Adding/deleting cars mid route in the 60s

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Adding/deleting cars mid route in the 60s
Posted by 081552 on Sunday, February 10, 2013 5:48 PM

In some of the 60s timetables I have, the RRs  added/deleted dinners and sleepers mid route as service was cutback . I saw this in EL timetables as well as NW adding/dropping a dinner in Monroe, VA.

Did they have a switcher just to add/delete one car?

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Posted by henry6 on Sunday, February 10, 2013 6:36 PM

This occurred not just in the 60's but always...car not needed overnight is dead weight or if it won't serve for hours, cut it off and turn it back on the next train.  Or some terminals may not have had supplies or service facilities or the car was sent off on a branch or waited for the next train because the timing was better for serving dinner or breakfast.  Lots of reasons: marketing, scheduling, servicing, etc.

RIDEWITHMEHENRY will plan and escort railfan rides in and around the NY Metropolitan and Philadephia areas: no mode of transportation is untouched. Guaranteed railfan fun!

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Posted by KCSfan on Monday, February 11, 2013 6:41 AM

081552

In some of the 60s timetables I have, the RRs  added/deleted dinners and sleepers mid route as service was cutback . I saw this in EL timetables as well as NW adding/dropping a dinner in Monroe, VA.

Did they have a switcher just to add/delete one car?

Normally a switcher would be used because this was most frequently done at a terminal or larger town where an engine and crew were available to set out or add such cars. However there were exceptions particularly in the case of sleepers which were set out or added enroute. These were usually run at the rear of the train so setting them out was simply a matter of uncoupling and pulling away or backing up and coupling on to the sleeper(s) which was to be picked up. This could easily be done by the through train crew at points where a switcher was not stationed.

In the case of the EL, the observation/lounge car of the Phoebe Snow ran only between Hoboken and Meadville, PA which was a division point. The switching in/out of this car at Meadville was done by a switch engine and crew.

Mark

 

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Posted by henry6 on Monday, February 11, 2013 8:35 AM

And the EL changed this out at Meadville so that the eastbound Phoebe Snow had the Tavern Lounge on the eastbound daylight portion of the run.  With only two such cars, they had to do it this way.  Dining car service was the same with overnight trains not needing dining cars after say 9 or 10 PM or before 6AM.  So they were turned quickly in an efficient manner to be used when passengers needed or wanted the service and save money by not dragging them around dead.

RIDEWITHMEHENRY will plan and escort railfan rides in and around the NY Metropolitan and Philadephia areas: no mode of transportation is untouched. Guaranteed railfan fun!

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Posted by CSSHEGEWISCH on Monday, February 11, 2013 10:10 AM

It could really get interesting when C&NW adjusted the consist of the "Bi-Level Peninsula 400" at Green Bay.  The train was equipped with HEP in 1958 and passengers in the through coaches sat in emergency lighting while the diner, lounge, parlor and short-haul coaches were removed or added.

Paul The commute to work may be part of the daily grind, but I get two train rides a day out of it.
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Posted by rcdrye on Monday, February 11, 2013 12:42 PM

And in northern climates cars that needed heat had to be hooked up to the "house steam" line, so a designated track or tracks with steam pipes had to be available.

Add/drop is still done every day at Albany/Renssalaer NY and Spokane WA.

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Posted by efftenxrfe on Monday, February 11, 2013 7:36 PM

Operating on Diverging-Approach signal, figuratively, picking-up or setting-out storage mail-and-express cars at Salinas and Santa Barb' from SP No 90 in the 60's was SOP. Salinas served Fort Ord and the Monterey  Bay area besides the immense perishable freight industry in the Valley. Santa Barbera was central to a bunch of the Coast and a hevean on earth  city.

At Salinas, the setout complete but the RPO was still being worked, the engineer, solidly in the San Francisco Passenger Extra List, a high seniority job,  said that there's a coffee (vending) machine in the depot.

I said that I'd buy, whatcha want?

He said that he wanted hot chocalate, but press the buttons for "extra cream" and "extra sugar" because that way you'll get more for the money.

Yes, he was a first generation citizen, his parents got off the boat with skin, clothes and determination. This one of their children was a very good engineer with a heritage of parsimony.

The train and engine crew made the S/O's and P/U's; no yard engines, goats, switchers, locals, patrols were involved. 

Quirkey, I'll translate for Maple leaf flag fliers, the greatest flag ever.

P/U's...pick-ups...C.: "lifts"

S/O's....set outs....C:.. "set offs"

 


 

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Posted by Deggesty on Tuesday, February 12, 2013 11:06 AM

The operation mentioned as taking place at Monroe, Va., would have been quite simple, though I expect it was done entirely by Southern crews, as the car came out of Washington on the Birmingham Special, was dropped off after dinner was served, and picked up by the southbound Peach Queen so that breakfast could be served. As was mentioned above, both moves could have been done by the road crews.

In a place such as Charlotte, N.C., a switch engine was kept quite busy in the morning, switching cars (headend and sleepers) for the Peach Queen, and again, at various times during the day, for other passenger trains. I do not know how the switching crew occupied their time between working passenger trains.

I also recall seeing, one time, a road engine used for a switching move in Charlotte, and I was told that the union agreement allowed for a road crew to makeone switching move without getting extra pay.

Towards the end of the day City of New Orleans, the diner was taken off the southbound train and put on the northbound train in Jackson, Miss., to save the cost of terminal charges in New Orleans. Obviously, it cost the IC less to switch the car in Jackson than to run it into New Orleans.

Usually, setouts and pickups were done in locations with a switch engine and crew on duty, but there were some such as those necessary when the Southern operated (according to the public timetable) a sleeper restaurant lounge on the Queen and Crescent between Cincinnati and Barnett, Miss. (sleeper passengers were carried to and from Meridian). Obviously, the actual exchange between southbound and northbound occurred at a point north of, or actually at the point where the two trains did meet, and the road crews did the work.

Johnny

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Posted by Deggesty on Tuesday, February 12, 2013 11:09 AM

rcdrye

And in northern climates cars that needed heat had to be hooked up to the "house steam" line, so a designated track or tracks with steam pipes had to be available.

Add/drop is still done every day at Albany/Renssalaer NY and Spokane WA.

And, three days a week in each direction at San Antonio.

Johnny

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Posted by wjstix on Thursday, February 21, 2013 12:19 PM

Normally any switching of cars into or out of a passenger train at a station would be done by a switcher if one is available. Because of the way the union contracts were set up, if the passenger train crew did any switching inside a yard or station area, they may have to be paid a full day's pay as a switching crew on top of their passenger train pay.

I know the Northen Pacific ran into that issue with the North Coast Limited, I think at some station in Montana where a car (don't recall if it was an RPO or diner or what) was cutoff or added. The station was inside the yard limit switching area. This meant the passenger crew would pull into the station and then had to basically twiddle their thumbs while a switcher came out from the yard and coupled onto the lead F unit and moved the engines and front part of the train around while they added or cut out the car. The passenger crew couldn't do anything until the train was back together and was getting set to go again.

Stix
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Posted by NP Eddie on Sunday, March 03, 2013 3:07 PM

I am an Northern Pacific vet. According to John F. Strauss, Jr.'s book "Northern Pacific Pictorial, Volume Five", the NP had two sleeping car lines, one that operated from Chicago to Billings, and the other one that operated from Seattle to Livingston. As both North Coast Limited's met between Billings and Livingston car utilization was a factor. I suspect that yard crews at both Billings and Livingston handled the moves. 

Additionally, the dining car and "Travelers Rest" (lunch counter lounge car) [plus their crews] made a St. Paul-Chicago-Seattle-St. Paul cycle. NP switch crews did the switching at the St. Paul Union Depot. After the CBQ or NP power (westbound or eastbound respectively).

One needs to remember that prior to Amtrak and the various crew agreements in the 1980's, there was a very restrictive working agreement between the various railroads and their operating brotherhoods.  As an example, the head brakeman coupled the air hose between the last diesel and the first car, but nothing else, as there was Carmen to handle that job.

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Posted by CSSHEGEWISCH on Monday, March 04, 2013 10:05 AM

Having witnessed the electric-to-diesel change at South Amboy in 1982, I observed two carmen breaking and making the air, signal and steam connections between the motive power and the train as the GG1 was cut off and replaced by a pair of E8A's.  No train crewman were directly involved in this process beyond the observation of the conductor.

Paul The commute to work may be part of the daily grind, but I get two train rides a day out of it.
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Posted by rcdrye on Monday, March 04, 2013 2:52 PM

The motive power change at New Haven was similar, but most if not all road crews also changed there.  The engine change continues there today for a couple of Springfield trains and the Vermonter, which swaps a diesel on each end for an electric on the front (and vice versa).  The engines are handled by carmen and hostlers, with the road crews watching politely.

In the days when B&M and NYH&H ran through trains through Springfield MA trains arriving from the north crossed the Boston and Albany and backed into Union Station.  Departing northbound (B&M) trains backed out before crossing the B&A. B&M road crews got a half day's pay for this maneuver, a condition that held into the late 1970s when Amtrak started supplying its own crews for the Montrealer.

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