Classic Train Questions Part Deux (50 Years or Older)

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Posted by Miningman on Saturday, December 09, 2017 8:49 PM

Pic not uploaded onto da net

Ok, wait ..I got it.

The Great Blizzard of '88

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Posted by Overmod on Sunday, December 10, 2017 9:25 AM

No.  And it's not the GM10B in the blizzard of 1978, either.  Very funny.  Let me see what I can do.

Start by identifying the railroad (not at all hard in several respects).  Then consider some of the details - in particular, why so many of them are carrying those things they have.  And why there are so many of them is likely highly relevant... on reflection, this is probably a two-part question, perhaps involving a special occasion (which might explain the neckties a little better), which someone like wanswheel could perhaps actually date, but the number is still relevant.

As a kind of hint: the arrangement would be highly useful in case of snow on the ground, but it has nothing to do with snow removal.

Sorry about the dereferenced photo, but Kalmbach would not paste it as an image, which may indicate a source preference against hotlinking.

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Posted by Miningman on Sunday, December 10, 2017 11:38 AM

Is it my iPad? I cannot access the link...it is not lite up on my screen.

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Posted by Overmod on Sunday, December 10, 2017 12:03 PM

Miningman
I cannot access the link...

Have PMed you what I think is a better one; if anyone else has trouble seeing the picture, please let me know 'on the side' and I'll arrange a copy for you.

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Posted by daveklepper on Saturday, December 23, 2017 3:01 PM

Overmod,  maybe you should give the answer and ask a new question?

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Posted by rcdrye on Friday, January 05, 2018 3:51 PM

At Overmod's request...

Although Flexi-Vans were most closely associated with the New York Central System, at least four other railroads serving Chicago used them in mail service, three of them carrying "bypass mail" interchanged with the NYC.  Name the four.

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Posted by narig01 on Monday, January 08, 2018 6:08 PM

rcdrye

At Overmod's request...

Although Flexi-Vans were most closely associated with the New York Central System, at least four other railroads serving Chicago used them in mail service, three of them carrying "bypass mail" interchanged with the NYC.  Name the four.

 

In here is most of the answer:

http://mrr.trains.com/news-reviews/staff-reviews/2008/05/walthers-ho-flexi-van

I think a railroad is missing though.

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Posted by rcdrye on Tuesday, January 09, 2018 8:03 AM

From the Walthers ad you have NYC, IC and Milwaukee Road flats, and NYC, IC, Milwaukee and CB&Q vans.  The missing line used both its own and NYC vans, and its own and NYC flats.  It was the direct competitor (if a bit circuitous) of one of the other lines, and had the easiest switching for bypass mail.

Bypass mail was also handled in mail storage cars that were transferred between trains without any mail handling in Chicago.

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Posted by narig01 on Tuesday, January 09, 2018 9:23 AM

Santa Fe?   

 

Also when did Soo Line first run trains into Chicago? I know Soo bought the Milwaukee Road line, IIRC Soo merged with Wisconsin Central(1960 or 1961) to get to Chicago.

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Posted by rcdrye on Tuesday, January 09, 2018 1:14 PM

Soo Line leased the Wisconsin Central in 1909. The official merger date was Dec 31, 1960, and included the Duluth South Shore & Atlantic.  All three were more than 50% owned by Canadian Pacific.  WC owned its own locomotives and cars, but everything was labelled Soo Line, with WC equipment carrying small W.C. lettering in various places depending on equipment type. By the time the Soo Line acquired the Milwakee Road in 1985, the Flexi-vans were long retired.

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Posted by narig01 on Tuesday, January 09, 2018 2:21 PM

Just to clarify, the fourth railroad was Santa Fe.

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Posted by narig01 on Tuesday, January 09, 2018 2:25 PM

The four railroads Santa Fe, Chicago Burlington & Quincy, Milwaukee Road, and Soo Line.

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Posted by rcdrye on Tuesday, January 09, 2018 7:02 PM

Actually Santa Fe did not normally carry flexi-vans in bypass mail service.  AT&SF preferred to handle containers on their own "flat cars", which were cut down from heavyweight coaches, complete with six wheel trucks.  The other road that normally carried them also went to many places the AT&SF did, both on its own and with joint service. As far as I know the Flexi-vans only worked from Chicago to the capital of an adjacent state.

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Posted by narig01 on Tuesday, January 09, 2018 7:19 PM

Rock Island?

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Posted by rcdrye on Tuesday, January 09, 2018 7:32 PM

The Rock carried some of its flexi-vans in passenger trains, with one series equipped with well-wrapped steam lines so they could ride directly behind the locomotives. NYC flats, when carried, rode at the rear. Rock Island's vans ran Chicago-Des Moines, and occasionally Council Bluffs.  CB&Q also had steam-equipped flats.  Both CB&Q and Milwaukee got cuts of flats from the NYC regularly.

IC used side-door vans and didn't interchange.  Their steam-equipped flats and vans ran in Iowa Division service.

Soo Line loaded and unloaded marine containers at Schiller Park - no mail.  Mail was handled in heavyweight RPOs and Storage Mail cars until the Laker was discontinued in 1965.  Any interchange mail was handled in sacks by truck.

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Posted by NP Eddie on Wednesday, January 10, 2018 9:46 AM

Rob and All:

This question about NYC's FlexiVans reminded me of a tragic story at Northtown about 1966. One of the FlexiVan cars (with two trailers) was waybilled to a consignee at Jamestown, ND. It was rejected at Jamestown because of no way to unloaded the two trailers. It was returned to Northtown for furtherance to the NYC in Chicago. A switchman was fatally injured when he fell beneath the car during a switching movement. Quite a tragedy! I did not know the switchman well.

Ed Burns

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Posted by CSSHEGEWISCH on Wednesday, January 10, 2018 10:11 AM

rcdrye

IC used side-door vans and didn't interchange.  Their steam-equipped flats and vans ran in Iowa Division service.

IC's vans and flats also turned up on the main line.  I recall seeing them on the rear end of the "Campus" (later named the "Illini") while waiting for the South Shore at 115th Street.  They would occasionally show up on the "City of New Orleans".

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 Wednesday, January 10, 2018 3:01 PM

You are correct - I hadn't seen any pictures of them on any trains except the "Land-o-Corn".  I also found that AT&SF did participate in early tests with an SFTU van used on a modified flatcar.  WP leased a single flat, intended for use on the California Zephyr between Oakland and Salt Lake City, where it was used for about six months in 1965 and 1966, mainly for Railway Express.

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Posted by Overmod on Sunday, April 22, 2018 8:16 PM

This got stalled and then, apparently, dropped off everyone's radar.  I still don't know what the fourth road is supposed to be...

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Posted by rcdrye on Monday, April 23, 2018 8:21 AM

The fourth road was the Rock Island.  Burlington, Rock Island and Milwaukee used NYC vans (and vice versa) for "bypass mail" which was not sorted in Chicago.  IC pretty much used their own. 

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Posted by Overmod on Monday, April 23, 2018 2:25 PM

So who gets the question?

 

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Posted by Miningman on Monday, April 23, 2018 5:53 PM

Hard to untangle this one...maybe narig01 but is he still around? 

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Posted by rcdrye on Thursday, April 26, 2018 11:00 AM

While we're waiting...

This bridge, which is still in daily use, was the longest single-leaf bascule bridge ever built when it was originally installed.  Formerly in line (one after the other) with another similar bridge, it now sits beside it, with a slightly shortened leaf.  Location and reason for bridge relocation.

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Posted by narig01 on Thursday, April 26, 2018 3:19 PM

Miningman

Hard to untangle this one...maybe narig01 but is he still around? 

 

I'm still around. Wasn't sure what happened to the thread. I usually catch this in my email. For some strange reason this was misrouted into spam. 

 

rcdyre go ahead

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Posted by rcdrye on Thursday, April 26, 2018 7:11 PM

Glad you're back! If you have a different question I can withdraw the one I posted.

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Posted by narig01 on Friday, April 27, 2018 2:07 AM

Please continue. I don't have a good question right now. And I think the current one is interesting. 

   I'm would think  CSSHEGEWISCH should get this one, as he knows engineering and/or bridge history. 

Thx IGN

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Posted by rcdrye on Sunday, April 29, 2018 2:18 PM

Both bridges involved were lifted to a higher level during reconstruction, as part of one of the largest civil engineering projects in its era, one that shaped its city.

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Posted by Overmod on Sunday, April 29, 2018 11:57 PM

Are you looking for the SCAL (ex-IC) and B&OCT bridges, tinkered with when the South Branch was straightened?

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Posted by rcdrye on Monday, April 30, 2018 6:33 AM

Overmod

Are you looking for the SCAL (ex-IC) and B&OCT bridges, tinkered with when the South Branch was straightened?

 

That's what I was looking for.  The SCAL bridge was built with a 260 foot leaf over the original channel of the Chicago River, several hundred feet east of its current location.  The B&OCT bridge was built on its present site over the new channel while it was still being dug.  Both bridges were built at a low level, with the SCAL and B&OCT crossing the south approach to Union Station at grade near the current Amtrak Coach Yard.  Once the B&OCT bridge was completed, both SCAL and B&OCT used the B&OCT bridge to cross the new channe, with B&OCT moves swinging north onto the island between the old and new channels.  SCAL traffic used the original SCAL swing bridge untill the new Strauss Trunnion Bascule span was completed.  Once the old channel was filled in, the SCAL bridge was dismantled and re-erected next to the B&OCT bridge, but at a high enough level to connect with the new SCAL and B&OCT inclines over Union Station trackage.  The SCAL bridge was shortened about 40 feet during the move.  The final move was to lift the B&OCT bridge to the level of the new inclines and remove temporary connections.

The St. Charles Air Line is a short connecting line built by the CB&Q, C&NW, IC and Michigan Central.  It's still owned by BNSF, UP and CN. IC acquired PC's ex MC share.  All of the construction on the bridges was handled by IC and B&O. Both bridges were in service until Grand Central and the adjoining freight house were closed by B&OCT in 1969.  The B&OCT bridge has been in the up position since, and is no longer reached by tracks.  The SCAL is used by CN Iowa line trains, by numerous transfer runs, and by Amtrak trains using CN's ex-IC main line.

Here's a link to a page with some photos and drawing showing the move:

http://industrialscenery.blogspot.com/2015/12/st-charles-airline-bridge.html

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Posted by Miningman on Monday, April 30, 2018 4:19 PM

Fascinating...and thanks for the great link that explains it all. Really good reading and information.

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