Classic Railroad Quiz (at least 50 years old).

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Posted by rcdrye on Wednesday, August 08, 2018 7:42 PM

After its B&M/MEC service as the Flying Yankee, the Budd-built train served as the Minuteman to Troy, and the B&M/MEC Mountaineer through Crawford Notch to Littleton/Bethlehem before settling down to a long period as the Cheshire between Boston and White River Junction via Bellows Falls.  The Cheshire required a backup move using the joint-with-Rutland "Patch Track" in Bellows Falls to get from the Cheshire Branch to the Conn River Line.

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Posted by Paul_D_North_Jr on Saturday, August 11, 2018 6:27 PM

Miningman
Regularly assigned engine Pacific #2332 with the spiffy looking smoke deflectors was regularly assigned to this train for many years. I know this is a bit of a groaner question, maybe a stretch, but I'm hoping there are enough clues in the photos that you can fiqure out which train it is. 

G3 class Pacific 2332 complete with smoke deflectors regularly assigned  June 1952 Ken McDonald  

Love this photo!  There are at least 3 - possibly 4 - turnouts (switches) in curves on the left side of this photo (the 4th, just to the left of the baggage car, might be a "Y" type instead - hard to tell from this perspective).  They're a professional specialty of mine - I did a paper and a presentation on them at the AREMA conference a few years back.  They're one of those things that are not supposed to be done as a track engineer or maintenance supervisor, but I see them quite frequently.  I don't even bother to hunt for them anymore - they just show up, and I suppose I've subconsciously trained myself to recognize them.  But this takes the jackpot - aside from a photo of a NYC yard with a curved ladder that Mike/ Wanswheel posted a few years ago, this might be the most number of curved turnouts I've ever seen in one image.  Thanks for sharing, Miningman!

- PDN. 

"This Fascinating Railroad Business" (title of 1943 book by Robert Selph Henry of the AAR)
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Posted by Miningman on Saturday, August 11, 2018 8:18 PM

I did not know that. As they say you learn something every day. I thought the unusal and complicated  track work was a clue as to location and  then easier to identify the train. 

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Posted by daveklepper on Tuesday, August 14, 2018 9:18 AM

I missed the "Moutaineer" sojourn of the train, possibly because it was the one route I never rode, even when a B&M employee, but got the others.  Do I get to ask the next question?

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Posted by rcdrye on Tuesday, August 14, 2018 7:18 PM

daveklepper
Do I get to ask the next question?

Please do.

Just a note about the Mountaineer, which was a joint train with MEC like the Flying Yankee.  B&M and MEC tried that run when the Yankee proved too small for the demand it created.  Conventional trains with American Flyer cars took over.  The Mountaineer route proved a bit much for the single power truck.  B&M seems to have taken over the train around 1938.  Though the train ran reasonably well as the Minuteman through the Hoosac Tunnel to Troy, its longest assignment was on the Cheshire, where it suited the modest grades and twisty roadbed just fine.  Some Boston-Portland runs were also operated as the Businessman.

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Posted by daveklepper on Wednesday, August 15, 2018 3:10 AM

AS you know, some transit systems did not replace electric rail service with gas and then diesel buses, but convertged to trolleubuses insteaqd.  Remaining N. American TB systems are Vancouver, Seattle, San Franciscfo, Dayton, Philasdelphia, and Boston-Cambridge.  One systgejm that is presentlyh all-diesel-bus, had a vast TB system.  The system servers a larage city and a small city, the latter more another center for emplyment and shopping rather than just a suburb of the large city. The conversion from streetcar to TB began with the local lines of the small city, which were largely single-track in pavement, and conversion to TB allowed improved service, better time-keeping, and less confrontation with auto traffic.  The next round of conversion to TB included the interurban line linnking the two cities, possibly the only case of that kind in North America.  It was, and as operated by diesel buses today, an interurban line, despite the use for many years of typical lightweight double-end one-man streetcars on the route up to conversion to TB.   The one-man lightweights served elsewhere, and later so did the TBs.

The two cities please?

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Posted by daveklepper on Friday, August 17, 2018 3:06 AM

Hints:

Both ciites have the same first letter; you can still travel by rail between them, and the rail trip has a unique feature for North America, sort of the reverse of what was typical in the classic era, particularly in three west-coast cities, as well as elsewhere.

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Posted by daveklepper on Sunday, August 19, 2018 6:59 AM

One operator provides passenger service between the two cities.  I think the tickets of that operator are also good on the bus that replaced the interurban.  Another passenger operator stops at the larger city but bypasses the smaller.  Freight over the line is by two operators, but only one provides local service.

In the classic era, one railroad alone provided all service, and its passenger tickets were not honored on the trolley cars or the trolleybus replacement.

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Posted by daveklepper on Monday, August 20, 2018 8:58 AM

Shortly after WWII one could ride an artiulated lihgtweight, one-of-a-kind begween the two cities.

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Posted by daveklepper on Tuesday, August 21, 2018 9:03 AM

In the classic era, the passenger trains that stopped at both cities with the same first letter were considered local trains, including the schedules operated later by the articulated streamliner.  This was true in the steam era, transition era, and diesel era.  And as locals they went on or came from the even bigger city with a different first letter.  All trains that stopped at only the larger of the two same-first-letter cities, bypassing the smaller one, had one distinguishing feature.  All had at least one engine change during the total run, some even more than one engine change.

Today, only four of the pasenger trains through the two same-first-letter stations have any engine changes.  

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Posted by Miningman on Tuesday, August 21, 2018 12:51 PM

Thought I would stick my nose in here so that you don't think you are talking to yourself. After all the numerous clues I still have no idea really but I have a slight vague hunch that I'm chasing down. This hunch is in the East so maybe you could tell me if I'm wasting my time going in this direction. 

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Posted by rcdrye on Wednesday, August 22, 2018 9:35 AM

Providence to Pawtucket RI?  Still served by MBTA (under POS agreement with Rhode Island), Trolley coach operation 1940-1953.  Engine changes mentioned would have been at New Haven.  Amtrak trains now electric, MBTA are all diesel push-pull.

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Posted by Overmod on Wednesday, August 22, 2018 12:10 PM

Articulated streamliner then being the Comet?

(I don't think the Besler steam motor train was articulated...)

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Posted by daveklepper on Thursday, August 23, 2018 1:25 AM

Miningman, apologies for not replying promptly to give you a better chance.  RC did get the right answer, and, yes, the Comet was used in Boston - Providence local service, as well as Boston - Waterbury via Hartford service.  Rode it in both services.

And note that the Amtral engine change is not New Haven now, but Washington, DC. 

The best Providence trolleybuses saw additional service in the Boston area, and some of the double-truck lightweights that they replaced spent WWII in Washington, DC., photos in my Capitol Transit thread.

Look forward to RC'a question.

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Posted by daveklepper on Monday, August 27, 2018 3:32 AM

Still waiting for you, RC!

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Posted by rcdrye on Monday, August 27, 2018 8:38 AM

This railroad, not noted for being especially passenger-friendly at the time, replaced its last Alco PAs with brand new power in the late 1960s.

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Posted by daveklepper on Monday, August 27, 2018 9:44 AM

At the time that they use Alco PAs, did they also run EMD E or F units in passenger service?  And kept the Ex or Fs after retiring the Alcos?

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Posted by Miningman on Monday, August 27, 2018 12:12 PM

Gotta be the Southern Pacific.

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Posted by rcdrye on Monday, August 27, 2018 2:59 PM

Miningman

Gotta be the Southern Pacific.

 

SP bought 10 SDP45s (basically lengthened SD45's with steam generators, numbered 3200-3209) in 1967, used them on the Daylights, the Cascade and the City of San Francisco, often MU'd with FP7s and F7Bs.  Eight of the 10 operated under lease on Amtrak trains until 1974, when they were replaced by SDP40Fs.  3200 and 3205 entered the San Francisco Commute Pool in 1972, beginning the replacement of SP's FM Trainmasters.  The remaining units joined the Commute pool in 1974, later joined by GP40P-2's 3197-3199.  The other units in the pool, GP9s 3000-3010, were gradually rebuilt as GP9Es 3186-3196.  SP's units, including the SDP45s, operated under Caltrain lease into the 1980s.  Geared 60:17 for 77 MPH, they were also used in freight service, usually on weekends.

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Posted by Miningman on Monday, August 27, 2018 10:37 PM

Terrific information for all of us rcdrye.. very thorough detailing of what happened after the PA's on the SP. Good info to keep and file away. Thanks for this.

The question then: ( another Diesel question, there must be something wrong with me).....first day back at work at the college and to boot it snowed for 20 minutes Friday night/Sat. am around midnight. 

The British Columbia Railway (BCR) started purchasing B units for use as Remote Control Cars (Robot Cars). The BCR purchased 10 "B"s from 3 different builders, 6 different railroad heritages and 5 different models altogether. 

1) What were the 3 original manufacturers (now this should be easy)

2) Who were the 6 previous owners, includes previous, previous owners

3) What were the 5 model types.

 

 

 

 

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Posted by rcdrye on Tuesday, August 28, 2018 7:53 AM

Miningman
1) What were the 3 original manufacturers (now this should be easy) 2) Who were the 6 previous owners, includes previous, previous owners 3) What were the 5 model types.

1) Alco, EMD, MLW, CLC(FM). 

2) BN(GN, NP,SP&S), CN, CP.  RCC 1 to RCC 4 were PGE before they were BCOL.

3) FB-1 (SP&S), FPB2 (CN), CFB16-4(CP), F7B(BN(GN), BN(NP)), F3B(BN(NP))

I think the FB-1 is the extra here, since it (RCC 1) was retired and replaced in 1987 by an ex-BN(GN) F7B that had already been converted to an RCC by BN.  The Alco, MLW and CLC units were converted by PGE.  The F-units were converted by BN.  RCC3 through RCC 9 (CLC, EMD) were leased and (mostly) later sold to CP.

Thanks to trainweb.org for the roster info.

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Posted by Miningman on Tuesday, August 28, 2018 9:12 AM

Very good. Someone does their homework! First mark of the new season and you get an A+. 

The question goes to rcdrye. 

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Posted by Miningman on Tuesday, August 28, 2018 1:40 PM

Just to follow up ....some pics. Interesting to compare body styles and trucks from the different builders.

 Remote Control Cars 

RCC 1 acq. 1969 converted from ex SP&S 210 B unit. ALCO FB-1 78288 12/1950 Included living quarters. 
North Vancouver August 12,1975 T.C.Caughman/Sid Vaught Collection 

RCC 2 acq. 11/1970 (ex CN 6854 nee 6810) FB2 MLW 81186 4/1955 

RCC 3 ac. 7/1971 (ex CP 4455) CFB16-4 CLC 2722 4/1953 Prince George 6/1981 Doug Lawson 

RCC 4 acq. 1971 ex CP 4456 CFB16-4 CLC 2723 4/1953 
North Vancouver September 1978 Stan Smaill 

RCC 6 acq. 12/1972 (ex BN 621 nee GN 307B) F7B EMD 16087 4/1952 
Prince George 6/1981 Doug Lawson 

 

It is interesting to compare the carbody styles and trucks of the ALCO, CLC and EMD units. 

Note: All ten other CLC B units were converted by CP to robot cars.

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Posted by rcdrye on Thursday, August 30, 2018 8:43 AM

For a brief period in 1955 and 1956, five railroads operated dome cars under overhead wire for at least a short distance every day, though not necessarily on trains pulled by electric locomotives.  Name the railroads and the cities or states where the cars operated.  After 1956, three of the remaining railroads removed either the domes or the overhead wire between 1961 and 1965, the last pre-Amtrak operation continuing until 1971.

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Posted by SD70Dude on Thursday, August 30, 2018 5:32 PM

Baltimore & Ohio in Washington, DC (PRR wires at Union Station).

California Zephyr on Western Pacific (Sacramento Northern's wires in Marysville, CA to name a place).

Milwaukee's Olympian Hiawatha across Montana, Idaho and Washington on both electrified divisions, until the train was cancelled in 1961.

Union Pacific under Milwaukee's wires at Seattle Union Station (with the Train of Tomorrow cars).  Dome service on this route ceased in 1965.

Great Northern through Washington's Cascade Tunnel until the electrification was removed in 1956.

Greetings from Alberta

-an Articulate Malcontent

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Posted by rcdrye on Thursday, August 30, 2018 6:27 PM

Well done!  I wondered if the WP/SN wires at Marysville would show up.  GN's high overhead (19' minimum) was not a problem for dome operation, even full height 15'10" Budd Domes. GN seems to have dropped electric operation of the Empire Builder before 1955.  Both UP's and Milwaukee's domes used in Seattle (Union Station) were low profile, either 15'5" (UP ex Train of Tomorrow", or 15'7" (Milwaukee Super Dome). UP's "City" domes were 15'10", but don't seem to have operated to Seattle. SN's wire at Marysville was only 600v, and was around 18' high, plenty for the CZ's 15'10" Budd domes.  B&O's domes were low profile (15'5" or 15'7") but passengers were still ushered out at Silver Spring.

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Posted by Miningman on Thursday, August 30, 2018 6:44 PM

Fascinating...way to go DUDE!

I did not know about the California Zephyr WP/SN.

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Posted by SD70Dude on Friday, August 31, 2018 12:45 AM

If you search "california zephyr sacramento northern" on Google images this pops up within the first dozen results:

https://www.californiazephyr.org/images/albums/Blackhawk_350-586/100/586-03.jpg

When I saw the 1955 start date I (of course) instantly thought of CP's Canadian, which may actually have very briefly run under interurban or streetcar wires in Gatineau, QC, due to the circuitous routing CP used to go through Ottawa's old Union Station.  But those other 5 were far better choices.

Now for a question.  Everyone loves domes and observation cars of all kinds, but what if you were not allowed in the "observation" end?  Such a car did exist, believe it or not.  

Name (as far as I can tell) the only round-ended observation car in which passengers were not allowed to access the round end.  I believe the car was rebuilt to this configuration, when new it was probably just like any other observation car.

There are photos of it online too, and as this quiz has been around longer than I have I wouldn't be surprised if this same question has been asked before, as a photo of the car was shown in the magazine some years ago.

Greetings from Alberta

-an Articulate Malcontent

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Posted by Deggesty on Friday, August 31, 2018 7:43 AM

Was that the car the Rock Island used to carry mail?

Johnny

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Posted by Deggesty on Friday, August 31, 2018 4:39 PM

As I recall, the car was on a train that ran west from Memphis. That is all that I can remember, from seeing the picture in Trains many moons ago.

Johnny

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