Less is more? Successful Streamliner made by rebuilt equipment.

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Less is more? Successful Streamliner made by rebuilt equipment.
Posted by Jones1945 on Friday, August 17, 2018 11:26 AM
Hello all, I am currently reviewing the History of C&O's Dreamliner - The Chessie, one of the most ambitious plans of the States orchestrated by C&O’s leader Mr. Robert R. Young's. It was not only ambitious and also extreme expensive. Tons of money ($6.1million for the consists, $1.6 million for the 3 Turbine engine); time and effort thrown and put into this project but turn out it became one of the biggest flops ever in America railroad industries due to leak of marketing research and insufficient demand, restless investments like riskily introduced the technically unmatured Steam turbine engine from Baldwin etc.
 
C&O’s rival B&O used another approach to face the challenge. Instead of burning money for new cars and equipment, B&O rebuilt a 5-car consist - The Cincinnatian, in their Mount Clare Shops with older heavy weight cars. even though the Cincinnatian didn’t have a chance to competitive with the proposed Chessis, the train was proved to be a successful one after it changed the route from Baltimore to Cincinnati on June 25, 1950. This example kind of proved that rebuilt cars and sleeper can provide the same level of comfort and services quality as brand new post war lightweight car.
 
More examples like B&O’s Royal Blue, NYC’s Mercury (pre 1948), N&W’s Pocahontas (pre 1946) and PRR’s Trail Blazer (pre 1948), many of them were renowned for their excellence services and were loved by the patrons before they received upgraded new train cars in late 50s. Due to many reasons, postwar new lightweight car didn’t stop the decline of ridership for all fallen flags.

This is just a sharing post, please feel free to share your thought! CoffeeSmile, Wink & Grin

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Posted by BaltACD on Friday, August 17, 2018 11:59 AM

Post War - the railroads acted upon their pre-War understanding of the transportation marketplace without taking into consideration the technological advancements of the War and their meanings towards personal transportation.  The rise of the automobile and the affordable airliner, both of which trumped the pre-war thoughts.

         

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Posted by Enzoamps on Friday, August 17, 2018 7:16 PM

Agree with Balt.

I went off to college in 1965.  Took the train from Washington DC (Silver Spring really)  to Lansing, MI.  QUickly found United Airlines had a 12/21 CLub - half price for students within those ages.  Round trip was $36.  Train couldn't compete.

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Posted by Jones1945 on Saturday, August 18, 2018 1:59 AM

 

 
I agree with Balt too. I don't know how early most of the CEOs or leaders of Class 1 Railroad tried to experience their number one rival: Airline service in person. 
If they did and still believe that purchases 700 new pullman cars and sleepers or advertisement campaigns could save their passenger services from a rapidly; years after years decline, they were somewhat delusional, just like what Mr. Robert R. Young did to C&O in late 40s.
 If I was a businessman who needed to travel between NYC and Chicago constantly, I will choose the fastest route or even the cheaper route. Not all people are railfans who enjoy stuck in a consist for 16 hours. And to be very honest, beside railroad like B&O, NYC or PRR’s Broadway or General, trains service were not really that luxury, compare to hotels or even a house of middle classes in tier one cities in mid 40s to 50s.
This is one of the reason I mentioned in other post about a HSR network should be built just after the war, the travel time of long distance overnight through train was carefully calculated for passenger’s need but in hindsight, it proofed it wasn't enough.

What was the heads of railroads thinking when they watching this film? (you could skip to 3:30)
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Posted by Miningman on Sunday, August 19, 2018 12:47 AM

Some trains remained very popular and were exceptionally well patronized, especially by the buisness class. One train that comes to mind was the Canadian Pacific's Chicago Express Toronto-Chicago service. CPR killed it in it's massive train-offs in the early sixties. You did not need to be a streamliner, or refurbished anything...just good solid parlours, sleepers and diners. CPR simply got out of the passenger business with the exception of 'The Canadian' which remained the icon image of the railway.  A few dayliner Budd car runs were not permitted to be discontinued. All these were to areas the CNR could not serve.  Basically they handed over everything passenger over to the CNR. There was a hew and cry over discontinuing the Chicago Express. The CNR/GTW service on the International was pretty much what you would expect from a quasi pseudo government organization and did not match the free enterprise spirit of the Canadian Pacific service.

So what am I saying here? The railroads were more than glad to get out of the passenger business and out from under all that obligation of providing perpetual passenger service in exchange for land grants and such 100 years earlier. It was not because the business left, it's because they never made any money doing so and there was no hope of doing so even if the trains were full every day. The ONLY exception was WWII where folks had no choice at all and government troop trains on an unprecedented scale put it over the top. 

 Last run of the Chicago Express

 Last run of Number 21 engines 1412 1918 Saturday, April 25, 1964 through Campbellville. 
William Carr/R.J.Sandusky Collection.
 
 
 

 

First 21 Eng 2400 Chicago Express with 12 cars through Campbellville at 8.55 a.m. Sat. May 21, 1955 
Note: 1/21 (First Twenty One) most likely originated in Toronto, while 2/21 (Second Twenty One) 
originating from Montreal probably would have looked like the following earlier scene since the last regular steam between Toronto and Windsor on #21 and #22 was engine 2807 Sun. Mar. 7, 1954
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Posted by Jones1945 on Sunday, August 19, 2018 4:01 AM

Miningman

Some trains remained very popular and were exceptionally well patronized, especially by the buisness class. One train that comes to mind was the Canadian Pacific's Chicago Express Toronto-Chicago service. CPR killed it in it's massive train-offs in the early sixties. You did not need to be a streamliner, or refurbished anything...just good solid parlours, sleepers and diners. CPR simply got out of the passenger business with the exception of 'The Canadian' which remained the icon image of the railway.  

 Last run of the Chicago Express

 Last run of Number 21 engines 1412 1918 Saturday, April 25, 1964 through Campbellville. 
William Carr/R.J.Sandusky Collection.
 

Thank you very much for showing me a new perspective, Miningman. Before early 50s, I can see NYC or PRR still had hope for their passenger train service, thus they did spend a lot of money to upgrade the equipment for their named train or even their secondary trains, one of the example was NYC’s 700 new car order for its “Great Steel Fleet”, turn out it was another miscalculation, totally waste of investment.
But I can understand that why it happened this way; imagine a group of person worked for a Class 1 Railroad for 20 or even 30 years, day by day, years by years doing the almost same thing every day, not many could maintain their crisis awareness.
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Posted by MidlandMike on Sunday, August 19, 2018 10:58 PM

How did CP's Chicago Express get from Windsor to Chicago?

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Posted by Miningman on Monday, August 20, 2018 11:30 AM

The picture caption above, stating last official steam run on the CASO, is not quite accurate. 1290 and 1291, a pair of 4-6-0's were based out of St. Thomas and the power for the St. Clair branch until the spring of 1957. Also I have pictures of Hudsons in passenger service approaching St. Thomas up to 1955, but these were almost for certain 'one of' substitute power. Also freight continued on with steam here and there for a few more years yet, Mikes and Mohawks but rapidly thinning out.  

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Posted by Jones1945 on Monday, August 20, 2018 12:07 PM

Just a personal preference thing...... even a street lamp looked 100 times better in the past. But please don't send me back to that era by your time machine, unless you gave me tons of money I can use at that time. CoffeeSmile, Wink & Grin


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Posted by BaltACD on Monday, August 20, 2018 5:01 PM

Jones1945
Just a personal preference thing...... even a street lamp looked 100 times better in the past. But please don't send me back to that era by your time machine, unless you gave me tons of money I can use at that time. CoffeeSmile, Wink & Grin


Good thing auto racks don't need Brakemen decorating the tops of the cars through the tunnel.

         

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Posted by Miningman on Monday, August 20, 2018 6:02 PM

Note the nice rounded arch on the left side has been destroyed either by design or accident. Yeah those clearances are pretty darn tight.

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Posted by BaltACD on Monday, August 20, 2018 6:29 PM

Miningman
Note the nice rounded arch on the left side has been destroyed either by design or accident. Yeah those clearances are pretty darn tight.

I suspect the left arch has been milled to provide clearance for 20' 2" double stacks to make it through the hole.

         

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Posted by M636C on Monday, August 20, 2018 7:09 PM

To revert to the original topic, while B&O were a big user of rebuilt heavyweight cars (sometimes referred to as "betterment cars"), the B&O were right there at the beginning of lightweight cars with the Royal Blue and Abraham Lincoln trains built by ACF in 1934, so about the same time as the better remembered "Hiawathas".

The observation from the Abraham Lincoln, which passed to the GM&O through the Alton is preserved, and is probably the oldest lightweight car still in existence.

So why did the B&O replace a purpose built lightweight train with rebuilt heavyweight cars, in the case of the Royal Blue? Probably it was cheaper to upgrade car you owned, rather than build new.

Peter

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Posted by BaltACD on Monday, August 20, 2018 9:59 PM

M636C
To revert to the original topic, while B&O were a big user of rebuilt heavyweight cars (sometimes referred to as "betterment cars"), the B&O were right there at the beginning of lightweight cars with the Royal Blue and Abraham Lincoln trains built by ACF in 1934, so about the same time as the better remembered "Hiawathas".

The observation from the Abraham Lincoln, which passed to the GM&O through the Alton is preserved, and is probably the oldest lightweight car still in existence.

So why did the B&O replace a purpose built lightweight train with rebuilt heavyweight cars, in the case of the Royal Blue? Probably it was cheaper to upgrade car you owned, rather than build new.

Peter

The most common explanation of why the B&O shipped the lightweight train sets off to the Alton was the Daniel Willard (B&O's President at the time) did not feel the ride characteristics of lightweight equipments was up to the standards he felt the Royal Blue should possess.  It had nothing to do with cost.

         

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Posted by cx500 on Monday, August 20, 2018 10:51 PM

BaltACD
suspect the left arch has been milled to provide clearance for 20' 2" double stacks to make it through the hole.

Yes, one bore was enlarged, but I believe it was not feasible to go to complete doublestack clearance for 9'-6" boxes.  At the time many were international boxes, which frequently included 8'-6" and 9'-0 heights.

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Posted by Jones1945 on Tuesday, August 21, 2018 4:18 AM
Thank you Peter and Balt! I almost forget that B&O was the first railroad company to use lightweight cars on their premier train like the Royal Blue (they even re-christened it) but I can't remember that B&O actually replaced them in 1937 because they unsatisfied with the ride quality. This really shown how enthusiastic and discreet the management of B&O was. I guess those 6-wheel trucks of the heavy weight cars played an important role in “Pullman level ride quality" wasn’t it? 

Many other railroads used Betterment cars too, like NYC and PRR, I love these betterment car with streamlined appearance and 6-wheel truck even more than those newer lightweight cars or sleeper. My favorite were PRR's betterment sleeper carried F.O.M livery, they always appeared in the consist of the General.

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Posted by BaltACD on Tuesday, August 21, 2018 6:46 PM

My understanding is that all the 'betterment' coaches, combines, and dining cars were all done at the B&O's Mt. Clare shops.  Pullman Company did all the betterment construction on all the Pullman operated cars.

         

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Posted by CSSHEGEWISCH on Wednesday, August 22, 2018 10:05 AM

Don't forget Monon's streamliner equipment rebuilt from war surplus Army hospital cars.  They lasted until the end of Monon passenger service in 1967.

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 Overmod on Wednesday, August 22, 2018 12:09 PM

Or the Frisco Firefly -- there is an interesting set of three cars presently on eBay

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Posted by Jones1945 on Thursday, August 23, 2018 2:25 AM

Thank you for the sharing, Csshegewisch and Overmod. Monon's streamliner was an very interesting case, the front end of the parlor-observation cars was one of a kind. The Firefly of Frisco was a really cute little train set. CoffeeCool

I always appreciate individual or company, especially smaller one, cherish their limited resources and using them to achieve their goals.
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Posted by Jones1945 on Friday, August 31, 2018 10:24 AM

A B&O HW Pullman Sleeper (12-1 ?)

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Posted by Miningman on Sunday, September 02, 2018 3:01 AM

Does this lovely Studebaker fit in with our streamlined equipment or what!

They sure don't make them look like this anymore. 

Daily Star 1936 Studebaker truck.

As opposed to this... all that's missing is a crate of chickens onthe top!

Canadian Transfer Company, Limited delivery truck with a full load of luggage outside their place. 
This company handled travellers luggage between downtown hotels, steamships and trains.

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Posted by Jones1945 on Sunday, September 02, 2018 4:36 PM
From 30s to 50s, it was the heaven of streamlining, From a door handle to a street lamp, from a taxi to a truck so many exquisite design.

Although many things are also streamlined nowadays but I don't like their "modern" style. Back in 1946, Streamlined long distance coaches was probably one of the biggest threat to Railroads. This is a rendering of the famous proposed Greyhound coaches designed by Raymond Loewy...... yes, its him again. Laugh

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Posted by BaltACD on Sunday, September 02, 2018 6:41 PM

Miningman

As opposed to this... all that's missing is a crate of chickens onthe top!

I don't see Jed, Ellie May, Jethro or Granny!

         

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Posted by M636C on Sunday, September 02, 2018 9:00 PM

CSSHEGEWISCH

Don't forget Monon's streamliner equipment rebuilt from war surplus Army hospital cars.  They lasted until the end of Monon passenger service in 1967.

 
That was a very good deal for Monon. The Hospital Cars were basically brand new and had been built for use in the USA. They had a "streamlined" profile but had conventional heavweight trucks and construction.
 
I assume they had been ordered in advance of the expected invasion of Japan and would have been needed for the return of the anticipated casualties from that invasion. They were rendered surplus by the use of the nuclear bombs in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and many were never used.
 
I seem to recall that a couple of these found their way to Amtrak directly from the Army, probably after some years of Army use. I think the Amtrak cars retained the sliding door intended for stretcher patients, and so were combines of some description.
 
I think the Monon were lucky in that they purchased theirs early. Had they waited until the Korean War began, the Army might have kept more of (or maybe all of)these ambulance cars.
 
I don't think any of the Ambulance cars were air conditioned as built so there was a lot of work to make up a train. However, these were well built cars and I think the Amtrak cars lasted into the 1980s.
 
Peter
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Posted by daveklepper on Monday, September 03, 2018 5:17 AM

Up to the PRR-NYC merger into PC, most PRR "lightweight" coaches were really rebuilt P-70s.  In several varieties.

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Posted by Jones1945 on Monday, September 03, 2018 5:52 AM

M636C
That was a very good deal for Monon. The Hospital Cars were basically brand new and had been built for use in the USA. They had a "streamlined" profile but had conventional heavweight trucks and construction.
 
I assume they had been ordered in advance of the expected invasion of Japan and would have been needed for the return of the anticipated casualties from that invasion. They were rendered surplus by the use of the nuclear bombs in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and many were never used......

Thank you, Peter. I found this website about the historical background of these Hospital Cars and how they turned into Monon's prime trains: 

http://www.monon.org/Streamliners.html

I can't find a pic of the rebuilt observation cars front end, it was an interesting design which compromised aesthetics and architectural structure of the car.
Invasion of the Axis, landing of Nazi German or the Japanese has been a topic of people who are interested in alternate history fiction since the War ended. Glad to see that these hospital cars didn't have to serve for military purpose. 

This is a very good movie made by the Monon, nice music, imformative histories and rare footage. Please enjoy:

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Posted by Jones1945 on Monday, September 03, 2018 6:08 AM

daveklepper

Up to the PRR-NYC merger into PC, most PRR "lightweight" coaches were really rebuilt P-70s.  In several varieties.

IIRC there were more than 1000 P70 coaches built by PRR, 300 of them was refurbished in late 30s including install of air-conditioner, new arch roof, new seats and car body.
However, these 300 refurbished P70 were not streamlined and painted with F.O.M scheme, so in order to provide enough cars to the Fleet of Modernism, 116 P70 was converted to P70kr and P70gsr with streamlining features in 1939. I believe many of them still serving in PC era. 
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Posted by daveklepper on Monday, September 03, 2018 8:23 AM

The car bodies were not really new, with the side and ceneter sills and body bolters, end plates, and certain other structural elements retained.

The new arch roof make the first version as streamlined as most rebuilt heavyweight cars for stramlined trains were.  The only really important differene, other than paint, between them and the latr version is that they retained single windows, where as those painted in the streamlining scheme were rebuilt with picture windows.    And you are correct that some P70s were never rebujilt, like those handling the New York and Long Branch service through the end of steam there.

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