Classic Train Questions Part Deux (50 Years or Older)

726766 views
6757 replies
1 rating 2 rating 3 rating 4 rating 5 rating
  • Member since
    June, 2002
  • 14,596 posts
Posted by daveklepper on Monday, July 20, 2009 3:23 AM

from all that i have read on this subject, only when the catenary was itself damaged.   However, at times steam locomotives did run through, without any need for a catenary or weather problem, with an electric double heading.   And as you already know, in the last days of electric operation, mu operation of diesels and electrics was normal.

 The Milwaukee did have a lot of measures to clear ice from catenary, and use of both pantographs instead of one on the electrics was resorted to frequently.  I think at least some of the older electrics, not the Little Joes, also had train line 3000 volt power cables.

  • Member since
    March, 2004
  • From: Central Valley California
  • 2,841 posts
Posted by passengerfan on Thursday, July 23, 2009 4:14 AM

Who has the next question?

Al - in - Stockton

  • Member since
    August, 2005
  • From: At the Crossroads of the West
  • 9,984 posts
Posted by Deggesty on Thursday, July 23, 2009 3:16 PM

Al, it looks like Wanswheel answered the question on 7-16, and DaveKlepper, on 7-19, declared him to be the winner.

Johnny

Johnny

  • Member since
    November, 2005
  • 4,191 posts
Posted by wanswheel on Friday, July 24, 2009 6:27 PM

Name 5 trains scheduled to run faster than 80 MPH for a distance of more than 50 miles in 1956.

Mike

  • Member since
    October, 2006
  • From: Chicago, Ill.
  • 2,843 posts
Posted by al-in-chgo on Friday, July 24, 2009 8:13 PM
wanswheel

Name 5 trains scheduled to run faster than 80 MPH for a distance of more than 50 miles in 1956.

Mike

USA only? 

 

al-in-chgo
  • Member since
    December, 2001
  • 8,156 posts
Posted by henry6 on Friday, July 24, 2009 9:39 PM

I would look at CB&Q, NYC, PRR, SF, and  UP timetables and look for the Zephers, 20thCentury Ltd, The Broadway Ltd., Super Chief, and the City of SF for starters.  IC did a pretty good job on the Panama Ltd. as did Atlantic Coast Line. 

RIDEWITHMEHENRY is the name for our almost monthly day of riding trains and transit in either the NYCity or Philadelphia areas including all commuter lines, Amtrak, subways, light rail and trolleys, bus and ferries when warranted. No fees, just let us know you want to join the ride and pay your fares. Ask to be on our email list or find us on FB as RIDEWITHMEHENRY (all caps) to get descriptions of each outing.

  • Member since
    August, 2005
  • From: At the Crossroads of the West
  • 9,984 posts
Posted by Deggesty on Friday, July 24, 2009 10:23 PM
wanswheel

Name 5 trains scheduled to run faster than 80 MPH for a distance of more than 50 miles in 1956.

Mike

At first, I thought, "Aha, I'll find Don Steffee's listing of fast train in 1956." But, he did not have such. I then found my June, 1955 Guide, (I have no 1956 issue)  since there was probably little change from 1955 to 1956. In it, the Burlington was the only road I found with 80 mph trains; there were two, the westbound Morning and Afternoon Zephyrs, which ran the 94 miles from Savanna to Prairie du Chien in 78 minutes (87 mph) I did not find any on the other roads named by Henry6 that met the qualifications.

Johnny

 

Johnny

  • Member since
    March, 2004
  • From: Central Valley California
  • 2,841 posts
Posted by passengerfan on Saturday, July 25, 2009 6:10 AM

I have a 56 guide but without looking I would think that the AT&SF Super Chief, El Capitan and San Francisco Chief would all three qualify. Along with the Morning and Afternoon Zephyrs that Johnny lists that should make five. If it is five different RRS I would say AT&SF, CB&Q, CRI&P, IC, and UP

Al - in - Stockton

  • Member since
    December, 2001
  • 8,156 posts
Posted by henry6 on Saturday, July 25, 2009 8:31 AM
Dangdagnabbit!  I thought it was a trick question!!!

RIDEWITHMEHENRY is the name for our almost monthly day of riding trains and transit in either the NYCity or Philadelphia areas including all commuter lines, Amtrak, subways, light rail and trolleys, bus and ferries when warranted. No fees, just let us know you want to join the ride and pay your fares. Ask to be on our email list or find us on FB as RIDEWITHMEHENRY (all caps) to get descriptions of each outing.

  • Member since
    November, 2005
  • 4,191 posts
Posted by wanswheel on Saturday, July 25, 2009 1:14 PM

Al, yes the U.S.A.

Henry, yes Burlington and Illinois Central.

Johnny, yes the Twin Zephyrs

Al, yes Union Pacific.

  • Member since
    August, 2005
  • From: At the Crossroads of the West
  • 9,984 posts
Posted by Deggesty on Saturday, July 25, 2009 2:01 PM
wanswheel

Al, yes the U.S.A.

Henry, yes Burlington and Illinois Central.

Johnny, yes the Twin Zephyrs

Al, yes Union Pacific.

Mike, I knew that for many years both the Twin Zephyrs were the fastest scheduled trains in the  U. S. A. When looking at the timetable, I missed the East Dubuque stop--and noted just now that it took both the west-bound Zephyrs 39 minutes to cover the 55 miles from East Dubuque in 39  minutes, for an average speed of 85 mph. The east-bound Morning Zephyr was scheduled to take 41 minutes, for an average speed of 89.5 mph.

When I looked at the IC's schedules in northern Illinois (the only territory on the IC where such speed was allowed), I miscalculated, so declared that the IC was out. The southbound City of New Orleans was scheduled at 53 minutes for the 39 miles from Effingham to Centralia (this includes dwell time in Centralia), for an average speed of 82 mph.

I have not yet found anything on the UP, but there could have been some tightening of schedules by 1956.

Johnny

Johnny

  • Member since
    December, 2001
  • 8,156 posts
Posted by henry6 on Saturday, July 25, 2009 2:10 PM

Wasn't there daily speed races between Milwaukee and Chicago?  So...MLW and CNW have to be considered... 

RIDEWITHMEHENRY is the name for our almost monthly day of riding trains and transit in either the NYCity or Philadelphia areas including all commuter lines, Amtrak, subways, light rail and trolleys, bus and ferries when warranted. No fees, just let us know you want to join the ride and pay your fares. Ask to be on our email list or find us on FB as RIDEWITHMEHENRY (all caps) to get descriptions of each outing.

  • Member since
    August, 2005
  • From: At the Crossroads of the West
  • 9,984 posts
Posted by Deggesty on Saturday, July 25, 2009 3:06 PM

henry6

Wasn't there daily speed races between Milwaukee and Chicago?  So...MLW and CNW have to be considered... 

Yes, Henry, the Milwaukee and Northwestern vied for traffic between Chicago and Milwaukee--but their best schedules did not top even seventy mph.

Johnny

Johnny

  • Member since
    November, 2005
  • 4,191 posts
Posted by wanswheel on Saturday, July 25, 2009 10:13 PM

Johnny, yes The City of New Orleans. Incidentally thanks for mentioning East Dubuque because, for this question, a "run" needs to be defined as the distance between two stops. Which puts El Cap at a disadvantage. Even if it did exceed 80 MPH for more than 50 mileposts, it's average speed on a 152.5-mile run was 78.1 MPH.

Heny, I guess you're right about trick question.

  • Member since
    June, 2002
  • 14,596 posts
Posted by daveklepper on Sunday, July 26, 2009 10:13 AM

The public timetables and the Official Guide are not the only answers.   There are also employees timetables which show time past control points as scheduled .  I am certain that if one has a PRR emloyees timetable for the NY - Washington corredor, there are more than five trains on that corredor that will show more than 80 mlph running between Wilmington and Baltimore and between Baltimore and Washington, but not necessarily at the stations, just control point.   IN 1956 the fastest trains on the route were the Morning and Afternoon Congressionals, which made the NY - Washington run, 225 miles, in 215 minutes inlcuding stops at Newark, Philadelphia 30th Street, Wilmington, Baltimore, and Washington.   Next in line were the Senator, the East Cosat Champion, and the Silver Meteor, which I think were scheduled for 225 minutes with the added stop at Trenton.

 

Someone should check on this who has access to the employees timetables.

  • Member since
    December, 2001
  • 8,156 posts
Posted by henry6 on Sunday, July 26, 2009 10:44 AM

Ninety and even 100 plus were regular fare back then on what we call the Corridor.  But even with control points, or interlockings, etc., were taken into consideration, you'd find the distances less than 50 miles in each instance.

RIDEWITHMEHENRY is the name for our almost monthly day of riding trains and transit in either the NYCity or Philadelphia areas including all commuter lines, Amtrak, subways, light rail and trolleys, bus and ferries when warranted. No fees, just let us know you want to join the ride and pay your fares. Ask to be on our email list or find us on FB as RIDEWITHMEHENRY (all caps) to get descriptions of each outing.

  • Member since
    December, 2001
  • 8,156 posts
Posted by henry6 on Sunday, July 26, 2009 12:28 PM
I see the Seboard had a 197 mile stretch from Raliegh to Hamlet that averaged 77.9 mph for a couple of trains in 6/58 guide, so it is possible for 50 miles stretches of 80 in there someplace. ACL also had a few long stretches of 100+ running which could not be found in public timetables, at least not the guide.  I am trying to figure out the GTW between Durand and Chicago, too, but also the guide hinders pinpointing mileages.

RIDEWITHMEHENRY is the name for our almost monthly day of riding trains and transit in either the NYCity or Philadelphia areas including all commuter lines, Amtrak, subways, light rail and trolleys, bus and ferries when warranted. No fees, just let us know you want to join the ride and pay your fares. Ask to be on our email list or find us on FB as RIDEWITHMEHENRY (all caps) to get descriptions of each outing.

  • Member since
    November, 2005
  • 4,191 posts
Posted by wanswheel on Sunday, July 26, 2009 11:08 PM

Fastest N.E. Corridor run was the Aerotrain at 78 MPH from Newark to Trenton. The Broadway Limited and the Afternoon Congressional were relatively pokey at 70.1 MPH from Newark to North Philadelphia. The Broadway picked it up a tiny bit to 70.5 MPH from Paoli to Harrisburgh, which was the fastest scheduled run of an electric train in 1956. The crowded tie for second-fastest at 70.1 includes the northbound Afternoon Congressional and the New York Express from North Philadelphia to Newark, and the Theater Special from Michigan City Shops to New Carlisle.

I asked for 5 trains but actually there are still 4 more trains that would be correct answers to this question, long-distance through trains that did their fastest station-to-station runs in Illinois or Wisconsin (2) or Nebraska.

Mike

  • Member since
    August, 2005
  • From: At the Crossroads of the West
  • 9,984 posts
Posted by Deggesty on Tuesday, July 28, 2009 12:56 PM

wanswheel
I asked for 5 trains but actually there are still 4 more trains that would be correct answers to this question, long-distance through trains that did their fastest station-to-station runs in Illinois or Wisconsin (2) or Nebraska.

Having at last found the courage to delve into my timetable collection, I have found two more Burlington trains that whizzed down the track--the westbound Empire Builder and the eastbound Afternoon Zephyr also covered the 55 miles between East Dubuque and Prairie du Chien in 41 minutes.

A note to all--do not expect a railroad that has no ABS or ATC (such as SAL) to have scheduled a train to run faster than 79 mph between two stations, much less average 80 or better from start to stop. The ICC would have descended on such a schedule like a ton of bricks.

Johnny

Johnny

  • Member since
    November, 2005
  • 4,191 posts
Posted by wanswheel on Tuesday, July 28, 2009 5:57 PM

Johnny, yes the Empire Builder and, since they account for 8 of the 9 fastest runs, the Afternoon Zephyr is perfectly fine. Your turn. Here's the list of "Fastest Scheduled Train Runs in the United States" based on 1956 timetables, from the 1957 World Almanac and Book of Facts, which cites Trains Magazine and the American Association of Railroads as the source.

84.4 MPH - Twin Zephyrs - Prairie du Chein to La Crosse - 57.7 miles

82.2 MPH - Twin Zephyrs - La Crosse to Prairie du Chein

82.2 MPH - Empire Builder - Prairie du Chein to La Crosse

81.9 MPH - Twin Zephyrs - East Dubuque to Prairie du Chein - 54.6 miles

81.9 MPH - Twin Zephyrs - Prairie du Chein to East Dubuque

81.8 MPH - City of Miami - Centrailia to Effingham - 53.2 miles

81.8 MPH - City of New Orleans - Effingham to Centrailia

81.2 MPH - Golden Gates - Wasco to Corcoran - 37.9 miles

81.2 MPH - Golden Gates - Corcoran to Wasco

81.1 MPH - City of Miami - Champaign to Mattoon - 44.6 miles

81.1 MPH - City of New Orleans - Champaign to Mattoon

81.1 MPH - Panama Limited - Champaign to Mattoon

80.8 MPH - Afternoon Hiawatha - New Lisbon to Portage - 43.1 miles

80.7 MPH - Challenger - Grande Island to North Platte - 137.2 miles

80.5 MPH - North Coast Limited - Prairie du Chein to La Crosse

79.2 MPH - City of Denver - North Platte to Kearney - 95 miles

79.1 MPH - AT&SF Number 3 - Gallup to Holbrooke - 94.9 miles

79.1 MPH - Grand Canyon north section - Gallup to Holbrooke

78.9 MPH - Chief - La Junta to Lamar - 52.6 miles

78.5 MPH - City of Los Angeles - Grande Island to North Platte

78.5 MPH - City of San Francisco - Grande Island to North Platte

78.5 MPH - Challenger - Grande Island to North Platte (after 4/29/56)

78.4 MPH - Afternoon Hiawatha - Portage to New Lisbon - 59.8 miles

78.3 MPH - three 400s - Kenosha to Waukeegan - 15.66 miles

78.3 MPH - Morning Hiawatha - Sparta to Portage - 78.3 miles

78.1 MPH - El Capitan - La Junta to Garden City - 152.5 miles

78.0 MPH - Aerotrain - Newark to Trenton - 48.1 miles

78.0 MPH - Afternoon Hiawatha - La Crosse to New Lisbon - 59.8 miles

77.8 MPH - Cleveland-Cincinnati Special - Mattoon to Paris - 37.6 miles

77.6 MPH - Rocky Mountain Rocket - Bureau to Moline - 64.7 miles

77.5 MPH - City of Denver - Fremont to Columbus - 45.2 miles

77.3 MPH - Commodore Vanderbilt - Gary to South Bend - 59.3 miles

77.2 MPH - Olympian Hiawatha - Portage to La Crosse - 102.9 miles

77.0 MPH - Denver Zephyr - Galesburg to Aurora - 124.5 miles

76.9 MPH - Nebraska Zephyr - Aurora to Mendota - 44.9 miles

76.9 MPH - American Royal Zephyr - Aurora to Mendota

76.9 MPH - Grand Canyon north section - Gallup to Holbrook

76.8 MPH - Chief - Lamar to Garden City - 99.9 miles

76.7 MPH - Denver Zephyr - Chicago to Galesburg - 162.2 miles

76.6 MPH - City of Miami - Mattoon to Effingham - 26.8 miles

76.6 MPH - City of New Orleans - Mattoon to Effingham

76.6 MPH - Panama Limited - Mattoon to Effingham

76.6 MPH - San Francisco Chief - Hanford to Wasco - 54.9 miles

76.3 MPH - NYC Number 741 - South Bend to La Porte - 26.7 miles

76.2 MPH - Empire Builder - East Dubuque to Prairie du Chein

76.2 MPH - North Coast Limited - East Dubuque to Prairie du Chein

76.1 MPH - Afternoon Hiawatha - Portage to Watertown - 46.9 miles

  • Member since
    August, 2005
  • From: At the Crossroads of the West
  • 9,984 posts
Posted by Deggesty on Tuesday, July 28, 2009 6:37 PM

wanswheel
Johnny, yes the Empire Builder and, since they account for 8 of the 9 fastest runs of 1956, the Afternoon Zephyr is perfectly fine. Your turn.

OK, here is one that may have to be researched.

In the late thirties and early forties, the C&O had a unique name for the coaches operated on the George Washington, F.F.V, and Sportsman. What was it? Also, what was different about these  cars? At the same time, the Pere Marquette had a similar name for the coaches operated on the day trains between Chicago and Grand Rapids. And, another railroad operated similar coaches on at least one train, though it simply called them "reclining seat coaches."

The fastest mile I ever timed on track with only ABS was one mile in 35 seconds--on IC #4 between Crystal Springs and Jackson, Miss. Three coaches, one baggage, one RPO, and two E8's or E9's.

Johnny

Johnny

  • Member since
    November, 2005
  • 4,191 posts
Posted by wanswheel on Wednesday, July 29, 2009 6:08 AM

Imperial Salons? They had "2 and 1 seating" for 45 passengers, arranged as 13 double seats across the aisle from 13 single seats, plus 1 double seat at the front of the car facing backwards, and 2 probably somewhat narrower double seats at the back of the car, I think.

http://www.cohs.org/repository/Archives/cohs/web/cohs-7456.jpg

http://books.google.com/books?id=VmZmOS5rm5MC&pg=PA159

  • Member since
    August, 2005
  • From: At the Crossroads of the West
  • 9,984 posts
Posted by Deggesty on Wednesday, July 29, 2009 10:25 AM
wanswheel

Imperial Salons? They had "2 and 1 seating" for 45 passengers, arranged as 13 double seats across the aisle from 13 single seats, plus 1 double seat at the front of the car facing backwards, and 2 probably somewhat narrower double seats at the back of the car, I think.

http://www.cohs.org/repository/Archives/cohs/web/cohs-7456.jpg

http://books.google.com/books?id=VmZmOS5rm5MC&pg=PA159

Yes, Mike, you have the name that the C&O used, and the seating arrangement. I had never seen a description of the exact arrangement, though I have seen  one or two pictures in C&O timetables of the period. Also, from one of the pictures, the single seats could be rotated so that two passengers could converse. 

Now, what did the PM call its coaches (probably of the same type, since the name is similar)? What other road used similar coaches (I have been in one, but I did not note the number of seats nor the arrangement at the ends of the car)?

Johnny

Johnny

  • Member since
    November, 2005
  • 4,191 posts
Posted by wanswheel on Thursday, July 30, 2009 6:02 AM

Johnny, the Pere Marquette Historical Society car roster calls it Imperial Salon lounge coach.  It had a smoking section with 8 double seats facing the windows.

Pennsylvania Railroad? 

http://prr.railfan.net/diagrams/PRRdiagrams.html?diag=P70_deluxe_1702_fp-E95156B.gif&sel=coa&sz=sm&fr=

  • Member since
    August, 2005
  • From: At the Crossroads of the West
  • 9,984 posts
Posted by Deggesty on Thursday, July 30, 2009 11:25 AM
wanswheel

Johnny, the Pere Marquette Historical Society car roster calls it Imperial Salon lounge coach.  It had a smoking section with 8 double seats facing the windows.

Pennsylvania Railroad? 

http://prr.railfan.net/diagrams/PRRdiagrams.html?diag=P70_deluxe_1702_fp-E95156B.gif&sel=coa&sz=sm&fr=

Mike, you have information I don't have. I was going by the PM representation in the October, 1944, Guide, which simply called the cars "salon cars." I also, just now, looked in the November, 1939, issue--and it calls the Chicago-Grand Rapids cars on the day trains "Imperial Salon cars," and it showed the same cars on the passenger trains between Detroit and Grand Rapids.

Here are some links for Imperial Salon cars

http://wilkinsontrains.com/traindisp.cfm?train_id=340

http://rr-fallenflags.org/steamtown/co-c725r.jpg

As to a third road, the only one I knew of was the L&N. The Heart of Dixie club had in its museum in Birmingham (the museum is in Calera, now) an L&N coach with the same type of seats. This may have been operated on the Pan American. It does look as though the PRR operated the same.

What question do you have for us now?

Johnny

 

Johnny

  • Member since
    November, 2005
  • 4,191 posts
Posted by wanswheel on Friday, July 31, 2009 6:26 AM

What classic train got stuck in the snow for 3 days in January 1952?

Mike

  • Member since
    July, 2006
  • 2,535 posts
Posted by KCSfan on Friday, July 31, 2009 7:19 AM

City of San Francisco  at or near Donner Pass.

Mark

  • Member since
    August, 2005
  • From: At the Crossroads of the West
  • 9,984 posts
Posted by Deggesty on Friday, July 31, 2009 3:05 PM

Yes, and the Gold Coast, which came up the Hill at the same time, made it on through. Sadly, some passengers on the plebian train thought that the extra-fare train was more likely to make it through the snow, and transferred to the City--so they were late reaching their destinations.

The same issue of Trains which had the account of this stranding also had an account of an NP train that was stranded many years earlier. The passengers on this train fared better, as there was wood available to be used to keep the fires burning, and there was also meat on the hoof outside, which could be shot.

Johnny

Johnny

  • Member since
    November, 2005
  • 4,191 posts
Posted by wanswheel on Friday, July 31, 2009 3:56 PM
  • Member since
    July, 2006
  • 2,535 posts
Posted by KCSfan on Friday, July 31, 2009 5:15 PM

New question. What was Miller Train Control and what railroad pioneered its use? What other railroad had some locomotives equipped with Miller Train Control so they could run on the preceding road?

Mark

SUBSCRIBER & MEMBER LOGIN

Login, or register today to interact in our online community, comment on articles, receive our newsletter, manage your account online and more!

FREE NEWSLETTER SIGNUP

Get the Classic Trains twice-monthly newsletter