PRR Fleet of Modernism: Livery, Services and Experiences of early Streamliner.

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PRR Fleet of Modernism: Livery, Services and Experiences of early Streamliner.
Posted by Jones1945 on Tuesday, August 21, 2018 10:10 AM
One of the best, if not the best color scheme for PRR’s fleet, the Fleet of Modernism livery, designed by noted industrial designer Raymond Loewy, introduced in *1938, but only lasted merely 10 years.
 
Elegance, classis and eye catching, it gave Pennsy’s massive passenger fleet a fresh and welcoming image during its golden era.
 
In this post, I will try to record all passenger equipment carried the F.O.M color scheme, your input and contribution is very important and always welcomed!
 
The Birth of F.O.M Scheme:
*Nov. 23, 1937 Memo to Chief of Motive Power F.W. Hankins notes that Raymond Loewy is developing a new exterior color scheme for both lightweight Pullmans and Budd diners; becomes distinctive two-tone red "Fleet of Modernism" scheme with Futura sans-serif lettering first used in 1938. (CMP)
 
(All postwar new passenger car orders after mid-1945 will be considered not painted in F.O.M color scheme,  correct me if I am wrong, thank you very much!)

 
 
 

Last updated:
Aug 31 2018
*Removed from the list: 90 PRR Built P85 coaches ordered in Nov 1944
Sep 5 2018
*Added 
50 P70gsr Coach Nos. 4310-4359 (Paired Windows) May-July 1942. on the list.
Sep 13 2018
*Added 88 Pullman car purchases by PRR by 1940

 
  • New lightweight cars delivered since 1938 for the establishment of Fleet of Modernism
84--- First lot of lightweight cars from Pullman and ACF (1938-1939) updated
2---- Dining car from Budd (1938)
12---Stainless steel coaches from Budd (P82, July 1939)
3---- Coaches from Budd (P82a) (Sep 1939)
56---Second lot of lightweight car from Pullman (by end of 1940) updated
8---- Stainless steel coaches from Budd for the South Wind (P85,May 1940)
3---- Lightweight coaches (P85) (June 1942)
7---- *Budd Built P85 Coashes, #4024-4030 (1938-42)
 
Total: 175 approx.
*Baggage cars, Headend never painted F.O.M scheme, except 6 cars for the Broadway Ltd.
* All prewar coaches built by Budd should be 33 in total (4000-4032)
 
  
 

  • Betterment Cars, Sleepers, Headend:
21--- PRR-built lightweight and rebuilt cars for the Broadway Limited (1937)
2-----Class BM70nb mail car Nos.6529,8616 (For the Broadway Limited)
2-----Class B70 baggage car Nos.6051,6054 (For the Broadway Limited)
2---- D70 Dining car Nos.8018, ? (For the Broadway Limited)
*66--P70kr Coach Nos.4244-4309 (1940)
*50--P70gsr Coach Nos.4194-4243 (Single Windows, May-July 1942)
*50--P70gsr Coach Nos.4310-4359 (Paired Windows, May-July 1942) updated
*46--Betterment Pullman Sleepers (July 1939 – Jan 1940)
3---- Conversion of P70s to observation/lunch counter cars,
3---- Conversion of PB70 combines to lounge/dormitory/baggage cars
3-----Conversion of PB70 combines to PB36
 
Total:248 approx.
 *These cars were seen serving the Trail Blazer, the Jeffersonian, the General etc.
 
 
 

 
  • Heavyweight Pullman Sleeper, Railcar, Second-hand cars:
29------Repaint by Pullman on request of PRR for the new "F.O.M" Trains (1938)
31------Repaint by PRR with F.O.M scheme for "F.O.M" Trains(1938)
1-------OEW 330 gas/electric car #4663 (1941)
9-------Second-hand Pullmans converted to coaches (Mar 1942)
18-----Second-hand Pullmans from Grand Rapids & Indiana Railway, converted to coaches (April 1942)
*142--- Second-hand lightweight sleepers purchased back from Pullman (Dec 1945)
*123--- Second-hand parlor cars purchased back from Pullman (Dec 1945)
 
Total:88 to *352 approx.
* Cars assigned from Pullman to PRR since 1920s, not all of them carried F.O.M scheme.
* Total number of Pullman-assigned car in PRR system = 610 sleepers (1936)
 
 
 

*New passenger car orders since mid-1945 didn't carry the F.O.M color scheme anymore, one example is the reequipped Trail Blazer of 1947.

 
 
P85b Coaches #4100-4169, built by PRR Altoona works to replace P70kr and P70ksr, planned as early as 1944, designed by Raymond Loewy, carried the new postwar standard livery and a car body with almost no skirting. 20 more of such coaches were built by ACF. 
 
 
Please feel free to share your thought! Smile
 
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Posted by Jones1945 on Tuesday, August 21, 2018 7:00 PM

 

New passenger car orders after mid-1945

 

  • Nov. 28, 1945 PRR Board authorizes purchase of 159 lightweight sleepers from Pullman for east-west service
  • Dec. 31, 1945 PRR purchases all Pullman heavyweight parlors and lightweight sleepers assigned to it; leases them back to Pullman Co. for operation; PRR buys 142 lightweight sleepers for $7.56 million and 123 parlor cars for $774,000.

=================================================

  • Jan. 9, 1946 PRR Board authorizes the purchase of 142 lightweight Pullman sleeping cars
  • Jan. 23, 1946 PRR Board authorizes purchase of 214 passenger cars to re-equip Blue Ribbon trains, including the Broadway, Liberty Limited, General, "Spirit of St. Louis", Cincinnati Limited, Pittsburgher, and Golden Triangle for $20.5 million; 87 from Pullman-Standard, 70 from Budd and 57 from AC&F; cars are to be delivered in first quarter of 1947, but crush of orders from other railroads and reconversion problems cause 12-16 month delay in delivery, and last delivered in Aug. 1949. )
  • Feb. 27, 1946 PRR Board authorizes the purchase of 3 recreation cars for the Jeffersonian at $375,000; also one Pullman restaurant-parlor car
  • Mar. 13, 1946 PRR Board authorizes the purchase of one Pullman parlor-observation car; 6 new lightweight sleeping cars
  • June 26, 1946 PRR Board authorizes the purchase of 10 lightweight sleeping cars and 2 lightweight coaches
  • Sep. 11, 1946 PRR Board authorizes purchase of 8 lightweight sleeping cars
  • Oct. 9, 1946 PRR Board authorizes purchase of 31 lightweight passenger cars
  • Dec. 18, 1946 PRR Board authorizes the purchase of 12 lightweight coaches for pool service with the Atlantic Coast Line Railroad

=================================================

  • Feb. 12, 1947 PRR Board authorizes the purchase of 159 lightweight sleeping cars and 55 other passenger cars
  • Feb. 18, 1947 PRR announces first operating loss ever for 1946. 
  • Aug. 5, 1947 PRR officially retires Raymond Loewy's "Fleet of Modernism" two-tone paint scheme for passenger cars; change is made as individual cars are brought in for repainting, so some are not repainted until at least 1950. (PRRTHS) 

=================================================

  • Aug. 2, 1948 PRSL Executive Committee authorizes $3.6 million to modernize 60 P70' coaches with mechanical air conditioning
  • Aug. 25 1948 PRR announces expansion of postwar equipment program to $216.7 million; includes 566 diesels, 395 new lightweight passenger cars, 273 rebuilt coaches, parlor, diner and lounge cars, and 4,400 new freight cars; passenger cars are to include 212 sleeping and lounge cars, 118 overnight coaches, 40 diners, including 16 twin-units, and 25 observation and lounge cars without sleeping accommodations; Senator and Congressional to be reequipped with compartment cars

=================================================

  • Dec. 14, 1949 PRR Board authorizes expenditure for 91 lightweight coaches, 165 lightweight sleeping cars and 3 recreation cars

 

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  • Nov. 8, 1950 PRR Board approves purchase of 66 streamlined cars to re-equip The Congressional and The Senator for $9.57 million
  • 1950 PRSL completes modernization and air-conditioning of 60 P70 coaches

 

=================================================

  • Mar. 17, 1952 The Congressional (18 cars each) and The Senator (14 cars each) re-equipped with 64 lightweight streamlined cars from the Budd Company

 

=================================================

  • 1953-56 No new passenger cars purchased 
  • June 13, 1956 Publicity run of The Keystone, the "tubular" lightweight, low-center-ofgravity train built by The Budd Company; consists of seven coaches and a head-end-power/kitchen car; tubular cars cost $2,000 per seat, vs. $3,000 for Congressional type car and $1,000 for "Aerotrain".

 

=================================================

  • Feb. 6, 1957 Budd "Pioneer III" lightweight, lower center-of-gravity demonstrator cars delivered to PRR at Midvale, Philadelphia; tested on The Keystone and Trains No. 44-45 between Pittsburgh and Chicago through May.
  • Dec. 30, 1957 Press discovers that PRR has leased 175 new locomotives from EMD and 50 from ALCO instead of purchasing through equipment trusts; PRR refuses to disclose further information. (NYT)
  • Nov. 20, 1957 Pennsylvania Company Board authorizes the purchase of 6 MU cars to be leased to the PRR; rescinded on June 25, 1958. (MB)

 

=================================================

  • June 23, 1958 First two of six MU versions of Budd Pioneer III tested between Philadelphia and Paoli; weigh 700 pounds per passenger; first PRR cars with 3-2 seating; the cars have many design flaws and are not repeated. (NYT, WatsonPapers)
  • June 30, 1958 PRR holds meetings with representatives of Curtiss-Wright Corporation and Budd; Curtiss-Wright proposes to enter high-speed rail passenger market with trains of three Pioneer III type cars modified to be driven by 10-foot aircraft propellers and aircraft engines at speeds up to 165 MPH; to operate New York-Washington non-stop in 2:17. (MB)
  • Summer 1958 LIRR leases 12 parlor cars from PRR for East End service.(NYT)
  • July 14, 1958 PRR places 6 Budd "Pioneer III" MU cars in suburban service on Paoli and Media lines; PRR Class MP85; cars are later dssignated "Silverliner I's" by SEPTA; operate as one 6-car train to Paoli during rush hour and as three 2-car trains during day. (Guide, MB)

 

=================================================

  • June? 1962 City of Philadelphia orders 38 MU cars from Budd to be leased to PRR; based on Pioneer III design but 104,000 lbs. vs. 89,400 lbs. and 620 HP vs. 400 HP; cars will have automatic air and electric couplers and Faiveley pantographs. (Trains) 
  • Apr. 3, 1963 PRR begins converting fifty 21-roomette sleepers in the ... Inn series to 76-seat coaches for Northeast Corridor trains; new cars are Class P85L; Nos. 1500-1547 have 64 coach seats and 12-seat smoking lounges; Nos. 1548 & 1549 have 64 coach seats and a 6-seat snack bar lounge; cars provide much needed lightweight, air-conditioned equipment for the Northeast Corridor, but the seat spacing does not match that of the old roomette windows; will also refurbish 24 reclining seat coaches, 12 dining cars and 50 mail and express cars. (PR, RyAge, NRHS)
  • May 1963 First of 38 “Silverliner II” MU cars for the PRR and 17 for the Reading are placed in service; top speed of 89 MPH
  • Dec. 1964 Dept. of Commerce orders 4 Class MP85 MU commuter cars, modified for high-speed running from the Budd Company; the cars are to act as test beds for determining conditions for high-speed running in the Northeast Corridor; they are packed with instruments and sensors but have no seats or other amenities; they therefore cannot serve as prototypes for revenue service cars. (WatsonPapers)
  • Summer 1964 PRR applies to Pennsylvania PUC for intrastate exemption to discontinue The Broadway Limited; application denied.
  • Sep. 14, 1965 Budd Company engineer Albert G. Dean makes a presentation on its proposed 160 MPH trains to the 57th Convention of the Air Brake Association; is to feature the air spring suspension developed for the Pioneer III truck; the PRR has had serious trouble with the air springs on the “Silverliners” of 1963, and prefers steel coil springs; the Dept. of Commerce favors air springs. (BuddCo, WatsonPapers)
  • Nov. 30, 1965 United Aircraft Corporation unveils its version of an ultra-lightweight 160 MPH train using aircraft turbine engines for Connecticut Gov. John N. Dempsey and representatives of the U.S. Commerce Dept. at Hartford; "TurboTrain" is a direct descendant of Train-X; offers three 5-car sets to Connecticut Transportation Authority for New YorkHartford service; design is by Alan R. Cripe (1924-1994), who had worked on Robert R. Young’s “Train-X.” (RyAge, NYT)
  • Mar. 24, 1966 PRR receives last of order of 100 diesel locomotives
  • Mar. 1966 PRR, Dept. of Commerce and Louis T. Klauder & Associates evaluate the bids for the 50 high-speed MU cars; Budd Company has the highest evaluation and lowest bid; PRR staff notes that neither of the electric propulsion subcontractors, General Electric Company and Westinghouse Electric Corporation, have experience in this high-speed range; VP, Operations David E. Smucker decides on their recommendation to split the contract between the two, so that there may be a 50% success instead of a 100% failure; as it turns out, the Westinghouse cars are seriously defective. (WatsonPapers)
  • May 6, 1966 High Speed Ground Transportation project orders 50 high-speed MU cars from Budd for $20 million, $9.6 million from government and $10.4 million from PRR; are to be 20 coaches, 20 snack-bar coaches and 10 parlor cars with 1-1 seating; Budd is allowed 15 months for delivery of the first two cars instead of the 360 days called for in the specs and previously determined by Budd as feasible; the coaches are to have propulsion systems by Westinghouse Electric Corporation, and the snack-bar and parlor cars by General Electric Company; designed by U.S. Dept. of Commerce (later Dept. of Transportation), the department’s chief consultant Louis T. Klauder & Associates, and the PRR without waiting to build and test a single prototype; the cars are to be delivered in operable condition by Sep. 30, 1967; the purchase is financed by the Lease Financing Corporation, which secures the money from the Merchants Bank of New England; the resulting "Metroliner" cars require extensive de-bugging and are never completely successful; target date for service in Oct. 1967; to be hourly service to Washington and half-hourly to Philadelphia; number of trains to be increased from 66 to 96; initial speeds of 110 MPH with 150 MPH by 1970; PRR Mechanical Dept. staff is overwhelmed by having to deal with the design and production of the “Jersey Arrow” and “Silverliner III” commuter cars at the same time, and many Budd plans are submitted as “as built” drawings instead of for approval prior to construction; the “Metroliner” contract is let 6 months prior to the start of testing with the Dept. of Commerce test cars. (WatsonPapers, Headlights)
  • Nov. 30, 1966 A Budd Company representative tells the press that the test cars have reached speeds of 152 MPH. (NYT)
  • May 24, 1967 Public demonstration of U.S. DOT test cars held on test track between New Brunswick and Trenton for 200 newsmen, government and railroad officials; cars make two passes for press corps at Princeton Jct., one at 156 MPH and the second at 145.8 MPH; the second run was slowed when a piece of ballast hit a wheel-slip sensor wire and killed all four traction motors on the last car; PRR says high-speed “Metroliner” service will start Oct. 29, 1967; the test cars remain property of DOT and are used on other test projects, including a preliminary experiment for what will become the Autotrain. (PR, NYT, Trains, Watson)
  • June 28, 1967 PRR Board approves an expenditure of $21.1 million for 50 “Metroliner” high speed MU cars. (MB)
  • Nov. 14, 1967 Budd Company sends a number of staff, eventually including a VP of Sales, to Morrisville to supervise the “Metroliner” car deliveries, leading to increasing clashes with PRR personnel. (WatsonPapers) Nov. 15, 1967 The first two “Metroliner” cars, Nos. 800 and 802, with Westinghouse electrical systems are delivered to the PRR at Morrisville; PRR agrees to test them despite the failures on the Reading at Jenkintown. (WatsonPapers)
  • Nov. 24, 1967 The first two “Metroliner” cars to be delivered hit 164 MPH on the test track between "COUNTY" and "MILLHAM" but with significant problems that render such speeds unfeasible in revenue service for the time being; the PRR makes a public announcement on Nov. 29 without mentioning the problems. (WatsonPapers, NYT)
  • Dec. 3, 1967 PRR begins testing “Metroliners” Nos. 801 & 803; on a braking test from 35 MPH on wet rail, all wheels are slid flat. (WatsonPapers) 
  • Dec. 17, 1967 “Metroliners” Nos. 800 & 802 and a 5-car train of old MP54 MU cars are tested at relative passing speeds ranging from 80 to 175 MPH; a total of 21 windows are sucked out of the MP54's by the slip stream, and 5 of the outer windows of the “Metroliners” are broken by flying glass. (Watson)
  • Feb. 1, 1968 Pennsylvania Railroad Company absorbs New York Central effective 12:01 AM; renamed Pennsylvania New York Central Transportation Company; exchange rate of 1 share of NYC stock for each 1.33 shares of PRR; PRR names 14 directors, NYC 11 directors; at 12:04, name "Penn Central" is unveiled on Perlman's business car parked in Suburban Station. (PR, Salsbury)1968 Merged Penn Central has 19,286 route-miles, total assets over $4 billion, annual revenues of over $1 billion, 4,202 diesel and electric locomotive units, 194,656 freight cars, and 4,937 passenger cars. (Trains) Feb. 1, 1968 Penn Central begins operation with only $13.3 million in working capital; PRR cash reserves on merger night were only $5.5 million, an all-time low; Penn Central has also approved a record $300 million capital budget for 1968. 
  • Mar. 5, 1968 Budd Company and Westinghouse Electric Corporation announce that Westinghouse needs more time for the redesign of its “Metroliner” cars; the Stemmann pantographs have major problems, and the main transformers draw a high surge current whenever they bounce on the catenary wire, which cause lineside substation circuit breakers to trip; the fault lies in the Westinghouse transformers. (WatsonPapers, Headlights)
  • Jan. 30, 1969 Penn Central announces preliminary earnings for 1968; show $2.8 million loss for parent company, vs. $11.5 million profit in 1967; reports consolidated earnings of $90 million, up 27% from 1968, but these are paper profits of Madison Square Garden, Great Southwest Corporation and the Washington Terminal Company; actually, the whole company made almost nothing in the second half of 1968, and the railroad posted large losses. (SEC)
  • Jan. 16, 1969 First "Metroliner" high-speed train, Nos. 2000-2001, begins operation between New York and Washington; consists of General Electric cars Nos. 880, 881, 859, 858 and 854, all parlors and snack-bar coaches; one round trip; running time 2:59; first trip arrives in Washington eight minutes late because of a tree branch sucked into the electrical equipment near Thurlow, Pa.; No. 2000 sucks one window each out of the MP54's of Baltimore-Washington commuter trains Nos. 927 and 933; original surcharge of $1 for trips under 175 miles and $2 over; one way fare is $12.75 coach and $19.90 first class; consist is 2 club cars and 4 snack bar coaches; limited to 6 car trains to avoid catenary power outages; full coaches built by Westinghouse sidelined at Trenton with electrical problems; "Metroliners" were rushed into production to meet political deadlines without adequate prototype testing and are never fully "debugged"; cars are overweight, rough-riding, and cost 77 cents per car mile to maintain. (PR, A-sheet, Trains, WatsonPapers)
  • Jan. 16, 1969 Two reporters from the Washington office of the Chicago Tribune test the comparative speeds of the “Metroliner” and the air shuttle, racing from their Washington office to Times Square; the plane from National Airport takes 2:13 overall, or 1:17 faster than the train, although the train is more comfortable and cheaper. (WatsonPapers)
  • Jan. 24, 1970 Pres. Nixon travels between Washington and Philadelphia on a special “Metroliner” (the "John Volpe Special") to attend 70th anniversary of Philadelphia Orchestra; only train travel by Nixon while Pres. (Withers, PR)
  • Feb. 5, 1969 Penn Central operates an eight-car “Metroliner” test train to Baltimore and return; causes 14 catenary circuit breaker trippings and 3 outages; convinces Robert B. Watson that eight-car trains are impossible without major revisions of either the power supply and/or cars. (WatsonPapers) Feb. 6, 1969 Six Westinghouse “Metroliner” cars are run up to 160 MPH on the test track, but cause an outage at “MILLHAM.” (WatsonPapers)
  • Feb. 2, 1970 Penn Central announces a 1969 railroad operating loss of $56 million vs. $5.1 million in 1968; consolidated income drops from $87.8 million in 1968 to only $4.38 million in 1969; ends confidence in its commercial paper in financial community
  • June 17, 1970 Federal ReserveBank of New York issues report on Penn Central; has grave doubts that the government could recover the $225 million loan guarantee; predicts Penn Central could go bankrupt by Oct. 31, 1970 unless it receives over $500 million; the report is not made public until after the bankruptcy
  • June 21, 1970 After a special Board meeting, Penn Central Transportation Company files for Chapter 77 bankruptcy at 5:35 PM; largest corporate bankruptcy up to that time. (MB)

 

(to be continue) 

 

 

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Posted by BaltACD on Tuesday, August 21, 2018 7:18 PM

Looks like the PRR Board was actling like a drunk sailor on leave with a whole war's worth of pay to get rid of ASAP.  Especially the number of 'nickle & dime' orders made during 1946.  There does not seem to be any form of strategic plan to the equipment purchases.

         

Never too old to have a happy childhood!

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Posted by Jones1945 on Tuesday, August 21, 2018 7:45 PM

BaltACD

Looks like the PRR Board was actling like a drunk sailor on leave with a whole war's worth of pay to get rid of ASAP.  Especially the number of 'nickle & dime' orders made during 1946.  There does not seem to be any form of strategic plan to the equipment purchases.

Exactly. It was like a money burning competition between PRR, NYC and C&O. If they paid 0.1% from those money they wasted to do some market research 3 times a year, they might have a chance to become another Union Pacific.Smile, Wink & Grin

 

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Posted by Miningman on Wednesday, August 22, 2018 1:33 PM

The Fleet of Modernism certainly was a worthy competitor to anything the New York Central put out. Seeing those cars behind T1's or anything streamlined was certainly quite stunning. It's just another mind boggling 'why' when they abandoned it in 1945.  Having everything repainted by 1950 seems like such a waste. 

It's hard not to fault the Railroads for re-equipping their fleets after WWII yet they knew passenger service never really made much for them anyway, if anything. They knew this and knew it well. Mail contracts and Express gave them some incentive and the service itself was the advertising and 'face' of the Railroad, that hopefully translates into good will and freight preference. I think they knew full well what they were doing. They could not see the massive drop off coming due to a new highway system yet to be built and airline travel becoming commonplace. It's arguable that they should have but given the times I don't think that's reasonable. Once the crappola hit the fan they certainly railed against the government involvement in the economy with highway construction, airport's and the St. Lawrence Seaway, leaving them doomed.  

Roads in 1945-early 50's were pretty crummy between cities, not really direct. Winter weather was a big hazardous deal for motorists, roads not cleared in quick time like today. People still took the train if they were going anywhere substantial. 

The 1952 Congessional was a departure for Pennsy with it's look. Some people, notably David Klepper, thought it was the finest look for the Pennsy. My choice would be the Fleet of Modernism, as short lived as it was. 

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Posted by Jones1945 on Wednesday, August 22, 2018 11:46 PM

Miningman

......The Fleet of Modernism certainly was a worthy competitor to anything the New York Central put out. Seeing those cars behind T1's or anything streamlined was certainly quite stunning. It's just another mind boggling 'why' when they abandoned it in 1945.  Having everything repainted by 1950 seems like such a waste......


Glad to know that I am not the only one who love the Lowey scheme, Miningman! I believe one of the main reasons for PRR to abandoned it was to cut cost, since it required a lot of working hours to repaint it, even though I think it worth the time. NYC and B&O were very prospective that they were able to successfully create a very distinctive cooperative image through its premier trains. But when you talk about PRR, there weren’t much interesting things the public could remember, they only had a few cards holding like the Broadway Ltd and the Congressional. Public relation and Creativity were never something PRR good at, even though they willing to spend money on advertising campaign and hiring noted industrial designer to make their train looks good.

 
But when you compare PRR with NYC, it is not hard to see which company knew how to do it better. PRR didn’t even bother to keep their consists livery looks consistent! They could actually make the FOM scheme as the official livery for all first-class trains, but they just dropped it.
 
 
 
If I was the CEO of PRR, I would only give my co-worker three years of time or even shorter base on the development of the decline, if after three year (1949) they still can’t turn the table, I believe it is the suitable time to execute the plan of a honorable withdrawal. Retreat from long distance through train services in phases (keep a few primer named train) and prepare a decent explanation for stockholder’s enquiries. 

I don’t blame PRR for everything since they bought us a lot of unique and awesome steam locomotives, and it wasn’t their fault that their electrification didn’t go according to plan, and the Government didn’t have a strong will, or even never consider to build a HSR outside Washington, DC and New York. (Imagine what it would be like a HSR was built between Boston, NYC, Philadelphia, Washington, DC, Pittsburgh, Detroit and Chicago) 

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Posted by Miningman on Thursday, August 23, 2018 1:25 AM

London Division passenger service between Toronto and Windsor/Detroit provided a vital link in the Montreal - Chicago international service. It was a competitive market shared by Canadian National and over the years various improvements were made by both railways to boost its public image and gain more revenue. A major advance by the CPR was the introduction in three markets of modern lightweight streamlined passenger equipment and new steam locomotives of a new wheel arrangement, 4-4-4 and named Jubilee in honour of the 50th anniversary (June 1936) of CPR passenger train service.
In addition to a single trainset operating between Calgary and Edmonton and two between Montreal and Quebec City, there was a service between Toronto, London and Windsor/Detroit. There were four trainsets consisting of a mail-express car, baggage-buffet-parlor car and two first class ice air-conditioned coaches.

The Bullet, #629 with Jubilee 3000 ready to leave West Toronto Depot on Thursday April 9, 1953. 
Wooden S.U.F. working baggage car, lightweight air-conditioned coach, heavyweight coach. 
J.F.Beveridge, Collection of Dave Shaw.

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Posted by Jones1945 on Thursday, August 23, 2018 1:57 AM

CPR's Jubilee was a good example of how to establish a distinctive cooperative image of a railroad company, simple, sharp and elegance. Using of warm color of the livery was a smart move. CoffeeBig Smile

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Posted by Miningman on Friday, August 24, 2018 12:56 AM
Trains  July 1999
A tale of two streamliners
By Joe Welsh  
 
While Pennsy's venerable Broadway Limited ran nearly empty, the upstart Trail Blazer was packing them in 
 
In June 1938, after two years of effort, the Pennsylvania Railroad introduced its "Fleet of Modernism," four newly streamlined trains between the East and Midwest. Chief among them was the Broadway Limited, a New York-to-Chicago all-Pullman luxury flyer which PRR maintained as a direct competitor to New York Central's renowned 20th Century Limited. The others were the General, Liberty Limited, and Spirit of St. Louis. 

A year later, in July 1939, the Fleet of Modernism was supplemented by the Trail Blazer, a new streamlined, all-coach train. Patterned after the Union Pacific's wildly successful Challenger trains and constructed of rebuilt heavyweight equipment, the Trail Blazer was like nothing the Pennsylvania had offered before. While the Broadway and Trail Blazer were polar opposites in accommodations, they also differed in another important way: the upstart Trail Blazer quickly became an amazing success while the venerable Broadway was in desperate straits. This is the story of how fate intervened in both their lives. 
 
The Broadway Limited 

Leader of the largest fleet of passenger trains in North America, the Broadway had been an article of faith to the PRR since the train's inception in 1902. By the 1930's, however, some people in Pennsy's upper management were asking whether that faith had been misplaced. Low patronage, attributable to the Depression and the inroads of the 20th Century Limited, had led to trouble. The Broadway's woes were evident even to the trackside observer, as throughout the 1930's it routinely ran with as few as five revenue passenger cars. 
 
As PRR proceeded with its plans to streamline the Broadway, some railroaders expressed doubts about the wisdom of such an investment. In a letter to Vice President-Traffic Walter Franklin, C.D. Young, one of the PRR's top technical experts in the area of rolling stock, noted that while the new Broadway was being built to handle about 102 people, it was carrying an average of only 30 to 35 passengers per night. Young boldly asked, "What would you think of running this lightweight train between New York and Chicago, when the equipment is built, not as the Broadway, leaving the Broadway as it is [with heavyweight equipment], but as a new train, without extra fare; the running time to be very close to the Broadway's but not quite the same?" 

Having seen the letter, F.W. Hankins, chief of motive power, responded to Young that, if Young's idea were implemented, it would cause a further decline in Broadway patronage, wiping out the need for the Broadway in 30 to 60 days. He then surprisingly confided, "However, I understand it is not the policy to eliminate the Broadway, and while I am not sure that I know why we have the Broadway, based on the earnings, it looks as though the Broadway has outlived its usefulness for the purpose for which it was intended." 
 
Young's idea wouldn't entirely be ignored. On April 25, 1937, the railroad established the General, a fast heavyweight coach-and-sleeper train on the New York-Chicago run with, unlike the Broadway, no extra fare. Second only to the Broadway in prestige and schedule, the General would be judged a success, skimming traffic from the New York Central but, as predicted, also hurting the Broadway's ridership. 
 
Despite the concerns, the Broadway Limited was officially introduced as a streamliner on June 15, 1938. Thanks to direct competition from the Century, which had received modernized equipment on the same day, the change failed to help the Broadway's poor revenue performance. A July 1939 report showed the relative earning status of the members of the Fleet of Modernism that month. The Broadway had grossed 67 cents per train-mile; the Spirit of St. Louis, $2.47; the Liberty Limited, $2.53; and the popular General, $3.87. 

 

 
The Broadway's numbers were extremely low and getting lower. The train's gross passenger revenue per train-mile in 1938, the year it was streamlined, was 95 cents. In 1939 it dropped to 85 cents. In 1936, prior to the arrival of the General and streamlining, the Broadway's revenue per train-mile had been $1.10.
Things came to a head in August 1939, a little over a year after the train was streamlined, when top officers of the PRR focused their attention on the problem. In an August 9 report for Operating Vice President J.F. Deasy, James Symes, then general manager of the Western Region, noted that, in July of that year, while the eastbound Broadway averaged 13.5 passengers per trip, the Century averaged 50.1. The westbound Broadway hadn't fared much better, averaging 16.3 while New York Central's flagship averaged 71.4.
Most damning of all, the end of the memo held the amazing observation, "On Saturday, August 5th [1939], the Broadway departed from New York without any passengers, picked up two at Philadelphia, and handled but two on the entire trip." 
 

 

Talk of discontinuing the Broadway continued into 1941. In September, a letter commenting on an executive staff meeting at which the subject discussed revealed why the railroad maintained the Broadway despite its dismal performance. Concerned about leaks, Vice President-Western Region H.E. Newcomet wrote to Deasy saying, "I really think all discussion of the discontinuance of the Broadway should be stopped once and for all. If the Pennsylvania would discontinue the Broadway, it would admit complete defeat, which would be bound to be felt by all of our trains. In other words, the Pennsylvania would be immediately recognized as being in the same class as the Erie and the B&O." 
 
Simply put, the renowned Broadway, recently streamlined, was being maintained solely to preserve the image of the Pennsylvania Railroad. 
 
The arrival of war in December 1941 would spark a period of intense passenger traffic and profit growth. As with so many other things, the war changed what might have been. Talk of discontinuing the Broadway would eventually be forgotten as the railroad scrambled to provide as many passenger trains as possible to keep up with the demand, and the Broadway's ridership grew. The train's fate, at least for the foreseeable future, would be secure. 
 
The Trail Blazer 
 
If the Broadway had a long, illustrious history and terrible earnings, the PRR's new coach train was its antithesis. Conceived in fall 1936, it was patterned after UP's successful heavyweight luxury Chicago-Los Angeles Challenger coach train. The PRR train was to feature comfortable long-distance coach accommodations, excellent and affordable dining-car meals, and lounge space for passengers in a round-end observation car. Suggested names for the train included Red Ace, Fairway Limited, and, ironically, Pacemaker, a label which the New York Central ultimately gave to its own rival luxury coach train. Appropriately, the new train, Pennsy's pioneer in the all-coach luxury market, would be called the Trail Blazer, a name which had formerly belonged to a crack Pennsy freight train. Inaugurated on an overnight schedule between New York and Chicago on July 28, 1939, it was an immediate success. 
 
Some measure of that early prosperity can be gleaned from a look at statistics for its first two full months of operation. In August and September 1939, the Trail Blazer carried nearly 32,000 passengers-an average of 524 per day-and produced revenue in excess of $500,000. On one day, August 19, the east- and westbound trains carried a whopping 1060 passengers-35 times as many as the Broadway carried on a similar day at the time, at a comparable operating investment. 
 
Emphasizing the difference between the performance of the Broadway and the new coach train to railroader John W. Barriger III, PRR's passenger traffic department said, "The Trail Blazer is doing business right in [sic] the start. The other day 28, the Broadway, had 10 pay and 9 free. The Trail Blazer on the same day had about 300 and all pay. You can see the type of persons who use the railroad most. And so of course it is time for the railroads to go after that sort of business." 
 
In its first two years, the Trail Blazer was equally successful when compared to its rival the Pacemaker, as the following summary shows: 
 
PRR Trail Blazer 

Passengers Gross Revenue per Handled Revenue Train Mile 1st Year 132,000 $1,800,000 $2.70 2nd Year 175,000 $2,260,000 $3.28 
 
NYC Pacemaker 
 
Passengers Gross Revenue per Handled Revenue Train Mile 1st Year 114,000 $1,389,000 $2.18 2nd Year 167,000 $1,948,000 $2.74 
 
Pennsylvania's successful entry into the all-coach market would spawn a New York-St. Louis coach train, the Jeffersonian, on April 27, 1941. The railroad's prewar concentration on the coach passenger would help meet the demands of wartime traffic, and all of the Pennsy's trains- especially the coach trains-carried phenomenal loads. But the postwar world would not be so kind. 
 
The long good-bye 
 
The rebirth in popularity of the automobile and the airplane after World War II would prove a deadly combination, draining ridership from the passenger train despite a sizable investment in new equipment. Pennsy's fleet would soon find itself in irreversible decline. Prompted by astronomical losses, the railroad combined trains with the same endpoints as ridership shrank and operating costs skyrocketed. Ironically, the all-coach trains were some of the first to go. 
 
The Trail Blazer would first be united with the coach-sleeper General for the summer 1950 season. The two were permanently combined by 1951, but the Trail Blazer's name would appear like a ghost next to the General's in timetables until late 1959. The lesser-known Jeffersonian would be gone from the timecard for good by spring 1953, its coaches unceremoniously added to the more-famous Spirit of St. Louis. 
 
The Broadway was a survivor. Through the 1950's and early '60's, populated by expense-account travelers and doted on by the railroad, it endured. The train even experienced a resurgence of sorts when its great rival, the Century, was downgraded, adding coaches and losing its extra fare on April 27, 1958. An all-room Broadway survived until December 13, 1967-26 years after the Pennsy had first contemplated discontinuing it. In one form or another, the train name would last under Penn Central and Amtrak until 1995. 
 

In a parting bit of irony, in 1961, as PRR studied train consolidations and the possibility of adding the General's sleepers to the Broadway, President James Symes, the same man who had reported the Broadway's dismal performance back in 1939, asked his staff if an all-coach train between New York and Chicago could turn a profit. The answer was no. 
 
JOE WELSH is a transportation planner in Auburn, Wash. This article is a condensed excerpt from his book, "Pennsy Streamliners," to be published by Kalmbach Books in July.
 
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Posted by M636C on Friday, August 24, 2018 1:26 AM

For what it is worth, I bought "Pennsy Streamliners" and if anything, it is better than the extract, while giving quite a lot of detail of the equipment involved.

Peter

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Posted by daveklepper on Friday, August 24, 2018 4:54 AM

The PRR did bring some Century paassengers to the Broadway by cutting the eastbound running time to 15-1/2 hours, which the Central could not match.  This was in the post-WWII era starting around 1947 if my memory is correct, and lasted a few years.

I rode both trains in 1958, and thought the experience terrific.  But neither "gleamed" the way the UP and AT&SF Super, El Cap, and Cities trains did.  Also the Denver Zephyr.   Inside and outside.  

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Posted by Jones1945 on Friday, August 24, 2018 7:54 AM

Miningman
 ......Appropriately, the new train, Pennsy's pioneer in the all-coach luxury market, would be called the Trail Blazer, a name which had formerly belonged to a crack Pennsy freight train. Inaugurated on an overnight schedule between New York and Chicago on July 28, 1939, it was an immediate success. 
 
Some measure of that early prosperity can be gleaned from a look at statistics for its first two full months of operation. In August and September 1939, the Trail Blazer carried nearly 32,000 passengers-an average of 524 per day-and produced revenue in excess of $500,000. On one day, August 19, the east- and westbound trains carried a whopping 1060 passengers-35 times as many as the Broadway carried on a similar day at the time, at a comparable operating investment...... 

 

Thank you Miningman for posting this article!  I have the book "Pennsy Streamliners" too, this part is one of the most encouraging things I found in the book and this is why I always mentioned the Trail Blazer. I am glad S1 contributed most of her time hauling the Trail Blazer and the General.
 
 
 IIRC, there was two lounge car in the consist of Trail Blazer, one is the combine baggage lounge behind the tender (1st gen Trail Blazer never carry head-end cars), another one was the observation lounge at the end of the consist. Between two sections of total 10 P70kr or P70gsr car was the re-built H/W streamlined 12-wheel twin unit dining car and dormitory car, so during the 17 hours long journey, passengers had plenty of place to stretch their mind and body, order some drinks or light meal, reading magazines, listen to radio and meeting new friends instead of stuck in their seat. I don’t know why PRR never used dome cars on their all coaches train though.
 
The Trial Blazer was probably the first passenger trainset which let PRR able to get rid of Pullman's influence completely.

 PB70ER car #9255 for the trail blazer

 PB70ER car #9255 interior

P70kr

P70kr interior

Twin Unit Dining Car

P70GSR

POC70R observation car #1121

POC70R observation car interior

All pics from HAGLEY DIGITAL ARCHIVES 


S1 hauling the Trail Blazer (Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania)CoffeeSmile, Wink & Grin

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Posted by BaltACD on Friday, August 24, 2018 10:07 AM

The bigger question, post 1938, when both the Broadway and the Century were reequipped with functionally the same accomadations by Pullman, running on virtually the same schedules - Why was the Broadway so berefet of passengers when compared to the Century?  Was the Broadway's on board experience felt to be inferior to the Century?  Was Penn Station New York considered a inferior facility compared to Grand Central?  Was Union Station Chicago considered inferior to LaSalle Street Station?  Were the dining car experiences different?  The traveling public had to have percieved some critical difference when making the decision on how to spend their transportation dollars.

         

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Posted by Miningman on Friday, August 24, 2018 12:56 PM

The account of the day in August when the Broadway left New York with zero passengers and arrived in Chicago with 2 passengers, both which got on in Philly is unbelievable. This is in 1939! 

The Broadway must have racked up significant losses. Some kind of herd mentality going on with folks shunning the Broadway. Repeating some kind of story or rumour between people. 

Can you imagine having the Broadway virtually to yourself...feel like a King. Ridership improved over the war but it was never very good. Pennsy kept it going though. 

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Posted by Jones1945 on Friday, August 24, 2018 2:24 PM

BaltACD

The bigger question, post 1938, when both the Broadway and the Century were reequipped with functionally the same accomadations by Pullman, running on virtually the same schedules - Why was the Broadway so berefet of passengers when compared to the Century?  Was the Broadway's on board experience felt to be inferior to the Century?  Was Penn Station New York considered a inferior facility compared to Grand Central?  Was Union Station Chicago considered inferior to LaSalle Street Station?  Were the dining car experiences different?  The traveling public had to have percieved some critical difference when making the decision on how to spend their transportation dollars.


This is one of the most interesting and most discussed topics for railfans and there were so many conclusions from different group of people or scholar, so in my book there was no conclusion at all.

It is my understanding that the “1938 streamlined version” NYC 20th Century was more than a luxury long distance through train for their honorable patrons, it was a social networking platform, a club on wheels for the elites in both cities and it was like a magnet to all celebrities. I don’t know since when the passenger, especially the rich and famous in town, has adopted a habitual travel mode to take the Century instead of the Broadway, but I believe the Century Club cars and twin dining car on the Century played an important role to create such habitual travel habit. Henry Dreyfuss’s creative design and chose of unique color scheme matched the pulse of  Big Apple, his design was loved by the New Yorker and made the Century, from inside to outside, became a fancy, fashionable place for the elites. NYC and Henry Dreyfuss successfully made the train become a trend, a topic and something people would admire and expected to try. NYC hit the jackpot and won the first half of the game.

On the other hand, Raymond Lowey chose warm and colorful color scheme for the Broadway Limited which was eye catching and exquisite but for unknown reason, maybe bad luck, there wasn’t any chemistry created between his design and the public, his new design for the Broadway didn’t save the train from extreme low ridership. Maybe PRR should had learned from B&O, using heavy weight cars and conservative interior colors, make the Broadway Limited looks like a palace on wheels instead of a Hotel on wheels, offer something that the Century could not would had helped PRR to turn the table.
 
Many say Century attracted Young professionals and celebrities while Broadway served mainly family traveler or older businessman, I don’t know if this was the case or not. I really looking forward to read our forum member’s sharing. Smile
 
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Posted by 3rd rail on Saturday, August 25, 2018 11:02 PM

I think that the "F.O.M." livery was the best that PRR ever had. ( Best lettering on a GG-1 as well)!  I can understand the expense of maintaining it, ergo,. the change. I wonder, are there any existing cars from the original "Broadway  Limited "  still around?  I had read that "Barnum&Bailey had a few. 

Todd

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Posted by Jones1945 on Sunday, August 26, 2018 5:49 AM

3rd rail

I think that the "F.O.M." livery was the best that PRR ever had. ( Best lettering on a GG-1 as well)!  I can understand the expense of maintaining it, ergo,. the change. I wonder, are there any existing cars from the original "Broadway  Limited "  still around?  I had read that "Barnum&Bailey had a few. 

Todd

Thanks, Todd. If I run PRR, I would made the F.O.M livery the standard color scheme for all first class trains between NYC, Chicago and St. Louis. I remember there are some 1948 made observation lounge and sleeper still existing, some preserved by private company or individual. 1938 streamlined cars are rare but I remember some are still with us. 

Btw I am looking for the total number PRR had during 1945, I assume there were at least 2000 to 3000 passenger cars (1000 P70 series coaches and H/W Pullman sleeper), I would be grateful If someone can provide the accurate number! 

(At the Railroader's Memorial Museum in Altoona, PA.)

 

Penny’s Truck design for their H/W Dining Cars, you can see them on betterment dining car as well. Extra leaf springs for stability, a simple and neat design from 1924.

 

3D7P1 truck 

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Posted by daveklepper on Sunday, August 26, 2018 8:46 AM

In 1948 the Broadway introduced sigle bedrooms in the Creek-series sleepers, an accomodation interemediate between roomettes and double-bedrooms.

With the 15-1/2-hour eastbound running time, some Century patrons did switch to the Broadway.

The big advantage over the roomette was not having to raise the bed to use the john, plus more room to stand to undress and dress.

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Posted by Jones1945 on Sunday, August 26, 2018 10:11 AM

IIRC, when EMC tried to persuade PRR to dieselization the Broadway Limited with E3 in 1936, they guaranteed a 15-hour schedule for the Broadway but PRR gave EMC a cold shoulder even the railroad itself figured the Diesel could do it in 14 hours 49mins. I personally believe that if PRR could improve the track and clearance of their Fort Wayne Division, Broadway could have had a even faster schedule.

Average schedule speed of the Broadway Ltd between Crestline, OH and Chicago was only about 52mph, Duplexes like S1 managed to increase it to (Average speed) 63-66mph with 1250 tons (equal to 23 postwar Budd built lightweight car) behind it in Dec 1940.
 
 
If PRR could provide a 12-hour schedule for their Chi-town to NYC through train, they could open a new market for this route by offering morning departure service. (Depart at 8:30am, arrived at 20:30pm etc). But I have read about the Heads of PRR were happy about the 16-hour schedule. CoffeeLaugh
 
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Posted by BaltACD on Sunday, August 26, 2018 10:26 AM

Jones1945
I don’t know why PRR never used dome cars on their all coaches train though.

Clearance Issues at multiple locations.

With the B&O's Dome cars, the Dome's were not to be occupied between WUS and Silver Spring account the nearness of the PRR catenary in Union Station trackage and the potential for the high voltage to jump the air gap between the catenary and the top of the Dome.  To my knowledge that never happened, but the mind of the times was that it could.

         

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Posted by Jones1945 on Sunday, August 26, 2018 6:45 PM

BaltACD
Clearance Issues at multiple locations.

With the B&O's Dome cars, the Dome's were not to be occupied between WUS and Silver Spring account the nearness of the PRR catenary in Union Station trackage and the potential for the high voltage to jump the air gap between the catenary and the top of the Dome.  To my knowledge that never happened, but the mind of the times was that it could.

 Thank you very much, Balt. It was too bad that Dome cars were not allowed to be used in PRR and NYC system, I think the use of Dome cars like Santa Fe, MILW and GNR were very successful. I especially love those 12-wheel “big dome” lounge cars built by Budd in 1954, they enriched the content of long distance through trains service and made the consist looked even more attractive. 

Tags: Santa Fe , Budd , big dome
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Posted by BaltACD on Sunday, August 26, 2018 7:19 PM

Jones1945
 
BaltACD
Clearance Issues at multiple locations.

With the B&O's Dome cars, the Dome's were not to be occupied between WUS and Silver Spring account the nearness of the PRR catenary in Union Station trackage and the potential for the high voltage to jump the air gap between the catenary and the top of the Dome.  To my knowledge that never happened, but the mind of the times was that it could. 

 Thank you very much, Balt. It was too bad that Dome cars were not allowed to be used in PRR and NYC system, I think the use of Dome cars like Santa Fe, MILW and GNR were very successful. I especially love those 12-wheel “big dome” lounge cars built by Budd in 1954, they enriched the content of long distance through trains service and made the consist looked even more attractive. 

Prior to ATSF's El Capitan Hi-level cars being placed in revenue service in 1956 (I think) a representative train made a publicity tour.  One of the stops was Washington Union Station.  With my father being Baltimore Terminal Superintendet for the B&O our family was among the guests invited for a dinner trip from WUS to Point of Rocks and return to WUS.  As a 9 year old child I recall it being a pleasant evening with the hi-level cars providing a good ride.

         

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Posted by Overmod on Sunday, August 26, 2018 9:13 PM

BaltACD
the potential for the high voltage to jump the air gap between the catenary and the top of the Dome.

The issue I heard (in the mid-'70s) was that if the catenary snagged or came down it would damage the dome framing and windows and hurt anyone in that area.  The electric arc potential was secondary; I suspect the car structure would act as at least a partial Faraday cage.

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Posted by BaltACD on Sunday, August 26, 2018 10:17 PM

Overmod
 
BaltACD
the potential for the high voltage to jump the air gap between the catenary and the top of the Dome. 

The issue I heard (in the mid-'70s) was that if the catenary snagged or came down it would damage the dome framing and windows and hurt anyone in that area.  The electric arc potential was secondary; I suspect the car structure would act as at least a partial Faraday cage.

My understanding come from what I was being told in the 50's.  EE wasn't on my educational CV.

         

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Posted by MidlandMike on Sunday, August 26, 2018 10:21 PM

IIRC the GN and MILW ran domes under wire.

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Posted by daveklepper on Monday, August 27, 2018 4:39 AM

The blank posting was meant to discuss the introductin of the Creek sleepers to the Broadway, with their single bedrooms, which, in addition to the 15-1/2 hour eastbound running time, may have brought some Century patrons to the Broadway.  In 1959, when I rode it, it seemed like a full load.  On another business trip about the same time, going Phily-Chi, the ticket agent said the Broadway was all sold-out, and I had to settle for the General.  I think a Creek was also on that train at the time.

Regading catenary.  PRR catenary in the Hudson and East River tunnels and in Baltimore tunnels would not allow dome cars or high-levels.  Neither would the "overhead third rail" at Grand Central Terminal.  That is why.

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Posted by Jones1945 on Monday, August 27, 2018 11:54 AM

BaltACD
Prior to ATSF's El Capitan Hi-level cars being placed in revenue service in 1956 (I think) a representative train made a publicity tour.  One of the stops was Washington Union Station.  With my father being Baltimore Terminal Superintendet for the B&O our family was among the guests invited for a dinner trip from WUS to Point of Rocks and return to WUS.  As a 9 year old child I recall it being a pleasant evening with the hi-level cars providing a good ride

This is awesome, Balt. The dome car is an icon of America Railroad History.  It was such a shame that PRR and NYC couldn't use them on the Northeast. 
 
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Posted by Jones1945 on Monday, August 27, 2018 12:05 PM

daveklepper

The blank posting was meant to discuss the introductin of the Creek sleepers to the Broadway, with their single bedrooms, which, in addition to the 15-1/2 hour eastbound running time, may have brought some Century patrons to the Broadway.  

It seems that postwar Broadway was doing better than the prewar one, if I was traveling alone in 50s, I would pick a single bedroom instead of roomette since I don't want other passenger to see me wearing a silly pajamas when I making my bed of the roomette.
 
If I could visit 1940s again, I would at least try the Trial Blazer once, since I want to know how serious the snoring noise was inside a 56 seats coaches. Smile, Wink & Grin
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Posted by Deggesty on Monday, August 27, 2018 1:36 PM

Jones1945

 

 
daveklepper

The blank posting was meant to discuss the introductin of the Creek sleepers to the Broadway, with their single bedrooms, which, in addition to the 15-1/2 hour eastbound running time, may have brought some Century patrons to the Broadway.  

 

 

It seems that postwar Broadway was doing better than the prewar one, if I was traveling alone in 50s, I would pick a single bedroom instead of roomette since I don't want other passenger to see me wearing a silly pajamas when I making my bed of the roomette.
 
If I could visit 1940s again, I would at least try the Trial Blazer once, since I want to know how serious the snoring noise was inside a 56 seats coaches. Smile, Wink & Grin
 

Did the roometes back then not have curtains that could be clsoed to hide you as you backed into the sile to pull your berth down and put it back up? Those that I rode in, from 1962 on, had such (those with a cutaway at the foot of the berth did not need them, for the passenger could work the berth without opening the door). To me, the advantage of a duplex single room would been the additional space in the room--and not having to put the berth up if you suddenly had to get up in the night as I did, once, when I was in a roomette--I was successful in getting to the toilet in time.

Hmm; I do not recall hearing other passengers snoring the nights that I spent in coaches--and I have spent many nights coach in many parts of the country. It may have been different in the forties.

Johnny

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Posted by Jones1945 on Monday, August 27, 2018 2:32 PM

Deggesty

Did the roometes back then not have curtains that could be clsoed to hide you as you backed into the sile to pull your berth down and put it back up? Those that I rode in from, from 1962 on, had such (those with a cutaway at the foot of the berth did not need them, for the passenger could work the berth without opening the door). To me, the advantage of a duplex single room would been the additional space in the room--and not having to put the berth up if you suddenly had to get up in the night as I did, once, when I was in a roomette--I was successful in getting to the toilet in time.

 Hmm; I do not recall hearing other passengers snoring the nights that I spent in coaches--and I have spent many nights coach in many parts of the country. It may have been different in the forties.

 

Yes, there was curtains like old HW Pullman sleepers, covered the door of a rommette. It was one of the selling point in the advertainment of lightweight car from pullman and railroads, but you know ......accident happens Smile, Wink & Grin . A single bed room or even a compartment could provide higher level of privacy I need.

I encountered many snoring passengers on planes but not trains to be honest, usually the level of the noise of the plane itself is high enough to cover all the snoring, I believe the situation on the train was similar, but far less noisier than plane. Many airlines still provide free earplugs though.

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