So I'm revising my first chapter of my new YA so that it's a little less craptastic, when I realized that I knew nothing about train travel in the late 19th century.
1) What was the name of the train station in Philadelphia? Now it's 30th Street Station but that wasn't built until 1934.
2) How long would it take to get from Philadelphia to New York and then on to upstate New York like Poughkeepsie?
3) How much did a train ticket cost? First class or steerage? What would it have been called if you didn't travel first class?
4) Did they still have Ladie's cars? I read in Writer's Digest research volume Everyday Life in the 1800's that they used to have Ladie's cars on trains where women could go to escape from men who might be flirting or harassing them. Since my main character is traveling to college by herself, she would need to sit in the Ladie's car if it sill exists.
5) Was the train segregated? I know that it would have been in the South but what about a Northern train?
6) The workers on a train, black, white both? I know that porters on Pullman cars were African-American but were their porters on other trains that were black?
That's pretty much it. I found a rail lovers forum which I'm hoping can answer my questions, or I might have to go to the New York transit museum and hope for the best.
All this just for the first chapter! Kind of boggles the mind what other stuff I need to know!