One way to research historic travel options is available online these days: online newspaper archives. Many papers regularly published daily train schedules and daily boat schedules (like Great Lakes boat schedules). In some eras you can also find daily/weekly updates on transatlantic departures and arrivals (for instance, Milwaukee's German language newspapers from the 1850s). If you're really lucky, the information may include specifics like storm trouble, delays, no. of passengers, outbreak of disease, etc.
Subscription sites like NewspaperARCHIVE, 19th Century U.S. Newspapers, etc. may be available through a local public library, or college/university library.
Calling an airport to check for updated arrival info., flight delays, etc. has it's roots going way back.