Classic Train Questions Part Deux (50 Years or Older)

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Posted by daveklepper on Sunday, September 10, 2017 10:46 AM

Cleveland:  I thought that was what you had in mind as the other subway, but should it really be called a subway?   If memory is correct, the only underground station is the Terminal Tower Station itself.  55th Street is in a cut, and most of the othe stations are on the surface or on an elevated structure.  There is a covered-over terminal at the airport, but is it really underground?  Ad would these two stations make it a subway?

New York City's fleet of R32s are clearly the oldest rapid transit cars in regular service in North America.  Originally not air-conditioned, they were air-conditioned, and the cars still in operaton have their second air-conditioning systems.  They were the first fleet of stainless steel rapid transit cars in North America, built by Budd, before the retired Philly "Almond Joys."

Which cars are the next oldest.  What important innovation did they pioneer?  And do it more reliably then some that followed?

Hint:  A good friend of mine was resposible for their success --- and their continiued success.  He won't mind my naming him when you come up with the answer.

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Posted by daveklepper on Monday, September 11, 2017 9:13 AM

Further hint needed?

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Posted by daveklepper on Tuesday, September 12, 2017 1:23 PM

Should I give the answer and ask a different question?

 

Here is a hint.  The route used by these cars:  On part they were second generation equipment, but on the other part depends on what you definte as new.   Could be first generationt here.   Maybe 3rd 4th or 5th.   For the owner of the cars, all 1st generation.   Total route was never under one ownership until about the time these cars were ordered.

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Posted by daveklepper on Thursday, September 14, 2017 1:15 PM

These are defined as rapid transit cars.  But the route does combine typical subway operation with typical open-air suburban operation and is a city-to-suburbs line.  The cars were similar to the largest order of post-WWII commuter equipment, and were prototypes for that equipment with regard to general consruction, construction material, inside-frame trucks, and door locations.  The computer equipment did not duplicate the innovation, which was 100% successful on this line, but has had some problems when implemented elsewhere in a minority of cases, but well-known cases.

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Posted by rcdrye on Thursday, September 14, 2017 4:07 PM

Are you looking for the original cars on the Lindenwold High Speed Line?  They seem to have survived multiple rebuildings.  This was also one of the first designs with computer control features.  The Lindenwold end has built up quite a bit since the line opened, but at the time was fairly suburban.

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Posted by daveklepper on Friday, September 15, 2017 12:46 AM

Yes, but not only computer control, but full automatic operaton after the operator manually closes the doors and presses start.  The very first that worked reliably, applied to the entire fleet.

Bill Vigrass was the chief engineer for the project and remained as chief of operaions.  He returned to supervise the major rebuilding after rertirement.

During the testing period, at night, when it could be preumed there would be no tresspassers or anything, one night they actually ran trains back and forth with nobady on board, just one person at 8th and Chestnut and one at Lindenwald pressing the close door and start buttons through the cab window!  Or so I was told.

And, at the present time, they are the oldest North American rapid transit cars still operating, with the exception of New Yorks' R32s.    But both Budd designs, although some of the PATCO cars may have been built by GE.

Look forward to your question.

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Posted by rcdrye on Sunday, September 17, 2017 7:11 PM

This postwar train, which served the first and fifth largest cities in Texas, gained strength as a new line was opened in the mid 1950s to allow direct service to the state's third largest city.  Enough patronage was generated to hasten the end of another famous Texas train.  Service on this line ended a few years before Amtrak, but the train itself survived into the Amtrak era.

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Posted by daveklepper on Monday, September 18, 2017 3:52 AM

The Q's Texas Zephyr, which gave direct service to Dallas via a new cutoff, with the main section headed to Houston via Fort Worth.  I rode it once, to get the test equipment back to Cambridge without paying shipping charges and with my personal supervision after the opening of Jones Hall in Houston in 1966.  There was no limit on carry-on baggage in those days.  And Parmelie did do the job in transferring to the New England States to Boston.  The Dallas section was still in operaion at the time, with both coach and sleeper service.  I forget the name of the junction.

I suppose business was taken from the second Missouri Pacific train, but the Texas Eagle did continue to provide competion Chicago - Houston via St. Louis.

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Posted by rcdrye on Monday, September 18, 2017 6:50 AM

The Texas Zephyr ran to Dallas from the beginning.  It never served Houston directly, passengers were handled on the Texas Rocket or Sam Houston Zephyr.  Besides, the route was the same from the trains start to its end.  The MP trains lasted longer than most, with massive downgrading not beginning until 1967 or so.

Both the train I'm looking for and the one whose business it hurt were operated by other railroads.

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Posted by daveklepper on Tuesday, September 19, 2017 11:28 AM

In 1966 I rode the Texas Zephyr (in a roomette, with much of my "luggage" in the adjacent coach), from Houston to Chicago.  It was called the Texas Zephyr at the ticket office in Houston when I bought my ticket, using my rail travel credit card, regardless of what it may have been called elsewhere.   Please check you OG and get back.  Certain of this.

 But I'm unfamiliar with other railroad's service in Texas (except for Houston - N. O. and Houston - L. A., and my St. Louis - Troop for Tyler trip) at the time and look forward to someone else answering the question.

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Posted by rcdrye on Tuesday, September 19, 2017 1:03 PM

The Texas Zephyr was the C&S/FW&D Denver-Dallas train...

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Posted by daveklepper on Tuesday, September 19, 2017 1:42 PM

In 1966 sleepers, coaches, and a diner did originate in Houston.  Absolutely positive about that, and presume that southbound they terminated too.  And ran via Fort Worth.   I think the joining of the section from Dallas took place at Dennon? or Denton?  Was the Denver - Dallas train running in 1966?  If not could the name have been transferred to the Sam Houston Zephyr?

If both trains were running then I must admit a memory error.

Can you check a 1966 timetable?

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Posted by rcdrye on Tuesday, September 19, 2017 2:50 PM

It wasn't a Zephyr at all...  The Texas Zephyr ran point to point, and ran through Fort Worth to get to Dallas.  It also went to Denver.  Think which other systems had trains that went to Texas.

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Posted by Deggesty on Tuesday, September 19, 2017 3:54 PM

It was the Texas Chief,  which originally served Fort Worth but not Dallas on its way to Galveston. 

In 1968, I had a ticket that read, in part, SFe KC to Dallas and then T&P to New Orleans. I did not know that the Dallas section had been discontinued, but I was allowed to go on to Fort Worth and then take the T&P to New Orleans.  

Dave had the right routing, but the wrong train name.

Johnny

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Posted by rcdrye on Tuesday, September 19, 2017 5:34 PM

The Texas Chief's Dallas section (from Gainesville TX) was successful enough that the SLSF/MKT Texas Special saw a significant impact.  While it's probably too much to say that it caused the Special's demise, the Dallas section's presence convinced both the ICC and the Texas Railroad Commission to allow the Special to be dropped by MKT.  By the end, it was an MKT-only train from Kansas City.

You guys flip a coin.

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Posted by daveklepper on Wednesday, September 20, 2017 12:05 AM

It Was the Texas Chief I rode, not the Texas Zephye, realized this right after posting, but could not get back to the computer internet connection until this moment.  And it was the second time I rode the train, the first being Chicago - Wichitar.

The Parmelie transfer to La Salle and the New England States was from Dearborn, not frolm Union.

Degesty can have it if he has a question ready.   Apologies for the error.

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Posted by daveklepper on Monday, September 25, 2017 4:53 AM

We are still waiting

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