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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