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First-Ever Biography of 19th-Century Boston Merchant Who Played Key Role in Career of Legendary Shipbuilder Donald McKay

Line drawing of Enoch Train in 1855

Enoch Train in 1855

Enoch Train Ran Most Successful Line of Sailing Ships Between Boston and Liverpool, Brought JFK's Great-Grandfather to US on Ship Built by McKay

DORCHESTER, MASSACHUSETTS, UNITED STATES, December 1, 2022 / -- The Dorchester Historical Society today announced the release of its latest publication, "Transatlantic Train: The Untold Story of the Boston Merchant Who Launched Donald McKay to Fame," by Vincent J. Miles. Enoch Train, a longtime resident of Dorchester during the nineteenth century, grew up as an orphan two days’ travel from the sea but somehow became one of the era’s most important maritime figures in Boston. During the 1840s and 1850s, he operated the most successful line of sailing ships between Boston and Liverpool, and while doing so became the chief champion and patron of Donald McKay—regarded even today as one of the greatest shipbuilders in history. And in 1849, one of the many thousand poor immigrants Train’s line brought to Boston was Patrick Kennedy, whose great-grandson was President John F. Kennedy.

"Transatlantic Train" is the first-ever biography of Enoch Train, a prominent figure in his day but largely forgotten since. In telling Enoch's story, also provides fascinating insights into many of the era’s defining themes and events: The fierce rivalries between the United States and Britain, New York and Boston, sail and steam. The catastrophic Great Famine in Ireland. The California Gold Rush. The fabled clipper ships. The rising tensions between North and South over slavery. And the perils of sailing the stormy Atlantic.

“For more than a decade at the height of his career, Enoch Train was a prominent and generous resident of Dorchester,” said Earl Taylor, President of the Dorchester Historical Society. “We are delighted to publish this biography explaining how important he also was to the wider Massachusetts community, and particularly to one of the most famous people in Boston’s history, Donald McKay.”

"Transatlantic Train: The Untold Story of the Boston Merchant Who Launched Donald McKay to Fame" is available from and other booksellers. For more information, visit

About the Dorchester Historical Society
The Dorchester Historical Society (DHS) celebrates nearly four centuries of Dorchester life through its collections and programs. Founded in 1843 and incorporated in 1891, DHS seeks to preserve and share the history of Dorchester, promote the preservation of historic buildings and sites, care for and exhibit articles of historic interest, and provide further education about and in the community. Run by an entirely volunteer board, DHS offers monthly programs and publishes monographs relating to Dorchester history. The Society owns three historic houses, dating from 1661, 1765 and 1806, and a c. 1850 barn; it also holds and exhibits collections of written and printed materials. For more information visit

About Vincent J. Miles
Vincent Miles grew up in Liverpool but has lived for many years in the Boston area, which made him understandably curious about the man who operated the most successful transatlantic “packet line” between his two hometowns during the nineteenth century. Transatlantic Train is the result of that curiosity. This is his third book connecting the Boston area and Liverpool, the others being "The Lost Hero of Cape Cod" and "Boys of the Cloth"; information about both can be found at

Vincent J. Miles
+1 781-227-5034
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