Classic Railroad Quiz (at least 50 years old).

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Posted by Overmod on Friday, February 5, 2021 6:29 AM

It used to be common, years ago, for kids to get baby bunnies and chicks at Easter time -- the baby chicks were sometimes dyed in pastel colors!  I suspect the actual survival rate was low, and I can see why animal-cruelty awareness would lead to the practice largely disappearing, but "before my time" (in the age those RDCs would have been running) it may still have been prevalent 'enough' as a traffic generator...

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Posted by mvlandsw on Saturday, February 6, 2021 9:44 PM

The post office will still handle chicks.

https://pe.usps.com/text/pub52/pub52c5_008.htm#ep184002

Mark Vinski

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Posted by daveklepper on Wednesday, February 10, 2021 2:47 AM

Overmod, thanks for your explanation. Knew about Xmas Trees, but not "Easter Chicks." Now, how about one of your excellent questions?

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Posted by Overmod on Wednesday, February 10, 2021 7:00 AM

Oh no, you don't stick that on me!  "Somebody else" very systematically worked out all the details other than the chicken part, and as rcdrye points out the 'seasonal' connection with Easter chicks is only circumstantially related (through being in the fertile part of Spring) with the actual chicken-related traffic.

This is an earned DLK question.

Amusingly enough I was going over a (pretty good) study of the decline of the Rock Island passenger business, published in immediately-pre-Amtrak 1971, which covered those Choctaw Rockets.  Apparently for some time they were so much a M&E train that the actual passenger accommodation was a single not-too-good coach -- and they (and I believe large sections of the route they ran on) disappeared with great haste and very little argument as soon as the 1967 Post Office changes were made.

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Posted by rcdrye on Wednesday, February 10, 2021 9:48 AM

There was enough M&E traffic on the Rockettes and enough problems with CRI&P's use of the RDCs that RI eventually de-motored them and used them (with an old lightweight or even older heavyweight coach) behind an FP7.

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Posted by daveklepper on Wednesday, February 10, 2021 2:49 PM

Today and for the past 84 years one could use electric rail trnaportation on th e NEC between Washington, DC, and Baltimore, PA.  Before that, one could use the Washington, Baltimore, and Annapolis, which overlapped the PRR electrificatioin by a very few years, and even had a level interlocking witht the PRR!   There was one other electeric railway possible route, not that anyone used it that I know about.  What was it?  The possibilty did not exist during WWII, just incomplete pieces of it.

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Posted by rcdrye on Wednesday, February 10, 2021 5:19 PM

Other than the WB&A route via the former Annapolis Short Line and the WB&A's line to Annapolis Junction there was no complete electric railway path.  The Washington, Berwyn & Laurel (and its successors) needed only about 4.5 miles to bridge the gap between Laurel and Annapolis Junction, but that piece was never built (the line itself survived in some form until 1958).  Baltimore Transit's suburban line to Ellicot City was begun with the idea of building a line to Washington from Catonsville, but that never got beyond the projection stage.

Both of the lines mentioned were built as part of the Columbia & Maryland, which had purchased the complete right-of-way but did not complete grading and tracklaying before falling unto bankruptcy in 1897.  The United Railway & Terminal (Baltimore streetcar) system ended up with the Catonsville end.  One odd side effect was the delay from 1903 to 1907 the actual entrance of the WB&A into Baltimore, since the agreement with the C&M prohibited the UR&T from allowing any other interurban to Washington from using its tracks.

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Posted by daveklepper on Thursday, February 11, 2021 3:09 AM

Capitol Transit and Baltimore Transit did connect at one time.  The winner will be the one who names the Maryland town where they connected.  It was not included in the above post..

This streetcar operated on a remnant:

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Posted by daveklepper on Thursday, February 11, 2021 4:06 AM

Correction, I was misinformed years ago.  The extension of the United Railways and Electric line from Baltimore that woiuld have connected with the Washington streetecar network was planned and partly graded, but not completed.

RC, ask the next question.

The error came from a railfan whom I found to be accurate in other matters.

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Posted by rcdrye on Thursday, February 11, 2021 8:15 AM

The "Laurel Line" route was financially tangled with the WB&A, with ownership moving back and forth between the corporations and individual members of the syndicate.  If built the line would have served a better population base, but the south end wasn't even making operating expenses before it was sold to Washington & Suburban (via some interesting post-bankruptcy transactions) in 1906.  That and a franchise exchange cleared the way for the the 1907 opening of WB&A's downtown terminal in Baltimore, reached via dual-gauge track (URy&T was mostly 5' 4 1/2" gauge dating from cable car days.)

WB&A built a second Baltimore terminal in 1921.  Approach to the terminal involved tracks interleaved with a steam railroad line that operated locomotives well known to model railroaders of a certain age.  Name the railroad and the famous steam locomotive class.

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Posted by daveklepper on Thursday, February 11, 2021 1:03 PM

Baltimore and Ohio, and the President Class Pacifics.  Each was named after a past Presidemt, and they pulled the top passenger trains.   But the HO modellers started with Dockside Switchers, 0-4-0Ts.

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Posted by daveklepper on Thursday, February 11, 2021 1:14 PM

From the web

Original HO was by Vaeney

The locomotive seems larger than it is because the figure is a boy and not a normal-height man.

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Posted by rcdrye on Thursday, February 11, 2021 2:21 PM

The entrance to WB&A's terminal was on Pratt Street, where B&O's larger power seldom went.  It was the original B&O route across Baltimore before the Belt Line was built.  The Docksides had their own track on Pratt Street to serve several customers and reach other sections of B&O's waterfront trackaage.  WB&A had a double track with its own rails, including a single slip switch in the street leading to the terminal tracks and loop. Overhead power was purchased from the Baltimore streetcar system.  Merriken's "Every Hour on the Hour" book has a photo where B&O's rails are clearly visible.

WB&A had a direct track connection with B&O's Pratt St. track prior to 1921.  Installed in 1917, it allowed WB&A to service Camp Meade with box motors and ex-LIRR rapid transit style trailers without entering the downtown street trackage shared with URy&T.

After WB&A was abandoned in 1935, B&O track remained active on Pratt St. until sometime in the 1970s.  Unlike B&O's Fells Point area where motive power was provided by tiny boxbab electric and later rubber tired tractors, Pratt St. was switched by conventional diesel switchers after the Docksides were retired.

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Posted by daveklepper on Thursday, February 11, 2021 3:20 PM

There were four ways that Chicago's post-war PCCs differed from normal, even normal-optional PCC practice.  If you can name four fine, and youy might thing of a fifth that I did not.

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Posted by rcdrye on Thursday, February 11, 2021 4:22 PM

Chicago postwar PCCs were different from others:

Longer

Wider - a side effect of this is that the truck center was offset 4" to the left to allow passing clearance. Is this one difference or two?

Door arrangement (2 pair in front, 1 in the middle, three in the back)

Hand controls.  I'm not aware of any other that were set up that way

All were delivered as two-man only rear entrance, so... passenger flow.

By the end of service quite a few had been modified for one man/two man service with the hand controls removed.  The last ones in service on Wentworth Ave were two man.

Both St. Louis and Pullman delivered PCCs with groups of each numbered in Chicago Railways and Chicago City Railways series.  The Pullman PCCs were retired first and stripped of parts for the conversion to  the 6201-6720 PCC rapid transit cars, with the St Louis cars converted later, also providing parts to the 1-50 series.

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Posted by Overmod on Thursday, February 11, 2021 5:09 PM

rcdrye
Pratt St. was switched by conventional diesel switchers after the Docksides were retired.

Not entirely conventional if I recall correctly; they were given longer traction-motor cabling and truck security chains, etc. to allow more truck swing.  I'm sure you of all people will know the full list of accommodations...

ISTR at least the two first Baldwin diesels the Reading owned were set up with some ungodly small minimum radius -- I think these had those fun Batz trucks that were supposed to be similar to the engine-truck arrangement on the high-speed ATSF 4-8-4s although I never figured out how -- this being shown as minimum radius on a list of various Reading engine classes.

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Posted by Overmod on Thursday, February 11, 2021 5:11 PM

daveklepper
The locomotive seems larger than it is because the figure is a boy and not a normal-height man.

Like those WWII pictures with the tiniest women of normal proportions that could be found, making a C&NW H, already one of the larger classes of locomotive, look like something for the Breitspurbahn...

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Posted by rcdrye on Thursday, February 11, 2021 8:11 PM

Overmod
Not entirely conventional if I recall correctly; they were given longer traction-motor cabling and truck security chains, etc. to allow more truck swing. I'm sure you of all people will know the full list of accommodations...

Alco S series switchers were good for a minimum radius of 55 ft, and most of the diesel era pictures of Pratt Street I have seen have Alcos.  I know they tried 44-tonners but they didn't work well.  EMC/EMDs could probably make the curves but required chains to deal with coupler swing because of the larger stairwells.  I think the Baldwins (VOs and DS-4-4-1000s) needed the cable and chain mods.

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Posted by rcdrye on Thursday, February 11, 2021 8:35 PM

The first 288 Chicago PCCs scrapped were all Pullman-built, with GE controls and motors.  CTA swapped out the trucks with other cars to send Westinghouse motors to St. Louis Car for Rapid Transit cars 6201-6488.  All 310 of the Pullmans were Chicago Railways cars.  The other 290 postwar cars were built by St. Louis Car, as were the 83 pre-war PCCs.  The postwar St. Louis cars were split between CRys (50 cars) and Chicago City Railways (240 cars).

Chicago's PCCs were 4' 5" longer and 5" wider than standard PCCs.  The center pin offset was 3", not 4" (my oops).

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Posted by daveklepper on Friday, February 12, 2021 8:36 AM

RC:  You covered the differences completely and added the offset truck pivots that I had forgotten.

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Posted by rcdrye on Friday, February 12, 2021 4:33 PM

This Insull interurban was the only one which operated in Chicago's streets.  Its trackage was later taken over by one of Chicago Surface Lines' component companies.  A short piece of its trackage was among the last active streetcar trackage in Illinois.  Name the interurban and the street it operated on.

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Posted by rcdrye on Tuesday, February 16, 2021 6:48 AM

While the interurban I'm looking for was owned by Insull for a while, it was sold in 1922 before he had finished getting control of his famous 3 Chicago properties.

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Posted by daveklepper on Tuesday, February 16, 2021 8:15 AM

Chicago & West Towns?

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Posted by rcdrye on Tuesday, February 16, 2021 9:34 AM

daveklepper

Chicago & West Towns?

 

Wrong side of town.  C&WT never made it into the Insull family.

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Posted by CSSHEGEWISCH on Tuesday, February 16, 2021 12:20 PM

Chicago & Interurban Traction, which ran on Halsted Street up to 63rd, where it connected with the "L".  Its Chicago area routes converted to bus and became part of South Suburban Safeway Lines.

The daily commute is part of everyday life but I get two rides a day out of it. Paul
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Posted by rcdrye on Monday, February 22, 2021 7:19 AM

C&IT is the one.  C&IT mainly operated suburban servieces as far as Chicago Heights, where it also ran the local system.  A long line down to Kanakakee ran through a sparsely populated area. Owned by Insull interests from 1911 to 1922, it didn't make the cut as a Chicago super-interurban.  Illinois Central's suburban electrification drained much of C&IT's traffic after 1926, leading to abandonment in 1927. All C&IT trackage inside the Chicago city limits was transferred in 1910 to either Calumet & South Chicago Ry or Chicago City Ry, both later component companies of Chicago Surface Lines.  The last piece of active former C&IT trackage was on Halsted for about a hundred feet either side of 81st, used as the turnaround wye for Wentworth Ave. streetcars which arrived on 81st, pulled onto Halsted, backed against street traffic and turned back onto 81st. Wentworth Ave. streetcars were the last in Chicago, ending service on June 21, 1958.

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Posted by Overmod on Monday, February 22, 2021 9:19 AM

Was C&IT's main really built to high-speed standards?

And in 1911, about the peak of the Roadtown idea, was there any organized attempt at fostering real-estate or PUD development around periodic interurban stops?

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Posted by rcdrye on Monday, February 22, 2021 10:45 AM

Overmod
Was C&IT's main really built to high-speed standards?

After a 9 mile drag through Chicago streets (some of which were only laid out, so it was almost private ROW) C&IT had a couple of bursts before hitting Dolton and Chicago Heights.  After that it was side-of-the-road all the way to Kankakee.  There might have been a potential high speed section or two, but there wasn't much of a population to support investent.  Even today Kanakakee has only around 25,000 inhabitants, and there was (and still is) a lot of open territory in the 35 miles or so (out of C&IT's 58 total) between Chicago Heights and Kankakee.

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Posted by WyominEd on Friday, February 26, 2021 10:22 AM

Dave - these photos are of my Father's boyhood favorite - brass drivetrain, very heavy - can you tell me who manufactured this model?  I'm also looking to have someone restore it if you know someone....  Thanks!

 

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