Classic Train Questions Part Deux (50 Years or Older)

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Posted by rcdrye on Friday, January 25, 2019 6:09 AM

Maybe if I added that the route patterns were changed in 1939 due to new construction?

LVT's local lines predated the through service with P&W - besides LVT was a "true" interurban.  The area covered by the system I'm looking for is just about totally built over today. 

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Posted by Overmod on Friday, January 25, 2019 1:43 PM

Modifying Mr. Klepper's answer slightly for clarity: doesn't he include the Southern Pacific Red Electric system too?

Personally, I think it's the same railroad a little bit south, the SP East Bay Electric, with part going to Key System (F line until 1958?) after most of the lines shut down around 1941.

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Posted by rcdrye on Saturday, January 26, 2019 7:27 PM

The Interurban Electric system was SP's East Bay subsidiary that competed with the Key System.  Cars were labelled "Southern Pacific Lines" until shortly before the Bay Bridge opened.  A mix of street running and private ROW, the IE was mainly a suburban operation, extending north and south from Oakland, and covering Alemeda.  Ferries from SP's Oakland Pier and the Alameda Pier were used until the Bay Bridge opened.  Key System and IE each abandoned parts of some lines in 1933 to reduce competitions.  Key Sytem A nd F lines were extended in 1941 over ex-IE trackage.  Berkeley's Adeline Street went from six tracks to four when the Key System cars moved over into the center on IE's reserved median.  IE was all 1200 volt, Key system was 600.  When the lines shared the Bay Bridge, IE operated off 1200v overhead (as did Sacramento Northern), while Key used 600v third rail.

Most of the IE lines were originally steam powered using tank engines, and freight movement (steam or diesel) on the former Dutton Ave. line (Key line A to Havenscourt) outlasted IE's operation on the extension.

The derelict SP 16th St. station in Oakland still shows evidence of the IE, with elevated platforms built into the roof, originally used by the Berkeley lines.  Dutton Ave. and 7th St were rerouted through 16th St, and the Berkely lines started bypassing it when operation over the Bay Bridge began, as the Bridge Railway connection was north of 16th St.

Some of IE's equipment, along with cars from SP's Oregon Red Electric operation (and the Northwestern Pacific, likewise abandoned in 1941) went to the Pacific Electric for further operation.

Key System's modern looking Bridge Units were really new bodies around controls and motors salvaged from 1910 era cars.  Since the Bridge units weighed the same as or more than the cars they were rebuilt from, their performance didn't match their modern appearance.

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Posted by daveklepper on Tuesday, January 29, 2019 2:03 AM

If none of the amswers proposed o date are correct, I propose Yakima.

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Posted by rcdrye on Wednesday, January 30, 2019 6:54 AM

No Overmod got it right, it's the SP's East Bay electric.

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Posted by daveklepper on Tuesday, February 05, 2019 5:21 AM

Waiting for his question!

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Posted by Miningman on Sunday, February 10, 2019 10:17 AM

This one also!! If no question comes to mind then make it a jump ball. 

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Posted by Deggesty on Sunday, February 10, 2019 4:13 PM

Well, since there has not been a question proposed, here is one:

Pullman provided overnight service between the capitals of two adjacent states. I understand that if you left either capital feet first as you went to sleep, you woke up the next morning head first. Why the change in direction? Where did it take place? What were  the two capital cities? What was the road? There was time when no change of sleeping direction because another road handled the car during its transit; what was the "middle" road and where did it connect with the originating and terminating road?

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Posted by rcdrye on Monday, February 11, 2019 12:22 PM

How about Denver and Salt Lake City?  If the car was switched at Pueblo it might not get turned.  Change to the 1930s and go west on the Denver and Salt Lake (and Denver and Salt Lake Western Dotsero cutoff).  I seem to remember that prior to the D&SL merger D&RGW trains used their own rails to reach the D&SL, still inside the Denver city limits.

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Posted by Deggesty on Monday, February 11, 2019 1:35 PM

No; Denver-Salt Lake CIty via Pueblo was not really overnight (board, go to bed, wake up not long before detraining) service. Try another area of the country.

Yes, Utah Junction was the starting point of the Denver and Salt Lake.

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Posted by Deggesty on Saturday, February 16, 2019 11:40 AM

The dome of one capitol is covered with gold that was mined in the northern part of the state. The structure at the top of the other capitol is not that which the main architect of the building (he was my step-children's great-grandfather) designed; I do not recall, if I ever knew, just what he did design for the top structure. I understand he also had a hand in the first building of the Smithsonian Institute.

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Posted by Overmod on Saturday, February 16, 2019 1:24 PM

So you're related to Niernsee?  That's impressive!

(Note to others: this strongly suggests to me that the first state is Georgia and the second South Carolina... have at it.)

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Posted by rcdrye on Saturday, February 16, 2019 5:08 PM

Overmod
this strongly suggests to me that the first state is Georgia and the second South Carolina...

In that case... If the car was handled by the Southern it would be switched between trains at either Greenville or Spartansburg, where the track layout would just about demand a change in direction.  Hand the car over to the Blue Ridge RR at Seneca, and pick it back up at Anderson, and passengers would arrive at the destination pointing the same way they started out.

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Posted by Deggesty on Saturday, February 16, 2019 7:30 PM

Overmod

So you're related to Niernsee?  That's impressive!

(Note to others: this strongly suggests to me that the first state is Georgia and the second South Carolina... have at it.)

 

No, my stepchildren's father was a grandson of Johann Niernsee.

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Posted by Deggesty on Saturday, February 16, 2019 7:46 PM

Yes, except for a few years when the Blue Ridge handled the car between Seneca and Alston,. passing through Anderson. This line was built from Columbia to Greenville. Since it entered Greenvile more or less from the SE, the direction of the car was changed in Greenville --unless time were taken to wye the car there.

Going through Spartanburg would not have involved a change of direction--consider that it would have used the same track in Spartanburg that the Carolina Special used between Hayne and the continuation of the W line down towards Columbia.

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Posted by rcdrye on Wednesday, February 20, 2019 6:28 AM

This small interurban system, which also operated local streetcars in one city, was owned by a railroad with several other electric railway properties.  The distinguishing characteristic of this system was that, at its peak, it operated in four states at the same time.  The company still called itself a "Street Railway" even after it became a bus operation.  Name the "Street Railway" and the four states.

For a number of years the company operated a parlor car that was as spectacular as any private car of the era.

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Posted by daveklepper on Monday, February 25, 2019 4:18 AM

Pacific Electric operated the parlor car on one particular inbound morning and outbound evening service because it was the service the PE President used for his own commutation.  It did not have sleeping or showering accomodatons but in other ways was fully equal to a railroad president's car.

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Posted by rcdrye on Monday, February 25, 2019 8:49 AM

PE operated only in California.  Even though the parlor service on this railway operated in only two states, the line operated in four.

The line was only connected to the rest of the electric railway network for about two years just before World War I, even though it had ownership in common with other lines in the region.  When the connecting line folded there were three short gaps in continuous electric railway lines between New England and the midwest, where before there had been only two.

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Posted by Deggesty on Monday, February 25, 2019 10:43 AM

This is quite an aside. My mother, who went to school in NOrthfield, Mass. a little over 100 years ago, said that if you knew the proper transfer points you could travel all over New England for 5 cents (I doubt that she considered traavel in northern Maine).

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Posted by daveklepper on Wednesday, February 27, 2019 1:12 AM

Berkshire Street Railway, New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Vermont

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Posted by Overmod on Wednesday, February 27, 2019 3:41 AM

daveklepper
Berkshire Street Railway, New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Vermont

...and here's an introduction to that parlor car:

https://collection.trolleymuseum.org/collection/national/297

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Posted by rcdrye on Wednesday, February 27, 2019 7:34 AM

Dave has correctly ID'd the Berkshire Street Railway.  One of NYNH&H's network of lines, it offered local service in Pittsfield MA as well as service on its cross-country lines.  For about two years a connection with the Springfield Street Railway's "Huckleberry Line" broke Berkshire's isolation from the rest of the New England network, but after 1917 it was again isolated.  The 20 mile gap between its west end at Hoosick Falls NY and United RRs at Troy was one of two (the other was Fonda-Little Falls NY) that prevented unbroken electric railway travel from Portsmouth NH to Elkhart Lake WI.

The parlor car "Berkshire Hills" is just a frame under a tarp at the moment.  The Museum acquired it in 1996 after the building it was attached to (in Pittsfield MA) burned down.  A lot of the original car was lost in its re-use, and more in the fire.

Berkshire Street Railways other parlor car, the "Bennington", was leased from Springfield Street Railway.  It and four others like it were virtually identical to Manchester & Nashua Railway's cars 1-6, built at the same time (1906) by Laconia. M&N car 4 (renumbered 32) became part of the Manchester (NH) Street Railway's fleet.  Renumbered again to 38(II), it was the second car acquired by Seashore in 1940.  With some finish work scheduled for this spring, and new interior lighting, it will be back in service as a "special" car this season at Seashore.

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Posted by daveklepper on Monday, March 04, 2019 3:54 AM

New York's Subways had one special parlor car.  When was it built, by whom, for whom, size and materials of construction, where used, where is it now?

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Posted by daveklepper on Wednesday, March 06, 2019 1:14 AM

Hint:  It had an "off-line" name.   Still does.

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Posted by rcdrye on Wednesday, March 06, 2019 7:22 AM

August Belmont's car "Mineola" is at the Shore Line Trolley Museum in Branford CT.  Belmont was  one of the IRT's founders.

From what I can see in photos taken there, it is a wood bodied car, though on a steel frame (called "composite" construction at the time). Its 1904 construction date puts it a bit ahead of the steel cars constructed for the subway.  Built by Wason (Springfield MA).  The car was apparently on IRT and MTA property until 1947, when it was sold to a scrap dealer, who gave the body to a family member after stripping the trucks and controls.  The car body was rediscovered in 1967 and move to Branford in 1972, where the car sits on shop trucks in a storage barn.  Originally  equipped with two motors and GE type "M" control, it could train with any contemporary IRT car.

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Posted by daveklepper on Sunday, March 10, 2019 5:24 AM

100%

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Posted by daveklepper on Tuesday, March 12, 2019 6:11 AM

Waiting for your question. 

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Posted by rcdrye on Tuesday, March 12, 2019 8:19 AM

One of London's Underground lines has some american characteristics even today, with "cars" instead of "carriages".  The builders and operators had considerable influence on an American City's transit system, with lines built by them remaining in service today substantially as built before the gentlemen involved headed overseas around the turn of the last century.  Name the city, and at least one of the people involved.  If you can, name the chief mechanic, whose truck design was only found in London and this American city.

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Posted by daveklepper on Sunday, March 17, 2019 8:00 AM

The American City is Philadelphia, ans the London Underground was second to the Liverpool - Mersey line, as noted on my posting of his UK trip:

Before starting to describe my exploits on the Isle of Man I want to mention two messages I received,
from Russ Jackson and Nigel Eames, about the electric MU cars that originated service through the Mersey Tunnel, over which I rode on the previous day. Nigel wrote that these cars, built in 1903, were based on similar equipment built for electric lines in the U. S., specifically the Market Street subwayelevated in Philadelphia. He stated that they operated until 1956, and described them as "matchboard-sided eMUs, built in Birkenhead by Milnes, but unmistakably American in appearance." He further indicated that the cars had clerestories with some of the trailers originally having open gates at their ends, which were enclosed later.


Russ stated that the railway to "the peninsula was the first line in the UK to use true eMU cars, with
equipment by Westinghouse based on what they had designed for U. S. service to compete with the
Sprague/GE equipment developed for the South Side 'L' in Chicago. All previous UK multiple-car
electric trains - such as those for the Liverpool Overhead Railway, were motor-trailer sets with all
motors fed from the manual controller in the head cab, the power lines running thru the trailer cars to reach motors elsewhere in the train, making them unit trains of fixed length."Here's a photo of these fine looking eMUs from the internet. http://www.emus.co.uk/gallery


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Posted by rcdrye on Sunday, March 17, 2019 12:37 PM

The point of the question was to identify the gentleman who built the (still existing) rapid transit lines in the U.S. City with the one who was responsible for developing the lines in London.  His activities in the U.S. city involved surface traction properties as well as Rapid Transit.  His street railway properties involved horse, cable and electric operation.  The second gent was his master mechanic, who developed a truck design used only in London and ???

The main person I'm looking for was born in Philadelphia but was not involved in traction there.  He also locked horns with J.P. Morgan in London when Morgan tried to muscle in on the Underground.  His activities in the U.S. city were legendary in a city where financial corruption was expected.  Some of his machinations made possible the thing for which a downtown district is named.

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