in sharing his photographs with others. It's the least I can do for all the efforts he made. Thanks so much for asking.

Here is a fascinating list of 735th soldiers who went through firearm qualifications in 1944

735th Firearm Qualification List 1944 by Nancy