Classic Train Questions Part Deux (50 Years or Older)

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Posted by rcdrye on Sunday, January 12, 2020 12:02 PM

daveklepper
I think the lightweights in the question were SP and on the C&NW, UP, and SP  City of SF.

One of the right railroads, wrong train.

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Posted by daveklepper on Sunday, January 12, 2020 10:17 PM

Then SP, Golden State, SP and RI.

But then later, some of the cars did migrate to the CofSF, the Oakland - Ogden sleeper that I rode in 1970 was one, I believe.

Not Armor Yelow, for sure.

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Posted by rcdrye on Monday, January 13, 2020 11:38 AM

All of the SP-owned prewar lightweights assigned to the "Golden State Limited" were originally given only numbers like contemporary "Lark" cars.  The gars were given "Golden" series names in 1942.  Postwar seven cars similar to cars assigned to the "Sunset" and "Cascade" arrived with "Golden" series names.  All SP-owned "Golden" cars were officially renumbered by SP in 1953.  Rock Island cars assigned to the Golden State continued to carry "Golden" names, including some new 8 rmt 6 DBR cars that arrived in 1954.

Your question.

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Posted by daveklepper on Wednesday, January 15, 2020 4:30 AM

Regarding the history of the Boston Revere Beach and Lynn

What nearby railroad had a proposal to buy it and standard-gauge it?  What else did they propose to do to improve it?

Was any of its RoW standard gauged?  Who. when, what, why?

What is visually similar about that portion of the RoW today and the last ten years of the BRB&L operation?  What is similar operationally?

Even in initial construction, in what way did building narrow gauge not save any construction money?

Reply if you get most of the answers.

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Posted by Overmod on Wednesday, January 15, 2020 7:58 AM

The last one first.  For some strange reason the RoW was built to accommodate standard-gauge tie length (perhaps those were available cheaply used?) so the principal 'saving' in building to narrow-gauge standards was the ability to use 30lb rail for the lighter equipment weight (this being upgraded through 50lb to 70lb but still tiny'

I think the 'standard gauge' is that odd Port Shirley street-railway operation, a trolle line that never had a trolley.  (First gas operation, I think entirely before BRB&L took them over, then battery)

They 'went south' as so many interurbans did, in the Twenties, and got scrapped out with the usual waste of assets.  The elevated company wanted to convert at least a part of the line to high-speed trolley after 1941, but the announced preference was for more conventional rail rapid transit, which is what is now in place (the Blue Line) under wire again ... but it STILL only goes to Wonderland.

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Posted by rcdrye on Wednesday, January 15, 2020 8:32 AM

And the Blue line is the only T "heavy" line using overhead wire.  The East Boston tunnel was built in 1904 for larger-than-streetcar, smaller-than-rapid-transit equipment with a tight loop at the Bowdoin end, used by streetcars before being converted to rapid transit (with short cars - 47'3" - Boston Center Entrance streetcars are 48'10") in 1924.  The result is that even today, Blue Line cars are among the shortest rapid transit equipment in service. Originally the line was supposed to go to Lynn, but it never got past Wonderland. The ROW north of Wonderland has since been partially built over or encroached on by route 1A.  There's also the missing bridge going into Lynn itself.  Adequate service to Lynn by the T on the ex-B&M Eastern route means there's no onger any point in extending the Blue Line.

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Posted by Overmod on Wednesday, January 15, 2020 9:02 AM

rcdrye
Adequate service to Lynn by the T on the ex-B&M Eastern route means there's no longer any point in extending the Blue Line.

If I'm not mistaken, that claim by the T's 'predecessor' was a large reason why the service that became the Blue Line was not extended to Lynn...

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Posted by rcdrye on Wednesday, January 15, 2020 9:16 AM

Overmod
f I'm not mistaken, that claim by the T's 'predecessor' was a large reason why the service that became the Blue Line was not extended to Lynn...

The T didn't become regional until the 1960s, and had various relationships with non-city agencies.  Lynn would have required some buy-in as it was outside of Boston's city limits.  The obstacles to extension were in place by that time - plus the T contracted for service from the B&M. 

In a way it was similar to attempts to extend CTA operation over the former CA&E in the Chicago suburbs after CA&E abandoned service.  It didn't matter that the BRB&L had been there before any more than it did that the former CRT/CTA Westchester service had existed, since neither city was interested in paying for service beyond city limits.

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Posted by CSSHEGEWISCH on Wednesday, January 15, 2020 10:25 AM

Although the Westchester service was beyond the Chicago city limits, it was within the legally defined service area of the CTA.  It was replaced by a CTA bus route (Route 17) in 1951 which continued as a CTA route until recently, when PACE took over the service.  The real issue was in Du Page County, where the locals wanted to keep anything that suggested Chicago out of their turf.

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 daveklepper on Thursday, January 16, 2020 8:55 AM

All of you gave part answers and one of you can ask the next question.  The standard gauge now is on the RoW, so one can say that, yes, finally part of the line, Airport - Revere-Wonderland, was finally converted to standard gauge after a long period of no use.  And we have 600volt dc traction and overhead caternary just like BRB&L days!

Nobody did note that the NYNH&H did have a proposal to buy and electrify and standard-gauge the line around 1911.  It was not acted on.

And the original builders found that standard-gauge ties were cheaper than narrow-gauge.

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Posted by daveklepper on Monday, January 27, 2020 9:11 AM

Will one of you ask the next question?

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Posted by rcdrye on Tuesday, January 28, 2020 1:02 PM

One of the ancestors of Piggyback was created with 6 trailers and one car by an interurban.  A neighboring company developed its own container system after negotiations on patent fees and other things to use the piggyback system failed, only to shut down container operations when the state insisted that the railroad had to have a motor carrier certificate to handle containers.

Name the pre-piggyback system and the company with the containers.

Note - the pre-piggyback system "may" have been invented in the U.K. some thirty years before the events mentioned above - but the developer still managed to patent it anyway!

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Posted by daveklepper on Thursday, January 30, 2020 10:14 AM

I should note that after the sale of the Chelsea-Revere streetcar lines to the Boston Elevated, the Eastern Massachusetts Street Railway, still operating the Quincy, Howes Neck, and Stoneham streetcar lines, did start Lynn - Boston bus service in competition with the Narrow Gauge and B&M rail service as replacement for its suburban streetcar service that had run to Haymarket Square and Brattle  Loop at Scolley Square Station using Boston Elevated tracks south of Chelsea Square.  I think that this bus service continues today as "T" express bus service in competition with the "T" commuter rail service.

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Posted by daveklepper on Sunday, February 2, 2020 7:41 AM

The North Shore was a pioneer in trailor-on-flatcar service, but I think you want something earlier.

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Posted by rcdrye on Sunday, February 2, 2020 1:50 PM

The system I'm looking for was a hybrid trailer/container system.  The design of the system dated to the end of the 19th century, with one installation, not in the U.S.  The interurban bought one special car which would carry three trailers, and six trailers.

North Shore's Ferry Truck system was contemporary - it was actually tried first on the South Shore, but the market wasn't there.  North Shore had a market that really worked, at least until US 41 was paved.

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Posted by Jones1945 on Monday, February 3, 2020 8:07 AM

I think the answer is Long Island Rail Road's "Farmer's Trains" in 1880s. Piggybacking was pioneered by the Long Island Rail Road back in 1885 for the benefit of farmers seeking a faster, more economical way of getting their produce to markets in Brooklyn and New York.

As this old woodcut of the Long Island City terminal shows, loaded wagons were carried on specially built flat cars, much in the same way loaded truck trailer is transported today. The Horses rode in special boxcars, and there was a coach on each train for the grooms and drivers.

 

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Posted by rcdrye on Monday, February 3, 2020 9:46 AM

The system I'm looking for is a little less "Piggyback" like in that the frame of the trailer sits on the carrying flatcar.  Think Flexi-van without removing the wheelsets and you'll be close.  Add an interurban that neighbored another interurban with pioneer container service and you should have it.  The system was known by its inventor's name.

For what it's worth, the only other implementation of this system involved slate wag(g)ons in the U.K.

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Posted by Overmod on Tuesday, February 4, 2020 4:11 AM

Banner 'rail wagon' service on the Lake Shore in 1930?

The 'store door' service on Cincinnati & Lake Erie was one of the inspirations for my idea of overnight high-speed NEC container trains in the 1970s...

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Posted by rcdrye on Tuesday, February 4, 2020 6:29 AM

It's Bonner, not Banner, but you win anyway.

Col Bonner sold one flat car and a four wagons that almost looked like oxcarts to the Manx Electric Railway, a 3 ft. gauge electric line on the Isle of Man, in 1898.  His next delivery was a single flatcar and six trailers to the Lake Shore Electric, which used it in Cleveland - Toledo - Detroit service (with Detroit United Railways) from 1931 to 1933.  Cincinnati & Lake Erie, which worked heavily with LSERy on interurban freight, opted for its own container system instead.  LSE would have needed a transfer crane to handle C&LE containers, so they were only used on C&LE lines.  The state of Ohio decided in 1933 that both railroads needed highway carrier permits to carry highway trailers.  Rather than fight off the state both interurbans dropped their truck-related services, continuing their box-motor and trailer service. Interurban freight held up fairly well for both companies into the 1930s until the loss of interurban connections, including the Northern Ohio to Akron and Canton, the Penn-Ohio system east of Youngstown, the DUR connection to Detroit, and the Fort Wayne & Lima and Dayton & Western connections into Indiana.

The Rail Wagon used special trailers that it slid under, so loading was simple - just park the trailers on the ramp and shove the car until they were loaded.  Insull's Ferry Truck system used standard road trailers, eventually carrying non-Insull trailers as well.

http://justacarguy.blogspot.com/2018/07/bonner-road-rail-wagons-something-ive.html

 

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Posted by Overmod on Tuesday, February 4, 2020 6:41 AM

Thanks!  The only reference I ever had was Mr. Middleton, and he evidently didn't know how to spell it.  (Not the first time I was deceived; for years I thought the LeTourneau trailer-handler had a very different name courtesy of John Kneiling... if you can't trust him to know what an intermodal machine is called, who should you trust?

Moral -- as with the 18-year-old da Vinci -- trust, but verify.  Surprising what you can learn.

(Amusingly, if you have posts set to 'latest first', as I do, and if Kalmbach screws up the presentation sort order after you've posted something, as it does, you find yourself at wanswheel's post of Thursday, April 16, 2009, 11:27pm, which discusses the freight arrangements on C&LE and the Lake Shore...)

Note the very different but critical technology change necessary to implement the Bonner 'system' in the early Thirties.  Since the vehicles can't have normal cross-axles or axletrees, very interesting suspension arrangements are necessary, which on wagons suffer from extreme lack of lateral rigidity.  By the time of the interurban, we see suspension almost like that of an aircraft undercarriage, quite possibly incorporating 'knee-action' friction shock absorbers.  Presumably reinforcement in the van bodies was necessary to allow use of this design of undercarriage, and it is interesting to speculate what would be necessary to accommodate the use of multiple tires for later weight accommodation as governments (Missouri a particular case in point) moved to restrict road-damaging vehicles through load and size restrictions per axle or tire...

I still think the Lohr system is underrated as a method of low-drag "TOFC" intermodal.  

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Posted by Overmod on Thursday, February 13, 2020 7:12 AM

Bumped to throw it open to new blood.  

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Posted by Overmod on Wednesday, February 19, 2020 12:20 PM

NYC very famously introduced a class of 4-8-4 locomotives at the end of WWII, calling them "Niagaras" (the river, as with 'Hudson' or 'Mohawk'

But this wasn't the first class of NYC 4-8-4: there was an experimental high-pressure 'freight' locomotive from the late '20s.  What was the name assigned to the wheel arrangement in 1931?

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Posted by Miningman on Wednesday, February 19, 2020 6:43 PM

Interesting. Hs-1a # 800 had a named designation? Well many railroads called them Northerns, lots of exceptions though. UP called them FEF's , CNR called them Confederations and there are many others Dixies, Potomocs...) . Perhaps since it spent its whole career in yard work at Selkirk they called it a Selkirk! That would clash with CPR's mighty Selkirks though. So far I have not found a specific name for #800. 

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Posted by rcdrye on Thursday, February 20, 2020 7:00 AM

I have to wonder if they replaced the boiler before making it the Selkirk hump engine.  It was clearly intended for mainline work.  Neighboring D&H's high-pressure experimentals were most likely the push to both NYC and Alco - but like the D&H engines, the HS-1A needed to stay close to someone who could give it lots of TLC.

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Posted by Overmod on Thursday, February 20, 2020 2:22 PM

Miningman
So far I have not found a specific name for #800. 

Keep looking.  You will be surprised what you find.

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Posted by daveklepper on Friday, February 21, 2020 1:32 AM

If they had great hopes for it they might have named it the Cornelius Vanderbilt.   Just a guess.

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Posted by Overmod on Friday, February 21, 2020 5:42 AM

daveklepper
If they had great hopes for it they might have named it the Cornelius Vanderbilt.

They saved that for the Kantola-streamlined Hudson...

Note that the 'name' here is a class name, not an individual name applied only to the particular example.  It would apply to the wheel arrangement, just as 'Mohawk' would be applied to the predecessor 4-8-2s or 'Hudson' to the recently-introduced 4-6-4s.

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Posted by daveklepper on Friday, February 21, 2020 8:39 AM

The wheel arrangement was eventually "Niagra," but I suppose it would be something different, yet associated with a river or body of water.   Great Lakes?  Lake Michigan or Lake Erie?  Cayuga?  

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Posted by daveklepper on Sunday, February 23, 2020 6:49 AM

Other possibilies:   Samson, Herculies, Amazon

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Posted by Overmod on Sunday, February 23, 2020 10:39 AM

According to "Know Thy Niagaras" the name was published in the NYC employees' magazine when the locomotive was introduced to service.

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