Morgan Trip

1091 views
12 replies
1 rating 2 rating 3 rating 4 rating 5 rating
  • Member since
    September, 2014
  • 23 posts
Morgan Trip
Posted by LAWRENCE SMITH on Tuesday, March 13, 2018 11:29 PM

Sometime in the 40s David Morgan of Trains took a cab ride on a T-1 on the Ft Wayne Division. Does anyone know if he ever wrote an article on this trip?

  • Member since
    June, 2011
  • 716 posts
Posted by NP Eddie on Wednesday, March 14, 2018 12:23 PM

Lawrence Smith:

I viewed a numbers of articles on the PRR from the "Trains" CD 1940-2010 and cannot find an article about the above trip.

Ed Burns

  • Member since
    September, 2003
  • 5,904 posts
Posted by Overmod on Wednesday, March 14, 2018 1:24 PM

I have to suspect it's a 'third party' report of DPM being present.

I have my suspicions of Mr. Morgan's role in the effective demonization of the T1 design, which is why I am watching to learn the circumstances here with some avidity.

  • Member since
    September, 2013
  • 2,968 posts
Posted by Miningman on Wednesday, March 14, 2018 5:41 PM

Why on earth would he do that? To what end?

First I heard of this, now I'm curious as well. Overmod, you must have based that on something!

  • Member since
    November, 2005
  • 4,191 posts
Posted by wanswheel on Thursday, March 15, 2018 12:26 PM

He was about 19 then. He died too soon to be bothered by stuff on the internet. http://trn.trains.com/bonus/dpm01  Caption: One of the earliest known photos of Morgan was taken in Fort Wayne, Ind., Sept. 2, 1947. Morgan is posing with the nose and pilot of Pennsylvania Railroad T1 4-4-4-4 No. 5507, years before he took the helm as editor of Trains. Photo by Richard J. Cook

  • Member since
    September, 2003
  • 5,904 posts
Posted by Overmod on Thursday, March 15, 2018 4:45 PM

Miningman
Overmod, you must have based that on something!

Probably the wrong something.

i have long been of the opinion that the T1 had to become a 'failure' and the whole duplex idea a dog with a bad name for some reason.  I have thought that part of that reason was to help PRR get out of the colossal equipment trust obligation on the 50 production locomotives, but there is no 'smoking gun' pointing to that other than a continued skein of rail enthusiasts quoting other railfan enthusiasts until it looked like the act of a moron to greenlight series T1 production, let alone have anything good to say about the things.  This despite quite a bit of primary source investigation indicating many of the reported failures were fake and many more the result of bad training or inappropriate experience.

I had forgotten DPM was as young as he was.  I came into the Trains community in 1963 and of course thought that was how it had always been.  I had the impression that Morgan was responsible for quite a bit of the official pravda about impossible slipping, hopeless smoke, etc. and was thinking that here in '47, right at the last hurrah of active PRR effort to fix the T1 issues, we might be able to find what soured him on the idea.  

At 19, with a number of years before he would even be proofing at Kalmbach, I don't see it would matter that much ... except to wonder how someone who loved Emmas so much couldn't love the Veronica Lake of steam even more...

  • Member since
    September, 2013
  • 2,968 posts
Posted by Miningman on Thursday, March 15, 2018 6:37 PM

Ok.. thanks for that. 

That is an incredible picture showing all the detail at the cylinder that we seldom get to see. Tremendous engineering and thought, exciting advances, mysterious and complex. 

I never bought into the piling-on. The way these accounts and stories were written, many anecdotal and too similiar, poorly written, many non technical, seemed very suspect and certainly did not jive with what a person instinctively knew. Even as a kid I thought 'what a bunch of malarkey'. 

Can't get over that picture...fabulous, thanks for the millionth time to Wanswheel. 

  • Member since
    August, 2010
  • From: Henrico, VA
  • 8,498 posts
Posted by Firelock76 on Thursday, March 15, 2018 8:04 PM

The plain fact of the matter is, when the Pennsy decided to dieselize their passenger service in 1946, and as quickly as possible, the T1's were out of a job before the job had even got seriously started.  How good they were, and they turned out to be darn good when PRR enginemen learned how to use them, didn't make any difference.  They were doomed anyway.

And who knows how these "old husband's tales"  get started?  I have to call them "old husbands..." since I don't know too many "old wives..." who sit around yarning about steam locomotives!

I've mentioned this before, but I'll mention it again anyway.  For a superb tutorial on the T1 get a copy of Classic Trains "Steam Glory 3,"  still available as a back-issue last time I looked.  There's an article in it called "Pennsy's T1 Reassessed"  by David R Stevenson, who punctures all the myths and gives the straight scoop on the T1.

I had the pleasure of meeting Mr. Stevenson several years back at a train show in Chantilly VA.  A very nice man and we had a fun chat concerning a mutual aquaintance.

  • Member since
    November, 2005
  • 4,191 posts
Posted by wanswheel on Friday, March 30, 2018 2:55 PM

Excerpt from “So You Don't Ride the Trains Any More?” by Harold H. Martin, Saturday Evening Post, Dec. 22, 1956   http://www.saturdayeveningpost.com/wp-content/uploads/satevepost/so_you_dont_ride_the_trains_any_more.pdf    In its efforts to woo the wayfarer back to the rails, the roads, from 1946 to 1954, spent more than $750,000,000 on new passenger cars. These cars had wide windows and glass penthouses on top, so travelers could view the scenery; radio communication and television, so that they could keep in touch with the outside world while going a journey; and more comfortable seats and sleeping quarters. It soon became obvious, however, that these new cars were not the answer. In the first place, they cost far more than the first streamliners, which briefly captured the public fancy in the ‘30’s. In 1954, therefore, the roads turned to a new solution—low-slung, high-speed , "articulated"  trains which weigh half as much as standard cars, cost half as much to build, and require far less pulling power than the old streamliners. These new trains—the Talgo, a Spanish design built by American Car and Foundry; GM's Aerotrain; Pullman Standard's  Xplorer; and Budd's tubular Keystone—already are being tried out in regular passenger service. None, railroad men will admit, provides the final answer yet. Safe and swift, they are noisy at high speeds, and on rough track they tend to toss the passengers about. Out of them, however, is expected to come the "train of tomorrow," which Mr. Robert Young, of the New York Central, has been talking about for ten years. Some critics of the railroads feel that in concentrating on the search for a low-cost  train that can be operated at a profit, the industry has forgotten that the passenger, basically, does not care about the railroads' financial troubles. He is more interested in a fast, smooth, quiet, comfortable ride than he is in a cheaper operation that can be reflected in lower fares, for nine times out of ten, as a first-class passenger, he is traveling on an expense account. Too great a concentration on low cost, without equal attention to comfort, according to Mr. David Morgan, editor of an excellent magazine called Trains, may cause the roads to defeat their main purpose. There's not much point, Mr. Morgan says, in one railroad president's being able to boast that he can operate his new-type empty trains cheaper than another road can operate its new-type empty trains.

  • Member since
    September, 2013
  • 2,968 posts
Posted by Miningman on Friday, March 30, 2018 5:00 PM

In its efforts to woo the wayfarer back to the rails, the roads, from 1946 to 1954, spent more than $750,000,000 on new passenger cars"

---that was written in 1956. That is a lot of money. Not sure what that is in todays loot, but it's big.  I cannot imagine that money was ever recovered.

The article is circular logic...the conclusion and recommendation at the bottom takes you back to the start of the article which points out that was a failure. Tautology. 

So...now looking back at the post war period '46-'54 what then was the correct way to proceed.

If there was one that is. 

  • Member since
    August, 2010
  • From: Henrico, VA
  • 8,498 posts
Posted by Firelock76 on Friday, March 30, 2018 5:19 PM

I just finished re-reading "Confessions Of A Train Watcher,"  an anthology of articles written by DPM, and for what it's worth there's nothing in there about the T1, either for or against it.

There's some superb writing in there, though!

  • Member since
    September, 2003
  • 5,904 posts
Posted by Overmod on Friday, March 30, 2018 10:20 PM

Not much difference would have been possible, and the really important factors (imho) were not quickly obvious as synergistic wreckers of 'modern' railroad passenger service.

In 1946 most railroads were still flush with wartime-inflated capital access, strongly mindful of the successes (and the fewer failures) of streamlined-train development, and had no reason to predict the success of toll parkways and then the Interstate system funded with high fuel taxes on the one hand, and the emergent development of turbine passenger aircraft on the other.  Both the existence of REA and post office contracts enhanced the promise of streamlined trains run with doodlebug-class efficiency.

I think a part of this can better be understood by carefully reading The Insolent Chariots, to see how the automobile business and its products, and particularly the social marketing approaches, developed in this same period.  You might not buy an automobile just to avoid Pullman room charges, but once you had a modern car, all sorts of uses with low perceived marginal cost open themselves to you.

Meanwhile, Truman loses Eastern Europe, then China the same year the Russians demonstrate a fission device.  Not long before we throw money at SAGE and SAC, and not long afterward various types of ballistic missiles, and domestic aircraft builders get a very good idea of technologies and development methodology that they could not have even approximated without government 'buy-in.

  • Member since
    September, 2013
  • 2,968 posts
Posted by Miningman on Friday, March 30, 2018 11:12 PM

Yes...thank you Overmod...thats a great answer. The forces were in play, many of them necessarily so. It became a New World that even the best railroad man could not have possibly accounted for. 

I think they did well with what was rolled out and with 100% of the best intentions. The only angle left by 1955-60 was the reliable nature in all sorts of weather and the family vacation play. 

I'm sure it hit them like a ton of bricks and was quite traumatic. 

I just envision multiple Japan style intercity trains with New York Central on the letterboards, and all of it multiple steps ahead of those trains that exist today in the world. 

I believe you pointed out there was a very brief time when perhaps it could have become a reality, during the Kennedy administration. 

Santa Fe kept the level very high and were quite innovative, almost as if they never gave up but then that went by the wayside as well. 

 

SUBSCRIBER & MEMBER LOGIN

Login, or register today to interact in our online community, comment on articles, receive our newsletter, manage your account online and more!

FREE NEWSLETTER SIGNUP

Get the Classic Trains twice-monthly newsletter