PRR Fleet of Modernism (1938-1947) integrated discussion

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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.

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  • 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

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  • 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) 

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  • 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

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  • 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

 

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  • 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

 

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  • 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".

 

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  • 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)

 

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  • 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)

 

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  • 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.

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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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Posted by Jones1945 on Tuesday, August 28, 2018 5:40 PM

Update was made in post#2, adding info of new passenger car orders or related topics from 1954 to 1970.


 

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Posted by daveklepper on Wednesday, August 29, 2018 5:59 AM

I rode coach overnight many times:  New Haven Naragansette, New York Central Wolverine, Atlantic Coast Line - RF&P - PRR West Coast Champion, Havana Special, SAL  Silver Meteor, Silver Star, Tidewater, AT&SF El Cap, PRR Red Arrow, Trailblazer.  I do not recall being bothered by snoring.  I think that if the problem had arose, I probably just moved to another seat, possibly relocating the seat check on the baggage-rack face, something I remember doing at least once for other reasons.   

First overnight coach trip in 1943, age 11, NY - Detroit on the Woverine (alone).  Last 1969, LA - Chicago on the El Cap.  Last long distance sleeper trip, Jan 1996, W. Palm Beach - NY, roomette.   First, to summer camp, age 6, 1938, State-of-Maine, NY - Concord, NH, shared lower berth.

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Posted by Jones1945 on Wednesday, August 29, 2018 7:28 AM

The only reason I brought this thing up was that I am a person very sensitive to noises during sleep, so l believe passenger's snoring, especially heavy snoring wasn't a big deal to many other passengers in the past. Moreover, I guess when the train was traveling at speed, the level of noise would be high enough to cover any noise made by the passenger, wasn't it? Smile, Wink & Grin 

Passenger on the EI Capitain, LIFE Magazine. 

 

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Posted by Deggesty on Wednesday, August 29, 2018 8:00 AM

Snoring could also be disturbing in open section cars--there was the story of a LOUD snorer who kept other passengers awake until he gave a loud snort and turned over. Whereupon another passenger exclaimed ,"Thank heavens; he died!"

Johnny

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Posted by Jones1945 on Wednesday, August 29, 2018 8:46 AM

That just made my day! Smile, Wink & Grin   I heard Pullman open-section sleeper was not loved by traveller anymore when newer cars and services like roomette was available in early-40s. I don't mind sitting with a stranger face to face during the day time, I see it as a chance to make new friends. If my "berthmate" had a bad day and was being difficult or didn't feel comfortable to communicate, I would go to the lounge car, order some drinks and stay there, talk to the staffs, listen and observe. I wonder if there was any interesting story about making friends or passenger found his/her future wife or husband on the named train. Smile, Wink & Grin

 

1939, inside the POC70R observation car #1121, LIFE magazine 

(Is that glossy box thing a radio on the left-hand side of the gentleman in the pic?)
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Posted by Deggesty on Wednesday, August 29, 2018 10:40 AM

This is moving away from the theme of the thread--but I met the woman whom I married in the first class dome on the City of Portland in April of 1971. She was on her back to Boise on a reound trip to Poertland before the train was discontinued, and I was on my first trip to the West Coast, riding as much as I could of the lines that were to have no passenger service after the end of the month. Fifteen months later, we were married.

Johnny

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Posted by Jones1945 on Wednesday, August 29, 2018 11:51 AM

Deggesty
This is moving away from the theme of the thread--but I met the woman whom I married in the first class dome on the City of Portland in April of 1971. She was on her back to Boise on a reound trip to Poertland before the train was discontinued, and I was on my first trip to the West Coast, riding as much as I could of the lines that were to have no passenger service after the end of the month. Fifteen months later, we were married.

Thank you very much for the sharing, that is absolutly wonderful and romantic! Yes

I am going to "adjust" the title of this post a little bit so that our forum members and reader could share and read more topics in one post. 

By the way, I am still looking for more details about PRR F.O.M scheme like the total number of passenger car PRR owned or leased from Pullman just after WWII and the number of cars painted in F.O.M. But I am afraid I can only find these information in person at different libraries. Anyway, I tried to list the approximate numbers of cars carried this beautiful livery in the first post.
 
Btw I just found out that early Budd built stainless steel dinning car of PRR had a slightly different color scheme of F.O.M. They didn’t have golden strips on the “non-smooth” body side, it was hard to notice in black and white photos:
 
PRR only ordered 2 Budd dinning cars in their first order of "Fleet of Modernism" in 1938. Budd slowly became one of the largest passenger car manufacturer for the PRR in 1950s.
Tags: Budd
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Posted by BaltACD on Wednesday, August 29, 2018 8:22 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

My experience in viewing the PRR (middle 50's to PC), and riding it one time - about 1957 or so.  The equipment did not appear to be cleaned and maintained to the level of other carriers I had the opportunity to view or ride.  From my childs point of view, PRR had lost 'Esprit de Corps' in their passenger offerings and it showed.  Viewing equipment at WUS and its exterior was always less than clean and shiney.  My lone family round trip from Baltimore to New York and return was on a Parlor Car - the seats appeared worn and the carpet trending toward threadbare.  While PRR personnel made efforts to satisfy their customers - their 'New York Style' was not appreciated by some. (New Yorker's can audiblely be distinguished a mile away - they don't hear it but non New Yorker's do.) 

My perceptions as a child - 60 years removed.

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Posted by M636C on Wednesday, August 29, 2018 8:29 PM

I travelled on the Broadway Limited from NY Penn Station to Pittsburgh in Seprember 1977. There was some confusion with the printed timetable and when we went to book our seats we were told that the train was the Broadway.

It still had the two unit Budd diners that had arrived with the post war tuscan red train. These had the Budd non fluted sides, where the ribs were further apart and flat stainless panels were used in place of the "fluted" panels. The sides had been acid etched to take the Tuscan Red, but were still silver and didn't look too bad with the Amtrak "Phase II" window bands.

Of course, we had a meal, and were able to use the bench seats provided in the full length diner while waiting for a table to become available. It was not a luxury dining experience, but Amtrak's standard meals were pretty good at that time.

In 1980, I was in Seattle in conjunction with inspecting four new Frigates for the Royal Australian Navy being built by Todd Seattle. (Two were already complete and in San Pedro, and a fourth was still on the slip at Todd.) Some time during the visit I decided that I'd check out the area for rairoad activity. To my amazement I found three two car Broadway Limited Dining car sets standing in sidings. I've no idea who owned them. I expect that they were scrapped, but I was amazed to see then again on the West Coast.

Peter

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Posted by Deggesty on Wednesday, August 29, 2018 8:40 PM

I wish I could remember more of my first night in a Pullman--in January of 1962 I spent a night in a PRR 10-6 between Hattiesburg and Birmingham. Since it was my first such experience, I simply enjoyed the luxury of undressing and stretching out on the berth, and not having to wake up and shift my position in the night.

Johnny

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Posted by Jones1945 on Thursday, August 30, 2018 12:20 AM
Thank you everyone for sharing your first-hand travel experiences on PRR's trains in different period! All the things I have learned from you guys and my experience on this forum is way beyond my expectations! Thank you very much! I wish I can make a longer reply tomorrow. Good Night!Smile, Wink & Grin
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Posted by Jones1945 on Thursday, August 30, 2018 4:27 PM
BaltACD
……My lone family round trip from Baltimore to New York and return was on a Parlor Car - the seats appeared worn and the carpet trending toward threadbare.  While PRR personnel made efforts to satisfy their customers - their 'New York Style' was not appreciated by some. (New Yorker's can audiblely be distinguished a mile away - they don't hear it but non New Yorker's do.) 
 
 
I guess the morale of the leadership was sinking even though the front-line staffs were still working hard in mid-50s, I guess every railroad knew that slowly retreat from passenger service was the only way out after years of struggling. Replace steam engines with diesels was so easy, but there was absolutely no easy method to fight against the challenges from airline, buses, trucks and automobiles.
 
M636C
……Some time during the visit I decided that I'd check out the area for railroad activity. To my amazement I found three two car Broadway Limited Dining car sets standing in sidings. I've no idea who owned them. I expect that they were scrapped, but I was amazed to see then again on the West Coast.
 
That was amazing that you found the 48 built twin-unit dining car on West Coast! I wish they are still running in the country somewhere…... My favorite twin-unit dining car was the 24-wheel 1938 version, if I was born N-year earlier I would simply buy one and make it a diner.
 
 
Deggesty
I wish I could remember more of my first night in a Pullman--in January of 1962 I spent a night in a PRR 10-6 between Hattiesburg and Birmingham. Since it was my first such experience, I simply enjoyed the luxury of undressing and stretching out on the berth, and not having to wake up and shift my position in the night.
 
Glad to hear you enjoyed your journey on a PRR 10-6 sleeper! High level of privacy is something airline and buses cannot provide, even the first-class cabin on a plane nowadays cannot offer the same level of privacy a LW Pullman sleeper can provide to the passenger 50 years ago.
 
I really like the "positive mood" of this advertisement......There are things that I want to experence when traveling alone.
==========================================
 
 Idea90 PRR Built P85b coaches ordered in Nov 1944 has been removed from the list on the top post, these cars were designed by Raymond Loewy in 1944-45 to replace the Betterment cars on the Trail Blazer and other heavyweight equipment, postwar color scheme was used on these cars instead of  F.O.M scheme .
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Posted by Jones1945 on Friday, August 31, 2018 4:57 PM
A brief conclusion:
From 1938 to 1942, Penny ordered 175 new lightweight equipment (141 from Pullman and ACF, 34 from Budd) for the establishment of the “Fleet of Modernism” which included 4 named train in the first phase: The Broadway Limited, The General, The Liberty Limited and The Spirt of St. Louis
 
Beside new cars, Pennsy also refurbished 248 Betterment cars to expand the “Fleet of Modernism” in the second phase, named Train like the Trail Blazer, the Jeffersonian and the South Wind received new coaches and rebuilt HW coaches like P70kr and P70gsr. Four K4s Pacific were streamlined in PRR Shop to haul the South Wind and the Jeffersonian in 1940 and 1941.  
 
On the other hand, about 80-100 HW Pullman Sleeper were painted in F.O.M scheme and assigned to other Blue-Ribbon Fleet without streamlining from 1938 to 1943. Base on very conservative estimates, not more than 15% of PRR’s passenger equipment carried the F.O.M livery by the end 1944. 
 
PRR only had 8 streamlined steam locomotives for passenger service before 1945, they were one S1, two T1 prototype, four streamlined K4s designed by PRR shop and one streamlined K4s design by Raymond Loewy, but PRR had 139 streamlined electric locomotives GG1 serving on Northeast by 1944. Total number of streamlined steam locomotives in PRR System raised to 57 by Dec 1947, all were scrapped or de-skirted from 1950 (K4s) to 1952 (T1s)
 
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Posted by Jones1945 on Saturday, September 1, 2018 6:08 AM

US Marine Commander James Devereux returns from Wake Island to Washington DC. HD Stock Footage

Commander James Devereux took a PRR Pullman Sleeper, which was painted with F.O.M scheme, back to DC in 1945

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Posted by Jones1945 on Tuesday, September 4, 2018 12:04 PM

Updates was made today: 

Yes Adding 50 P70gsr Coach Nos. 4310-4359 (Paired Windows) on the list, base on the information provided by the Coach Yard, total number of Betterman Cars carried F.O.M scheme with actual car number provided increased from 162 to 212.  (total = 248 approx.) 

 P70gsr Coach (Paired Windows, early design)

 

 
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Posted by Jones1945 on Wednesday, September 5, 2018 8:59 AM

I forget this one: OEW 330 gas/electric car #4663, even though she didn't carry a complete F.O.M scheme. ( Without golden strips on both side)

Before refurbishment.

 

 

 

OEW 330 gas/electric car #4663

(source: http://prr.railfan.net/ )

Aug 21, 1941 from HAGLEY DIGITAL ARCHIVES.

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Posted by Jones1945 on Sunday, September 9, 2018 7:30 AM

Polarized windows was used on the 24-wheel Twin-unit dining car on the Trail Blazer. LIFE 1939
 

 
I believe the success of the Trail Blazer was unexpected by the PRR. The interior design of the consist was classy, clean and tidy but it was definitely not luxury in my book, compared to coach only prime train of Santa Fe or Union Pacific.
 
The fare of a seat on the Trail Blazer was $30.9 for a round trip from NY to Chi-town which is equal to about $550 today, an affordable price for most of the middle class which was attractive enough to pull patrons from rival’s trains or even PRR’s own train.
 
PRR met their Marengo running the Broadway Limited until late 50s, but the Trail Blazer definitely redeemed them. It is always hard to draw a conclusion of why the 20th Century beat the Broadway Limited until late 50s, just as why the Trail Blazer beat the Pacemaker of NYC in terms of ridership for a decade.  
 
By the way, I found the total number of Passenger car ( coaches, sleepers, lounge, combine lounge & baggeage, observation etc.) PRR owned by Jan 1946 in the annual report of PRR, which was 3416 cars.
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Posted by Jones1945 on Thursday, September 13, 2018 3:35 AM

Update was made on the first page, adding 88 lightweight car purchased from Pullman Standard in 2 lots from 1939-40, base on the information in the book "The Car of Pullman" by Joe Welsh.

I will confirm it by checking the actual Pullman car number from the Pullman Car list when I have time. If you have information about this topic, please feel free to post them here, thank you for your attention!  

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Posted by Jones1945 on Wednesday, September 26, 2018 3:13 PM

I found this little pic from the online archieve of the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania. This is actually the first time I found a color rendering of the "Unit Train" project, which was supposed to upgrade the Broadway Limited in early 30s leading by Loewy but cancelled and replaced by his new idea: the Fleet of Modernism. 

Aug. 17, 1936

"Staff meeting of VP's Charles D. Young, John F. Deasy and Walter S. Franklin considers the situation of Western railroads operating one or two "show" trains, like the Zephyr, Hiawatha, or Chief at very high speeds, reversing the trend where Eastern railroads traditionally had the edge in speed; urge placing two articulated lightweight two-car sets on the Broadway Limited, including Advance and Progress now running on the NYC; could bring weight down to under 450 tons, vs. 660 tons for existing heavyweights, and run Paoli-Chicago in 13:00; urges PRR to buy or build lightweight cars. (CMP)"

Sep. 14, 1936

"Pres. Clement presents memo on lightweight trains to Board; proposes a program to build nine lightweight trainsets, two of 12 cars for Broadway Limited, two of 10 cars for Liberty Limited, two of 12 cars for American/"Spirit of St. Louis", and two of 13 and 14 cars for The Congressional. (CMP)"

Sep. 28, 1936 (The "Mistake")

"Electro-Motive Corporation makes a formal proposal to furnish a 3,600 HP two-unit road passenger diesel that can haul the Broadway Limited between Paoli and Chicago, cutting the total running time from 16:30 to 15:00 flat. (CMP)"

Nov. 21, 1936

VP Charles D. Young in a memo to VP's John F. Deasy and Walter S. Franklin questions why they are planning for 102 seats in the new Broadway Limited, when the train only carries 30-35 passengers; suggests running lightweight equipment as an entirely new train without extra fare. (CMP)

http://www.prrths.com/newprr_files/Hagley/PRR1936%204_15_15.pdf

A conceptual design of an observation car, note there is no door and couper at the front end. 

 


Bonus:

May 4, 1937

Gen. Douglas MacArthur departs New York on The Broadway Limited en route to the Philippines; MacArthur has been made Field Marshal to command the Philippine Army, which is distinct from the U.S. forces in the Philippines. (PR, Smith/FDR)

http://www.prrths.com/newprr_files/Hagley/PRR1937%204_15_15.pdf

 

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Posted by Overmod on Wednesday, September 26, 2018 8:41 PM

Note that this is right at the time period when UP and Milwaukee were discovering that separable full-size consists were preferable to lightweight motor trains of the future.  I suspect that is part of what guided PRR not to make the attempt; I can't really imagine a lightweight Broadway even with full sleeper accommodations, and of course the Trail Blazer is what actually introduced lightweight modernism in the 'right' context for PRR.

I can't imagine any rebuilding of PRR steam of that era that would support a 15-hour timing, even with the shorter route (vs. NYC).  And a duplex 'rightsized' for one of those lightweight consists would be too small for alternative trains, but a T1 would be overkill at any practical increased speed outside the electrification (which presumably would have gone to Pittsburgh on the original '30s priority schedule if EMD locomotives weren't adopted).

On the other hand we all have failed to find pictures of the proposed Pennsy '30s E8 ... no, that's not a typo, it would have been an oil-fired 84"-drivered Atlantic probably quite similar to a Baldwin version of the Milwaukee A.  I'm surprised there is no mention of this being 'preferred' power for the PRR lightweight train service.  I suspect if anyone can find pictorial references you can.

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Posted by Jones1945 on Thursday, September 27, 2018 1:18 PM
Overmod
Note that this is right at the time period when UP and Milwaukee were discovering that separable full-size consists were preferable to lightweight motor trains of the future.  I suspect that is part of what guided PRR not to make the attempt; I can't really imagine a lightweight Broadway even with full sleeper accommodations, and of course the Trail Blazer is what actually introduced lightweight modernism in the 'right' context for PRR.
 
I think you are right about UP and Milwaukee's "epiphany" that articulated lightweight trainset like M-10000s were not feasible or flexible enough during operation since they were hard to adjust the length of the train base on demand at different seasons. From what I found about the Unit Train, I really don’t think it would help PRR to turn the table for the Broadway, although I am not sure what kind of different service they were planning to provide; without increasing the fare; which would be much better than the Century and other NYC’s trains, but the Unit Train itself wasn’t something really special from inside to outside, it looked good and that was it. So yes, I think the point you mentioned was the main reason why the Unit Train project was cancelled, not to mention there were strong different opinions inside the management of the PRR. Pennsy made a sensible decision to replace the project with a much simple and straightforward approach; new cars, new livery aka the Fleet of Modernism.
 
I am glad that the F.O.M was a success, the General and Trail Blazer was really something that could challenge the “monopoly” of NYCRR in the NYC to Chicago overnight through train market. The gross revenue of the General was much higher than I thought after a review, but PRR could have done better than that. Note that the F.O.M didn’t save the Broadway from its extreme low ridership until 1943 when PRR dropped the extra-fare , in this case, I think it would worth a try to use a trainset like M-10002s for the Broadway; offer something new to the passenger at a lower operating cost, probably a faster schedule as well.
 
 
 
Overmod
I can't imagine any rebuilding of PRR steam of that era that would support a 15-hour timing, even with the shorter route (vs. NYC).  And a duplex 'rightsized' for one of those lightweight consists would be too small for alternative trains, but a T1 would be overkill at any practical increased speed outside the electrification (which presumably would have gone to Pittsburgh on the original '30s priority schedule if EMD locomotives weren't adopted).
 
I would like to see a race being host by PRR between EMC E1 and PRR #5399 (better equip roller bearing on her rods first) because I consider the rebuilt #5399 of 1939 as a “tiny” version of T1, but when EMC offered their dieselization plan to PRR in 1936, #5399 wasn’t rebuilt by Lima yet, I can’t find any other interesting replacement. Anyway, I understand that there were a lot of different parties inside the PRR Board, controlled by different interest groups, so such race was almost impossible to happen officially. EMD understand that speed was an simple but important factor of competitiveness but it seems that PRR never really cared about how to make faster schedule for their prime trains.
 
 
Santa Fe's publicity photo
 
 
Overmod
On the other hand we all have failed to find pictures of the proposed Pennsy '30s E8 ... no, that's not a typo, it would have been an oil-fired 84"-drivered Atlantic probably quite similar to a Baldwin version of the Milwaukee A.  I'm surprised there is no mention of this being 'preferred' power for the PRR lightweight train service.  I suspect if anyone can find pictorial references you can. 
 
If you didn’t remind me in this thread, I almost forget this proposal! I guess the management of PRR was really impressed by the performance and popularity of Milwaukee A and shocked by the reaction of the public, thus they wanted to try it before Baldwin brought up the duplex suggestion. I would give it a try but I need more keywords about this proposed engine. I remember an author in a book describes S1 #6100 as “Two Milwaukee Class A under one boiler” (something like that), I bet the image of MILW Class A was deeply-imprint in the mind of PRR’s management. IIRC, PRR tested the MILW Class A in their system, didn’t they?
 

Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania

 

By the way, there is one thing I forgot about the Fleet of Modernism, which is the power of the fleet. GG1 and R1 were the power within the electrified territory, they were powerful and fast enough to represent the new fleet, but there were only two "new"steam train; PRR #3768 and S1 #6100 powered the fleet outside the electrified territory. K4s without streamlining was the prime power of this “modernized” fleet even after four streamlined K4s and two duplex prototypes put into service by 1942. So, Unlike MILW’s Hiawatha or NYC’s 20th Century, the Fleet of Modernism wasn’t a fleet 100% streamlined, from the engine to the car, west of Harrisburg!  

When the production T1 arrived in phases, the term “Fleet of Modernism” was long gone and has been replaced by something like “All-weather Fleet” “East-West Fleet” etc. I understand that the general public probably had no mood to admire the beauty of any streamlined engine during the horrific, ugly, cruel, dark cold World War ( did they?), but it was probably not the reason why PRR only streamlined four K4s for two new Streamliner routes, the South Wind and the Jeffersonian, but not the entire fleet.
 
With the clout PRR had, if they wanted to streamline ten more K4s, I think nobody would stop them if they could provide a high-sounding reason. (P.S Four "non Lowey style Streamlined K4s were streamlined Before the Attack on Pearl Harbour )
 

 

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Posted by 3rd rail on Saturday, September 29, 2018 3:58 AM

If everyone wasn't in such a damned hurry these days, this would be the way to go! I took Amtrak City of New Orleans in 1994, It was about 14 hours late, not counting my connection being 24 hours off, due to a stoppage at Englewood. Amtrak did put me up in a hotel in CHI for the night, but I still missed one day/night in New Orleans.  Still was a good trip... 

 

Todd 

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Posted by erikem on Saturday, September 29, 2018 11:37 AM

Overmod

Note that this is right at the time period when UP and Milwaukee were discovering that separable full-size consists were preferable to lightweight motor trains of the future.

I assume you meant to write "UP and Burlington", although there a couple of other roads using fully articulated trainsets.

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Posted by Overmod on Saturday, September 29, 2018 2:34 PM

Glad you caught that... although no, I did write 'Milwaukee' thinking about consists pulled by 4-4-2s becoming obsolescent quickly and this necessitating larger locomotives.  Forgetting utterly about lightweight consists in the process.

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Posted by Jones1945 on Saturday, September 29, 2018 5:09 PM
The public reaction of MILW's "new" Hiawatha was beyond the management's expectation, so the "Tiny" Class A 4-4-2 which was supposed to "mimic" a short lightweight streamliner (6-car consist) like M-10000 was found inadequate to handle much longer consist and maintain fast schedule. MILW ordered six Class F7 Hudson to handle the much longer Hiawatha (12-14 car consist).
 
UP encountered the same situation thus the short service life of M-10000. But there were some exception case like IC's Green Diamond. : )
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Posted by Jones1945 on Sunday, September 30, 2018 1:23 AM

3rd rail

If everyone wasn't in such a damned hurry these days, this would be the way to go! I took Amtrak City of New Orleans in 1994, It was about 14 hours late, not counting my connection being 24 hours off, due to a stoppage at Englewood. Amtrak did put me up in a hotel in CHI for the night, but I still missed one day/night in New Orleans.  Still was a good trip... 

For tourist-oriented train trains like City of New Orleans of Amtrak, speed is never a big problem, just as many long-distance overnight trains in the past like UP's the City of LA, Santa Fe's Super chief or PRR's South Wind, their target customer were families, retired people, individuals taking holiday break or tourists from different states and countries. Unlike those trains served the North East Corridor like the PRR's Congressional or Senator, their target costumer were businessman, executives or political figures and their retinues. Time is money in business world, so passenger on these train not only expected the trains arrive on time, they didn't want to spend too much time on transportation neither.

Even a 2 hours and 50 mins service schedule for NY to D.C still wasn’t fast enough to save the last trump card of PRR form the challenge of regional airlines, speed is no doubt an essential factor of RRs competitiveness. 

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Posted by Jones1945 on Thursday, November 8, 2018 11:44 AM

 

 

PRR K4s #5471 leading the Trail Blazer. It was probably a 8-car section of the mentioned train. A "semi-streamliner" ?  (1940)

 


 

 

 

Betterment car POC70R coach-observation carrying the original Trail Blazer keystone plate. (Winter, 1939)

 


 

The Trail Blazer in early 1940s, A 12-car consist leading by K4s (S1 can't be that small).


 

 

A rare color photo of PRR's betterment car, probably a P70KR coach, using the same interior color scheme as the Pullman lightweight sleeper of 1938.

Note the chairback of the reclining seat was rather short! The staff was changing the direction of the seats.

I am not sure if this is a pic of the rebuilt twin unit dining car. Note the light trough above the windows.

Coffee

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Posted by BaltACD on Saturday, November 10, 2018 8:34 PM

Let me interject some 'ambiance' to the times to something that was taking place outside the railroads but highlights some of the thinking at the time.

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Posted by Jones1945 on Sunday, November 11, 2018 10:10 AM

BaltACD

Let me interject some 'ambiance' to the times to something that was taking place outside the railroads but highlights some of the thinking at the time.

Nice Video, Balt. Interesting to see comments were inclined to love the SS Normandie more than the RMS Queen Mary. I love steam powered Ocean Liner since I was a child and my father always mentioned about Queen Mary, Queen Elizabeth and the Titanic. The Former never impressed me anyway. They were good ships but not progressive enough for my taste. If I can afford a first-class ticket in that era, why would I travel on the second most expensive ship instead of the best one? The SS Normandie was not only the most expensive one in terms of construction cost, but she was also beautiful, revolutionary from inside to outside.

Nevertheless, the competition between SS Normandie and RMS Queen Mary was legendary. We couldn't experience the same style of traveling anymore. Limited trains powered by the steam engine plus steam powered Ocean liner was the best package of traveling. But both types of transportation were replaced by the Iron birds.

WELCOME TO THE BLOODY FUTURE. 

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Posted by Jones1945 on Tuesday, November 13, 2018 4:28 AM

A rare photo showing Pullman Muskingum River, an all-stainless steel 2/1/1 buffet lounge attached to a PRR F.O.M car:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/barrigerlibrary/12349544773/

A scale model of Muskingum River:

 

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Posted by Overmod on Tuesday, November 13, 2018 12:38 PM

Jones1945
WELCOME TO THE BLOODY FUTURE.

Well, there was a future after Normandie: it included the United States (far faster) and the France.  These partook directly of the 'streamlined' style that characterized so many of our postwar 'luxury' trains.  Think carefully about why Normandie was not promptly floated and restored after the fire.  (And it is interesting to think about the interiors that would have been built into [url=https://oceanlinersblog.wordpress.com/2017/10/22/the-ships-that-never-sailed-part-2/]Yourkevitch's version of the Bretagne[/quote], Blue Riband speed and 100,000+ tons at the same time...)

They all went in the hole long ago, and I think it could be argued that even the best of the postwar streamliners had less 'luxury' than prewar trains like the ATSF de Luxe, even if there were better bells and whistles and lights and air conditioning.

You're forgetting that there was an intermediate stage between Juan Trippe' flying boats and Freddy Laker: the whole stillborn SST revolution that was developing even before the 707 and its ilk became competitive to long-distance trains.  That's not for want of trying (notably on the part of the British) to develop luxury 'liners of the sky' with multiple decks, sleeper berths and cabins, and other amenities -- note that the 2707 in particular was predicated on large numbers of the equivalent of 'steerage' to make the numbers -- but you'll note what it took to get the 747 to pay "best", and it wasn't first class and observation glass noses on the upper deck.  And you'll notice that getting there increasingly quicker became increasingly deprecated as a design criterion ... even today, when we could have 54-minute service between any two places.

 

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Posted by M636C on Tuesday, November 13, 2018 4:18 PM

Jones1945

A rare photo showing Pullman Muskingum River, an all-stainless steel 2/1/1 buffet lounge attached to a PRR F.O.M car:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/barrigerlibrary/12349544773/

A scale model of Muskingum River:

Reasonably authoritative sources suggest the Muskingum River had an alumininium skin on a steel frame. I know Arthur Dubin said it was stainless steel....

Peter

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Posted by Overmod on Tuesday, November 13, 2018 6:57 PM

M636C
Reasonably authoritative sources suggest the Muskingum River had an aluminium skin on a steel frame.

All the authoritative print sources I know (e.g. Welsh et al. The Cars of Pullman) that mention Muskingum River say it used stainless panels over Cor-Ten framing.  I was not aware of any Pullman car of this era that used aluminum over steel; the Geo. M. Pullman was full aluminum construction, as I think were the various UP streamliner Pullmans of this era (please, someone check Kratville), and the stuff chief engineer Parke describes in the 1939 SAE paper was Cor-Ten framed with stainless panels clipped on, the structure that has not 'worn well' in preserved equipment.

If you have detailed sources, ideally with photographs or detail drawings, that substantiate aluminum for Muskingum River, please provide them.  You would not have said 'aluminium' without good cause.

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Posted by Jones1945 on Wednesday, November 14, 2018 6:04 AM

Overmod

Well, there was a future after Normandie: it included the United States (far faster) and the France.  These partook directly of the 'streamlined' style that characterized so many of our postwar 'luxury' trains.  Think carefully about why Normandie was not promptly floated and restored after the fire.  (And it is interesting to think about the interiors that would have been built into [url=https://oceanlinersblog.wordpress.com/2017/10/22/the-ships-that-never-sailed-part-2/] Yourkevitch's version of the Bretagne, Blue Riband speed and 100,000+ tons at the same time...)

How could I forget the Big U and SS France of 1961 my dear friend? But I skipped them in my previous post because they were not fabulous enough for my taste. There were really fast and modern at the time but the styling of the late-1950s is not my cup of tea. I would have jumped on the SS France of 1910, a much older and slower four funnel steam liner instead of the new SS France if I could travel back in time. But RMS Lusitania is still my favorite four tunnel steam liner. Smile

Regarding the total loss of SS Normandie, I believe there are some reasons why you raise the question in this way. So, besides all the historical facts and official answers, please let me think out of the box for once. Allow me put it in this way: was it possible that Charles de Gaulle or the Franco-British Union administration actually wanted to get rid of the USS Lafayette (Normandie) instead of saving it? SS Normandie was never a commercial success; relied on government’s subsidies since day one, it was, and it would be a major negative equity of "The Government of the French in exile"; Let alone she already lost the Blue Ribbon to Queen Mary before the Battle of France, even though the Normandie had already been equipped with new propellers and various mechanical upgrades. 

On the other hand, French folks needed the help from British to reclaim the WHOLE nation from the Nazi, there was no point to keep a ship that would have continuously compete with British ship the Queen Mary after the war. Sinking the USS Lafayette on purpose probably was an unofficial deal between Charles de Gaulle, Churchill and the British monarch at the time; which was 68,500 tons of steel, tons of luxury furniture, fittings and equipment. These were some of the best material "the Government of French in exile" could offer.

The best way, or probably the only way to find an excuse to scrap the SS Normandie was creating an accident since it would have triggered or disheartened the France folks or even the general public in the States. 

The never-built SS Bretagne’s “radical design” by Vladimir Yourkevitch would have been a success if the French Line corrected all the mistakes they had made on the SS Normandie. Increase the proportion of 2nd Class capacity and improve the quality of facilities for lower class passengers. But the conventional design was chosen; I see it a totally wasting of time. 

Norman Bel Geddes 's streamlined ocean liner

Overmod

You're forgetting that there was an intermediate stage between Juan Trippe' flying boats and Freddy Laker: the whole stillborn SST revolution that was developing even before the 707 and its ilk became competitive to long-distance trains. 

The development history of civil aviation is not something I am good at or very interested in. However, I still have this thought that Class I railroad on the North East didn’t try hard enough to compete with all kinds of transportation including the Airlines. Despite tons of resources gained from the wartime traffic, we couldn’t see any innovative transportation project like the Weems Electric Railway you shared with us (thanks). We discussed the reason on this topic before which included the US government’s post-war transport policy and different limitations, mechanically and financially of different RRs system. But I am still Up in arms about the demise of long-distance passenger train services in the States. 

In short, I wish there was an HSR being built in the 1940s, connecting Chicago, Columbus, Pittsburgh, Washington, D.C., New York and Boston for my beautiful, fabulous S1, T1, S2, Streamlined K4s, Super M1c, PRR R2 etc to show off their speed!CoffeeSmile, Wink & Grin

Norman Bel Geddes 's seaplane 

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Posted by Jones1945 on Friday, December 21, 2018 10:34 PM

One of a kind, PRR P85C #4045

Publicity photo

Collection of Stephen A. Thomas
In 1940 New York World Fair before purchased by Pennsy. 

 

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Posted by Overmod on Saturday, December 22, 2018 8:48 AM

Jones1945

Collection of Stephen A. Thomas

This deserves a little more recognition in context, especially with PRR building specific high-speed coaches 'for itself' in this era (about which I hope Mr. Klepper, for one, will add some comment).

Here is Pressed Steel advertising its premier product in 1940.  Their production of passenger cars was shut down by the WPB in 1942, but something interesting was that they never resumed domestic passenger-car production, even for the 'streamliner boom' of the 1940s. 

There is an 'accounting' of Pressed Steel production in this PDF.

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Posted by Jones1945 on Saturday, December 22, 2018 5:10 PM

Thank you for the detailed and informative response, Overmod. I note post-war trucks (GSC 41-N-XX?) were used on the demo car in the 1939-40 World Fair, while Pullman's products were still using GSC 43-R passenger truck. The design of mini-skirt streamlining and the wider but shorter window was also adopted on PRR's post-war P85b passenger car. Judging by its high capacity, I guess the demo car was assigned to the highest demand all-coach trains after it was bought by Pennsy. Let see if I can find one more pic of it in service!

PRR Betterman car P70KR (1939)

 


 

Pressed Steel Car Company, PRR P85C (1940)


 

PRR P85B (1948)

Source: http://prr.railfan.net 


 

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Posted by Jones1945 on Sunday, January 27, 2019 3:55 AM

Some photos of prime power of the "Fleet of Modernism" at the Lima Station:

  • PRR streamlined K4s #1120 hauling the Manhattan Limited

https://www.flickr.com/photos/jjyoungjr/33063303950/in/album-72157645605285036/

https://www.flickr.com/photos/jjyoungjr/33447106005/in/album-72157645605285036/

  • PRR S1 #6100 stop at Lima station, 

https://www.flickr.com/photos/jjyoungjr/33448637165/in/album-72157645605285036/


 

  • PRR #5507 at Stuebenville, OH 

https://www.flickr.com/photos/jjyoungjr/32528206483/in/album-72157645605285036/

Thank you for watching.

 

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Posted by Miningman on Sunday, January 27, 2019 12:08 PM

Great photo album link. The lineup of power at Cincinnati Union is amazing. Really captures an era. 

The photo of the T1 hauling frieght 'down in the weeds on the low line' is stunning. 55?9 looks to be in superb condition, not all banged up and holes poked all over the place. Haunting images. Could study these pictures for hours. Really like the Columbus Ohio station picture with the NYC and PRR locos all over the place. Busy spot!

Very little, even many of the Diesels, survived much longer after these photos. Some show T1's and Q2's already in dead lines. PRR Erie builds, Centipedes, Sharks both freight and giant passenger versions all on borrowed time really, looking for a place to fit and be useful. 

 

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Posted by Flintlock76 on Sunday, January 27, 2019 12:36 PM

Sometimes I wonder if among other things one of the reasons the PRR got in money trouble after the war was their going absolutely nuts buying diesels from everyone who had one for sale.  EMD, Baldwin, ALCO, Fairbanks-Morse, you name it, and in a big way, instead of just buying a few of each for evalutation and then going for the best that suited their purposes.

The Norfolk & Western profited by the Pennsy's example.  When the time came they bought Geeps and didn't bother with any other road diesels.  Any other diesels the N&W wound up with usually came by way of merger with other 'roads.

Oh well. At least the Northeastern railfans got a great show when many of the PRR "also-rans" wound up hauling commuters on the North Jersey Coast Line.  

That's also where the K4 Pacifics made their "last stand."  

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Posted by Jones1945 on Sunday, January 27, 2019 6:43 PM

Miningman

Great photo album link. The lineup of power at Cincinnati Union is amazing. Really captures an era...

Very little, even many of the Diesels, survived much longer after these photos. Some show T1's and Q2's already in dead lines. PRR Erie builds, Centipedes, Sharks both freight and giant passenger versions all on borrowed time really, looking for a place to fit and be useful. 

Yes, that is a very good photo album on Flickr with tons of photos of B&O, C&O, PRR, NYC, N&W... etc. If Pennsy kept using their T1s and Q2s, I believe they would have had a longer service life than all those diesel engines you mentioned! 

Flintlock76

Sometimes I wonder if among other things one of the reasons the PRR got in money trouble after the war was their going absolutely nuts buying diesels from everyone who had one for sale.  EMD, Baldwin, ALCO, Fairbanks-Morse, you name it, and in a big way, instead of just buying a few of each for evalutation and then going for the best that suited their purposes.

I always want to calculate the total cost Pennsy spent on Erie-builts, Centipedes, Alco PAs, Sharks and compare to the operation cost of T1s and Q2s assuming they continued serving until the late 1960s to find out which appoach was more expensive. But I am too lazy to gather all the data for a meaningful answer.

Anyway, problems of 52 T1s were solved as early as 1947 which is equal to 338000 DBHP, 104 units of K4s or 169 units of a 2000hp diesel engine! 26 units of Q2 equal to 202800 DBHP or 102 units of a 2000hp diesel engine. 

 

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Posted by BaltACD on Sunday, January 27, 2019 7:44 PM

Jones1945
I always want to calculate the total cost Pennsy spent on Erie-builts, Centipedes, Alco PAs, Sharks and compare to the operation cost of T1s and Q2s assuming they continued serving until the late 1960s to find out which appoach was more expensive. But I am too lazy to gather all the data for a meaningful answer.

Anyway, problems of 52 T1s were solved as early as 1947 which is equal to 338000 DBHP, 104 units of K4s or 169 units of a 2000hp diesel engine! 26 units of Q2 equal to 202800 DBHP or 102 units of a 2000hp diesel engine. 

On a HP basis you may have something, however, on a availability basis even as bad as the non-EMD locomotives were, they were hands down more available than any steam locomotives.

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Posted by Miningman on Sunday, January 27, 2019 8:07 PM

The fact the PRR was a cripple, lost its identity under Penn Central and promptly went bankrupt says it all. Diesels did not save them. Some say it postponed the end but I say bullocks to that. They would have done better retaining modern steam, merging with N&W and held out for 10 or 15 years before Dieselization. The eventual outcome could not be any worse. They could have also defied the ICC , fight with delaying tactics in courts. What they gonna do.. send the Army? Nationalize all those assets? Just keep it going and to heck with them, give them lip service or pretend. 

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Posted by CSSHEGEWISCH on Monday, January 28, 2019 10:36 AM

PRR started going south right after WW2.  It's rather well known that it took an operating loss in 1946 but still paid a dividend, quite probably from income from N&W dividends received and foolish borrowing.  Steam operations would have become more expensive as suppliers left the parts business and replacement parts became custom (expensive) orders.  Aside from the J-1's and M-1's, PRR did not have a lot of modern steam.  A merger with N&W in the ICC regulation era would have been a legal ordeal and was probably unlikely.  Defying the ICC was not a viable legal or political option.  Poor management was also a factor.

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 Miningman on Monday, January 28, 2019 1:29 PM

CSSHEGEWISCH-- All true, no doubt. If you listen to the lecture by Al Churella ( found on the thread ' Al Churella on the PRR and why it was different')  you will hear that they actually went quite rouge and ignored what they were obligated and ordered to do by legislative bodies. They just went ahead and did it anyway. 

Its interesting to think if there was a path forward for the PRR after the war. There must be one scenario that works and keeps the PRR whole. Also I suppose today's Norfolk Southern could be somewhat what the PRR becomes. No Penn Central, no Conrail, ever happens. Still the PRR. 

With 20/20 hindsight we can put together some way they survive.

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Posted by selector on Monday, January 28, 2019 1:48 PM

Miningman
...retaining modern steam, merging with N&W and held out for 10 or 15 years before Dieselization.

How would this have changed the processes and culture that led up to the demise of the PRR?  If something was causing decay that provided an impetus to the changes you propose, what about what you propose would have altered the circumstances leading to its eventual demise?  What would have been forestalled that hadn't been obviously 'coming' for about a decade already?

Sorry, I don't follow your reasoning.

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Posted by Jones1945 on Monday, January 28, 2019 2:52 PM

I once thought about making a list of mistakes PRR made from the 1939 to 1949 base on my hindsight, but we already discussed this topic extensively with experts like Overmod and many forumers who knows the history of Pennsy not long ago.

There is at least one new point worth mentioning; I believe many Pennsy fans in this forum already noticed that there is a new conclusion made by a very well experienced railroader and scholar from the UK that the Franklin poppet valve gear could barely improve the performance of PRR's duplexes but engine like the rebuilt K4s #5399 by Lima. As one of the most resourceful and the largest railroad in the world, it is too hard for me to believe that not even a single mechanical engineer or officials worked for PRR noticed and pointed out such problem at the time. 

While maintenance cost of the whole fleet was an astronomical bill needed to be settled every single month, so much money was wasted for fixing things like the (almost useless) Franklin type A poppet valve gear and the problems it created. Mitigation measures like purchases of the early problematic diesel engine to replace those brand new duplex accidentally and unexpectedly wasted even more time and resources of PRR.

When dealing with the rapid decline of LD train service, Pennsy didn't have any innovative idea which matches its status in the railroading industry; what they did was to canceling train after train; but I don't blame them, since it was the only way out for PRR and many other railroads, under the shadow of post-war US's transportation policy... and let's not forget that it was the people of America who abandoned our fallen flags; it was the government who encouraged people to use the highway and airport, to own a car, a truck and take the bus...

 

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Posted by Miningman on Monday, January 28, 2019 2:58 PM

Well it's just simply keeping doing what they are best at, and avoiding all that expense laid out in all those crappy Diesels that were very expensive in every way conceivable. With closer ties to the N&W the coal business would stay very viable for some time. They could have adopted N&W practice of lubritorioums and advanced steam technology. The bugs in the T1's were mostly worked out. Throwing a 65 million dollar investment in perfectly good Duplexii into the furnace and blowing another huge wad of cash on essentaially untested and rushed to market Diesels from several builders made it all worse. 

Don't let Stuart Sauders anywhere near any door on either property.  Form a strong alliance with N&W, steam and coal based and get on with the show. The PRR was different. So was the N&W, until dingbat arrived.

If any of that could have happened it would be the PRR that could have pulled this off. Could be wishful thinking on my part and it's all pie in the sky nonsense but the path they went on led straight to extinction. 

See also prior comment. With the passage of time and hindsight we can put together different scenarios. 

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Posted by Flintlock76 on Monday, January 28, 2019 6:03 PM

Why didn't the Pennsy adopt the successful, and more  than successful steam operating practices of the N&W, up to and including buying Class J's when they needed a new passenger locomotive?

Well, this subject came up several years ago on the C-T Forum, and my theory at the time, which I still hold, is it was simple foolish pride on the PRR's part.

I think the "powers that were" at the PRR just couldn't bring themselves to admit that those "hillbillies" down in Roanoke were just plain better at designing, building, and running steam locomotives than they, the PRR, were. 

I can imagine the huffing and puffing in Philadelphia...

"How can this be?  We're the Pennsylvania Railroad!  The "Standard Railroad Of The World!"

As the saying goes, "Pride goeth before a fall,"  but obviously not in this case.

Am I wrong?  I don't think so.

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Posted by Miningman on Monday, January 28, 2019 7:09 PM

Thanks Firelock. No doubt that was a part of it.

Not very old. 

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Posted by Flintlock76 on Monday, January 28, 2019 8:11 PM

Anytime Miningman!  That is kind of a sad sight though, that ALCO PA carcass on the way to joing the fraternity of Pi Kappa Scrappa.

Ever read Rush Loving's "The Men Who Loved Trains?"  The description of the upper echelons of the PRR during the lead-up to the merger with the NYC had me scratching my head in disbelief.  Turf-wars, private fiefdoms with egos to match, all of them acting like members of the Order Of The Garter instead of professional railroaders.  They all should have been thrown out!  Just incredible!

Hence my "too proud to admit there's another way" theory concerning the bunch.

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Posted by Jones1945 on Tuesday, January 29, 2019 8:37 AM

Flintlock76

Why didn't the Pennsy adopt the successful, and more  than successful steam operating practices of the N&W, up to and including buying Class J's when they needed a new passenger locomotive?

Well, this subject came up several years ago on the C-T Forum, and my theory at the time, which I still hold, is it was simple foolish pride on the PRR's part.

In some books, PRR officials were described as arrogant and unfriendly by other RRs officials. I don't have any solid evidence to confirm that but judging from how they execute the development plan of the duplex and their unrealistic optimism to Franklin, Baldwin and Alco's early product, It is not hard to understand that it was Union Pacific and Santa Fe who survived much longer but not PRR or even the NYCentral. But as a Pannsy (non-die-hard) fans I get used to Pennsy's management style every time I review their history, just like people get used of their wife or husband's behavior. Coffee 

 

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Posted by BaltACD on Tuesday, January 29, 2019 3:13 PM

Flintlock76
Anytime Miningman!  That is kind of a sad sight though, that ALCO PA carcass on the way to joing the fraternity of Pi Kappa Scrappa.

Ever read Rush Loving's "The Men Who Loved Trains?"  The description of the upper echelons of the PRR during the lead-up to the merger with the NYC had me scratching my head in disbelief.  Turf-wars, private fiefdoms with egos to match, all of them acting like members of the Order Of The Garter instead of professional railroaders.  They all should have been thrown out!  Just incredible!

Hence my "too proud to admit there's another way" theory concerning the bunch.   

To a somewhat lesser degree - all that infighting still exists in today's railroads.  It exists in any large layered hierarchy - just look the governments of the world.

'

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Posted by Miningman on Tuesday, January 29, 2019 9:07 PM

How do you explain this? A whopping 17.5% freight rate increase, record income and business.. nothing here makes sense.

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Posted by BaltACD on Tuesday, January 29, 2019 10:54 PM

Miningman
How do you explain this? A whopping 17.5% freight rate increase, record income and business.. nothing here makes sense.

How do I explain it - PRR making a narrative with its financial statement against ICC regulations and other forms of governmental oversight.  Sharp pencils create the story that the boss wants to present.

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Posted by Jones1945 on Wednesday, January 30, 2019 10:26 AM

How shall I put it? CoffeeAlien

Who benefited the most from the PRR's first loss as well as its demise which came afterward?

Would PRR, the largest RR in the world have survived if the government didn't milk the RRs like cows?

Do you think all these RRs of Northeast could have done something to stop the government from building the highway and airport; people buying their own cars and trucks for various purposes; the traveler who takes the plane, traveling on the sky with the family or taking the bus for a cheap mid-distance trip? 

If PRR purchased 76 N&W Class J instead of T1, how much longer do you think these engine would have served compared to the T1s and N&W's steam engine?

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Posted by Flintlock76 on Wednesday, January 30, 2019 12:05 PM

"Who benefited from the PRR's first loss as well as its demise..."

I can't imagine who.

"Would the PRR have survived...if the government hadn't milked the railroads like cows?"

Interesting question.  Politicians milking businesses up North was one of the contributing factors that led to the "Rust Belt" phenomenon, which affected the PRR as well as a number of other 'roads.  Not the only factor mind you, but an important one.  

"Do you think all the RR's in the Northeast could have done something..."

No.

"If the PRR had purchased 76 Class J's..."

Ah, now we're on to something.  They certainly would have saved a hell of a lot of money by not developing something new and totally radical by PRR standards like the T-1.  Whether they would have spent the money saved wisely is another matter.

How long they would have operated those Class J's is anyone's guess.  Theoretically the Class J's on the N&W could have been operated as late as 1965, maybe 1970, but then environmental laws coming into effect in the 1970's would certainly have put an end to mainline steam for anything other than excursion purposes unless the steamers in use were given a "grandfather" type exemption, i.e. "OK, you can use them until they're worn out and due for replacement, but no new ones!"   Kind of like the "grandfather" exemptions the ICC gave to 'roads that used "Camelback" type locomotives.

Oh, I like that picture of the "Fleet of Modernism" train heading off into the sunset!  It doesn't matter if that sunset is literal or figural, it's still cool!

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Posted by BaltACD on Wednesday, January 30, 2019 12:53 PM

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Posted by Flintlock76 on Wednesday, January 30, 2019 2:45 PM

Good film!  Thanks for posting Balt!

They've done some good stuff on Pennsylvania Public Television.  One classic is "Pennsyvania Diner,"  but watching that one'll make you hungry, trust me!

Well OK, here it is, from the 1990's...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hmoDYCyB5kM   

It's about an hour-and-a-half long, so you may want to take it in small "bites."  Dinner  Whistling

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Posted by MidlandMike on Wednesday, January 30, 2019 6:31 PM

The N&W was primarily a coal conveyor and their steam was suited for the purpose.  PRR's efforts were primarily toward a general freight RR.  I don't see how N&W's practices would have translated to PRR.

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Posted by BaltACD on Wednesday, January 30, 2019 9:26 PM

Flintlock76
Good film!  Thanks for posting Balt!

They've done some good stuff on Pennsylvania Public Television.  One classic is "Pennsyvania Diner,"  but watching that one'll make you hungry, trust me!

Well OK, here it is, from the 1990's...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hmoDYCyB5kM   

It's about an hour-and-a-half long, so you may want to take it in small "bites."  Dinner  Whistling

For a number of years, living in Baltimore and having my inlaws in Akron - the PA Turnpike was the normal route connecting the two - The Midway Service area was a frequent stop in both directions.  My favorite was HoJo's blueberry pancakes.  

Now a days, with the toll robbery that PA has on the Turnpike, I travel I-68 & I-79 to get to I-77 - No Tolls - with the PA & OH Tolls being about $20 and only shortening the trip by about 10 minutes - it isn't worth the tolls.

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Posted by Jones1945 on Thursday, January 31, 2019 9:41 AM

Flintlock76

Oh, I like that picture of the "Fleet of Modernism" train heading off into the sunset!  It doesn't matter if that sunset is literal or figural, it's still cool!

Thanks a lot, Wayne. The colors of the sunset was a perfect match with the FOM-Tuscan red plus maroon and golden strip. It was the best color scheme of Pennsy as well as Raymond Loewy's work for railroading, but it barely lasted about 10 years. My favorite PRR FOM car was the heavyweight betterment Pullman sleeper:

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Posted by Overmod on Friday, February 1, 2019 1:36 PM

MidlandMike
The N&W was primarily a coal conveyor and their steam was suited for the purpose.

And you think a 70"-drivered locomotive with lightweight Timken rods on the last 5 examples is optimized for coal hauling -- how?

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Posted by Flintlock76 on Friday, February 1, 2019 2:28 PM

MidlandMike

The N&W was primarily a coal conveyor and their steam was suited for the purpose.  PRR's efforts were primarily toward a general freight RR.  I don't see how N&W's practices would have translated to PRR.

 

Well, you have to realize that when Miningman and myself are talking about the PRR adopting N&W practices what we mean is this, and bear with me.

The PRR's steam development essentially stopped in 1914, anything that came afterward was a variation on a basic theme.  "Build 'em simple and build 'em reliable" was a good policy as long as everthing stayed static.  But it didn't.

N&W on the other hand was always looking for ways to improve steam performance and utilization, the R&D never stopped.  Automatic lubrication, roller bearings, lightweight steel alloys, all were tested in turn and applied as soon as practical.

Then there were the N&W's "Lubritoriums," so designed that one of N&W's modern state-of-the-art steamers could be serviced and back on the road in anywhere from 45 to 60 minutes.  The PRR had nothing like them, as far as I know.

When the Pennsy started to look at steam design again they came up with the S-1, good but too big, the S-2 turbine, good in theory but bad in practice, and the T-1, good but just a little too late.  

What the 'roads hauled was of little real consequence.  The N&W was a coal pipeline to Tidewater, and probably got their coal fuel at a discount from the mining companies, but they hauled other things besides coal. 

The PRR could have learned a lot from the N&W, but ignored them.  The best tribute to N&W's steam team probably came from the crew at Lima Locomotive Works, no slouches themselves when it came to steam design...

"N&W?  There's nothing we can teach them about building steam locomotives!"

Of course, by the 50's the men running N&W could see the writing on the wall, they knew diesels were coming, it was just a matter of time, but even then they played it smart.  They waited to see what everone else's experiences were with diesels and then made their choice.  They bought EMD's "Geeps."

Even though "Geeps" looked absolutely awful on the head end of trains like "The Cavalier,"  "The Pocahontas," and the "Powhatan Arrow!"   

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Posted by MidlandMike on Friday, February 1, 2019 10:40 PM

Overmod

 

 
MidlandMike
The N&W was primarily a coal conveyor and their steam was suited for the purpose.

 

And you think a 70"-drivered locomotive with lightweight Timken rods on the last 5 examples is optimized for coal hauling -- how?

 

I used the word "primarily", not "exclusivly".  I think the N&W had 14 of the engines you alluded to (primarily for passenger service?)

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Posted by Jones1945 on Saturday, February 2, 2019 2:12 AM

Flintlock76

Well, you have to realize that when Miningman and myself are talking about the PRR adopting N&W practices what we mean is this, and bear with me.

The PRR's steam development essentially stopped in 1914, anything that came afterward was a variation on a basic theme.  "Build 'em simple and build 'em reliable" was a good policy as long as everthing stayed static.  But it didn't...

...The PRR could have learned a lot from the N&W, but ignored them.  The best tribute to N&W's steam team probably came from the crew at Lima Locomotive Works, no slouches themselves when it came to steam design...

"N&W?  There's nothing we can teach them about building steam locomotives!"

Of course, by the 50's the men running N&W could see the writing on the wall, they knew diesels were coming, it was just a matter of time, but even then they played it smart.  They waited to see what everone else's experiences were with diesels and then made their choice.  They bought EMD's "Geeps."

Even though "Geeps" looked absolutely awful on the head end of trains like "The Cavalier,"  "The Pocahontas," and the "Powhatan Arrow!"   

 

I agree with most of your points, Wayne.

I believe the "I don't need you to teach me how to run the world's largest railroad" attitude was something leaded PRR to a very bad ending. 

In hindsight, the plus side of Pennsy was that it tried to bring themselves as well as the railroad industry some new and competitive steam engine with their duplexes and steam turbine design but they went a bit too far and not really that well prepared. Q1 was the best example to show how they dissociated from their own business. It failed to become the successor of M1s and fell between two stools: mechanically it was not as simple and powerful as the J1s and was too powerful (waste of fuel) and heavy for passenger service. Q1 was the root of Q2, the 8000hp single unit freight engine. But once the war was over, Q2's service life also didn't last long. Was Q2 really that successful? it's a matter of opinion.

PRR J1 2-10-4 and M1s were considered some of the most successful steam engines Pennsy ever had by the crew, but the former was seen as an alien in the fleet due to its original sin -a non-Pennsy design. The management was so eager to cancel the last 32 J1s order and replaced it with Q2s when the duplex freight engine was available, and we know which class survived longer. 

I think I don't need to create another wall of text to review the history of how Pennsy and Franklin messed up the T1 project unintentionally. In short, if Pennsy trusted and respected some suggestions of their higher officials and business partner like Baldwin, trusted and respected the noted industrial designer they hired, paid more attention to how B&O and NYCentral run their premier passenger train business. Then PRR might really have become the "Standard Railroad of the World".

Imagine Pennsy built 76 dual services 4-8-4s base on N&W Class J; didn't cancel the last 32 J1s order, developing the duplex at a much smaller scale and using the Franklin type B valve gear for testing, kept developing the "Fleet of Modernism" brand for its premier passenger train service, testing all early diesel mainline prime power before purchases, sharing resource (car, engine, asset, office, track etc) with N&W......But the demise of LD trains in the States and dieselization was inevitable; there are so many things out of Pennsy control, and the plot of those long forgotten inside stories of Pennsy may beyond your imagination!...

We steam fan hope that the steam engines can be running in the railroad system forever, but there are tons of individual and organization out there want to get rid of them. 

PRR T1 & N&W Class J CoffeeSmile, Wink & Grin

 

 

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Posted by Flintlock76 on Saturday, February 2, 2019 10:22 AM

Oh, that was oh-so-cool,  an "Art Deco Drag Race" between a T-1 and a Class J!

Of course, it never happened in real life, but given the postulated situation, that is straight-as-an-arrow trackage on a billiard table flat landscape, I'd have to put my money on the T-1.  Pains me to say so as much as I love the Class J's.

Reason being, the T-1 was designed for 100 mph (and faster) running and the J's weren't.  Oh, the J's could  get up to 100 mph and faster, but they weren't really designed for sustained running at that speed. 

No matter, it was a fun video, although the T-1 "tailgating" the Class J's train at the end has me a bit puzzled.  Looks like it's going to take a bite out of the obs car!  

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Posted by Overmod on Saturday, February 2, 2019 11:05 AM

Flintlock76
Reason being, the T-1 was designed for 100 mph (and faster) running and the J's weren't. Oh, the J's could get up to 100 mph and faster, but they weren't really designed for sustained running at that speed.

But we're discussing a drag race, which is acceleration from a standing start over a relatively short fixed distance.  Even assuming we leave low-speed slipping (an acknowledged T1 "characteristic") out of this discussion, I think all authorities agree that the higher-wheel, shorter-stroke T1 would be at a substantial power disadvantage up to about 35mph (above which they were noted for strong acceleration up to the speed range where high-speed slipping might rear its head).  Up to that speed at least the J can develop more practical drawbar pull and hence train acceleration, and continues to be no slouch thereafter; I'd have to wonder seriously whether the T1 would even start to gain back some of its lost differential until the trains had accelerated over the distance corresponding to a 'made speed' of over 40 to 45mph. 

"Flying mile" timings once up to maximum achieved speed are another matter entirely, and I'd expect the T1 both to reach and to sustain (albeit for different reasons) speeds well over what the J could safely provide.  Which isn't really the point.  It might  be interesting to see what Voyce Glaze et al. might have produced if tasked to build an unlimited-speed road locomotive for a railroad that could use that capability.

Someone who has quick access to the drawbar pull/speed curves of the two locomotives could work up a comparison of the distance at which the locomotives would be 'neck and neck' again.  Alas! I am no longer that person.  (But it is interesting to consider that it may be possible to conduct an empirical test of the matter within a few years...)

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Posted by Flintlock76 on Saturday, February 2, 2019 12:25 PM

Unfortunately I couldn't go full-screen with the video, so I'm not sure if the data on the right side of the screen was giving any speed indications.  

I'd have to agree, from a standing start the J would have had the advantage, but that video ran for 12 minutes on apparantly an endless section of trackage.  Sooner or later the J would have to back off.

There was one time when a J was brought up to (I think) 115 mph on the "racetrack" between Petersburg and Norfolk.  If I remember correctly it was done under observation and not for laughs, for lack of a better term.  Eventually the crew felt "discretion is the better part of valor" and slowed it down.  

Just because you can go like a bat out of hell doesn't mean you should.

And I still can't figure out why the T-1's trying to bite the J's train in the butt!

"Show ME up, you lousy hillbilly?  I'll show YOU!"

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Posted by Jones1945 on Saturday, February 2, 2019 2:17 PM

SmileGlad to know you guys interested in my TrainZ simulator drag race video! The video I post was actually an extract from a 20 mins video which included the NYC Niagara but it probably glitched when I driving it on "realistic mode". So I only show the part where the N&W Class J and PRR T1 6110 chasing each other. You guys may already notice that I slow down both train multiple times to fit the "plot", so it was not a serious drag race! (at least the ending is funny...)

But I am gonna arrange a real drag race just for you guys. Both Class J and T1 will be hauling the same load and I will show you guys from their starting to reaching top speed. I will need to double check and confirm the figures in the engine config file are realistic and accurate first (the mass/volume of the cylinders, the size of the firebox, heating surface and the size of the boiler etc.) just like my PRR S1 : ) If I can fix the Niagara, she will be in the race as well. : ) 

This is a video showing my PRR S1 hauling the General + Trail Blazer combined consist on the level track. 1380 tons including the engine itself. She can reach 105 mph within 10 mins. I believe it is not 100% accurate but it shouldn't be too far away from reality (if you watch it on YouTube, the full-screen function should be fine:


CoffeeCaptain

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Posted by Jones1945 on Monday, February 4, 2019 1:54 PM

The Trail Blazer joined PRR's Fleet of Modernism in 1939. It was arguably the most successful Fleet of Modernism train, popular and highly profitable. K4s was the trains prime power before S1 was put into revenue service in 1941. Streamlined coaches towed by the best Pacific in the world, should I can it a "semi-streamliner"? 

Standard consist was 9 cars, like the Broadway. It was increased to 14 cars when S1 and T1 prototype were available during the peak of wartime traffic.  

Source: http://digital.denverlibrary.org

Source: http://digital.denverlibrary.org

If patrons thought a ticket of the Broadway and the 20th Century wasn't worth it, this was the train for them. 

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Posted by Flintlock76 on Monday, February 4, 2019 2:01 PM

Is that a K4 with smoke lifters in photo one?  That's unusual, it's the first time I've ever seen one fitted up like that.

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Posted by Jones1945 on Tuesday, February 5, 2019 2:03 AM

Flintlock76

Is that a K4 with smoke lifters in photo one?  That's unusual, it's the first time I've ever seen one fitted up like that.

Yes, that is a K4; PRR #3876 with an oddball smoke lifter! I believe it was the reason why this photo was taken. Beside #3876, #3380 was equipped a smaller smoke lifter and #5038 was equipped an "NYCentral" style smoke lifter. According to Pennsy Power I, all of these smoke lifter were removed from the engine post-war. 

There was no official record about why Pennsy never install smoke lifter on their steam engine post-war but our forumer thought that it was a money problem. 

Speaking of #5038, it was seen (in photo and video) double headed with streamlined K4s hauling long consist. 

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Posted by Flintlock76 on Tuesday, February 5, 2019 9:12 AM

I'd suspect that K4 smoke lifter installation may be a "one-time, what-if" experiment.  From what I've read how well smoke lifters worked depended on the locomotive configuration and how fast it went, among other things.

I suppose the PRR tried them and decided they weren't worth it. 

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Posted by Jones1945 on Tuesday, February 5, 2019 3:08 PM

Flintlock76

I'd suspect that K4 smoke lifter installation may be a "one-time, what-if" experiment.  From what I've read how well smoke lifters worked depended on the locomotive configuration and how fast it went, among other things.

I suppose the PRR tried them and decided they weren't worth it. 

That makes sense, Wayne. I believe it was some sort of research and experiment for Pennsy to understand the effect of smoke deflectors in different shape and form. The Classes that really needed to equip smoke deflector were probably the S2 and T1s, not the K4s, but as Overmod stated that the effect and usefulness of the smoke deflector are inconclusive. 

PRR S2 #6200 a.k.a the "Volcano" and the "Big Whoosh", the engine that made me become a Pennsy Fan Shy:

 

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Posted by Jones1945 on Thursday, February 7, 2019 2:01 AM

Another pic of a "semi-streamliner". A good old K4s hauling a full consist of streamlined heavyweight betterment car, the Trail Blazer.

Some HD and adjusted photo of Fleet of Modernism hauling by non-streamlined engines:

The "South Wind" hauling by a K4s.

PRR S2 powered the Trail Blazer since mid-1945

A comment was made on the Facebook by a gentleman who is the son of an engineer of Franklin that Pennsy gave utmost attention to the NYCentral who inaugurated the Empire State Express before the attack of Pearl Harbour changed everything.

PRR did purchases at least 30 P85R coaches from Budd by 1940 (in the 2nd lot of new lightweight equipment) and streamlined (only) four K4s for the "South Wind" and  "The Jeffersonian" to expand the scale of Fleet of Modernism. We know which train became a legend in the history of American railroads. 

 

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Posted by Jones1945 on Sunday, February 10, 2019 12:12 PM

Jones1945

 My favorite PRR FOM car was the heavyweight betterment Pullman sleeper:



When the party was over...

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Posted by Jones1945 on Friday, February 15, 2019 7:28 AM

These pics were taken in 1938-39 (80 years ago) but mirrored. I would like to share them with our forumer after some touch-up and adjustment of them. 

===

At least one of the pic was taken at Fort Wayne and the rest of them were taken in the electrified section of PRR's network.

In this photo, it is probably an all-coach train consist leading by the PRR 4?10, a PB70 Passenger-baggage car which was seen in the consist of the Jeffersonian. Note more than half of the consist had no skirting under the car but carrying the new FOM livery.

Is that a P70 arch roof coach after the coach-baggage? I have never seen a modernized P70 with FOM livery but without skirting when new. 

 

Pullman heavyweight 12-1 sleeper "Potter Palmer" was carrying the Fleet of Modernism livery. The train is powered by a GG1.

Taken at Fort Wayne, the Pullman Harbour series 2 bedroom bar-lounge car can be seen on the right-hand side. All streamlined equipment looks fresh and clean. one of the trains could be the Broadway Limited. 

 ===

Pre-war Pullman Observation car of The Spirit of St. Louis, the consist mixed with different pre-war PRR cars and liveries. 

 

Better option to hauling the Broadway?... The golden strips on the PRR #1120, with simplified streamlining design by Raymond Loewy, matched the position of golden strips of the entire consist, unlike #3768.

There was a photo of #3768 hauling the Trail Blazer, but I can't find it in my HD anymore... :- ( 

Thank you for watching.

 

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Posted by Jones1945 on Wednesday, February 20, 2019 3:53 AM

PRR #1188 "Skyline" was leading a train consisted of an ACF made FoM lightweight Pullman 4-4-2 sleeper (Please correct me if I am wrong, thanks!)

After 80 years, the Coach Yard finally releases the HO scale PRR betterment car set including P70gsr paired window and the twin-unit dining car ( inspired by SP Daylight's dining car). Without these cars, a collector cannot create a complete consist of many FoM trains which was using betterment cars.

Tags: P70gsr , Coach Yard
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Posted by Jones1945 on Thursday, February 28, 2019 3:53 AM

Dear all,

According to "The Car of Pullman" by Joe Welsh. P121-122, Mr. Welsh mentioned that public reaction to the lightweight equipment of 1938 of both PRR and NYC were so positive and successful that, quote from P.121:

" ...PRR take delivery of 84 new Pullman through mid-1939, with some variation of the floor plan...".

Another quote from P.122 "... So successful were the 1938 re-equipping that both railroads (NYC & PRR) ordered an additional car for delivery in 1939 and 1940. NYC augmented its lightweight fleet with 82 more sleeping cars in this period, while PRR added 56 cars to its 1938 Fleet of Modernism by the end of 1940." (quote end)

In Joe Welsh another book, he didn't mention the additional order, but 52 Pullman built lightweight cars plus 4 Budd built Diners (Total=56 cars). So I thought the total number of prewar Pullman, ACF, Budd built lightweight cars were only 56, but according to the additional information provided by Joe himself, there were at least 84+56 (=140) lightweight cars being purchased by PRR before 1941!

Could someone please confirm that if this is correct? Thank you very much! Bow

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Posted by BaltACD on Thursday, February 28, 2019 1:33 PM

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Posted by Jones1945 on Friday, March 1, 2019 4:50 AM

Those comments on IMDb about this movie are mostly right, watching the original film is like eating a pizza baked in the microwave oven in the next morning after an overnight party. Pizza 

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Posted by Jones1945 on Wednesday, September 11, 2019 10:47 AM

I saw this photo of the "state of the art" D85R dining car of 1939, PRR 4501, in a back issue of the Keystone Magazine which shows the unique interior design of this Budd built dining car:

Chuck Blardone Collection

 

 

 www.Railfan.net

 

 

http://www.rrpicturearchives.net

The dining car layout of D82R (#4500,#4501), with two rolls of  horizontal dining table seats separated by the corridor in the middle, was probably an early attempt of PRR to increase the number of tables for passengers who didn't want to din with strangers on the same table, an idea suggested by the traveler during marketing research, but I forgot which RR conducted that research. It kinds of reminds me of the betterment (HW) diner that Raymond Loewy designed for the Broadway Limited. A similar layout could be found on the Tavern Cars of Southern Pacific Daylight trains built by Pullman Standard in 1937-1939, some B&O's 12-wheel betterment dining cars with interior designed by Olive Dennis and NYCRR's crack superstar trains. I wonder which RR was the first to adopt such a design? Hmm

This style of  layout slightly increased the area of each table seat; On #4501, partitions that separated the three sections of the dining car improved privacy for the passenger (It was a PRR dining car, so I don't think it was designed for anything related to racial segregation) Sound like a distinguished design, no wonder they were seen in the consist of the "General". 

However, Pennsy's post-war new dining car order didn't use the same design anymore (except some coffee shop/lounge car), more modern dining car like the D85C, D85R were using the traditional "classroom" layout again. Was there an exact reason for the change? (or it was merely because the post-war management was too busy to order something that beautiful which could have added values to overnight LD train service? 

Please enlighten me!please!CoffeeSmile, Wink & Grin

 

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Posted by Flintlock76 on Thursday, September 12, 2019 1:12 PM

Interesting, but the photo of the dining car doesn't seem to match the diagrams.

At any rate, the seating arrangement of the diner in the photo looks pretty unworkable.  While it seems easier for the waitstaff it's not so good for the passengers.  Look at how many people would have to leave their seats for one (or two) to leave the car.  Maybe three on a bench seat maximum, but not for the five (or more) pictured.

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Posted by Jones1945 on Friday, September 13, 2019 9:11 AM

Flintlock76

Interesting, but the photo of the dining car doesn't seem to match the diagrams.

At any rate, the seating arrangement of the diner in the photo looks pretty unworkable.  While it seems easier for the waitstaff it's not so good for the passengers.  Look at how many people would have to leave their seats for one (or two) to leave the car.  Maybe three on a bench seat maximum, but not for the five (or more) pictured. 

The table in the diagrams is probably too small for two passengers, suitable for a lounge car but not a diner. Maybe that was the reason why the table was extended in the pics. New York Central used a similar layout since the Mercury train, I think it worked well on the 20th Century Limited as well. 

 

More personal space, legroom, more room to avoid eye contact. ConfusedWink

 

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Posted by Overmod on Friday, September 13, 2019 11:24 AM

Jones1945
New York Central used a similar layout since the Mercury train, I think it worked well o

Why have we not mentioned what is probably the most famous example of the principle, the ATSF Turquoise Room?  Admittedly this is a bit different in being installed on the lower deck of a car where limited windows can be provided, so makes something of an advantage out of a necessity: personally, I like having full windows with passing scenery to one side or another and would have to get used to diner booths, but from what I've read the layout and not just the high service level of the Turquoise Room were advantages.  

Wayne's criticism is valid: the Turquoise Room got around it by being the equivalent of 'a private dining room' where everyone more or less entered and left together, or at least didn't mind shuffling around to let someone in or out dinette-style.

While we are on the subject of dinettes, you will notice sections of them in many fine restaurants, as they remove many of the problems of 'open' seating with chairs.  This would be true of contemporary (early '30s and on) dining cars to a significant extent, but at the expense of substantially fixing the 'track' of the seating and the table size.  I would think the arrangement particularly well suited to buffet or 'hotel' car service.

I should probably mention that in the early '70s I did some Amfleet full diner designs 'on spec', one of which not only had fold-down tables but fold-up banquettes (complete with cushions that inflated with reservoir air!) so that the car could easily 'double' as a disco -- remember those? -- after hours, with theatre lighting in the roof panels.  Ah, those were the days when more seemed possible than today!

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Posted by Jones1945 on Saturday, September 14, 2019 1:57 PM

Overmod

Why have we not mentioned what is probably the most famous example of the principle, the ATSF Turquoise Room?  Admittedly this is a bit different in being installed on the lower deck of a car where limited windows can be provided, so makes something of an advantage out of a necessity: personally, I like having full windows with passing scenery to one side or another and would have to get used to diner booths, but from what I've read the layout and not just the high service level of the Turquoise Room were advantages.  

Wayne's criticism is valid: the Turquoise Room got around it by being the equivalent of 'a private dining room' where everyone more or less entered and left together, or at least didn't mind shuffling around to let someone in or out dinette-style.

While we are on the subject of dinettes, you will notice sections of them in many fine restaurants, as they remove many of the problems of 'open' seating with chairs.  This would be true of contemporary (early '30s and on) dining cars to a significant extent, but at the expense of substantially fixing the 'track' of the seating and the table size.  I would think the arrangement particularly well suited to buffet or 'hotel' car service.

I respectfully appreciate your input as always, Prof. Overmod. I was thinking quite a lot of successful dining cars of various railroads before I created the first post that with a drawings of PRR #4501 attached; my list including the Lark Club of the Southern Pacific, the twin-unit dining car and the lounge car "The Century Club" on the 20th Century Limited of NYCRR and the fabled B&O's dining facilities. That's was why I reviewed the dining cars of PRR in the Fleet of Modernism era. The dinette is one of the first few things that a passenger has visual and physical contact with it after entering the dining car, and we know the importance of the first impression. 

Glad to see you mention the legendary ATSF Turquoise Room in this thread because all these renowned dining facilities you and I mentioned had a common point, they were all superior to any dining facilities the PRR, "The Standard Railroad of the World", could ever offer. As a PRR fan, I am still feeling regret that when people discuss dining cars and services in the golden age of America railroading, Pennsy's dining amenities are always ignored or even mocked by many. Even the trump card of PRR, the Broadway Limited, offered decent food and service in its single dining car, it is always considered not as excellent as the dining facilities and services on NYC, B&O's trains. I do wish the Turquoise Room was a PRR thing, instead of a railroad that I have no chemistry with it. Pennsy had more than enough resources to provide outstanding dining service which could have outshined every single railroad in the world, but it wasn't the case. 

When I studying the history of the Southern Pacific Daylight train, the deep involvement, passion and professionalism of President Angus D. McDonald and his development team, including his wife who did the color matching for the interior of the train really impressed me. I wish the PRR Trail Blazer had a three-unit dining car like the SP Daylight, the Broadway Limited had a famous club on the rail like SP The Lark (Club), which had plenty of room for Raymond Loewy to show off his talent. 

 

Overmod

I should probably mention that in the early '70s I did some Amfleet full diner designs 'on spec', one of which not only had fold-down tables but fold-up banquettes (complete with cushions that inflated with reservoir air!) so that the car could easily 'double' as a disco -- remember those? -- after hours, with theatre lighting in the roof panels.  Ah, those were the days when more seemed possible than today!

Speaking of possibilities of limited space, I guess you would find this video interesting:

24 Rooms in 1 (344 square feet apartment)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WB2-2j9e4co#t=01m11s

Still have plenty of space to place the foldable mirror ball in this room. Foldable seats for a private concert. But where to store my cello? Coffee

 

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Posted by Jones1945 on Monday, September 23, 2019 4:28 PM

P70kr and P70r Lounge-cafe car used on the East Wind

 

Source: Divison Point

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Posted by Jones1945 on Wednesday, September 25, 2019 7:09 PM

 

http://www.rrpicturearchives.net/showPicture.aspx?id=5117235

RR Picture Archives updated some photos of the "streamlined PRR K4s (simplified version) by Raymond Loewy himself" or "Raymond Loewy Streamlined K4s V2.0" from the 40-page booklet "A Picture Study Of The K-4S" by Harry P. Albrecht issued Sep 1976. (43 years ago!), check it out if you like. Smile

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Posted by Jones1945 on Sunday, October 20, 2019 12:15 PM

Overmod

I believe you will find there'd be no reason for 'Pullman' to provide such a thing; a number of railroads (wasn't New Haven one of them?) provided parlor-car service quite happily thenselves.  This might be thought of as an early kind of 'business class' amenity upgrade ... but note that Pullman could have demanded 'space charge' of some kind for coach passengers to use the thing, and coach passengers... would all camp out in there ASAP if there were no protection to keep them out (or at least move them out if they were getting drinks or snacks in there).  (I think this also clarifies somewhat why Pullman had so little 'chair' service...)

Yes, that why I think PRR made of wise decision to not allow Pullman Company took a share of the spoils. This probably explained why there wasn't any Parlor-car service on the Trail Blazer. Besides, the passenger who wanted better service than a reclining seat could take the General, Broadway, Admiral, Manhattan Limited and named train of NYCRR and B&O...

 

Overmod

So in order for two-class travel to work, you'd need the same sort of Chinese-wall protection between the main part of the coach train and the 'parlor car' that you'd have with a combination coach-and-Pullman setup.  That implies either careful vigilance at the vestibule of a 'parlor-obs' at the rear (so that the parlor folks could get to the food facilities, etc.) or placing the parlor near the front where it might 'feel' more surge and other effects if present.

We can take the Southern Pacific Coast Daylight as reference, the parlor coach and parlor-obs were always attached at the end of the consist. First-class, tourist and coach tickets are all honored on the train, but parlor cars are restricted to first-class tickets, plus a nominal seat charge. So the whole consist was divided into 5 sections: coaches, triple unit diner in the middle, coaches, the tavern bar, parlor car + parlor-obs. As a railfan, I wish the Trail Blazer had a fabulous consist like the SP Coast Daylight, especially the tavern bar. But in reality, there were many other choices provided service better than any type of seats for the Chicago to New York LD trains market.

Overmod

Jones: something that comes to mind is Yourkevitch's nearly-built proposal to put the equivalent of a Trail Blazer on the North Atlantic run in the mid-Fifties.  That had much the same opportunity to add 'luxury' -- hell, the original White Star economic model for the three 'big ships' wasn't really all that far from it -- but note that it didn't happen, in part because the DH Comets showed us how the future was roaring up on us, and American aircraft then clinched it.

MInd you, I'm still bitter we never got supersonic transport aircraft, so I'm one of the wrong people to ask about substitutes for luxury transportation commanding all the extra luxury prices.  Think of a 20th-Century Red Carpet service for a 2707, which is entirely thinkable, and you'd never go back to even water-level sleepers again.

Now, back to the combinooses.  (Hint.)

I remember we discussed the Yourkevitch's proposed "Sea Coach" transatlantic ocean liner, and many other proposed liner that never built! When I was a kid, I drew a lot of fantasy huge 4-stack oceanliner, many of them had Axe Bow or Plumb Bow, I just found ships with plumb bow looks cool.  We still have many Cruiseliner around us but I don't like modern styling.

The Boeing 2707 was probably the only airplane that I am really interested in...... 2071.63mph! Traveling from New York to Chicago would have been like downloading an app or watching a TV commercial breaks. Supersonic travel can be romantic for a longer route, like the US to the EU, India, Asia. To cut the expenses for both sides, Airline and the passenger, airline meal wouldn't have provided, but we could have made it up with Supersonic airplane stunt or airplane race for our passenger's amusement. No?

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Posted by daveklepper on Sunday, October 27, 2019 3:18 AM

Jones1945, way back on this thread you gave the 1946 total number of passenger service cars for the PRR as 3416.   Did that include MU electrics and doodlebugs?

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Posted by Jones1945 on Sunday, October 27, 2019 11:51 PM

daveklepper

Jones1945, way back on this thread you gave the 1946 total number of passenger service cars for the PRR as 3416.   Did that include MU electrics and doodlebugs? 

daveklepper, I am going to post the source if I can find it in my archive. IIRC it is a chart will brief detail.  

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Posted by Jones1945 on Tuesday, October 29, 2019 12:58 AM

daveklepper

Jones1945, way back on this thread you gave the 1946 total number of passenger service cars for the PRR as 3416.   Did that include MU electrics and doodlebugs?

Dave, this is the only source of that figure I can find:

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Posted by Jones1945 on Wednesday, January 29, 2020 8:11 PM

1


 

 

 

2


 

 

3


 

 

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Posted by Overmod on Thursday, January 30, 2020 9:59 AM

Highly amused at the relative time of the two trains, and the very different approach to handling them.

NYC sends the train out early -- really, as early as possible given the fixed time of the Century's departure -- and runs the thing on accelerated Century time (compare the number of stops and dwell involved for the coach train vs. the Century, and the added time doubtless involved in transiting Cleveland with a couple of engine changes) to get in with under-16-hour running (net of the time change).  

Then look how carefully the prose is crafted to draw the eye away from how slow the PRR train was, both as carded and as run.  It would be interesting to see what power PRR used west of Harrisburg on this train ... and I note that even with the longer time, PRR was carrying substantially fewer passengers, by what looks suspiciously like a full coach-load or more.

Anyone have the comparison timings for the two trains in the postwar years from late 1945 to about mid-1947?  Or any west-end timing splits using the S1 or S2 as power?

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Posted by Jones1945 on Thursday, January 30, 2020 9:44 PM

Overmod

Highly amused at the relative time of the two trains, and the very different approach to handling them.

NYC sends the train out early -- really, as early as possible given the fixed time of the Century's departure -- and runs the thing on accelerated Century time (compare the number of stops and dwell involved for the coach train vs. the Century, and the added time doubtless involved in transiting Cleveland with a couple of engine changes) to get in with under-16-hour running (net of the time change).  

Then look how carefully the prose is crafted to draw the eye away from how slow the PRR train was, both as carded and as run.  It would be interesting to see what power PRR used west of Harrisburg on this train ... and I note that even with the longer time, PRR was carrying substantially fewer passengers, by what looks suspiciously like a full coach-load or more.

Compelling indeed! Not only the Pacemaker of NYC leaving earlier but the total running time was at least one hour shorter than the Trail Blazer of PRR, but surprisingly the Trail Blazer carried about 10% more passenger than the Pacemaker at least in the first two years (132000:114000 in 1st Year, 175000:167000 in 2nd Year) in contrast to the maiden run (July 28, 1939) of both trains (385:350 Westbound, 285:240 Eastbound)!

The NYC used heavyweight/betterment cars on the Pacemaker but provide a faster schedule. The PRR exclusively constructed at least two completely "new" consists for the Trail Blazer with rebuilt betterment cars but a little bit slower schedule compared to the NYC all-coach train. I think both trains were doing great during WWII but I do want to know which one carried more passengers after July 1941. I have seen 14-car consist of Trail Blazer in photographs but hardly can find a photo of the Pacemaker. I probably need to spend more time on NYCRR's book or people put more focus on the Century train.

Overmod
Anyone have the comparison timings for the two trains in the postwar years from late 1945 to about mid-1947?  Or any west-end timing splits using the S1 or S2 as power?

I want to know as well! In the early postwar years, it was the PRR T1, streamlined or poppet valve-geared K4s #5399 "fighting against" NYC's S-1/S-2 or destreamlined Hudsons. Very romantic in American railroading history when the countries best or newest machine competing for the same market. The westbound schedule of Trail Blazer shortened to 15hrs 30mins in the early 1950s. 

 

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Posted by Overmod on Friday, January 31, 2020 11:51 AM

Jones1945
Compelling indeed! Not only the Pacemaker of NYC leaving earlier but the total running time was at least one hour shorter than the Trail Blazer of PRR,,,

It was pretty clear to me that there were folks at the Central who were 'in tune' with the spirit of that first eastbound run of the second Super Chief consist...

Not only did they cut their little publicity show short about as soon as every seat was filled ... they ran the thing artificially fast en route.  Doubtless to 'make the news' with a timing that would stick in people's minds as what to expect when they took the production train...

... In the early postwar years, it was the PRR T1, streamlined or poppet valve-geared K4s #5399 "fighting against" NYC's S-1/S-2 or destreamlined Hudsons.

Much more likely that it was doubleheaded K4s competing against J3as and Niagaras, a great deal of the time.  It is hard to beat an 80"-drivered twelve-coupled articulated unless your railroad supports very long stretches of sustained high speed...

Now, I am tempted to wonder what two K4s rebuilt by Lima with poppets and vastly-improved superheaters might have done if balanced and suspension-modified to make T1-comparable (or at least N&W J-comparable) speed.  Of course we know that would rapidly become self-defeating with the great majority of PRR's coaches...

Very romantic in American railroading history when the countries best or newest machine competing for the same market.

Except that everyone by that point knew true high speed was essentially synonymous with Diesels and motor trains by that point.  NYC recognized this very early, first with Dieseliners and then with the time reductions that only diesels made possible -- even a C1a with no fuel stop would find a 15h45' carding difficult.  PRR recognized it too, but had trouble getting diesels that would stand the required pace on the existing ROW.  And by the time they did... it was essentially 'game over' as the game was worth playing.  The 1958 Broadway proved that dramatically if it had not been fully clear before.

The westbound schedule of Trail Blazer shortened to 15hrs 30mins in the early 1950s. 

Remember that this would include an hour for the time change; what was the eastbound carding?  Even so, you'd likely only achieve this practically with diesels or the equivalent.

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Posted by Jones1945 on Saturday, February 1, 2020 1:25 AM

Overmod

 

It was pretty clear to me that there were folks at the Central who were 'in tune' with the spirit of that first eastbound run of the second Super Chief consist...

Not only did they cut their little publicity show short about as soon as every seat was filled ... they ran the thing artificially fast en route.  Doubtless to 'make the news' with a timing that would stick in people's minds as what to expect when they took the production train...

Amazing info! I am not familiar with ATSF's streamliner, thus I didn't know that the second lightweight Super Chief's first eastbound run was one year after they entered service. Many say the inauguration of the PRR Trail Blazer caught the management of New York Central off guard, but it seems to me that the leader of the Green Team (well the Pacemaker consist was painted in two tones "Pacemaker Green" in this case) reacted briskly. Maybe they were calculating and manipulative but these are essential characters of outstanding enterprisers. Good game well played, but the Green Team failed to turn the table for the Pacemaker, at least for the first two years.

Imagine how many railfan was actually looking for the 2nd Super Chief consist instead of the "old-school heavyweight" temporary consist of the Pacemaker but the folks were included in the publicity "hype" by the media, including the article in the Railway Age. Let alone we would never know how many patrons were "invited" by both RRs to take the first train (and get off the next station!) for free, how many journalists were "invited" to write an article about both trains and to not mentioning their shortcomings.

Money was tight for both teams, the establishment of the PRR's Fleet of Modernism involved a lot of good looking betterment cars, rebuilt or repainted of heavyweight equipment, which helped PRR to save tons of money. It was a smart investment, and it was smart to not inform NYCRR about the new all-coach train until the last minute. I believe that if NYCRR had enough time, they would have ordered new cars and created something like the Empire State Express; in fact,  NYC assigned about new 6 lightweight coaches constructed by Pressed Steel Car Company once the all-coach streamliner was proven a success.

It seems that the customer didn't really care about how "fast" the Pacemaker was, because it was an overnight train! The schedule of the Trail Blazer actually let the passenger had more time to sleep and have breakfast before getting off the train! Yes, one more hour to have breakfast and dress up! This was a win-win situation for the patron and PRR. IIRC I have seen the menu of breakfast on the 1939 version Trail Blazer but I need to confirm that, if it wasn't available in the dining car (I can't see why not), it should be the lounge car provided it. 

 

 

 

 

D70ER, D70CR, the Twin Unit Diner. 

 

Overmod

Much more likely that it was doubleheaded K4s competing against J3as and Niagaras, a great deal of the time.  It is hard to beat an 80"-drivered twelve-coupled articulated unless your railroad supports very long stretches of sustained high speed...

Now, I am tempted to wonder what two K4s rebuilt by Lima with poppets and vastly-improved superheaters might have done if balanced and suspension-modified to make T1-comparable (or at least N&W J-comparable) speed.  Of course we know that would rapidly become self-defeating with the great majority of PRR's coaches...

 

There is a video on YouTube showing the Jeffersonian powered by streamlined K4s doubleheaded with the unstreamlined one, very cool to see the doubleheaded K4s traveling at 90mph with 14 heavyweight betterment cars behind. 

Doubleheaded K4s ("4-6-2-4-6-2"?) was common even after all T1s were put into service but I did find some photos of the "poppet valve geared" #5399 hauling the Trail Blazer alone in different time period, maybe she was handling the sections of Trail Blazer (Could be as short as 9 cars).IIRC the #5399 could handle 1000 tons train alone and hit 93mph.  But outside the PRR race track between Crestline and Fort Wayne, the average speed of the trains was slow enough to let the passenger sleep, until the passenger saw the GG1 or sunlight...

Other guests including the PRR S2 direct-drive steam turbine and T1 prototype. I almost forgot that the PRR S2 was also another engine that could replace doubleheaded K4s on heavy trains! 1945 was the best year for me, S1, S2, T1 prototype could be found powering Chicago's crack trains. 

K4s leading the Trail Blazer:
 
 
 
 

Eastbound was 15hrs 25mins in 1952, the Pacemaker was the same, thanks to the magic power of diesel. EMC promised a solid 15 hours schedule for the proposed dieselized Broadway Limited as early as 1936. I have heard that if NYCRR pushing the limit of the diesel, 14 hours is possible on the Water Level Route.

If parallel universe is a fact not theory, PRR accepted the offer from EMC and operated the Broadway Limited with EMC E units in at least one "alternative universe". That might have boosted the ridership dramatically but we probably will never know! I think EMC's rendering of PRR's diesel engine was quite attractive...

   

We got the "Train of Tomorrow", but how about the "Track of Tomorrow"?

  • Member since
    April 2018
  • 1,417 posts
Posted by Jones1945 on Monday, February 3, 2020 7:47 AM

Feb 2020: Base on information provided by Coach Yard and photo evidence from Hagley internet archive. Updated the total number of betterment cars with individual car numbers provided on the front page of this post.

 

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 56 seats coach Nos.4244-4309 (1940)

50---P70gsr 68 seat coach Nos.4194-4243 (Single Windows, May-July 1942)

50---P70gsr 56 seats coach Nos.4310-4359 (Paired Windows, May-July 1942) 

46---Betterment Pullman HW Sleepers (July 1939 – Jan 1940)

3---- *D70dr Dormitory-Kitchen HW Nos.8019,8021,8023,8025

6---- *D70cr Full Dining Car HW Nos.8020,8022,8024,8026, 8028, 8034

2---- *D70er Kitchen-Lunch Counter Car HW Nos.8027,8033

2---- D70asr Nos.4439, 4457

1---- PLC70r Lounge-cafe 

2---- PB70e Baggage-buffet #4931, 4950

9---- POC70r Conversion of P70s to observation cars Nos. 1120-1125,1131,?,?

3---- PB70f Combine Coach-baggage (Nos.5100-5112)

3---- PDB70r, PDB70ar, PDB70a Convert of PB70 to Combine lounge/dormitory/baggage cars Nos.6704-6706

3-----Conversion of PB70 combines to PB36

*Twin Unit Dining Car 

Total: 273 approx.

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