Chicago and Western Indiana commuter service.

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Chicago and Western Indiana commuter service.
Posted by NP Eddie on Sunday, April 08, 2012 3:15 PM

I am looking for information on the CWI passenger service. A 1936 "Official Guide" stated that they ran from Dearborn to Dolton (approximately 17 miles).

A "Trains" magazine said that they used their switch engines and their own coaches. I assume the switch engines has steam generators. Were the cars fairly old and when did the CWI discontinue this commuter service.

 

Thank you,

 

Ed Burns of Anoka, MN

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Posted by CSSHEGEWISCH on Monday, April 09, 2012 10:03 AM

The service in the diesel era was operated with s/g equipped RS1's and ex-Erie Stillwell coaches.  The last runs were sometime in 1964.

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 NP Eddie on Monday, April 09, 2012 8:56 PM

Thanks for the info. I need to ask what were Erie Stillwell coaches? I suspect they were very old and used for NJ commuter service--non reclining seats and maybe walk over seats?

Ed Burns

cell is 763-234-9306 central time.

I drive a school bus so any time after 430PM is best.

 

I am an ATCS host in Anoka, MN

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Posted by rrboomer on Tuesday, April 10, 2012 12:07 AM

IIRC the last run was in Aug or Sept 1964.  Ran between Dearborn Station and 130th Street.

Dick Haave

 

 

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Posted by daveklepper on Tuesday, April 10, 2012 8:17 AM

The coaches may not have been ex-Erie but bought new as an add-on to one of the many Erie orders for these cars.  Stillwell was a talented railcar designer who worked with Gibbs on the original steel M42 LIRR steel mu's and the almost identacle IRT original steel subway cars.  Gibbs also designed the classic P-70.  His idea was to abandon the wood car system of a strong flatcar with a wood house atop it, and use the sides of the car below the belt rail as girders, sort of a gondola car with a top and window posts and vestibules added.   Stillwell went beyond this concept in the interest of additional saving of weight, sort of the original lighweight car dsign, with the entire side as a truss, and even the roof, a sort of cross half-way between an arch-roof and a classic deck or cleristory or railroad roof and to the overal strenth of the car.  The first cars he designed on his own were the original Hudson and Manhattan cars, which were light enough to be in test service on the 2nd Avnue Elevated in New York before the Hudson Tube opened.  Then he designed the Erie Stillwells, and even before WWII, the Erie had replaced all its old open-platform wood cars with Stillwells.   All his designs featured artistic windows, often with arched upper sashes.   In addition to possibly 200 commuter Stillwells, the Erie had about 20 equipped for long-dfistance service eventually with reclining seats and axle-driven generators for lighting.   The commuter cars all relied on steam locomotive head-end power generators for lighting, since frequent starts and stops prevented axle-driven genertators from doing the job in suburban service.   I think some of the long distance Stillwells even got reclining seats and air-conditioning.   He then designed the London and Port Stanly interurban cars, the New York Westchster and Boston suburban mu's, which wound up replacing the last of the wood New Haven suburban cars on the Old Colony out of Boston, and the hundreds of BMT subway steels, the A, b, BT, and BX cars, the 2000's and the 4000 trailers, which were the standard BMT subway car with a life span of 1915-1967, collectively known as B-types or steels.  These cars were built to the same dimensions of the Boston Cambrdige line cars of 1912, but at about 75% of the weight.   They operated on former elevated structures, like the current J-line structure east of Broadway-Eat-New-York station without problems.  He was in my opinion possibly the USA's most brilliant passenger car designer.   Count me as a Stillwell fan.  

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Posted by CSSHEGEWISCH on Wednesday, April 18, 2012 10:04 AM

rrboomer

IIRC the last run was in Aug or Sept 1964.  Ran between Dearborn Station and 130th Street.

Based on some youthful memories of coaches laying over on a weekend, the south terminus was near Lincoln Avenue in Dolton, just north of Dolton Junction.  130th Street is well within the Chicago city limits.

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 narig01 on Wednesday, April 18, 2012 12:28 PM

One of the things I remember reading about the Erie Stillwell coaches was that they could be converted from locomotive hauled to EMU.

Rgds IGN

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Posted by daveklepper on Thursday, April 19, 2012 4:23 AM

That is correct, but none were ever converted.   The New York Westechester and Boston cars were very similar in design, but with center doors included, wihtout steps, designed for high-level loading, with only the end doors having traps.  The stations adjacent to the New Haven at New Rochell, Larchmont, Mamaronek, Harrison, Rye, and Portchester did not have high-level platforms if I am correct.  The side door were filled in and seats installed when the cars migrated, with motors and other electrical equpment removed, to replace the last of the New Haven wood cars in Old Coloney commuter service.

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Posted by Buslist on Monday, January 23, 2017 10:51 AM

rrboomer

IIRC the last run was in Aug or Sept 1964.  Ran between Dearborn Station and 130th Street.

Dick Haave

 

 

 

yup Aug I'd have to go look up the date. I was on it.

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Posted by Buslist on Monday, January 23, 2017 10:56 AM

daveklepper

The coaches may not have been ex-Erie but bought new as an add-on to one of the many Erie orders for these cars.  Stillwell was a talented railcar designer who worked with Gibbs on the original steel M42 LIRR steel mu's and the almost identacle IRT original steel subway cars.  Gibbs also designed the classic P-70.  His idea was to abandon the wood car system of a strong flatcar with a wood house atop it, and use the sides of the car below the belt rail as girders, sort of a gondola car with a top and window posts and vestibules added.   Stillwell went beyond this concept in the interest of additional saving of weight, sort of the original lighweight car dsign, with the entire side as a truss, and even the roof, a sort of cross half-way between an arch-roof and a classic deck or cleristory or railroad roof and to the overal strenth of the car.  The first cars he designed on his own were the original Hudson and Manhattan cars, which were light enough to be in test service on the 2nd Avnue Elevated in New York before the Hudson Tube opened.  Then he designed the Erie Stillwells, and even before WWII, the Erie had replaced all its old open-platform wood cars with Stillwells.   All his designs featured artistic windows, often with arched upper sashes.   In addition to possibly 200 commuter Stillwells, the Erie had about 20 equipped for long-dfistance service eventually with reclining seats and axle-driven generators for lighting.   The commuter cars all relied on steam locomotive head-end power generators for lighting, since frequent starts and stops prevented axle-driven genertators from doing the job in suburban service.   I think some of the long distance Stillwells even got reclining seats and air-conditioning.   He then designed the London and Port Stanly interurban cars, the New York Westchster and Boston suburban mu's, which wound up replacing the last of the wood New Haven suburban cars on the Old Colony out of Boston, and the hundreds of BMT subway steels, the A, b, BT, and BX cars, the 2000's and the 4000 trailers, which were the standard BMT subway car with a life span of 1915-1967, collectively known as B-types or steels.  These cars were built to the same dimensions of the Boston Cambrdige line cars of 1912, but at about 75% of the weight.   They operated on former elevated structures, like the current J-line structure east of Broadway-Eat-New-York station without problems.  He was in my opinion possibly the USA's most brilliant passenger car designer.   Count me as a Stillwell fan.  

 

 

the records I've seen show the CWI Stilwells as ex Erie. Of course the Erie, being a part owner of CWI would make some sense.

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Posted by rcdrye on Monday, January 23, 2017 12:52 PM

C&WI also had some ex-N&W,ex-PRR P54s and a couple of Harriman combines, probably ex-IC.  C&WI's own wooden open platform cars lasted until around 1940 or so. 

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Posted by Gramp on Monday, July 31, 2017 12:05 AM

My memory tells me that John Armstrong's, "Track Planning for Realistic Operation" (Kalmbach, 1966) has a photo of C&WI passenger cars being pulled through the 21st St crossing.

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Posted by rcdrye on Monday, July 31, 2017 6:53 AM

Gramp

My memory tells me that John Armstrong's, "Track Planning for Realistic Operation" (Kalmbach, 1966) has a photo of C&WI passenger cars being pulled through the 21st St crossing.

 

C&WI did terminal switching at Dearborn for Erie, Monon, C&EI and Wabash.  GTW sometimes used C&WI, sometimes its own switchers.  AT&SF was a tenant, and always provided its own switchers.  The train in Armstrong's book is a transfer cut of Pullmans and maybe some other cars headed for the 47th St. coach yard.  The C&WI commuter trains did operate there, with the same RS1 power, but had Erie-style Stillwell coaches.

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Posted by CSSHEGEWISCH on Monday, July 31, 2017 10:12 AM

Dearborn Station was part of CWI, so it's not surprising that they did the passenger switching for the owner roads.  Employee timetables showed the line to State Line to be the main line with the line to Dolton shown as the Dolton Branch.

The daily commute is part of everyday life but I get two rides a day out of it. Paul

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