"A late train (only/usually/just) gets later” is an old transportation adage. “A late train gets later” was cited in print in 1922, where it was listed in a newspaper column of “sentence sermons.” William Dewan, of the Canadian National Railways, wrote “A late train gets later” in a March 18, 1968 letter.
“A late train gets later” is often used to describe Amtrak trains.
22 October 1922, New Orleans (LA) States, “Sentence Sermons for Everyday Folk” by A. J. Gearheard, sec. 2, pg. 2, col. 4:
A late train gets later.
25 September 1949, Cleveland (OH) Plain Dealer, “459 Rail Fans Take Special Train to Newcomerstown” by Talbot Harding, pg. 32, col. 1:
When trains are late the rail fans who are aboard rejoice, for a (Col. 2—ed.) late train usually gets later and the later the train the longer the ride.
The Book of Laws
By Harold Faber
New York, NY: Times Books
A late train gets later.
(William Dewan of the Canadian National Railways, in a letter to the author, March 18, 1968.)
Google Groups: demon.local
Hall’s Law says “A late train gets later”. A reason for this may be that a late train misses its slot in the timetable, and gets held up by a slower train ahead of it that would normally be behind it.
Google News Archive
28 January 2004, The Blade (Toledo, OH), “Amtrak,” sec. B, pg. 3, col. 2:
And on the railroad, a late train gets later.
Random Thoughts from Pastor Mitch
Thursday, July 2, 2009
The California Zephyr or a late train only gets later
When we road the Capital Limited years ago (that was a fun trip too!) the car attendant told us the old adage “A late train only gets later.”
Boonville Herald & Adirondack Tourist (Boonville, NY)
Column for 6.6.12
Reading Carl Trainor’s railroad column, which I enjoy, has been making me think about Amtrak trips I’ve taken over the years. I’ve had the good fortune to have ridden every route Amtrak has to offer, some routes several times.
I’ve seen and heard things during those Amtrak trips, including the items that follow:
Item 1 - Chance, I never did get his last name, was in charge of onboard services on the Lake Shore Limited, which runs between Chicago and New York City. We were running late on this particular trip and I asked Chance, who was named after a character in a Tennessee Williams play, if there was any possibility of making up the time and getting into Chicago on time. “There’s an old saying,” Chance said, “a late train usually gets later.” Chance was correct. We pulled into Chicago more than two hours late.
Flathead Beacon (Kalispell, MY)
A Cruise By Rail
Private passenger train cars make tracks to Whitefish every summer
By Justin Franz, 06-23-13
WHITEFISH – The old saying goes “a late train only gets later” and Amtrak’s Empire Builder proved it last Wednesday morning when it arrived in Whitefish around 3 a.m., several hours behind scheduled.