Railroads Ended Steam In 1953

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Railroads Ended Steam In 1953
Posted by SPer on Saturday, April 29, 2017 7:13 PM

These railroads ended everyday steam in 1953 are: Santa Fe,Delaware and Hudson,Western Pacific,DL&W, Southern, Cotton Belt (STL-SW), Rock Island,Pittsburgh and Lake Erie,Central of Georgia, Wabash, Pittsburgh and West Virginia, Seaboard Air Line,DSS&A, Reading, Bessemer and Lake Erie,Kansas City Southern, and NC&STL.

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Posted by Firelock76 on Saturday, April 29, 2017 8:41 PM

Well, shame on them!

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Posted by Miningman on Sunday, April 30, 2017 12:44 AM

Reading was done with steam in '53? Man that hurts. Stupid. Sucks to.

All of New England went so fast it makes you wonder just what they were drinking in that water, like invasion of the body snatchers, or Borg assimilation. How gorgeous branch lines, bucolic scenes, the train station in town, all those thousands of handsome and unique steam locomotives all across the New England landscape, an entire way of life for crying out loud, just went "poof gone" is a really hard concept to wrap your head around.  Probably burned all their Norman Rockwell paintings and threw mom and apple pie in the garbage as well. 

 

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Posted by DSchmitt on Sunday, April 30, 2017 1:14 AM

Years ago, there was an article in Trains about a railroad line after dieseliation. Overnight, it went from being a high traffic line to virtually no traffic.  The Superintendent laments "I sure do miss those company coal trains"  (Trains hauling coal to fuel the railroads own steam locomotives)

I tried to sell my two cents worth, but no one would give me a plug nickel for it.

I don't have a leg to stand on.

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Posted by Miningman on Sunday, April 30, 2017 1:48 AM

DSchmitt -That is a perfect description of the CPR's historic and quaint Port Burwell line down to the shores of Lake Erie. The PRR's huge lake freighter "Ashtabula" crossed Lake Erie twice a day to bring over coal for the CPR Southwestern Ontario rail lines. 

Long story short...CPR Dieselization, no coal needed, the Ashtabula remarkably sinks in a freak accident and the long running rail line is done, all at roughly the same time. There it was and there it was gone.

They raised the Ashtabula, had a heck of a time, dragged it on land to scrap it and then the saga started.  It resisted all attempts at scrapping...there were fatalities, they couldn't move it, several attempts at scrapping were futile....this gal was not going down easy. It turned into a dangerous and futile nightmare.  Stuff of legends.

The rails were eventually lifted in Port Burwell but even that took 50 years! after the last arrived shipment. Laying there all that time waiting for the Ashtabula. 

I used to walk along those old rails in the shallow valley going downhill to the beach and the docks, imagining it all during it's halcyon days. 

The CPR line is fondly remembered and revered in town yet today, as is the big Ashtabula. 

Very old town, part of the war of 1812, with a beautiful Anglican Church built in 1830 still used and very authentic. 

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Posted by Firelock76 on Sunday, April 30, 2017 5:51 PM

Something that doesn't get much mention, but what pushed a lot of Northeast railroads over the diesel edge in the early 50's was a series of coal strikes that began after World War Two. Can't run trains without a reliable fuel source, and I've never heard of a strike in the oil business, have you?  Maybe there have been, but if there were they apparantly didn't last too long.

Mind you, I don't blame the coal miners for striking, not one bit.  The history of how coal miners were traditionally treated here is depressing and disgusting. Many were treated worse than slaves in the plantation South were ever treated.  It's no wonder that in his attempt to negotiate an end to a coal strike during his administration President Theodore Roosevelt found one mining company president so insufferable he wanted to pick him up and throw him out the nearest window!

Maybe he should have. 

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Posted by Miningman on Monday, May 01, 2017 12:52 AM

Firelock76- Yes indeed there was much strife in the coal and other mining industry business in those days. The Unions had some power and the owners were cruel. Lot of politics involved with Communist Party stuff, lots of volatility and violence. The owners, not all of them, but the bad ones, had nothing but sheer contempt for the working man.   Why this happens is puzzling.

Truman said "what a paradise we could have if we don't screw it up"...guess we are still trying to get that one straight. 

Re-reading my post I come to the conclusion that Dieselization equated to the destruction of Norman Rockwell's America and poor old mom and her apple pie were both thrown off a cliff. Hmmm...maybe a bit much but we lost something of character and purpose and common sense. Of that I have no doubt whatsoever. Everything unravelled, and unnecessarily.

See posting in Trains "Canadian Class", today, in 3 parts with the demise of the CP/TH&B/NYC Toronto-NY/Boston/Pittsburgh/Cleveland overnight service and fiqure that one out. From a well patronized train with heavyweights to RDC's truncated to Buffalo in the blink of an eye.  

That occured during the short but destructive tenure of Penn Central, run by the same crook that tore down Pennslyannia Station. Apparently the equipment they sent was so run down and shabby that CP could not abide by it any longer. Also CP was happy to oblige anyway. They had bigger fish to fry. 

Darth Vader stuff I tell ya. 

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