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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Near Union in McHenry County, Illinois — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)
 

Railroad Standard Time

 
 
Railroad Standard Time Marker image. Click for full size.
By William Fischer, Jr., September 6, 2010
1. Railroad Standard Time Marker
Inscription.
Before 1883, clocks were set to local "sun time," where noon was the time when the sun was highest in the local sky. Use of sun time meant that each town's time was different; Chicago would be nearly 5 minutes ahead of Rockford, or 15 minutes behind Detroit. Such time differences played havoc with railroad schedules.

The General Time Convention of Railroad Managers, meeting in Chicago in November 1883, established four time zones (Eastern, Central, Mountain, and Pacific) for the continental U.S. Each zone was exactly one hour apart. Within a single zone, all railroad facilities, operations, and timetables would use the same "Railroad Standard Time," regardless of local sun time at each station or town.

Even though Standard Time was intended only for railroad use and operations, its obvious benefits for commerce led to its general acceptance nationwide. Congress officially adopted the system in 1918, with the passage of the Standard Time Act.
 
Erected by Illinois Railway Museum.
 
Location. 42° 13.716′ N, 88° 31.632′ W. Marker is near Union, Illinois, in McHenry County. Click for map. Marker is on the west wall of Barn 3, on the grounds of the Illinois Railway Museum. Marker is at or near this postal address: 7000 Olson Road, Union IL 60180, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers.
Railroad Standard Time Marker image. Click for full size.
By William Fischer, Jr., September 6, 2010
2. Railroad Standard Time Marker
Closest to the right of the large open door under the UP sign
At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Railroad Rails (here, next to this marker); Simplex Type Automatic Coupler (a few steps from this marker); Couplers (a few steps from this marker); Railroad Brakes / Westinghouse Automatic Air Brakes (a few steps from this marker); Chicago Railways Company Date Stone (a few steps from this marker); Early Railroad Signals (within shouting distance of this marker); Indiana Harbor Belt 1181 (within shouting distance of this marker); 1851 Marengo Station (within shouting distance of this marker). Click for a list of all markers in Union.
 
Also see . . .
1. Railroad Time Goes Coast to Coast. (Submitted on December 24, 2010, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
2. Railroad Time Service. (Submitted on December 24, 2010, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
3. The Sunday of Two Noons. (Submitted on December 24, 2010, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
 
Categories. CommunicationsIndustry & CommerceMan-Made FeaturesRailroads & Streetcars
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania. This page has been viewed 676 times since then and 6 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on , by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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