Classic Train Questions Part Deux (50 Years or Older)

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Posted by Jones1945 on Wednesday, December 11, 2019 6:52 PM

Thanks to you all Thumbs Up! How can I say no to this opportunity! 

Pullman Company wanted to introduce a new type of passenger car and service in late 1939, at least one car was made for this, and was attached to at least three named trains of three different U.S. railroads for experimental run. What was the name of that car and service, the name of the three trains that had it attached, and the name of the three railroads? 

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Posted by daveklepper on Thursday, December 12, 2019 4:34 AM

I think I know the car, and it was a case of technology, very forward looking as duplicated as to purpose in equipment in operation in North America today, rather than a matter of interior layout; but I don't know the answers to the rest of the question.  Should I post what I do think I know?

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Posted by Jones1945 on Thursday, December 12, 2019 9:53 AM

Dave, if you know the car, you could find the answers to the rest of the question on the web. Do you want to try looking for it? Smile If not, please post it. Thumbs Up

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Posted by Overmod on Thursday, December 12, 2019 11:17 AM

daveklepper
Should I post what I do think I know?

If it's American Milemaster or the 'twins' that I think became the Bear Flag, by all means!  (And if not, I'd love to see your discussion of the technological details!)

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Posted by Overmod on Thursday, December 12, 2019 11:18 AM

daveklepper
Should I post what I do think I know?

If it's American Milemaster or the 'twins' from 1936 that I think became the Bear Flag/California Republic, by all means!  (And if not, I'd love to see your discussion of the technological details!)

[Note how carefully I avoid what the trains or routes in the actual question are.]

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Posted by daveklepper on Thursday, December 12, 2019 11:21 AM

My Mem ory is a bit fuzzier than I thought.  I was thinking of the pendulum car, and it was not built by Pullman.

Pullman did build an aluminum full-scale sleeper, standard-dimension, but Google did not help me to find it.

Also a  one-off "Entertainment Car." but again Google did not give me the needed information.

Somebody else will have more success at this question.

 

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Posted by Overmod on Thursday, December 12, 2019 12:31 PM

daveklepper
Pullman did build an aluminum full-scale sleeper, standard-dimension, but Google did not help me to find it.

For some reason my memory kicks out 1933 and Century of Progress as being where that early 'all aluminum' car was introduced; that would be explicitly out of the question's scope except if something technical were done to it in 1939.

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Posted by rcdrye on Thursday, December 12, 2019 1:39 PM

American Milemaster was definitely 1939, but it was pretty conventional under the covers.  Sister Muskingum River (1940) was the first car Pullman built that was stainless steel and not just stainless steel sheathed.  No shotwelding, though.  Pullman never did like paying patent fees.  The George M. Pullman was all aluninum, even most of the original truck frames, as were a couple of other things (like the Railplane) that Pullman built for the Century of Progress.  The "Advance" and "Progress" were 1936-built (renamed 1937 to "Bear Flag" and "California Republic".

A quick dig through Pullman records for 1939 show the new cars were a mix of these types, for PRR, NYC, AT&SF, CRI&P and the Pullman pool:

10 rmt 5DBR (plan 4072), "Cascade"

12 DupSBR, 5DBR (plan 4066) "Brook"

2 DBR, 1Cpt, 1DR (plan 4082) "River" (including "American Milemaster")

17Rmt or 18 Rmt (Plan 4068) "City" (some had a porter's section)

4DBR, 4 Cpt, 2DR (Plan 4069) "Imperial"

13DBR (Plan 4071) "County"

6DBR Lounge (Plan 4086) "Falls"

5DBR Lounge (Plan 4088) "Thunder Mountain" "Phantom Valley"

10Sec, 4 RMT (Plan 4089) "Odessa Lake" "Lawn Lake"

8Sec, 2DBR, 2Cpt (Plan 4058) "Garden of the Gods" "Grand Mesa"

Where only a series name is listed, most (but not all) cars had names with that word as part of the name.  Santa Fe-assigned cars all had non-series names.

Thanks to the Pullman Project database for most of the info.

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Posted by Overmod on Thursday, December 12, 2019 10:10 PM

rcdrye
American Milemaster was definitely 1939, but it was pretty conventional under the covers ...

Part of why I think the car is "innovative" is that IIRC it is the first 'normal' lightweight design Pullman touted, unlike the George Pullman with its crack-prone trucks and high-dollar rustlessness or the Advance/Progress with that funky articulation.   American Milemaster was like a kind of normal counterpoint to the American Railroads S1: a thoroughly modern-looking parabolic-ended car that could run in any train and didn't need the equivalent of airplane mechanics to work on it.  In part it seems ordinary because so much of the burgeoning postwar streamliner fiesta followed its design idea and language.

Part of what makes it potentially 'special' is that its life as a demonstrator was so short.  Perhaps there is a record in the Pullman archives of where it ran during that time.

Where is Conrail track analyzer car 22 now?

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Posted by Jones1945 on Friday, December 13, 2019 2:41 AM

Haha, one more hint and you guys will get it Smile... The idea of building this car for the new service was born between late 1939 and early 1940, the new car was put into experimental runs, not until June 1940. It looked like a heavyweight car instead of a streamlined lightweight sleeper. 

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Posted by rcdrye on Friday, December 13, 2019 7:13 AM

According to several sources "American Milemaster" was built with "Room-Observation-Sleeping Car" where its name eventually went, not receiving the name until after the contest. It was painted UP Streamliner yellow 2/8/40 for service on the train set that replaced C&NW/UP/SP's "City of San Francisco" after the 1939 derailment. Repainted again to Overland two-tone gray 7/2/1940 for "Treasure Island" service - incidentally replacing "California Republic" as that train's observation. It also ran on the CRI&P/SP Arizona Limited along with various short assignments as a Pullman Pool spare.

Repainted again 12/23/41 to SP "Lark" gray, and given the number 400.  It ran in the "Oakland Lark" until 1960, getting renumbered to SP 9500 in 1949 (and losing its "Pullman" in favor of "Southern Pacific". Last rework by Pullman in 12/57, when it got the blunt end.

9500 stayed in the SP fleet under Pullman lease until 1/28/1963 after which it went to EMD as test car ET800 (on cover of recent "Trains" issue). Conrail bought it in 1985 as a track geometry car (22).

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Posted by Overmod on Friday, December 13, 2019 11:33 AM

Jones1945
It looked like a heavyweight car instead of a streamlined lightweight sleeper.

Oh, this is bad.  I'm drawing a complete blank on what this could be.  From the sidelines I'm looking forward to learning what the answer is.

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Posted by Jones1945 on Friday, December 13, 2019 10:08 PM

Maybe my broken English fails to express the idea. ShyIt was a completely new passenger car built for a new type of service (service = Sleeper, Parlor Cars, etc) that Pullman Company never provided before June 30, 1940, the name of the car was exactly equal to that new service Pullman Company wanted to provide. It was an unsuccessful experiment. No railroad purchased that car, and its whereabouts is not known after the experiment. Good luck! Wink

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Posted by Jones1945 on Saturday, December 14, 2019 6:29 AM

I just received an email from Mike with two attached files of the correct answer!

Mike provided even more information than my source:

Besides the Exposition Flyer of Western Pacific, the Coach-Sleeper was also attached to Northern Pacific's North Coast Limited, the Empire Builder of the Great Northern, and my favorite all-coach streamliner PRR's Trail Blazer!

Mike, if you read this please let me or Vince know your question. Thanks! :  )

 

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Posted by rcdrye on Saturday, December 14, 2019 10:34 AM

Ah. The 1939 date was a Red Herring!

Plan 2416 24 Parlor Seat 1 DR cars assigned to the PRR were rebuilt into Plan 4094 coach-sleepers

"Avondale", built in 1922, was rebuilt as "Coach-Sleeper I" in June of 1940

"Idlewild", built in 1922, was rebuilt as "Coach-Sleeper II" in June of 1940

"Thorndale", built in 1922, was rebuilt as "Coach-Sleeper III" in November of 1940

"Wierwood", built in 1922, was rebuilt as "Coach-Sleeper IV" in December of 1940

All four cars were redesignated Tourist Cars 1-4 in August of 1942 , retaining plan 4094, so probably with little or no change other than redisignation.  All four probably spent World War II on troop trains, and were re-redesignated (and renamed) as Coach-Sleeper I-IV in 1946.  Still listed in the Descriptive List in 1950, I and II had 45 single berths, III and IV had 42 single berths. All four were sold for scrap in 1961. Despite the three-tier bunks their PMB (Pullman Mechanical, Brine Auxiliary) air-conditioning would have made them better-than-average accomodations on troop trains.

 

Thanks again to the Pullman Project database.

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Posted by Overmod on Saturday, December 14, 2019 2:05 PM

Troop sleeps for peeps! 

Would sure be nifty as an alternative to straight coach if going to the World's Fair... oh wait, it's almost over and most people who were going to go have already gone...

Then after the war, the emphasis more and more was on keeping any kind of clientele, not just the ones who would drive and stay in motels rather than brave summer-camp-like sleeping comfort provisions...

Leads me to wonder, if there was a 'Touralux', there couldn't be a lower-tier service with more hostel-style bunks -- they've become a 'thing' in some other parts of the world.  What would you call it?  'Tour4cheap'?

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Posted by Jones1945 on Saturday, December 14, 2019 3:25 PM

Thank you rcdrye for providing even more information that I couldn't find from my primary source! You guys are amazing. Yes, the "late 1939" date was a spicy Red Herring, though I think it is a reasonable inference that Pullman didn't rush the whole Coach-Sleeper project within six months.Stick out tongue

With the information rcdrye provided, now we know that there were four of them in total, their original names before modified, the fact that they were rebuilt from heavyweight cars instead of completely new cars, and the fate of them after WWII.

Beer Beer

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Posted by Jones1945 on Saturday, December 14, 2019 11:50 PM

Question from Mike: What train became a radio program? Smile

 

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Posted by Overmod on Saturday, December 14, 2019 11:57 PM

The short answer is the Pan-American over station WSM, but it wasn't much of a 'program', more like an interesting time signal.

Of course, there was the Midnight Special (Alton/GM&O), but that's indirect via the song of that name...

If that's it ... give me a Pullman car named for a Hollywood actress.  (And explain why.)  Has to be the precise name on the car, not on the actress.

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Posted by Jones1945 on Sunday, December 15, 2019 1:23 AM
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Posted by Overmod on Sunday, December 15, 2019 2:35 AM

Let's see who makes headway on this, then: relay it to Mike as appropriate.

Give me a Pullman car named for a Hollywood actress.  (And explain why.)  Has to be the precise name on the car, not on the actress.

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Posted by ZephyrOverland on Wednesday, December 18, 2019 11:50 AM

Jones1945

Just an FYI...there were other trains that got the radio bug as well.  At least in the Chicago area there was a program called "The 400 Hour" which consisted of classical music.  From 1946 to 1951 on the Mutual Network there was "Bob Elson Aboard the Twentieth Century Limited" where Mr. Elson would do quick interviews of notables who were boarding the 20th Century Limited at La Salle Street Station. In the late 1920s Dixie Route partners C&EI and L&N sponsored a radio program that offered music provided by a group named the "Dixie Flyers."

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Posted by ZephyrOverland on Thursday, December 19, 2019 10:43 AM

Overmod

Let's see who makes headway on this, then: relay it to Mike as appropriate.

Give me a Pullman car named for a Hollywood actress.  (And explain why.)  Has to be the precise name on the car, not on the actress.

 

Would this be the "Deanna", named for Deanna Durbin, a SP-assigned Pullman named for her in conjunction with the release of her Universal picture "Lady on a Train" in 1945?

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Posted by rcdrye on Thursday, December 19, 2019 11:07 AM

Must have been just for the publicity shots.  "Deanna" doesn't show up in the Pullman Project database.

From what I can gather the car was from the "Lark" pool, where all the cars had numbers and not names, even in 1942.

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Posted by ZephyrOverland on Thursday, December 19, 2019 12:03 PM

rcdrye

Must have been just for the publicity shots.  "Deanna" doesn't show up in the Pullman Project database.

From what I can gather the car was from the "Lark" pool, where all the cars had numbers and not names, even in 1942.

 

Most likely it was a temporary naming of the car for publicity purposes.

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Posted by Overmod on Friday, December 20, 2019 2:19 AM

ZephyrOverland has the one I was thinking of.

The original reference did not know the name of the car that was 'repainted' for the photo op, perhaps with little more than a sticker-like appliqué (it did seem to me you could considerably reduce the 'alternatives' to those that the lined sticker would cover, but if the cars were only numbered that theory falls to the ground.)

I purposely exploited the fact that this name was highly unlikely to be in the 'official' Pullman database, even as a note...

ZO, it's yours.  (Whew!)

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Posted by ZephyrOverland on Saturday, December 21, 2019 10:27 PM

Overmod

ZephyrOverland has the one I was thinking of.

The original reference did not know the name of the car that was 'repainted' for the photo op, perhaps with little more than a sticker-like appliqué (it did seem to me you could considerably reduce the 'alternatives' to those that the lined sticker would cover, but if the cars were only numbered that theory falls to the ground.)

I purposely exploited the fact that this name was highly unlikely to be in the 'official' Pullman database, even as a note...

ZO, it's yours.  (Whew!)

 

I will post a question in a few days.

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Posted by daveklepper on Saturday, December 28, 2019 12:00 PM

Still waiting on you!

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Posted by ZephyrOverland on Monday, December 30, 2019 2:57 PM

Once Upon a Time...

a new passenger train service was cause for celebration, and the citizens of Duluth, Minnesota had reason to party when Soo Line started a double daily Minneapolis-Duluth service on August 1, 1912. According to the local paper, several hundred people were on hand to see the first train off to Minneapolis. Furthermore, "The train also carried a large passenger list, each one of them will be able to say in future years; "I rode on the first Soo line train out of Duluth to Minneapolis"." The first northbound arrival at Duluth was met by a local marching band. Never mind that Northern Pacific already had three trains running between those two points.  

The trains were mostly made up of steel cars, painted in Soo's familiar wine red. The day train offered coaches, a parlor, and a cafe-library-observation car. The night train just had steel coaches and sleepers.  

Looking in Soo Line timetables of the pre-WWI era, the trains were not named - just labled "Afternoon Train" and "Night Train". But, for a brief period after their startup, they did carry names. Names that, in my opinion, did not follow the typical naming conventions of the time.

What were those names?

 

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Posted by Miningman on Tuesday, December 31, 2019 9:36 AM

Well I found this which is kind of spiffy. Geez, vacuum cleaned! Sure wish I could have rode a Soo Line train, any would be fine but a night train would be best.  Haven't found the names though!

 Maybe they were called 'Electric Lighted' and 'Vacuum Cleaned'. That's pretty unconventional!  ( just kidding, ok )

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