B & O Passenger Timetable c. 1937

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B & O Passenger Timetable c. 1937

  • I saw a couple of B&O timetables on ebay for the period I'm interested in (1935-1940), but they were "compressed or condensed" tables.  It doesn't appear that I'll get my answers from such literature.

    Does anyone have a complete timetable for the Pittsburgh/WashingtonDC run that will answer these questions:

    1.  Did any passenger train traveling east from Pittsburgh stop at Confluence, Pennsylvania? If Confluence was not a scheduled stop, could a passenger expect the be let off there on request?

    2.  What were the names of the passenger trains eastbound from Pittsburgh and what were their arrival times in Confluence?

    Are there online sources for complete B&O passenger timetables from that era?


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  • Don't let the term "compressed and condensed" scare you...in terms of public timetables it means that it shows trains at station stops...usually "through" or "main line" trains.  Sometimes local or commuter trains might be shown but not all stops but you would look to a commuter or area timetable for complete details.  Also, I think sometimes it indicates to employees that it is not an official operating schedule but  that they should refer to employee timetables for all stations scheduling with and without stops, plus other locations, block stations, etc.  

    Ebay is a good place to look for public and employee timetables; check the ads in Trains and Classic Trains for dealers in memorabilia like timetables, books of rules, etc.; go to flea markets, train shows, etc. I didn't look at your inof Mile132, so I don't know where you live, etc.  But check for local railroad societies both model and historical, too, and ask around...

    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!

  • I'm in northern Michigan, not exactly a hotbed of railroad activity though we have one small line going through town.

    My interest in trains is just starting to develop, so I appreciate all of your suggestions.  If you have the time and inclination, possibly you can explain the difference between public and employee timetables. 

  • Official Guides will probably have the info you want; if no one else answers your questions I have Guides for 1935-1939. August 1937 is as good a date as any for you? If not, choose another year.

    Don't worry (yet) about differences between timetables.

  • Public timetables are published with the scheduled times trains are due at particular stations, showing connections, accommodations, fares, and other information the public may want or need.  Old form employee timetables showed the schedules of passenger trains, dead head trains, second and third class trains, with employee stops, times by offices, towers, block stations, etc. of no importance or interest to the public; plus the timetables gave further information as to speed limits, grade crossings, rules in effect, special instructions, and so on.  Today's emp[oyee  timetables have instructions but not schedules, more often like an extension of the books of rules.  There are Employee Schedules today which have the non public information but not the instructions as yesterday...

    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!

  • Tim, I'm curious to learn about these Official Guides.  August 1937 would be a perfect date, as a matter of fact.  Whatever you can offer will be appreciated.  Pittsburgh to Confluence is my primary interest at the moment. 

    I don't know if lines other than B&O made that run or not.  There might have been locals operating out of the Mon Valley who made more frequent runs and passenger stops at Ohiopyle, Indian Creek, and several other smaller settlements along the Youghiogheny River.

    I know the B&O tracks ran through Confluence, but I don't know it that line actually made passenger stops. One owner of the compressed timetable said Confluence was not listed, but I don't know if that person was looking in the correct part of the timetable. 

    Thanks for your assistance.  I hope you all will excuse my ignorance about correct terminology

  • The Official Guide was a monthly that tried to show all passenger train schedules in the country-- in the 1930s it would be a bit more than two inches thick. I'll look, but I assume in 1937 there was at least one train from Pittsburgh that made at least a conditional stop at Confluence. (Might take me a couple days, tho.)

  • The March 1937 Official Guide shows four eastbound and four westbound trains making scheduled stops at Confluence. One was the Connelsville - Cumberland all stops local. The other three eastbounds were all from Pittsburgh or points west of there.

    #8 The Ft. Pitt Limited (Chi-NY) stopped at 11:32 am.

    #16 The Blue Ridge Limited (Chi-Balt) stopped at 2:58 pm.

    #18 The William Penn (Pitt-Wash) stopped at 2:23 am.

    In addition to the mainline trains there was a mixed train that ran on the branch between Confluence and Kendall.



  • In April 1937 the Fort Pitt quit stopping at Confluence.

    The August Guide (sched dated 25 April) shows eight trains eastward thru Confluence, five of which don't stop. The William Penn (Pittsb-Baltimore via Washington) had a flag stop at 0223; it left Pittsburgh B&O station at 0010. The Blue Ridge Ltd (Chicago-Baltimore via Washington) left the Pittsburgh P&LE station at 1145 and stopped Confluence 1358. All these times are EST.

    Then the Connellsville-Cumberland local that stopped at 1421.

    If you want more info feel free to ask, and don't bother apologizing for not knowing it already. If we think the question's too stupid we can ignore it.

  • KCS and Tim,

    Thanks for that useful information.  I've got to look into getting one of those Guides.

    Is there any  chance that someone alive today knows what locomotives the B&O was using at that time on those runs?.  It would be especially useful to know about the Blue Ridge Ltd.  I seem to recall reading that the B&O was among the earliest to go over  to diesel.  Is it likely that steam was still being used on that Pgh-Balt run in 1937?

    Was the Connellsvile-Cumberland local also a B&O train?  What power was likely used there?

  • B&O got their first road diesels fairly early all right, which means 1937ish. By the end of 1937 they had several diesel passenger engines-- maybe none at the beginning of 1937. Safe bet the local was steam powered.

    Far as we know all the trains we mentioned were B&O.

  • Is it likely that the B&O Museum in Baltimore would have specific knowledge about the diesel/steam question on specific lines and trains going that far back (1937)?  Or were records never kept?

  • We assume no one has records showing which trains had which engines between which points on a given day in 1937-- but we're no experts.

    It seems the EAs and EBs started arriving in mid-1937; B&O ended up with 12 units, say six locomotives initially. Aside from that earlier prototype unit (which was on the Alton then?) we assume B&O had no other road diesel locomotives in 1937-38.

  • After my last post I searched "Blue Ridge Limited B&O" and found an interesting Wiki article.  Don't know if it's factual or not, but take a look.  It claims the Blue Ridge ran with steam until well after WWII.  Thanks for helping me fill in the history on this run.

    Incidentally, are the CD versions of the Official Guide worth owning if one is interested mainly in the content and not antique value of an original copy?  I see numerous ones listed  on ebag for as low as $12.  Who's the best supplier for this sort of thing?. 

  • Mile132

    Incidentally, are the CD versions of the Official Guide worth owning if one is interested mainly in the content and not antique value of an original copy?  I see numerous ones listed  on ebag for as low as $12.  Who's the best supplier for this sort of thing?.

    I own a number of CD versions of the Official Guides for different years and highly recommend them. The hard copies of the OG's are bulky and the older ones are often in pretty rough shape. The CD's are easy to store and I find the ability to increase the magnification very useful particularly when looking for locations on the maps of the different RR's.

    I buy my CD's from Don Hensley who is a reputable supplier and does a good job of scanning to create his CD's. You can view his offerings at www.taplines.net. Scroll down a ways on the far right side of the screen and click on "e-bay". Single month/year CD's are priced at $12 which is an excellent bargain in my opinion.

    By the way I'd like to welcome you to the CT forum and hope to hear from you often in the future. As you've probably already surmised there's a wealth of information that can be learned from the forum and the many participants are glad to share their knowledge of a particular subject with one another.