The New Empire State Express

Leslie Ragan (1897-1972)
Date: 1941
Printer: Brett Lithographing Company, New York City
Publisher / Location: New York Central Railroads
Medium: Photomechanical print on paper
Credit: Gift of the New York Central Railroad
Accession Number: 1959.130.163
On December 7, 1941, New York Central Lines debuted its new Empire State Express, a sleek, streamlined train that artist Leslie Ragan depicted here in an autumnal Hudson Valley setting. It was an auspicious occasion since the Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor occurred the same day, propelling the U.S. into World War II. With the state of the war, railroad posters depicted patriotic messages in lieu of scenic vistas.