PRR Fleet of Modernism (1938-1947) integrated discussion

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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!"

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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.

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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.

         

Never too old to have a happy childhood!

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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.

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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.

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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 01, 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 04, 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 05, 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 09, 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... 

 

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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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