I came across this phrase 'Whistle-stop tour' while reading an article. Please throw a light on it's origin and meaning.


whistle-stop tour

The true definition of the term derives from the practice of a small, only occasionally used railway station of signaling a train by steam whistle so the engineer will know to stop to pick up a passenger. Therefore, the first usage of the term in the political context, by Robert Taft, was derisive. He accused then President Harry S. Truman of "blackguarding Congress at whistle stops across the country".

Source : Wiki

Use of the term has spread to cover any travel done very quickly and with only brief pauses. It is common to hear this expression in the United States, where the term originated, as well as the United Kingdom.


It is simply a tour where someone gets in and gets out of a city/location quickly and moves to the next city for the same thing a few times a day.

When train was the only viable quick form of travel politicians did whistle stop tours where basically they could talk for a few minutes in each town while the train was stopped and unloading/loading. They might have 20 minutes to make a speech and then be on to the next town an hour later.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.