Classic Train Questions Part Deux (50 Years or Older)

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Posted by daveklepper on Thursday, October 15, 2020 2:37 AM

The other Monon - interurban interchange was at or near Dayton, but I have not been able to decipher which company!

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Posted by daveklepper on Thursday, October 15, 2020 3:01 AM

The CERA book discusses the Indiana's interchanges with the Big Four and the Nickle Plate.  Those interchanges were for standatd steam-roaf freightcars only.  The distances they culd be handled on Indiana were limited by sharp curves in specific cities and towns, and Indiana interurban trailrers were not handled by these railroads. 

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Posted by CSSHEGEWISCH on Thursday, October 15, 2020 1:53 PM

As requested, here's the next question: Prior to the Amtrak era, which steam road served the most downtown Chicago terminal stations and which stations were they?

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 Thursday, October 15, 2020 7:07 PM

Since a couple of railroads move around a bit over the years, do you mean served the most at the same time?

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Posted by daveklepper on Thursday, October 15, 2020 7:39 PM

For a very short time, after the PRR & NYCentral merger into Penn Central, PC operated to the IC's Central Station, trains from Detroit and Cincinnati; to La Salle St., the "Steel Fleet" from Cleveland; and Union, trains from Valpariso and Lousville, with all these trains originating further east, or further South for Louisville, except the one ot two of the two or three Detroit trains and the Cincinnati train.  But before Amtrak started on 1 May 1971, the "Steel Fleet" from Cleveland had been moved to Union and possibly the Detroit and Cincinnayi trains as well.

And again, to correct both you and RC (although a quesrion from you is always greatly appreciated), according to the CERA book, the Monon was the only railroad that ever handled radial-coupler Indiana Railroad interurban trailers.  The Big Four and Nickle Plate did not. If these or any other railroad handled interurban trailers, which interurbans, which locations, and where is your source of information?

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Posted by daveklepper on Thursday, October 15, 2020 7:52 PM

Note that three uf Indiana Railroad's freight interchanges with steam roads continued after abandonment of passenger service and connecting main lines.

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Posted by daveklepper on Thursday, October 15, 2020 8:11 PM

Further correction.  One or teo of the Valpariso trains had that as its eastern terminal.

 

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Posted by daveklepper on Friday, October 16, 2020 2:38 AM

Further on Indiana RR:  One of the freight interchange operations still exists, and the short-line remnant of tje interurban is the Indiana Southern Railway, not to be confused with Gennesie & Wyoming's Indianapolis - Evansville, IN, Indiana Southern Railroad. 

The Southern Indiana Railway Company runs from a CSX interchane at Watson, Indiana five miles to Speed, Indiana, where it serves the Louisville Cement Company.

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Posted by CSSHEGEWISCH on Friday, October 16, 2020 10:28 AM

Daveklepper has the correct answer with Penn Central, ex-NYC at La Salle Street and Central and ex-PRR at Union.  It's your question

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 Friday, October 16, 2020 7:37 PM

PC's ex-Big four trains used Central to the end.  Amtrak even shifted the South Wind to the ex-Big Four route (from the ex-PRR Panhandle) between Chicago and Indianapolis.

 

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Posted by CSSHEGEWISCH on Saturday, October 17, 2020 10:12 AM

The "South Wind/Floridian's" route moved around several times between Chicago and Louisville.  For a while, it ran on the former Monon route.  I have pictures of a steam-heated "Floridian" led by an F40PH and s/g car going through Hegewisch on the CWI.

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 Saturday, October 17, 2020 11:54 AM

CSS:  You are referring to Amtrask's South Wind.

Question:  A seldom remarked interurban opened with wood interurban cars. not very different than the period's city cars of the major end-point city.  These were replaced by more typical inmterurban cars, which were paid-up.  But after a short period of operation. these cars were returned to the builder, sold again, asnd had success  on a property that still runs, but with newer cars.  The original cars returned to operation, continuing u8ntil bus sustitution much later.

The original interurban, the reason the interurban-type cars were unsatisfactory, and, as a b onus, the still-operatng property.

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Posted by daveklepper on Sunday, October 18, 2020 4:05 AM

Hint:  This interurban line lasted a few years into the poat WWII era, and would have lasted a lot longer if a city orfinance change, approved years later, had beeen passed by the voters when first proposed.

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Posted by daveklepper on Sunday, October 18, 2020 9:36 AM

Much of the area served by this interurban has efficient electric railway sevice currently.

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Posted by rcdrye on Sunday, October 18, 2020 4:46 PM

Sounds like Market Street Railway's line 40 to San Mateo. Built as an independent line (San Francisco & San Mateo Electric Railway) sold a couple of times and folded into the United Railroads of San Francisco (later Market Street Railway). URR finished the line to San Mateo in 1902.

The line initially opened with California-type cars (half open, half closed) which were replaced with URR standard cars before service to San Mateo started.  After the 1906 earthquake URR was looking for any electric cars available and ended up buying 12 large interurban cars from St. Louis Car that had been built for the Philadelpia &  Western.  The P&W couldn't come up for the cash fo the cars, but URR could.

The P&W cars ran in interurban service until the early 1920s, when they were retired in favor of slightly modernized cars from the original URR order. The large "Big Subs" had become nearly impossible in street traffic and were way overpowered (300HP) for the moderate speeds found on the 40.

A change in ownership (Market Street Railway was bought out by the SF Municipal Railway in 1944) put the San Mateo line outside of its owner's desired service area.  Muni was and is a department of the City of San Francisco.  The City supervisors voted to discontinue the line without replacement, which was discontinued in January 1949.

There were several proposals for bus or even trolley coach replacement floated in the late 1940s, but the change of ownership doomed any continued operation.

SF Muni still operates in the City, including some ex-MSR facilities.  The J Church line operates over streets once used by MSR and the 40 line, but the current tracks were built by Muni in the 1980s.  BART operates electric railway service in the 40 line service area.  Caltrain's electrification of the former SP Commute district is well underway, but no date for electric service has been set.

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Posted by daveklepper on Sunday, October 18, 2020 8:54 PM

You have the right answer regarding the line.  But according to the history from the Market Street Railway Association, still accessabl;e on their website, a consultant report recommended that the line be retained with modern (probably PCC) cars; but it, and a number of other SF lines were doomed because of the failure of voters to approve a measure negating the then requirement for 2-man crews on all trolley cars.  The large interurban cars were retired in favor of the older cars because the used too much power.  Check the history of these cars on the website www,streetcar.org, and make the further corrections, please, and then ask the next question.   Thanks.

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Posted by rcdrye on Monday, October 19, 2020 6:55 AM

There are a couple of different stories regarding the end of the 40 line.  Among other proposals (besides the PCC proposal) there were plans to pave the private ROW and run trackless trolleys.  There was also serious consideration given to purchasing a special series of busses to handle the service.  The final vote to abandon came after the SF Board of Supervisors offered the line to San Mateo county, which didn't want it.  Muni's own consulting engineers didn't believe that rebuilding track and overhead and purchasing new cars was at an estimated $750,000 to $1,000,000 "economically sound" despite the fact that the line was still covering its above-the-rail costs.  The Board did not believe that Muni (by then a department of the City of San Francisco, as it is today) should operate service beyond Daly City. While the two-man rule might have had some influence it wasn't a show-stopper, as MSRy had had several lines where conductors boarded or alighted at the city limits in the past.

www.sfmuseum.org/hist10/interurban.html

I'll post a new question later today.

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Posted by daveklepper on Monday, October 19, 2020 7:46 AM

It was a show-stopper in this respect:

The service stopped at the same time that the other Mission Street lines quit, because that was the street used to reach downtowm SF, and those lines were converted to bus, eventually trolleybus, because of the 2-man rule.

You presented the correct information why MUNI did not operate the replacement bus sevice.  Look forward to your question.

Also, the diversion of vP&W cars to SF's United Rys. was the result of the SF fire, as you indicated, but not because of any inability for P&W to pay.  The P&W was not ready for operation, and the cars would have to be stored.  Some eventually did reach the P&W years later.

 

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Posted by rcdrye on Monday, October 19, 2020 10:11 AM

Some of the P&W cars also ended up in California on the Northern Electric, the predecessor of the Sacramento Northern.  They didn't mate well with any other NE cars and ended up serving shuttle runs.

In addition to the one-man prohibition, Mission Street was kind of an unwanted stepchild of Muni.  Originally an Omnibus Cable line, it suffered from neglect and was considered very rough-riding.  I suspect the conversion to TTs was partly to avoid having to do track renewal at postwar prices.  Most of the other former MSRy lines that survived WWII were converted to TT or internal combustion for the same reason, or to allow certain streets to become one-way.

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Posted by rcdrye on Monday, October 19, 2020 4:22 PM

For this postwar train,one of the first inaugurated after the war, two sets of cars were rquired.  The cars ordered for the train included four observation cars.

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Posted by GeoffS on Monday, October 19, 2020 8:36 PM

Reading "Crusader"

Oops, wrong answer 'cause the "Crusader" started in 1937.

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Posted by Overmod on Tuesday, October 20, 2020 5:53 AM

Never was I more bitter not to have bought American Postwar Streamliners.

The first thing that came to mind was the Rocky Mountain Rocket operation with the AB6, which in 'original' trim only had to handle 3-4 cars.  This train was said to be profitable even with only 3-4 cars in the Colorado Springs section, and the AB6 was reported later rebuilt with two engines (perhaps to handle increased traffic in a context that 'valued' its ability to integrate into a streamlined consist).  Since two sets but four observations implies either full bidirectional consist -- of which only the Crusader, which is not the answer, rings the bell offhand -- or a reliable split of some kind enroute, this service might be a contender.

If operated inline this would indicate that at least two of the observation cars were designed either square-ended or with a functional diaphragm vestibule in the observation end to permit through passage in the time the train operated as a full consist...

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Posted by rcdrye on Tuesday, October 20, 2020 6:33 AM

There was only one Crusader set, which was prewar in any case.  The train I'm looking for operated two daytime schedules.  The equipment stayed with the train a relatively short time before being replaced by other equipment.

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Posted by daveklepper on Tuesday, October 20, 2020 7:10 AM

Could this be the SP's Sunbeam and Hustler pair, between two Texas Cities?

The MSRA article on postwar MUNI conversion is clear that the reason the heavy lines did not retain streetcar service, Mission and Geary in particular, was the two-man rule.  Both remain two-way today.  Geary diesel-bus.

 

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Posted by ZephyrOverland on Tuesday, October 20, 2020 9:35 AM

rcdrye

For this postwar train,one of the first inaugurated after the war, two sets of cars were rquired.  The cars ordered for the train included four observation cars.

 

Sounds like the Pere Marquettes. The new lightweight equipment that was installed right after WW2 contained two flat-end observation cars for each consist, along with two coaches and a diner that had its kitchen in the center and dining rooms on each end. The consist setup obliterated the need of turning the entire train around at the end terminals. Only the baggage car and motive power changed direction.

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Posted by rcdrye on Tuesday, October 20, 2020 10:02 AM

Exactly.  The seven car consists had two head-end cars (baggage and Baggage-RPO), a mid-train diner lounge with a coach and coach-observation on either side of the diner-lounge.  The trains operated as designed until after the C&O/PM merger. C&O gradually replaced the equipment with cars from C&O's huge Pullman-Standard order.  The PM cars were then sold to the Chicago & Eastern Illinois.  One of the coaches was later equipped by C&EI with a propane heater for use as a trailer behind C&EI's lone RDC.

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