Passenger car designs from 1930 to 1950

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Passenger car designs from 1930 to 1950
Posted by Jones1945 on Monday, September 10, 2018 8:38 AM
  • Inventor: Thomas W Demarest (1868-1955)
  • Original Assignee: Pennsyivania Railroad Company
  • Priority date: 1937-06-04

https://patents.google.com/patent/US2143827A/en?oq=US2%2c143%2c827

 

It was a proposal from PPR (Not Pullman) and got cancelled. Supposed to be built in PRR's own shop, used 2D-P5 truck and Full-Width Diaphragms.

"This invention relates to railway cars and more particularly to railway's sleeping cars.

The trend in sleeping car design is .to provide fully enclosed rooms or compartments `for the passengers instead of .curtained upper and lower berths. A single deck sleeping car .divided into fully enclosed compartments will accommodate fewer passengers than cars .with curtained upper and lower berths, so it has been necessary to establish a higher passenger `fare rate. in order to maintain the pay load value of such a car. An object of the `present invention is .to provide a plural deck sleeping car for accommodating a maximum number of passengers in private wcorn'- partments .whereby .the individual passenger fare rate .can .be reduced to a minimum.

Another object of the invention is to provide a sleeping car within allowable dimensions that will accommodate a maximum .number of passengers. I

Another object of the invention `is to providea plural deck sleeping car wherein a maximum number of passengers may beacoommodated and with adequatestorage space for equipment and accessories......"

 

Clearance didn't allow PRR to build higher cars, the low interior ceiling height of this design would be a problem. The base under the lower floor would be very close to the rail, it will be very dirty and wet on the outside after the passenger (especially those on the 2nd floor)...... IndifferentUmbrella...... The design of Duplex Roomette Sleeper was much better.

It would be a good design for a chair-car, but demand of passenger service was low in the States postwar. 

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Posted by Jones1945 on Tuesday, September 11, 2018 7:17 AM

Another low profile double-decker chair car designed by Pullman during the war: 

 

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Posted by Overmod on Tuesday, September 11, 2018 10:55 AM

Jones1945
It would be a good design for a chair-car, but demand of passenger service was low in the States postwar.

You may already have noted that the technical answer here was the roomette.  As noted, there are problems with low ceiling and probably with noise in the possum belly.  It is hard to understand where all the equipment on the car would go -- HVAC, brake, electrical, etc. -- even with some version of HEP.  Would have been fun to build one a la Pendulum Car and tour it around, but I suspect high-margin sleepers increasingly commanded attention in the postwar period (as commodity overnight rail travel dramatically fell off).

Be interesting to see what, if any, continuity there is between this and the Budd Tubular Train of the mid-50s, which similarly dropped the riders down near rail level.   That had its own separate power car.

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Posted by Jones1945 on Tuesday, September 11, 2018 6:58 PM
Overmod
You may already have noted that the technical answer here was the roomette.  As noted, there are problems with low ceiling and probably with noise in the possum belly.  It is hard to understand where all the equipment on the car would go -- HVAC, brake, electrical, etc. -- even with some version of HEP.  Would have been fun to build one a la Pendulum Car and tour it around, but I suspect high-margin sleepers increasingly commanded attention in the postwar period (as commodity overnight rail travel dramatically fell off).
Be interesting to see what, if any, continuity there is between this and the Budd Tubular Train of the mid-50s, which similarly dropped the riders down near rail level.   That had its own separate power car.
Definitely. It seems to me that they wanted to place all the stuffs at the front end, but there were a reasons to place those equipment under the car, like heat dissipation and passenger safety. Before Budd Tubular train, they had a very similar double deck sleeper like this one patented in 1951 but I can’t find that version again. Anyway, Raymond Loewy patented the folloing designs in 1946. The PRR/Pullman Brook-series duplex roomettes sleeper had similar but much crowded design built in 1939 and used on the Broadway Limited though:
 
http://guidetozscale.com/html/passenger_car_design.html
 

https://patents.google.com/patent/US2545523A

https://patents.google.com/patent/US2536194A

At least passenger didn't need to sleep under the toilet of the upper floor and won't hear the toilet flushing at night in these design. But "lower floor" Compartment in the last pic would not be practical since passenger will hit their head accidently all the name. Believe me, when passenger sitting for a while, most of them would forgot how low the ceiling was, sometime it happened on the "window seat" on the plane when taller passenger hit their head when standing up.

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Posted by M636C on Tuesday, September 11, 2018 9:26 PM

As noted, there are problems with low ceiling and probably with noise in the possum belly.  It is hard to understand where all the equipment on the car would go -- HVAC, brake, electrical, etc. -- even with some version of HEP.

Partly this was addressed by shortening the "gondola" of the car at one end. The asymmetry can be seen in the side elevations. The arrangement is basically that used by hundreds of Bombardier commuter cars in Canada and the USA and it can be said to be well accepted in that role. Some equipment can be placed in the higher roof over the single deck sections.

The Canadian cars were based on those built for Sydney, Australia, based in turn on pre-WWII Paris suburban cars.

In Sydney, electric power cars were built. These had a shorter double deck section than the non powered cars to allow items like the brake compressor to sit under the floor. This also gave a longer single deck section at one end where the control switchgear was placed above the passenger seats.

I'm sure that with careful use of the roof space and and extended single deck section  at one end, most equipment would find a home. I doubt that the allowance for ventilation ducting shown would work without high velocities and noise problems.

The staggered compartments of the "Brook" cars were much more practical. There were cars to this design on the 1937 Cities of San Francisco and Los Angeles trains, so the staggered design actually preceded the patent made in 1937.

I think the staggered design was popular in Europe where clearances were more critical and I think some cars to this design may still be in service (not that many sleeping cars still run in Europe).

Peter

 

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Posted by Jones1945 on Wednesday, September 12, 2018 2:23 AM

M636C

The staggered compartments of the "Brook" cars were much more practical. There were cars to this design on the 1937 Cities of San Francisco and Los Angeles trains, so the staggered design actually preceded the patent made in 1937.

I think the staggered design was popular in Europe where clearances were more critical and I think some cars to this design may still be in service (not that many sleeping cars still run in Europe)

IMO UP’s the Cities of San Francisco and Los Angeles trains were definitely "Train of Tomorrow" (M10000 series, EMC E2, E3 etc.) From the power they used to haul the consist to the facilities used on the train, they set up a new and high standard of Streamliner. The yellow livery is too shape for my taste though. 

https://www.american-rails.com

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Posted by Jones1945 on Wednesday, September 12, 2018 7:11 AM
This design was by Budd in 1940, the layout and floor plan were very similar to many sleepers or coaches which were used in Mainland China and Russia since early-90s. Note the corridor and roomettes on first and 2nd floor are placed on opposite side (for better balance?), such design didn’t solve many problens including low ceiling height but the overall design was simplified compared to PRR’s one. I can't see any public washing room in the drawing, maybe there was supposed a Budd Bathroom Car?

https://patents.google.com/patent/US2312906A

 

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Posted by M636C on Wednesday, September 12, 2018 7:48 AM

Jones1945
 
M636C

The staggered compartments of the "Brook" cars were much more practical. There were cars to this design on the 1937 Cities of San Francisco and Los Angeles trains, so the staggered design actually preceded the patent made in 1937.

I think the staggered design was popular in Europe where clearances were more critical and I think some cars to this design may still be in service (not that many sleeping cars still run in Europe)

 

 

IMO UP’s the Cities of San Francisco and Los Angeles trains were definitely "Train of Tomorrow" (M10000 series, EMC E2, E3 etc.) From the power they used to haul the consist to the facilities used on the train, they set up a new and high standard of Streamliner. The yellow livery is too shape for my taste though. 

https://www.american-rails.com

 

That train was the City of San Francisco No M10004 but later became the City of Los Angeles No LA-4, in which form it is illustrated. That train was built in 1936 and was the last of the "earthworm" style trains as far as the car design was concerned. As converted for the CoLA the train had polaroid windows in the observation car "Copper King".

The trains with the duplex room cars were the two trains LA1-2-3 and SF1-2-3 built in 1937, the car "Telegraph Hill" on the CoSF and "Portsmouth Square" on the CoLA. These were the last new trains painted Armour Yellow and Leaf Brown (as in the photo) since Harbor Mist Grey replaced brown on the 1941 trains and subsequently. These cars had 12 duplex rooms and 5 standard bedrooms.

There was one earlier car on the UP, the articulated pair "Bear Flag" and "California Republic", built as "Advance" and "Progress" as Pullman demonstration cars. These were used on the "Forty Niner" also introduced in 1937. These were light grey with gold and black striping, if yellow is a problem. Since it was articulated and shared one truck, Bear Flag had 14 duplex rooms and two compartments. These cars had only a few berths fewer than open section cars of the same size. But the duplex cars were unpopular since there was a lack of space to stow baggage (which would have been even worse  in the double deck car).

The two 1937 trains relied on head end power, from two 8-201A engines in a power dormitory car. The earlier Zephyrs did too, from Cummins generator sets in their case. The 1941 trains reverted to steam head and axle generators.

Interestingly, following the derailment of the CoSF in 1939, the train was replaced by a train made up of cars from the "Challenger" and streamlined Pullman cars and the repaired original CoSF cars did not re-enter service until 1941, by which time they too had been converted to steam heat and axle generators (including "Telegraph Hill".)

It wasn't until the 1970s that long distance trains again used HEP.

Peter

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Posted by Jones1945 on Wednesday, September 12, 2018 11:01 AM

M636C

There was one earlier car on the UP, the articulated pair "Bear Flag" and "California Republic", built as "Advance" and "Progress" as Pullman demonstration cars. These were used on the "Forty Niner" also introduced in 1937. These were light grey with gold and black striping, if yellow is a problem. Since it was articulated and shared one truck, Bear Flag had 14 duplex rooms and two compartments. These cars had only a few berths fewer than open section cars of the same size. But the duplex cars were unpopular since there was a lack of space to stow baggage (which would have been even worse  in the double deck car)......

 

   
Ther 49er consist, Bass Train.com
 
Thank you for the reply, Peter. I really like those 12-wheel streamlined betterment car on the 49er! The livery was not as colorful as the two streamlined steam locomotives, but they really looked elegance and the yellow strip looked sharp and eyes catching above the light grey body. I almost forgot this train since UP’s livery always remind me that fast food shop, I am not familiar with their history, but I really admire their insight of the railroad industry!
 
Articulation on light weight trains was actually a good idea, too bad it was not flexible when adjusting the length of the consist, I know not all the cars on 49er were articulated though. “Bear Flag” and “California Republic” was a pair of special cars on the 49er, I always found articulation on a 6-wheel truck was super cool, no matter the truck is new model or older model. It is surprise for me to know that the duplex room was not popular, beside lack of space to stow baggage, maybe another reason was that the travel time was so much longer than train like the 20th Century, sitting inside a tiny room with a “weird” shape was not really comfortable for a 49-hour journey.
 
Maybe the 49er needed a larger observation space and at least an extra lounge car for passenger to stretch their legs. It was a special train for the opening of Golden Gate Bridge though, the train probably cancelled during the high of Wartime traffic.
 
https://i.pinimg.com/originals/17/fa/a4/17faa469455e4ccd718255e25eb80893.jpg

 

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Posted by M636C on Wednesday, September 12, 2018 6:17 PM

I've checked my Pullman List.

Advance and Progress were built in August 1936.

Advance may have been the first new build Duplex car although some standard cars were rebuilt as prototypes. AHM made plastic HO models of that conversion.

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Posted by Jones1945 on Thursday, September 13, 2018 1:37 AM

Yes, they shared the same lot number #6478. They became UP's Bear's Flag and California Republic in June 1937.

 

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Posted by M636C on Saturday, September 15, 2018 9:11 AM

Jones1945

Yes, they shared the same lot number #6478. They became UP's Bear's Flag and California Republic in June 1937.

 

American-Rails.com

 

Given the thread topic, most of the discussion so far has concerned the leading car of the pair, Advance, later Bear Flag as the first duplex room car, it has occurred to me that the other car, Progress later California Republic, was the first of the parabolic curved streamlined observations that became so well known on trains across the USA (except of course for the articulated Zephyrs).

If anyone can think of an earlier separate car that had such an observation, I'd ike to hear about it. The Milwaukee Hiawathas had observation cars but quite different in design and appearance.

The  Broadway, 20th Century, the Lark  and all the other trains that had this style were all later. Even Pullman's own American Milemaster was much later.

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Posted by Jones1945 on Saturday, September 15, 2018 11:38 AM
M636C
Given the thread topic, most of the discussion so far has concerned the leading car of the pair, Advance, later Bear Flag as the first duplex room car, it has occurred to me that the other car, Progress later California Republic, was the first of the parabolic curved streamlined observations that became so well known on trains across the USA (except of course for the articulated Zephyrs).
If anyone can think of an earlier separate car that had such an observation, I'd like to hear about it. The Milwaukee Hiawathas had observation cars but quite different in design and appearance.
The Broadway, 20th Century, the Lark  and all the other trains that had this style were all later. Even Pullman's own American Milemaster was much later.
Peter
(I adjusted the thread title so that broader content can be discuss in one post.)

I didn’t note that Pullman’s Progress of 1936 was the prototypes of all curved streamlined observations car before, but I believe your information is accurate. Milwaukee’s own shop built some very “Advance” observation cars for their fleet which made Pullman’s Progress aka California Republic looked not that progressive anymore in terms of their appearance. PRR’s Betterment car POC70R had an appearance looked very similar to Pullman’s observation car but it seems to me that PRR’s POC70R had taller windows.
 
1948 publicity photo of a Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul & Pacific Railroad "Skytop" lounge car
Another example was Budd’s Pioneer Zephyr, its observation car had much wider windows which fit the function of an observation car perfectly. By contrast, Pullman’s prewar observation cars had smaller windows and a much conservation (but still good looking) appearance.
Postwar squared-off observation car used by PRR was truly disappointing, compared to those used on Santa Fe and CB&Q.
 
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Posted by Overmod on Saturday, September 15, 2018 5:01 PM

Jones1945
Milwaukee’s own shop built some very “Advance” observation cars for their fleet which made Pullman’s Progress aka California Republic looked not that progressive anymore in terms of their appearance.

Yes, but if you're referring to the Milwaukee Skytop you pictured, that design of car was made by Brooks Stevens in the mid-Forties, built 1947, by which time the use of really large observation windows as in some NYC cars was under way.

I don't think the streamlined end on the Pendulum Car prototype counts in this comparison; it was a compound-curved shape rather than parabolic.

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Posted by BaltACD on Saturday, September 15, 2018 6:43 PM

Overmod
I don't think the streamlined end on the Pendulum Car prototype counts in this comparison; it was a compound-curved shape rather than parabolic.

And just how archaic does the kerosene marker lamp look?????

         

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Posted by rcdrye on Saturday, September 15, 2018 7:04 PM

Even in "Forty Niner" service, Bear Flag and California Republic were Pullman Pool Service cars.  Before 1947 there wasn't much distinction, as even UP-painted Pullmans were probably owned by Pullman and leased to UP.  The two-unit car remined in the Pullman Pool until it was dismantled in the late 1940s.  The tail shape of California Republic was copied on quite a few prewar and postwar trains.

The two pool service observations "American Milemaster" and "Muskingam River" replaced nearly identical cars 400 and 401, assigned to SP's "Oakland Lark" and identified by number at SP's request.  The original 400 and 401 were wrecked a couple of months apart, and the pool Pullmans were readily available.  Sold to SP in the Pullman breakup, renumbered 9500 and 9501, 9500 ended up as EMD's test car.

 

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Posted by M636C on Saturday, September 15, 2018 11:37 PM

BaltACD

 

 
Overmod
I don't think the streamlined end on the Pendulum Car prototype counts in this comparison; it was a compound-curved shape rather than parabolic.

 

And just how archaic does the kerosene marker lamp look?????

 
I have to agree about the tail marker lamps...
It was the first thing I noticed.
The train appears to be a Santa Fe train.
 
The only reference to these cars I have is Randall's Streamliner Cars Vol 3 which indicates they were built by Pacific Railway Equipment in 1937 and had wood bodies to test the suspension principle. Three steel coaches to a similar but taller design were built in late 1941 and early 1942 for ATSF, CB&Q and GN. The design is said to have originated with engineers with the Northrop Aircraft Company. Presumably they had other priorities after December 7 1941.
 
But if built in 1937, even the prototype cars post dated "Progress"
 
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Posted by M636C on Sunday, September 16, 2018 1:19 AM

rcdrye

Even in "Forty Niner" service, Bear Flag and California Republic were Pullman Pool Service cars.  Before 1947 there wasn't much distinction, as even UP-painted Pullmans were probably owned by Pullman and leased to UP.  The two-unit car remined in the Pullman Pool until it was dismantled in the late 1940s.  The tail shape of California Republic was copied on quite a few prewar and postwar trains.

The two pool service observations "American Milemaster" and "Muskingam River" replaced nearly identical cars 400 and 401, assigned to SP's "Oakland Lark" and identified by number at SP's request.  The original 400 and 401 were wrecked a couple of months apart, and the pool Pullmans were readily available.  Sold to SP in the Pullman breakup, renumbered 9500 and 9501, 9500 ended up as EMD's test car.

Clearly the SP was under strain with extra wartime traffic to have two rear end collisions in relative quick succession with their premier overnight train. The two reolacement cars were slightly older, American Milemaster built for the 1939 New York World's Fair (along with three "River" class for the New York Central) and Muskingum River, with a polished aluminium clad body in 1940 (in time for the second year of the fair?)

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Posted by rcdrye on Sunday, September 16, 2018 7:05 AM

The original Lark cars had the same floor plan as the American Milemaster and Muskingum River (all variants of Plan 4082) and more importantly used the same Pullman diagram for a 2 DBR, 1 Cpt, 1 DR buffet lounge observation. The 400 was hit in September 1941, the 401 in Decmber 1942.  Since the seasonal Arizona Limited did not run in 1942, Muskingum River was readily available.

Both cars had their ends squared off in 1957.  9501 was damaged in a sideswipe in 1959 and retired, 9500 removed from Pullman lease and sold to EMD in 1963.  The January 1960 OG listing for the Oakland Lark still lists a Buffet Lounge Sleeper.

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Posted by Jones1945 on Sunday, September 16, 2018 10:31 AM
Overmod
Yes, but if you're referring to the Milwaukee Skytop you pictured, that design of car was made by Brooks Stevens in the mid-Forties, built 1947, by which time the use of really large observation windows as in some NYC cars was under way.

I don't think the streamlined end on the Pendulum Car prototype counts in this comparison; it was a compound-curved shape rather than parabolic.

 
 
Thank you, Overmod. I love all Milwaukee Hiawatha observation car, from the first generation of Beaver Tail Observation in 1936 built in MILW's own shop to the next generation designed by Otto Kuhler in 1938 and the Milwaukee Skytop designed by Brooks Stevens in 1947 ( I admire his work more than Raymond Loewy to be honest, especially his automobile designs), I can clearly see the design was in a progress of getting better and better, compare to Pullman's prewar "standardized"  parabolic curved streamlined design and that dull and uninteresting postwar squared-off design built for PRR (what were they thinking almighty!), MILW really knew how to max out the fun.
 

source: Classic Streamliners

Source: TrainWeb.org

I am glad you mentioned about the Pendulum car, the articulated prototype was a bit too much in terms of its appearance but the CB&Q No. 6000, the Silver Pendulum looked very interesting and the idea of the whole project; building a Tilt Train for America really deserve some credit, I consider this project as one of those many good things that lost the chance because of the War World II.

 

 

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Posted by Overmod on Sunday, September 16, 2018 12:25 PM

Jones1945
... that dull and uninteresting postwar squared-off design built for PRR (what were they thinking almighty!)

Well, what they were thinking was to have an observation that maximized the usable space inside the car, and that could be coupled anywhere in the train and still 'walked through' with a good diaphragm-protected connection.

Most of the early parabolic-end cars had little better than a schoolbus-door type arrangement, suitable perhaps for reverse moves with a monkey-tail arrangement, and putting a full diaphragm and buffer involved both higher weight and some ugliness, particularly when the diaphragm and frame were externally added.  You will note that the actual amount of useful room in the pointed end was considerably less than a flat end obs (or a solarium-car arrangement) especially when you arranged the seating to face the rear windows.  (Ain't never gonna replace the outside observation platform!)

That said, I have never really cared for square-end observations; the Skytop being one of the better alternative arrangements.  I never quite understood why no one combined the 'dome' idea with glass-end observation in an arrangement like a B29 nose with bi-level visibility but preserving full pass-through if the car were run midtrain (or with private cars appended).

... I am glad you mentioned about the Pendulum car, the articulated prototype was a bit too much in terms of its appearance but the CB&Q No. 6000, the Silver Pendulum looked very interesting and the idea of the whole project; building a Tilt Train for America really deserve some credit, I consider this project as one of those many good things that lost the chance because of [WWII].

I think you're partly right about WWII killing Preco's passenger-car market ... but it's also true that both the early and late 'versions' of their pendulum system were dramatically underdeveloped and weird-riding.  There is more to building a high-speed railroad car than proportional centrifugal tilt over good truck design -- one thing in particular that was missing was adequate vertical and lateral damping; you will notice that none of the three production cars survived very long, if at all, in any kind of high-speed service (despite their Flash Gordon styling).

By the time America again became interested in pendulum tilt, the world had moved on, first through the Talgo boondoggle and then through the lightweight-train craze; most of the high-speed compliance in the interim being accomplished with better and better outside swing-hanger arrangements.  It will probably have occurred to you that passive tilt was a 'natural' for the Budd Tubular Train ... if a system proven to provide it reliably had been engineered at that time.

Certainly Cripe's 'turbine motor train' (that became the UA TurboTrain) both needed and got an effective and practical method of progressive passive tilt good to above 160mph.  That its primary suspension and NVH absorption were inadequate for contemporary track maintenance and jointed rail is a peripheral concern.  And since the late '60s most of the experimentation in tilt has either been active or electronically-controlled versions of passive, neither of which requires the boxed-in long secondary spring towers the Preco design relied on.

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Posted by M636C on Sunday, September 16, 2018 6:49 PM

The original Lark cars had the same floor plan as the American Milemaster and Muskingum River (all variants of Plan 4082) and more importantly used the same Pullman diagram for a 2 DBR, 1 Cpt, 1 DR buffet lounge observation.

According to Randall's book of SP Prewar PS floor plans, the three NYC cars, American Milemaster and Muskingum River had one minor difference. There was a sofa facing rearward in the curved end in those five cars while the two "Lark" cars just had individual lounge chairs around the side facing inward. Apparently the "Lark" cars had radio speakers in the observation room not in the others.

The rearward facing sofa was a feature of the "Island" cars used on the  20th Century, so this allowed the Pullman pool cars to replace them if required. During the war, the low capacity of the Island cars meant that River cars were substituted at Government direction.

Randall indicates that Muskingum River had an aluminium body (on a steel girder frame) although Dubin in "More Classsic Trains" suggests that it was stainless steel. Since Randall had the drawings, I'd side with him, although the notes on the floor plan aren't really clear as to material.

If it was indeed aluminium, that might explain its withdrawal after a sideswipe since the damage may have been greater to aluminium body panels.

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Posted by M636C on Sunday, September 16, 2018 6:58 PM

Certainly Cripe's 'turbine motor train' (that became the UA TurboTrain) both needed and got an effective and practical method of progressive passive tilt good to above 160mph.  That its primary suspension and NVH absorption were inadequate for contemporary track maintenance and jointed rail is a peripheral concern. 

I travelled in the VIA Turbotrain from Toronto to Montreal (almost Montreal) in 1977. On leaving Toronto Union Station passengers were instructed to remain in their seats and not to attempt to move about until the train had cleared all the switches in the station yard. I was still trying to find my seat at that time and while I remained standing, I had to hold on to an adjacent seat back. The coach class dome was leading, so I spent much of the journey up there until a fire warning near Dorval Airport shut the train down, and we transferred across the ballast to a Rapido that we had overtaken earlier. To avoid fire, all the seat padding in the dome (above the turbines) was attached by Velcro and the speed with which the crew removed the seat padding suggested that they had done it before.

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Posted by Jones1945 on Monday, September 17, 2018 6:58 AM

Overmod
Well, what they were thinking was to have an observation that maximized the usable space inside the car, and that could be coupled anywhere in the train and still 'walked through' with a good diaphragm-protected connection. 

That’s why RRs needed industrial designer, they could maintain a balance between beauty and practicality in their works. I believe when PRR needed a new design of observation car which could connect to additional cars, any industrial designer could provide a much better design for the post war View Series, but they didn’t hire any noted designer or probably didn’t request Pullman to make an interesting observation lounge car for their prime train as a greeting of the arrival of 1950s. When the ridership was declining rapidly, I think RRs needed cars and services which were good enough to wow and to lure patrons back.

 https://www.hideawayreport.com/

Overmod
I never quite understood why no one combined the 'dome' idea with glass-end observation in an arrangement like a B29 nose with bi-level visibility but preserving full pass-through if the car were run midtrain (or with private cars appended). 

Exactly, there are so many possibilities to design an attractive observation car; the most important car in a consist for passenger’s entertainment and social networking. RRs from the mid-west and Northwest did much better job than PRR imo.  

Overmod
Certainly Cripe's 'turbine motor train' (that became the UA TurboTrain) both needed and got an effective and practical method of progressive passive tilt good to above 160mph.  That its primary suspension and NVH absorption were inadequate for contemporary track maintenance and jointed rail is a peripheral concern.  

When I reveiwing the RR history of the States, I once thought the UAC TurboTrain could be the solution to revival America's passenger service, but after reading your reply, I think it needed a lot more effort to improve its suspension systems (which didn't happen) and now I understand that why it faded out in America's RR history. 

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Posted by Overmod on Monday, September 17, 2018 9:59 AM

Jones1945
... I think it needed a lot more effort to improve its suspension systems (which didn't happen) and now I understand that why it faded out in America's RR history.

Actually, the thing that killed it was the OPEC fuel 'crisis' of the early Seventies and the high relative price of the necessary 'burn' of turbine fuel.  Very similar economics initially changed the French TGV from gas-turbine to electric propulsion.

A secondary factor, in the United States, was diversion of one of the prototype trains to what was essentially a branch-line service to a political destination.  Even considering the TurboTrain as a glorified motor train a la EMC, it was the opportunity cost that hurt things.  The TurboTrain was intended as the New York-to-Boston extension of the Metroliner service (from New York to Washington) and that was not conveniently done with one of the precious prototypes helping out Harley's re-election chances.

Interestingly, there were other turbine trains (the RTG and then Rohr variants) that succeeded in niche markets for a while.  The early versions, at least, were considerably less exotic than the 'ground airliner'. 

I'm not sure that anything short of full-active suspension in 3 planes could have saved the ride over the early Seventies New Haven, whether into GCT or later Penn.  It wasn't that employees were incompetent, just that even with federal subsidy there wasn't enough money to keep the track lined and surfaced for that train to run with the necessary acceleration and speed.

I remember discussions about providing 12.5kV electrification for the UA train (with UK-sourced pantographs mounted on extensions of the intercar pendular frames, not touching the carbody); the situation with the glassed-in domes was no "worse" than running under the New Haven electrification, which the train did almost from new.  The motor arrangement suitable for the Park Avenue tunnel was, of course, not sufficient for any particular speed; the consensus when I heard it was that traction motors would replace or supplement some of the turbines in the allowable array (which would make the train tripower capable by keeping the original gearbox-driving motor arrangement).  It's interesting to follow the history to see why this was not taken up as a solution.

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Posted by rcdrye on Monday, September 17, 2018 12:58 PM

The initial use of the UA Turbos into GCT illustrates something that Penn Central (and New Haven) knew - that New York was never going to generate a large amount of transfer traffic between Turbos and Metroliners.  The reroute into Penn in November 1971 introduced more problems without generating more traffic, as the East River tunnels were not very forgiving to the third rail motors.  By the time any changes would have been made to the drive train, the reality of the suspension issues negated any real interest.  The Turbos were also leased from UA by DOT, and not Amtrak owned. 

Extending some Metroliner runs to New Haven probably met the service demand.  The RTG and Rohr turbos were reasonably successful in the markets they were used in, but the flexibility of AEM7 and F40-hauled Amfleet I coaches proved hard to beat.

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Posted by Overmod on Monday, September 17, 2018 1:17 PM

rcdrye
... the flexibility of AEM7 and F40-hauled Amfleet I coaches proved hard to beat.

That's the real reason in a nutshell from the mid-Seventies on. 

Note that he has left out GG1-hauled Amfleet I cars.  There are reasons for that.Wink

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Posted by Jones1945 on Monday, September 17, 2018 2:21 PM

Overmod

I remember discussions about providing 12.5kV electrification for the UA train (with UK-sourced pantographs mounted on extensions of the intercar pendular frames, not touching the carbody); the situation with the glassed-in domes was no "worse" than running under the New Haven electrification, which the train did almost from new......

I wonder if the UA Train could maintain 120mph or above after electrification and modification or not, as rcdrye and you stated the almighty GG1, AEM7 and F40 plus Amfleet I coaches proved hard to beat, there was no economic incentive to further develop the UA Train, given that

Overmod
even with federal subsidy, there wasn't enough money to keep the track lined and surfaced for that train to run with the necessary acceleration and speed
. Although, I think the apperance of the UA TurboTrain was much more attractive.

http://www.cnynrhs.org/locos.html

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Posted by BaltACD on Monday, September 17, 2018 4:58 PM

Jones1945
. Although, I think the apperance of the UA TurboTrain was much more attractive. 

http://www.cnynrhs.org/locos.html

Has to be the ugliest GG1 paint job - ever.

         

Never too old to have a happy childhood!

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Posted by Jones1945 on Monday, September 17, 2018 5:53 PM

I give it a 3.87/10 DrinksSmile, Wink & Grin My favoite color scheme of GG1 is the Featherstripes version:

 

For UA Train, I pick this one:

http://www.railpictures.net/photo/212069/ 

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