Classic Train Questions Part Deux (50 Years or Older)

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Posted by SD70Dude on Thursday, December 24, 2020 6:47 PM

Texas Chief?  With the Houston-Galveston portion being the one or two car stub in later years?

The Heartland Flyer now operates on part of its former route, while the Santa Fe mainline from Chicago to Newton has always had passenger service in the the form of the Super/Southwest Limited/Chief.  

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Posted by daveklepper on Friday, December 25, 2020 4:41 AM

Right!    Please ask the next question.

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Posted by SD70Dude on Tuesday, December 29, 2020 7:47 PM

Started by local Canadian interests as a competitor to the area's only transcontinental and named for the Province's two largest urban centres (though its rails never did touch one of them), this company's charter was purchased by an American railway, which used it to build a line that did indeed compete with the transcontinental, but whose construction was motivated more by personal reasons than eventual profits. 

Only one through train ever operated across its completed route, which ended up sharing track with two transcontinentals, including the one it was originally intended to compete with. 

What is the original company's name?

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Posted by Overmod on Wednesday, December 30, 2020 12:02 AM

Excellent question!  Let's see who knows.

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Posted by rcdrye on Friday, January 1, 2021 10:52 AM

Nice! Most Canadian provinces seem to have very few poulation centers.  The only one I came up with that sort of matched the question is the Calgary & Edmonton Railway, which was authorised to construct a "branch" line in the general direction of the U.S. border, but does not appear to have completed it.  The line was constructed from Calgary to Strathcona, across the river from Edmonton, eventually becoming part of the Canadian Pacific. 

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Posted by SD70Dude on Friday, January 1, 2021 12:17 PM

Go west one more Province.  The C&E is dear to my heart, and I had considered asking a question about it, but it was never owned by an American line.  

Many mountains were climbed during the construction of the railway and its competitor, but a Hill ended up being more important than any of them.

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Posted by Overmod on Friday, January 1, 2021 5:18 PM

Interestingly you can find some of the answer to this question, including the trackage rights, in a court case about Hill inheritance much later...

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Posted by rcdrye on Friday, January 1, 2021 7:44 PM

Vancouver, Victoria & Eastern?  Associated with the New Westminster & Southern, both GN-owned, which suggests personal attention by James J. Hill.  Never actually reached Victoria, though another GN-owned line, the Victoria Railway and Ferry Co. did, by ferry.  Entrance to Vancouver was eventually over CN via the New Westminster Bridge.  GN built its new line from Blaine WA to New Westminster, opening it around 1909, eventually abandoning most of the earlier companies' trackage.

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Posted by SD70Dude on Saturday, January 2, 2021 6:49 AM

VV&E is the answer.

Hill was originally part of the CPR syndicate along with George Stephen and Donald Smith, but he ended up leaving (forced out, really) after disagreeing with Van Horne and the others over the proposed route.  Hill never forgot this, and held a lasting hatred of the CPR and its upper management.  The most obvious manifestation of this was a long drawn out 'railroad war' across southern B.C. through the 1890s and early 1900s, as GN fought the CPR for control of the region's rich mineral trade.  

The VV&E was originally intended to build the long dreamed of 'Coast to Kootenay Railway', which the CPR end up doing in the form of the fabled Kettle Valley Railway.  Hill acquired the VV&E's charter to build a competing route, and in doing so spite the CPR even further, but as construction dragged on and Hill aged GN's enthusiasm for its Canadian projects waned.  

GN and CP signed what was known as the Coquihalla Agreement, which allowed both railways to share each other's track between Princeton and Hope.  At the time of signing the route was not complete, and CP agreed to finish the line across Coquihalla Pass.  GN/VV&E owned the track from Princeton to Brookmere, while CP/KVR owned the track from Brookmere to Hope.  The terminal at Brookmere was laid out with space for both railways (including a double spouted water tower),  but the VV&E never used their side.  

GN/VV&E signed a separate agreement with Canadian Northern, obtaining running rights between Hope and Chilliwack in exchange for CNoR being granted running rights on GN's line through New Westminster and downtown Vancouver.  

After the Coquihalla line was completed GN ran a single passenger train across it, an inspection/memorial special carrying their board of directors and executives in honour of Jim Hill, who had died shortly before.  GN never ran another train across Coquihalla Pass.

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Posted by rcdrye on Saturday, January 2, 2021 6:51 PM

In the 1940s and 1950s many railroads had to deal with very light rail - often too light for standard diesel types.  There were several approaches used to deal with the problem, from retaining small steam locomotives just for particular branches to special lightweight models of otherwise standard units. 

This railroad bought seven lightweight models used on a group of light branches.  After this group settled in, the company's subsidiary bought one more, not because of its own light rail, but because it ran over the light rail of another railroad that used similar models. All of the units were either traded in or modified as the branch lines were upgraded.  The remaining units were assigned together, lasting until the early 1970s.

If it helps, the larger group were bought for grain lines, the single unit for general freight intended for a specific interchange.

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Posted by daveklepper on Friday, January 8, 2021 6:47 AM

Hw about a hint:   One of the major diesel builders?

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Posted by rcdrye on Friday, January 8, 2021 8:06 AM

I'll go further - one of the major builder's road switchers. 

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Posted by daveklepper on Saturday, January 9, 2021 12:12 PM

In that case, is it the Alco RS-something that three-axle, center idker, trucjs for the normal B - B arrangement?

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Posted by rcdrye on Saturday, January 9, 2021 1:03 PM

Close enough.  The company bouught 4 RSC-2s and three RSC-3s for the grain lines.  The other unit (RSC-3) was bought for operation over another railroad's line - the other railroad also owned RSCs.

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Posted by daveklepper on Sunday, January 10, 2021 10:24 PM

I'm still blocking on the name of the  specific RR.  One thing I d remember is that some, but not all, were requisitioned mby the Government and used in Iran during WWII.

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Posted by Overmod on Sunday, January 10, 2021 11:59 PM

daveklepper
is it the Alco RS-something that three-axle, center idler, trucjs for the normal B - B arrangement?

Were these the Canadian A-1-As that were later converted to "B" trucks by taking out the center axles and using the world's longest drop equalizers?

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Posted by daveklepper on Monday, January 11, 2021 3:20 AM

The-RSD3s for the SOO, with the single unit on the Wisconsin Central.  The Seabord was the only other USA user.

The units in Iran were builtd as RS1s for the Rock and converted to RSD-1s by Alco for Iran use by USA military railroaders.

 

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Posted by rcdrye on Monday, January 11, 2021 6:48 AM

The Soo bought 4 RSC-2s and 3 RSC-3s for grain lines west of Bismarck ND.  The WC's RS-3 was purchased to deal with light rail on Milwaukee Road's line to Manitowac to connect with the Ann Arbor car ferries.  Milwaukee also owned RSC-2s.

Two of the Soo RSC-2s were traded to Alco for a pair of RS-27s.  The other two and all four RSC-3s got retrucked with trucks from Baldwin DRS-4-4-1500s or AS-16s, which kept their Westinghouse motors.

In planning the trade with Alco, the two engines to be traded turned out to have been recently overhauled.  Local shop crews did some quick paint work and sent the unrebuilt pair instead.

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Posted by daveklepper on Monday, January 11, 2021 12:33 PM

 

 

name a Manhattan rapid transit station, served only by third-rail multiple-unuit-cae trains, where one cpuld make long-distant-train reservations and puchase tickets to any passenger railroad destination that one could at Pennsylvania Station.

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Posted by Overmod on Monday, January 11, 2021 12:57 PM

It'll be one of the H&M stations on the Jersey side, but I don't have the time to research it before one of you gets it.

EDIT: Oh wait, did he originally say the word "Manhattan" in the question?  That would make the answer pretty obvious, at least before the late '50s, including the years extensive PRR and affiliate service ran out of Exchange Place, and the H&M ran to Manhattan Transfer...

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Posted by daveklepper on Friday, January 15, 2021 6:23 AM

You are close, and correct with regard to both Harrison and Journal Square, Harfrison being then a PRR station and Journal Square being joint PRR-H&M. so you should  easily be able to name the one Manhattan station.

A Wall Street executive headed might even have chosen the Broadway over the Century for this convenience.

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Posted by Overmod on Friday, January 15, 2021 2:07 PM

Has to be Hudson Terminal -- which I don't remember seeing in the flesh.  It was certainly on a scale that would have included the amenities indicated!

Presumably someone obtaining tickets there would be able to proceed up to 33rd St, just a hop, skip, and jump from Penn Station.  Had the H&M been able to realize its plans for GCT, however, it might have been interesting to see if the Central would establish their own satellite agency -- it might then have been even easier to head for the Century than skulk through the Gimbels passageway...

 

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