Some of the most famous trains are the Streamliners. During the crisis of capitalism that occurred in the 1930s, the American rail barons, facing a catastrophic loss of business, cast their eyes on sleek trains of light weight material, streamlined to gain speed, and using an internal combustion diesel engine rather than steam. One early American streamliner was the Burlington Zephyr. The Zephyr (later named the Pioneer Zephyr to distinguish it) was much lighter than the common engines and passenger cars of the day, as the "Zephyr" was constructed using stainless steel. It was a star attraction at the 1933–1934 World's Fair ("A Century of Progress") in Chicago, Illinois.
On May 26, 1934, the Zephyr made a record-breaking "Dawn to Dusk" run from Denver, Colorado to Chicago. The train covered the distance in 13 hours, reaching a top speed of 112.5 mph (181.1 km/h) and running an average speed of 77.6 mph (124.9 km/h). The fuel for the run cost $14.64 USD (4¢ per gallon — a similar run in 2004 would cost $550 to $650.)
For a short time in the late 1930s, the ten fastest trains in the world were all American streamliners.