Orphan Train Movement

By Asmar B. and Tyrone H.

What is the Orphan Train?

The Orphan Train Movement was a supervised welfare program that transported orphaned and homeless children from crowded Eastern cities of the United States to foster homes located largely in rural areas of the Midwest.

Founder: Charles Loring Brace

Charles Loring Brace, founder of the Children’s Aid Society, thought that it would be smart to transport children via train across the country to help them live better lives.

Time Period

It began in 1853 and ended in the early 1900s.


New York and other eastern cities.

Treatment of Children

Throughout the entire Orphan Train Movement, between 100,000 and 200,000 were transported. Each child would get a number on the train. The children would arrive at their location and become adopted by a citizen in the particular city or area. Some children would love their new home because they never really had a home and other children would be extremely uncomfortable because they weren’t used their new home.

Orphan Train Riders