Train Routes/Prices West Coast (Seattle) to Chicago

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Posted by Deggesty on Tuesday, August 15, 2017 8:05 PM

wjstix

 

 
Foolster41

So, trains with a door (Usually with a window) into a hallway with two facing benches wasn't a thing in US trains? That's what I was picturing. That might be more a european train thing maybe. 

 

 

Yup, very European / British.

 

 
Foolster41


A berth room would work just as well. I wanted somewhere they knew they could get privacy (because of the transformation). Having a room that they'd possibly have to share with someone else wouldn't really work, so mabye they'd have to get both beds.

 

 

Berths aren't rooms. They're open sections. The only divider is when the seats are made up into beds, there'd be a curtain that could be pulled across for privacy. In old movies, that made for lots of wacky hi-jinks. Guy A goes down to the men's room to brush his teeth, miscalculates where he is on way back and climbs into bed with a strange woman just as her husband shows up etc.

This pic shows a Pullman Porter making up the beds on the left; the sections on the right are still in daytime mode.

http://www.railswest.com/images/pullmanportermkgbednyc.jpg

 

 

 

I have long understood that the beds in a private room are properly called "berths." All of the berths in the compartments in the heavyweight cars (the first lightweight cars were built in the thirties and were used primarily on the eastern road) were exactly like the berths in the open sections, and two of the berths in a drawing room were also like the section berths.

The berths (or beds) in the single bedrooms were like the sofas in the drawing rooms, except that they were transverse to the side of the car, and the lower berths in the double bedrooms were also like that. The upper berths in the double bedrooms was also transverse to the side of the car.

I may be mistaken, but I believe that the only tw0-berth private rooms in use on the trains to Seattle at the time of the story were compartments--and the cars were heavyweight.

 

Johnny

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Posted by rcdrye on Wednesday, August 16, 2017 8:59 AM

The most common heavyweight Pullman in the 1920s was the 12 section 1 drawing room car  (12-1).  Some of the higher-end trains were equipped with a few 10 section, 2 compartment, 1 Drawing room cars (10-2-1 in Pullman-speak).  All room Pullmans, or even Pullmans with more than the three private rooms in a 10-2-1 were just about unheard of even on the plushest trains in the 1920s. 12-1 cars outnumbered 10-2-1 cars by about a ten to one margin.

All of the private rooms were on one side of the car.  By preference they were usually set up so the rooms were on the right in the direction of travel on railroads with double track sections, but they could run either way.

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Posted by daveklepper on Wednesday, August 16, 2017 9:56 AM

If I recall, on the 20th Century, the private rooms were on the left, westbound, and on the right, eastbound, to optimize occupants' views of the Hudson.  I think this was true both before and after 1938's intorduction of lightweight equipment.

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Posted by Deggesty on Wednesday, August 16, 2017 11:38 AM

After a little more research, I believe that it may have possible for the two to have traveled in a double bedroom from Seattle to Chicago, as Pullman was rebuilding cars to include double bedrooms about 1933. I do not have a Guide for 1934, but the November, 1937 issue that I have shows that the GN, NP, and Milwaukee all had at least one car with double bedrooms on their Seattle-Chiago trains. As I noted in an earlier post each of these bedrooms (five double bedrooms and eight sections in each car) had a seat, that was transverse to the side of the car, which became the lower berth and the upper berth was above it. There was also a washbasin and a toilet in each room.

Each train also had a car with ten sections, two compartments, and a drawing room.

Johnny

RME
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Posted by RME on Wednesday, August 16, 2017 11:49 AM

daveklepper
If I recall, on the 20th Century, the private rooms were on the left, westbound, and on the right, eastbound, to optimize occupants' views of the Hudson.

That would be correct, if Hungerford and "Flight of the Century" are accurate on the subject.  Not sure if consists on other Great Steel Fleet trains were turned for the 'view'.

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Posted by timz on Wednesday, August 16, 2017 12:29 PM

Wonder how many trains got wyed in Chicago-- and where. Why don't we see pics of that?

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Posted by rcdrye on Wednesday, August 16, 2017 6:14 PM

timz

Wonder how many trains got wyed in Chicago-- and where. Why don't we see pics of that?

 

Well, let's see... AT&SF looped at 22nd and Archer, CB&Q,PRR, Alton south approach Union Station, CMStP&P Pacific Jct (Tower A5), NYC 39th St CR&I wye (also used by CRI&P And NKP).  All roads serving Dearborn at 49th St.  B&OCT (PM, CGW, Soo) at 14th and Ogden, IC (Big Four, MC) looped at 27th St.  C&NW had a couple of wyes, with Western Avenue used as long as trains needed to be turned.

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Posted by BaltACD on Wednesday, August 16, 2017 6:34 PM

timz
Wonder how many trains got wyed in Chicago-- and where. Why don't we see pics of that?

I would venture most all trains that originated and terminated in Chicago got turned, however, they got turned by Yard Crews in the process of dissembling the inbound train and assembling the outbound train.  In some cases the Yard Crew would move the inbound train to the Coach Yard and the Outbound train to the station.  In other cases the Inbound Road Crew would move the train to the Coach Yard and the Outbound Crew would move the train from the Coach Yard to the station and at the scheduled departure time take the train toward destination.

I suspect we don't see many pictures of these operations because most photogs of the time dismissed 'yard moves' as beneath their 'artistic integrety' and never took pictures of these moves.

Never too old to have a happy childhood!

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Posted by wjstix on Saturday, September 02, 2017 12:37 PM

Re "berths" I mixed up terms, sorry. Berths are indeed beds; a typical "section" had two berths, upper and lower. Most travellers paying for a berth would have been in an open section.

For example, according to my old Walthers "Passenger Car Plans" book, the heavyweight GN Empire Builder would typically have as it's full sleeping cars a 16-section "tourist" sleeper, a 14-section sleeper, a "12-and-1" (12 open sections, one drawing room), and an 8-1-2 (8 sections, 1 drawing room, 2 compartments) sleeper. So for these four you'd have 50 open sections, each with two berths, so 100 total; then two drawing rooms and two compartments. (I believe the Solarium Observation car would add several compartments and or drawing rooms.)

The Summer 2017 Mainstreeter (Northern Pacific Hist. Soc. magazine) has an article by Mike Martin called "MacFarlane's Gamble", referring to the risk NP took by spending a lot of money to upgrade the post-war North Coast Limited to a streamliner. A couple of interesting points:

"(T)he Great Northern and the Milwaukee Road competed with the Northern Pacific for the Chicago - Twin Cities - Seattle passenger market." "Because rates were tightly regulated by the Interstate Commerce Commission, all fares were about equal...and by gentleman's agreement, all three competitors operated on an admittedly slow 45-hour schedule between St.Paul and Seattle."

"All three railroads had a flagship train plus a secondary mail train over their respective transcontinental routes." "All three operated their trains with generally heavyweight equipment and steam power."

He notes that after WW2, GN and the Milwaukee upgraded to a 39-1/2 hour schedule, that required the NP to decide if it wanted to upgrade and compete or not.

Found this cutaway of a 1920 Pullman car - note towards the middle the open sections on the far side are made up for sleeping, with curtains available for privacy for the berths - no walls.

http://www.railswest.com/images/CAR1920.jpg

Stix
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Posted by timz on Saturday, September 02, 2017 3:06 PM

wjstix
He notes that after WW2, GN and the Milwaukee upgraded to a 39-1/2 hour schedule

In the 1950s GN got down to... 42 hours? Chicago-Seattle. Don't think MILW ever matched that-- in 1952 NP reduced to 46-47 hours.

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Posted by Deggesty on Saturday, September 02, 2017 9:33 PM

wjstix

Re "berths" I mixed up terms, sorry. Berths are indeed beds; a typical "section" had two berths, upper and lower. Most travellers paying for a berth would have been in an open section.

For example, according to my old Walthers "Passenger Car Plans" book, the heavyweight GN Empire Builder would typically have as it's full sleeping cars a 16-section "tourist" sleeper, a 14-section sleeper, a "12-and-1" (12 open sections, one drawing room), and an 8-1-2 (8 sections, 1 drawing room, 2 compartments) sleeper. So for these four you'd have 50 open sections, each with two berths, so 100 total; then two drawing rooms and two compartments. (I believe the Solarium Observation car would add several compartments and or drawing rooms.)

The Summer 2017 Mainstreeter (Northern Pacific Hist. Soc. magazine) has an article by Mike Martin called "MacFarlane's Gamble", referring to the risk NP took by spending a lot of money to upgrade the post-war North Coast Limited to a streamliner. A couple of interesting points:

"(T)he Great Northern and the Milwaukee Road competed with the Northern Pacific for the Chicago - Twin Cities - Seattle passenger market." "Because rates were tightly regulated by the Interstate Commerce Commission, all fares were about equal...and by gentleman's agreement, all three competitors operated on an admittedly slow 45-hour schedule between St.Paul and Seattle."

"All three railroads had a flagship train plus a secondary mail train over their respective transcontinental routes." "All three operated their trains with generally heavyweight equipment and steam power."

He notes that after WW2, GN and the Milwaukee upgraded to a 39-1/2 hour schedule, that required the NP to decide if it wanted to upgrade and compete or not.

Found this cutaway of a 1920 Pullman car - note towards the middle the open sections on the far side are made up for sleeping, with curtains available for privacy for the berths - no walls.

http://www.railswest.com/images/CAR1920.jpg

 

Yes, if you paid for a berth, it would have been in an open section, whether it was an upper or a lower. Otherwise, you would ask for a compartment or a drawing room (if they were available).

There were a few cars that four private sections in each car--these sections were enclosed, and apparently had curtains-and each of these sections had its washroom right next to it. These were rebuilt from 16 section cars. These rebuilds had 8 open sections along with the private sections; each washroom occupied the space of a section.

Four were rebuilt for the Crescent Limited, and were renamed for famous Southerners. Sixteen more were rebuilt for other services, and were all renamed in the Dale series. (Plan 3412-H)

Another variation was 12 open section and 4 enclosed sections; these had two sections at each end that had walls and a sliding door to separate them the aisle. The passengers in thsee berths used the same washrooms that those in the open sections used. The berths were narrower than usual. I doubt that porters enjoyed making these berths down. (Plain 3412-J)

Incidentally, The first City of Portland had one car with enclosed sections.

Of course, uppers were not as convenient as lowers--so the cost of an ipper was lower because it was higher, and the cost of a lower was higher because it was lower.

(Jeff and Paul North, I could not resist the temptation to make that last remark.)

Johnny

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Posted by daveklepper on Saturday, September 02, 2017 9:48 PM

It was quite a trick to dress and undress in an upper berth!   The wise upper-berth traveler packed presentable pajamas and did the change in the lounge section of the men's restroom, which was large enough for the purpose with the sink located there, and the facility itself in a closet-like annex. It was also the location where one could smoke when the car was made up for day service and no smoking permitted in the open sections.

The last time I enjoyed the privilege of sleeping in an upper berth was one on the narrow gauge Newfie Bullet on a Kleibolt arranged excursion from Chicago around November 1967.  Used an upper going to St. Johns and a lower returning.  On the Ocean Limited both ways and on the International both ways, roomettes.  Parlor seats bettwen Toronto and Montreal.

Used lower berths going to and from summer camp as a youngster 1938 - 1943.  1944 and 1945 wartime restrictions made coach travel mandatory.  1948 again a lower berth going.  Business travel usually meant roomettes, but did use the New Haven's dollar-saver-sleeper lower berths on occasion between Boston and New York, including the first leg of my first trip to Israel in March 1960   (Air France 707 to Paris, rail to Rome, El Al Brittania to Lod Airport.)

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Posted by Miningman on Saturday, September 02, 2017 11:11 PM

Dave- Q? How on earth do you recall all of this in such detail? It's amazing really. I took many rail trips but going back that far it's all a blur...there are certain snippets I remember of course ..same with your outstanding detailed recollection of streetcar routes throughout the land. One lucky fella I tell you!

Only time I ever had an upper was in 2004 on the Empire State Express and the track was so rough East of Cleveland that I was almost thrown out and was hanging on like crazy several times, all that in the middle of the night. That's about all I recall abd that wasn't that long ago!

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