1940 B&O passenger train film

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1940 B&O passenger train film
Posted by NP Eddie on Thursday, December 20, 2018 10:04 AM

ALL:

I discovered a 1940 B&O video of the many aspects of B&O passenger traffic. It starts with a view of Washington's Union Station. During the film the audience is introduced to the Engineer, Mr. Schroeder and the Conductor Mr. Owens. The locomotive is #54 (hard to see the number) and the train of semi-streamlined passenger cars. Can anyone tell me what name the train had? What was their crew district?

There are many gems in the You Tube library.

Ed Burns

Happily retired NP-BN-BNSF from Northtown (Minneapolis, MN)

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Posted by bedell on Thursday, December 20, 2018 11:02 AM

I don't see a link to the video.

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Posted by Firelock76 on Thursday, December 20, 2018 11:05 AM

Eddie, by any chance do you have the You Tube link for that B&O film?

I'm sure I can find it anyway if you don't.

And you're right, there are a lot of gems in the You Tube library.  A lot of trash too, but no need to go into that.  You won't find the trash if you don't go looking for it.

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Posted by Firelock76 on Thursday, December 20, 2018 12:53 PM

Is this the one?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T5qCq1p0ma0

Looks good, but how'd that B&O train wind up in Lamy New Mexico?

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Posted by BaltACD on Thursday, December 20, 2018 2:36 PM

Firelock76
Is this the one?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T5qCq1p0ma0

Looks good, but how'd that B&O train wind up in Lamy New Mexico?

The link has conflated two movies.  The first part on the B&O is most likely the National Limited as it carried both coach and Pullman accomidations.  The Capitol Limited only carried Pullman accomidations at that time, as it had a running mate The Columbian that was all coach and ran just ahead of just beind the Capitol.

The last minute and a half is from a 1950's ATSF movie 

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Posted by BaltACD on Thursday, December 20, 2018 2:50 PM

ALL:

I discovered a 1940 B&O video of the many aspects of B&O passenger traffic. It starts with a view of Washington's Union Station. During the film the audience is introduced to the Engineer, Mr. Schroeder and the Conductor Mr. Owens. The locomotive is #54 (hard to see the number) and the train of semi-streamlined passenger cars. Can anyone tell me what name the train had? What was their crew district?

There are many gems in the You Tube library.

Ed Burns

The train was the National Limited as it had both coach and Pullman accomidations.  The Capitol Limited was all Pullman during this period and had it's all coach companion The Columbian that ran on a near identical schedule.  The cars for all these trains were 'streamlined' betterment cars with the work being done by both the Pullman Shops as well as the B&O's Mt. Clare Shops.

The crew district was from Baltimore to Cumberland.

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Posted by Firelock76 on Thursday, December 20, 2018 4:19 PM

Yeah, I was wondering if that film was written, produced, and directed by Rod Serling.  Where else could a passenger train start out in Washington in 1940 and end up in Lamy NM in 1954?

Only in "The Twilight Zone..."

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Posted by SD70Dude on Friday, December 21, 2018 10:16 PM

I like how the mechanic (possibly a travelling EMD employee) wipes the valves while the engine is running. 

Is the sound original to the video?  If it is then this is the only recording of a Winton 201-A that I have ever seen.

Greetings from Alberta

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

SD70Dude
I like how the mechanic (possibly a travelling EMD employee) wipes the valves while the engine is running. 

Is the sound original to the video?  If it is then this is the only recording of a Winton 201-A that I have ever seen.

My understanding, and I could be wrong, in the early days of using the EA diesels there was a Mechanical Dept. employee assigned to the locomotive consists and charged with the responsibility of keeping the engines running - making running repairs and work arounds to keep moving down the railroad.  To my knowledge they were not covered by the HOS rules and stayed with the locomotives for the entirety of their run.  

There was a Firemen on these runs and they were covered by the HOS rules and changed out when the Engineers changed crews.

I have no idea if the engine sounds are authentic.

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Posted by Overmod on Saturday, December 22, 2018 8:20 AM

BaltACD
SD70Dude
I like how the mechanic (possibly a travelling EMD employee) wipes the valves while the engine is running. 

 My understanding, and I could be wrong, in the early days of using the EA diesels there was a Mechanical Dept. employee assigned to the locomotive consists and charged with the responsibility of keeping the engines running - making running repairs and work arounds to keep moving down the railroad.  To my knowledge they were not covered by the HOS rules and stayed with the locomotives for the entirety of their run.

 

II suspect you're right, and that's an EMD riding maintainer, perhaps someone that Preston Cook could identify even now, past 'the edge of history' by almost a decade. 

Some locomotives with early EMC engines even featured overhead rails with chain falls to make changing out even large engine components possible while the locomotive was in service ... one account I dimly remember describing actions like "cylinder-head repair" made while the consist was at speed.

 

Is the sound original to the video?  If it is then this is the only recording of a Winton 201-A that I have ever seen.

I have no idea if the engine sounds are authentic.[/quote]

This is a highly interesting point, as this is not a "railfan" production and therefore we can presume the only "Foley" available in 1940 would be some generic railroad sounds.  So (as with a couple of other recently-released clips) the sound as recorded 'on the shoot' is almost certain to be the audio heard as background noise, particularly in the scenes from trackside and in the cab where you can hear 'notching up'.  And yes, I can't think of another authentic recording of a 201A either in contemporary service or preserved.  What I hear sounds 'right' for that engine, too, now that you mention it.  (Although I confess to being amused at the choice of idiom saying this was a sound recording that was 'seen'...Smile )

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Posted by Firelock76 on Saturday, December 22, 2018 10:47 AM

That could  be an EMD representative acting as a riding mechanic.  In the early diesel days EMD was hungry for the business and was eager to do anything to make the product line look good and keep the customers happy.

On the other hand, I remember reading an article by a former diesel era New Haven fireman in "Locomotive and Railway Preservation" magazine 20 years ago, and he said part of his job was acting as a "riding mechanic and troubleshooter"  to make sure everything worked as is should. 

Anything's possible.

I did shudder a bit when I saw the mechanic putting his hands by that moving machinery, but I'm sure he knew what he was doing.

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Posted by bedell on Saturday, December 22, 2018 3:19 PM

Both films were great but wasn't the Santa Fe train (Chief) heading east at the end?

The narrator said it was continuing on its way to California but not if the Lamy depot

was on the left side.

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Posted by SD70Dude on Saturday, December 22, 2018 8:33 PM

Overmod

Overmod
BaltACD
SD70Dude
I like how the mechanic (possibly a travelling EMD employee) wipes the valves while the engine is running. 

 My understanding, and I could be wrong, in the early days of using the EA diesels there was a Mechanical Dept. employee assigned to the locomotive consists and charged with the responsibility of keeping the engines running - making running repairs and work arounds to keep moving down the railroad.  To my knowledge they were not covered by the HOS rules and stayed with the locomotives for the entirety of their run.

II suspect you're right, and that's an EMD riding maintainer, perhaps someone that Preston Cook could identify even now, past 'the edge of history' by almost a decade. 

Some locomotives with early EMC engines even featured overhead rails with chain falls to make changing out even large engine components possible while the locomotive was in service ... one account I dimly remember describing actions like "cylinder-head repair" made while the consist was at speed.

Is the sound original to the video?  If it is then this is the only recording of a Winton 201-A that I have ever seen.

I have no idea if the engine sounds are authentic.

This is a highly interesting point, as this is not a "railfan" production and therefore we can presume the only "Foley" available in 1940 would be some generic railroad sounds.  So (as with a couple of other recently-released clips) the sound as recorded 'on the shoot' is almost certain to be the audio heard as background noise, particularly in the scenes from trackside and in the cab where you can hear 'notching up'.  And yes, I can't think of another authentic recording of a 201A either in contemporary service or preserved.  What I hear sounds 'right' for that engine, too, now that you mention it.  (Although I confess to being amused at the choice of idiom saying this was a sound recording that was 'seen'...Smile )

I thought the same thing as I was typing that.  Great minds think alike!

You are right about the sound, it is similar to a 567, yet noticeably different.

Greetings from Alberta

-an Articulate Malcontent

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Posted by Jones1945 on Saturday, December 22, 2018 10:04 PM

BaltACD

The last minute and a half is from a 1950's ATSF movie 

I want to watch the adventure of Bobby and Uncle Ray...like horse racing with trains...  :- ( 

By the way, if the dining car was full, did passenger need to stand and wait at the corridor of the dining car or they got a token and queue up for a table in the dining car? Thanks a lot! 

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Posted by Firelock76 on Sunday, December 23, 2018 11:17 AM

I got this from Mike, our "All-seeing Eye," which just might shed some light over who that mechanic is in the engine room of that B&O diesel.

http://utahrails.net/articles/alco-v-emd.php

And Mr. Jones, concerning your dining car question, I read somewhere that dining car staffers had a saying concerning capacity, "Forty and standing,"  which meant indeed the car was at capacity (forty patrons) with people queuing up in the adjacent cars.  How they handled that I don't remember, unless they assigned mealtimes (most likely) and really hustled to handle the flow.

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Posted by Miningman on Sunday, December 23, 2018 1:01 PM

Interesting article Mike and Firelock. Seems a bit biased and skates along the surface, especially for a Harvard guy. So buying Railway Age covers portraying great railroad men with EMD locos in the background is superior to a getaway featuring Native Dancers? Well then, small wonder Alco did gangbusters business North of the border attaiining even greater than 50% of sales, despite GMD London, none of which is mentioned. Alco did just fine up here thank you and lived on well past Schenectady's downfall. No mention. That's the kind of thing that makes you wonder what kind of dirty pool was really going on. Something way more was afoot.

Also you would think Alcos diversity into something like 50 highly specialized small batch manufacturing into many areas would be a captive lucrative market and a real money maker instead of a liability as  written. Not buying that one either. 

What goes around comes around I suppose as in the end of this particular story GM needed a massive taxpayer 'too big to fail' Hail Mary handoff from the Feds. This after years of producing junk.

Anywho, Alcos live on today in service on a handful of smaller carriers in the US, a testament to their design. 

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Posted by Deggesty on Sunday, December 23, 2018 2:20 PM

As to more people wanting to eat in a diner at the same time than there were seats available, I do not recall such a situation when I ate in diners before 5/1/71, but it could have been handled in much the same way that Amtrak currently handles the situation--the steward would have taken the name of the party and how many were in the party, invite them to wait in the loujnge car (if there was one), and send word when seats were available. Otherwise, prospective diners would simply have to wait at the entrance to the diner until there were seats available. Not many trains had public address sytems back then.

Johnny

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Posted by Overmod on Sunday, December 23, 2018 3:05 PM

Firelock76
I did shudder a bit when I saw the mechanic putting his hands by that moving machinery, but I'm sure he knew what he was doing.

There is very little risk with the valve gear on top of an EMD power assembly as would be accessed under that cover.  Rockers with, I believe, automatic lash adjustment -- there are pictures of this on YouTube -- and no open lube feeds as with early Volvos that would blow oil around inside the valve cover with the engine running normally. 

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Posted by Miningman on Sunday, December 23, 2018 5:58 PM

I stand corrected. Not a Harvard guy.

From Mike:

Vince, Albert Churella is not a Harvard guy, though that article was in a Harvard publication, and he's been on TV.
 
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Posted by Overmod on Sunday, December 23, 2018 7:00 PM

Firelock76
I got this from Mike, our "All-seeing Eye," which just might shed some light over who that mechanic is in the engine room of that B&O diesel.

http://utahrails.net/articles/alco-v-emd.php

Or for a bit more of the picture, read the whole thing:

https://issuu.com/cruelty73/docs/from_steam_to_diesel

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Posted by Jones1945 on Monday, December 24, 2018 12:04 AM

Thanks a lot, Johnny! When I calculate the ratio of passenger seat per dining car seat, I note the ratio of some popular overnight all-coach trains like my favorite one the PRR Trail Blazer of 1938, was 572 coach seat : 66 diner seat, which was around 9:1 (standard 14-car consist) if the train was full.

Assuming dinner was available since 6 pm and all passenger wanted to have dinner in the dining car and each passenger requires at least one hour to finish their dinner, some passenger might need to wait until 1-2 am for a table! But of course, there was a lounge car provide a light meal for them and not all passenger wanted to use any service of the dining car...

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