The Crescent was an exclusive train of Southern Railway (SR) and Alabama affiliates, Western Railway of Alabama (WRA), Atlanta & West Point Railway (AWPR), and Louisville & Nashville Railway (LNR). Excepting SR, these lines provided passenger service to Auburn and its college. In 1925, these trains, collectively named the Crescent Limited, ran between Washington, DC, and New Orleans. SR covered Washington to Atlanta, AWPR and WRA served Atlanta to Montgomery and LNR ran from Montgomery to New Orleans. These locomotives hauled 12 to 15 passenger cars, about 700-1000 tons, at 80 mph, with averages of 50 to 60 mph. Engines used 14,000 gallons of water during the 150 miles between stops while 16 tons of coal fueled the distance.
The Atlanta & West Point Railway engine, No. 290, a 4-6-2 heavy Pacific engine that traveled from Atlanta to Montgomery, is housed in the Southeastern Railway Museum in Duluth, GA. Its Southern Railway sister engine, No 1401, is in the Smithsonian. In 1938 the train was renamed the Crescent and remained so for 40 years. By 1941, steam
engines were no longer the power for the flagship train, being replaced by diesel engines. The last AWP/WRA trains stopped in Auburn in January, 1970.
By then all of the luxurious features of the Crescent had been discontinued for lack of patrons, with the rail line only using day coaches.