World's fair wonder

4392 views
101 replies
1 rating 2 rating 3 rating 4 rating 5 rating
  • Member since
    July, 2001
  • From: Shelbyville, Kentucky
  • 1,794 posts
World's fair wonder
Posted by SSW9389 on Saturday, February 02, 2019 9:52 AM

Classic Trains Winter 2018 edition has a photo of EMC demonstrator #1939 at the New York World Fair. See pages 14 and 15. The E unit in the photograph is described as an E6A, which it isn't. The swinging doors on the nose give this unit away as an E4A. This particular E4A became Seaboard #3013. The following year EMC E6A demonstrator #1940 took the #1939's place at the GM exhibit. That demonstrator became Seaboard #3014 after the Fair.  

 

COTTON BELT: Runs like a Blue Streak!
  • Member since
    April, 2018
  • 950 posts
Posted by Jones1945 on Sunday, February 03, 2019 10:10 AM

This one? 

Jones Family Railroad Hobby YouTube Channel: 
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCu9gt9Q9RF-Hwq7xWciVcWg/

  • Member since
    May, 2003
  • From: US
  • 15,773 posts
Posted by BaltACD on Sunday, February 03, 2019 10:48 AM

Jones1945
This one? 


SAL's E-4's were notable in being the only, to my knowledge, locomotives that had the front door being retractable.

  • Member since
    September, 2003
  • 6,803 posts
Posted by Overmod on Sunday, February 03, 2019 12:06 PM

If I recall correctly, GM displayed at least one of these at some point in the '64-'65 Fair (taken in as trade-ins and displayed before scrapping) but I couldn't turn up a picture on the Web.  Who can?

  • Member since
    January, 2019
  • 649 posts
Posted by Flintlock76 on Sunday, February 03, 2019 6:42 PM

Found something!  Check this out.  (You'll have to scroll down for it, but lot's of pictures!)

www.worldsfaircommunity.org/topic/14367-gm-locomotive/  

It's a GP-35.  Now I'll tell you, I was at the Worlds Fair in 1964 and  1965, and remember the GM pavilion, but I don't remember this locomotive at all.  I'm not surprised, the "World Of The Future" was the main theme of the GM exhibits, the Geep was apparantly the outlier. 

I couldn't find anything at all resembling the 1939 cab unit at the '64 fair.

Here's a site with MORE than you'll ever want to know about the GM pavilion...

www.nywf64.com/gm01.shtml  

I'm amazed I found the locomotive pictures at all.  Gee, now I know how Wanswheel (Mike) feels!  What a rush... 

  • Member since
    September, 2010
  • From: Parma Heights Ohio
  • 2,709 posts
Posted by Penny Trains on Sunday, February 03, 2019 7:18 PM

"Model of a Futuristic Containerized Freight Terminal"

Hard to say what they had in mind as far as operational procedures for this concept, but it makes me think of a sort of elevator warehousing system.  It might have worked if the containers went back full...

Big Smile  I'm Cuckoo For Choo Choo Stuffs!  Big Smile

  • Member since
    September, 2011
  • 4,055 posts
Posted by MidlandMike on Sunday, February 03, 2019 9:54 PM

I was at the 64-65 NY World's Fair a few times, and I remember the GP-35, but I don't remember a cab unit at GM's pavillion.  The LIRR had some displays by their Fair train station, including (part of?) a cab unit (Alco?).

  • Member since
    April, 2018
  • 950 posts
Posted by Jones1945 on Monday, February 04, 2019 3:20 AM

Overmod

If I recall correctly, GM displayed at least one of these at some point in the '64-'65 Fair (taken in as trade-ins and displayed before scrapping) but I couldn't turn up a picture on the Web.  Who can?

Are you sure it was a EMD E-units, Overmod? I remember you said that you didn't grab your glasses when visiting the fair. I can only find the pic of the GP-35. 

 

Penny Trains

"Model of a Futuristic Containerized Freight Terminal"

Hard to say what they had in mind as far as operational procedures for this concept, but it makes me think of a sort of elevator warehousing system.  It might have worked if the containers went back full...

I guess this concept was inspired by the "Freestanding 48 Car Elevator Parking Garage" of Chicago. Reviewing the photo and videos of 1964-1965 World's Fair, it was fascinating! So much interesting concept and vision design all in one place. Too bad that GM's "Train of Tomorrow" of 1948 was scrapped in the same year of 64-65 World's Fair...

  

MidlandMike

I was at the 64-65 NY World's Fair a few times, and I remember the GP-35, but I don't remember a cab unit at GM's pavillion.  The LIRR had some displays by their Fair train station, including (part of?) a cab unit (Alco?).

Alco PA cab: 

https://www.worldsfairphotos.com/nywf64/images/lirr-2.jpg

 

Jones Family Railroad Hobby YouTube Channel: 
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCu9gt9Q9RF-Hwq7xWciVcWg/

  • Member since
    September, 2003
  • 6,803 posts
Posted by Overmod on Monday, February 04, 2019 4:29 PM

Jones1945
Are you sure it was a EMD E-units, Overmod? I remember you said that you didn't grab your glasses when visiting the fair. I can only find the pic of the GP-35.

I don't remember seeing GP35 1964 (or much of the GM exhibit at all) when I was there that year (in part this was because we were a Ford family and didn't care much for 'the General')

I was going by a piece I remember in Trains that said GM had displayed ... somewhere, not very prominent ... at least one slant-nose E unit that had been taken in as a trade-in, which I recall as being THE unit that was displayed at the earlier Fair  -- then rather promptly scrapped it afterward.  It should be relatively easy to fact-check this for someone with a functional Complete Collection.

  • Member since
    January, 2002
  • 3,664 posts
Posted by M636C on Monday, February 04, 2019 6:57 PM

Jones1945

This one? 

 

The bottom photo appears to show a different unit than the first two photos. The work going on in the background suggests the GM pavilion is still beig constructed, or refurbished for the 1940 exhibition.

The locomotives in all photos lack the folding nose door.

On page 45 of December 1971 "Trains", the top photo shows the red and black unit being switched into position, with the nose "wings" without the raised "GM Diesel" lettering in the photo above, and it is clear that there is no nose door. The second photo clearly shows the lettering  "Seaboard" on the red upper body panels. It was numbered 1940, despite being displayed during 1939. However, EMD records give its build date at 11-39 (after the 1939 NYWF season) and list it as an E-6. Apparently it was rebuilt with a new build date after the fair. It was probably built in 12-38 or 1-39 at the end of the first batch of Seaboard units (the first production 567 engined E units).

So in theory at least, EMC 1940 was built as an E-3, fitted with an E-4 nose door and delivered as an E-6 after display at the fair.It is shown as delivered 20 January 1940, so could not have appesred in the show for 1940.

It is this unit that was said to be displayed at the 1964 fair after being traded in on an SDP-35.

But what was the unit displayed during the 1940 Fair session? Was it the unit in the third photo?

Dr Marre's article in the December 1971 "Trains" pages 38-47 does not identify any second E unit as being displayed.

Peter

 

  • Member since
    January, 2019
  • 649 posts
Posted by Flintlock76 on Monday, February 04, 2019 7:49 PM

Folks, I can't find any photos of any E-unit displayed at the 64-65 Worlds Fair at all.  My personal opinion is there wasn't one, and that LIRR cab display is probably the cause of the confusion.  

At any rate, by 1964 the E-unit was old news.  Cab units were on the way out, and the more versitile Geeps were more than on the way in.  Why would GM showcase what to them was yesterdays news?  

Mind you, I'll be more than happy to be proven wrong if an E-unit photo does show up, so keep looking if you like, I'm through.

  • Member since
    September, 2013
  • 4,016 posts
Posted by Miningman on Monday, February 04, 2019 9:11 PM

I have the Trains complete collection on disk. When I get back to the College I will see if I can find the article. Won't be back until Thursday but realistically likely next week during exams when I'm just sitting there invigulating. 

  • Member since
    January, 2002
  • 3,664 posts
Posted by M636C on Monday, February 04, 2019 9:39 PM

Dr Marre suggests that it was displayed because it was the unit that had been displayed in 1939, and because it was traded in at the right time for the fair. It might have been displayed for a short time only, maybe for a photo next to the GP 35 for PR purposes, what politicians now refer to as a Photo opportunity....

I'd expect that EMD would have a photo if they've kept their archives (which I doubt)

Peter

  • Member since
    April, 2018
  • 950 posts
Posted by Jones1945 on Tuesday, February 05, 2019 3:05 AM

Overmod

I don't remember seeing GP35 1964 (or much of the GM exhibit at all) when I was there that year (in part this was because we were a Ford family and didn't care much for 'the General')

I was going by a piece I remember in Trains that said GM had displayed ... somewhere, not very prominent ... at least one slant-nose E unit that had been taken in as a trade-in, which I recall as being THE unit that was displayed at the earlier Fair  -- then rather promptly scrapped it afterward.  It should be relatively easy to fact-check this for someone with a functional Complete Collection.

Let me take a wild guess. GM has been proud of their diesel product, especially their E units, so they displayed an E unit which had a chance to drop by in the World's Fair before it was sent to scrap yard as a tribute or informal celebration to there own good old successful product. 

M636C

So in theory at least, EMC 1940 was built as an E-3, fitted with an E-4 nose door and delivered as an E-6 after display at the fair. It is shown as delivered 20 January 1940, so could not have appeared in the show for 1940.

It is this unit that was said to be displayed at the 1964 fair after being traded in on an SDP-35.

But what was the unit displayed during the 1940 Fair session? Was it the unit in the third photo?

Dr Marre's article in the December 1971 "Trains" pages 38-47 does not identify any second E unit as being displayed.

Peter

Thank you very much for the informative and very detailed response, Peter! 

SAL E4A(?) with nose door.

American-Rails.com

SAL #3014 (without nose door) 

  

SAL #3015 E6A with nose door.

Jones Family Railroad Hobby YouTube Channel: 
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCu9gt9Q9RF-Hwq7xWciVcWg/

  • Member since
    June, 2002
  • 14,536 posts
Posted by daveklepper on Tuesday, February 05, 2019 5:08 AM

Are you sure the GM Train of Tomorrow was scrapped as early as 1964-1965?  I photographed the interior when it was displayed in The Bronx in 1948.  I rode the train after it was bought by the Northern Pacific and used as their traiby n for the three-railroads, three-trains-each-way Portland - Seattle pool servcie in 1961.  It was actually built by Pullman, had no really experimental features  - Excep that the dome was just after the Q's Silver-Vistq conversion, and before Budd production domes.

 

  • Member since
    June, 2002
  • 14,536 posts
Posted by daveklepper on Tuesday, February 05, 2019 5:17 AM

I was 16 at the time.

  • Member since
    April, 2018
  • 950 posts
Posted by Jones1945 on Tuesday, February 05, 2019 5:50 AM

daveklepper

Are you sure the GM Train of Tomorrow was scrapped as early as 1964-1965?  I photographed the interior when it was displayed in The Bronx in 1948.  I rode the train after it was bought by the Northern Pacific and used as their traiby n for the three-railroads, three-trains-each-way Portland - Seattle pool servcie in 1961.  It was actually built by Pullman, had no really experimental features  - Excep that the dome was just after the Q's Silver-Vistq conversion, and before Budd production domes.

Thank you for the question and these precious photos, Dave! Was that you who holding the camera?

To be more precisely, the EMD E7A #765, later become UP #988 was retired in 1963 and "was sent back to EMD in 1965 and either rebuilt as an EMD E9A that was subsequently renumbered 912 or traded in on a new E9A; the records of EMD and the Union Pacific do not clearly indicate which occurred" (Ric Morgan "The Train of Tomorrow), the rest of the "Train of Tomorrow" train set: While Star Dust, Dream Cloud, and Sky View were retired from 1961 to 1964 and ultimately scrapped in 1964 at McCarty's Scrap Yard in Pocatello; only the Dome Observation Lounge ( Moon Glow) was "discovered" in 1990 and saved by the Golden Spike Railroad and Locomotive Historical Society.
(Source: http://utahrails.net/pass/train-of-tomorrow.php  & Ric Morgan "The Train of Tomorrow )


http://www.themetrains.com/gm-train-of-tomorrow-consist-04-moon-glow-dome-lounge-observation.htm

Jones Family Railroad Hobby YouTube Channel: 
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCu9gt9Q9RF-Hwq7xWciVcWg/

  • Member since
    June, 2002
  • 14,536 posts
Posted by daveklepper on Tuesday, February 05, 2019 6:38 AM

And I did see the to-be-Seabord E-3,4,6 in 1939 and its replacement in 1940, and not having recorded numbers, ages 7 and 8, of course thought they were the same locomotive! 

  • Member since
    January, 2002
  • 3,664 posts
Posted by M636C on Tuesday, February 05, 2019 7:27 AM

daveklepper

And I did see the to-be-Seabord E-3,4,6 in 1939 and its replacement in 1940, and not having recorded numbers, ages 7 and 8, of course thought they were the same locomotive! 

 

I viewed my first EMD locomotive in 1953, at the age of 5. I've subsequently identified it as Victorian Railways B63, on display at Sydney Terminal Station. I have clear memories of the day, including noticing that this was the first locomotive I'd ever seen without buffers. But like Dave, I didn't notice the number on the day...

Peter

  • Member since
    July, 2001
  • From: Shelbyville, Kentucky
  • 1,794 posts
Posted by SSW9389 on Tuesday, February 05, 2019 8:25 AM

EMC serial number historian Andre Kristopans has identified three serial numbers associated with the New York 1939-1940 World's Fair. Those serials are 851-852 and 974. According to Kristopans the 851-852 were built in March 1939 and correspond with EMC 1939, 1939B. See http://utahrails.net/ajkristopans/PASSENGERUNITS.php#ea4  

The 1939-1940 New York Worlds Fair was open from April to October both years. See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1939_New_York_World%27s_Fair 

The most obvious thing is that the E4A unit was replaced by the E6A unit after the Fair closed in 1939. 

COTTON BELT: Runs like a Blue Streak!
  • Member since
    January, 2002
  • 3,664 posts
Posted by M636C on Tuesday, February 05, 2019 7:06 PM

SSW9389

EMC serial number historian Andre Kristopans has identified three serial numbers associated with the New York 1939-1940 World's Fair. Those serials are 851-852 and 974. According to Kristopans the 851-852 were built in March 1939 and correspond with EMC 1939, 1939B. See http://utahrails.net/ajkristopans/PASSENGERUNITS.php#ea4  

The 1939-1940 New York Worlds Fair was open from April to October both years. See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1939_New_York_World%27s_Fair 

The most obvious thing is that the E4A unit was replaced by the E6A unit after the Fair closed in 1939. 

 
Equally obvious is that the E4B unit was there for the full two years...
 
Why did they replace the A unit but not the B unit after the 1939 season...? Presumably the B unit was repainted to match the 1940 A unit (since the 1939 A unit appeared to be painted differently, assuming that is it in the (third) photo above.)
 
All three of these units went to Seaboard. 1939A becoming 3013, 1940A becoming 3014 and the B unit becoming 3104.
 
Apparent 3013 was wrecked prior to 1948, so the unit displayed in 1964 (assuming this happened) had to be 3014.
 
There seems to be some confusion in Dr Marre's list in December 1971 "Trains". The "delivery" date for SAL 3014 (Nov 39) must be the date it was completed, however that date shown for SAL 3013 (Dec 39) must be its date of delivery to SAL. The date shown for SAL 3104 (Nov 39) can be neither its delivery to the railroad nor its build date, since it was at the fair for both years....
 
The Utah Rails list seems more reasonable in that respect.
 
But clearly EMD dates take some interpretation.
 
Peter
  • Member since
    December, 2017
  • From: I've been everywhere, man
  • 1,289 posts
Posted by SD70Dude on Tuesday, February 05, 2019 8:01 PM

M636C
But clearly EMD dates take some interpretation.

Just like the model naming/numbering system(s)!

Greetings from Alberta

-an Articulate Malcontent

  • Member since
    April, 2018
  • 950 posts
Posted by Jones1945 on Wednesday, February 06, 2019 1:00 AM

SAL #3013

Posted by TPavluvcik on Flickr , George W. Pettengill Jr. photo, C. K. Marsh Jr. collection

Jones Family Railroad Hobby YouTube Channel: 
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCu9gt9Q9RF-Hwq7xWciVcWg/

  • Member since
    July, 2001
  • From: Shelbyville, Kentucky
  • 1,794 posts
Posted by SSW9389 on Wednesday, February 06, 2019 3:38 AM

I don't have exact information, but there is a significant difference between the early 567 equipped slant nose E units and the later slant nose E units. The difference is in the engines. The E3s and E4s were built with paired 12V-567 U deck engines. The E5s and E6s were built with the 12V-567 V deck engines. If EMC wanted to show off the engines by comparison, there would be examples of both at the 1940 exhibit. That's my theory. Without original documentation from EMC or SAL I don't know how much further that theory can be taken. The 567 V deck was supposed to be a stronger design, than the 567 U deck engine. The change over to the V deck design occurred in the last quarter of 1939. 

COTTON BELT: Runs like a Blue Streak!
  • Member since
    July, 2001
  • From: Shelbyville, Kentucky
  • 1,794 posts
Posted by SSW9389 on Wednesday, February 06, 2019 4:25 AM

Eugene Kettering, EMD Chief Engineer, presented a paper to the American Society of Mechanical Engineers in November 1951. The title of the paper was "History and Development of the 567 Series General Motors Locomotive Engine". The part about the U Deck and V Deck engines is covered in the crankcase section starting on page 55. The first E6A, EMC #1940 was a preproduction prototype for the 567 V Deck engine. Kettering writes that the V Deck went into production in early 1940, see page 58. This historical gold mine document is hosted online by Don Strack at http://utahrails.net/pdf/EMD_567_History_and_Development_1951.pdf  

Ed in Kentucky

 

COTTON BELT: Runs like a Blue Streak!
  • Member since
    January, 2002
  • 3,664 posts
Posted by M636C on Wednesday, February 06, 2019 6:36 AM

SSW9389

I don't have exact information, but there is a significant difference between the early 567 equipped slant nose E units and the later slant nose E units. The difference is in the engines. The E3s and E4s were built with paired 12V-567 U deck engines. The E5s and E6s were built with the 12V-567 V deck engines. If EMC wanted to show off the engines by comparison, there would be examples of both at the 1940 exhibit. That's my theory. Without original documentation from EMC or SAL I don't know how much further that theory can be taken. The 567 V deck was supposed to be a stronger design, than the 567 U deck engine. The change over to the V deck design occurred in the last quarter of 1939. 

 
I had independently come to the conclusion that EMC1940/SAL 3014 was the prototype E6. I'm familiar with the Kettering paper, I was given a copy in 1972, but it doesn't match engine developments to locomotive models, or at least not obviously. Clearly, Louis Marre who is a professor of English and not an engineer missed the engine change as the difference between E3 and E6.
 
I assume the E3s and E4s all had "U deck" engines as first built.
 
While Preston Cook uses the names 567U and 567V for these engines EMD didn't use such clear terms in the description of locomotives so this change would be missed by those unfamiliar with the changes.
 
Apart from SAL and their E4s, every customer for the E3 got two units only except C&NW (who got four), ACL (one) and KCS who got the prototype 822 along with their allocated two.
 
This could have been limited by the availability of 567U engines at this early stage of production, but after the introduction of the 567V customers could buy as many as they could afford.
 
If I recall correctly, the "U deck" used a complex casting to form the engine top deck while the "V deck" used a fabrication from plates and sections which style has been used ever since. This casting may have limited production volume and hence locomotive sales, as well as being subject to failure in service through cracking. I think GE reintroduced a casting in this location in their 645 engines which simplified production for the smaller numbers involved. Presumably casting design had improved over the decades to avoid the cracking.
 
Peter
  • Member since
    July, 2001
  • From: Shelbyville, Kentucky
  • 1,794 posts
Posted by SSW9389 on Wednesday, February 06, 2019 9:38 AM

Preston Cook writes about the 567U/567V designs in the Summer 2012 Classic Trains, the E unit issue. See pages 28-29 where Cook writes about the E6. 

COTTON BELT: Runs like a Blue Streak!
  • Member since
    January, 2002
  • 3,664 posts
Posted by M636C on Wednesday, February 06, 2019 4:10 PM

SSW9389

Preston Cook writes about the 567U/567V designs in the Summer 2012 Classic Trains, the E unit issue. See pages 20-21 where Cook writes about the E6. 

 

This is a useful summary...

http://utahrails.net/loconotes/pcook-emd-567.php

and could be read in conjunction with the Kettering paper..

Peter

 

 

  • Member since
    January, 2002
  • 3,664 posts
Posted by M636C on Wednesday, February 06, 2019 6:39 PM

How have we got this far without mentioning the song?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Orange_Blossom_Special_(song)

The song was written about the train after the E-4s took over (1938) and they appeared in some artwork relating to the song.

There is a good description of the train in Dubin's "Some Classic Trains", which used Trains articles, so it should be in the DVD also.

There ia a photo of 3014 in the December 1971 Trains article, but the locomotive has a dirty mark up the centre of the nose (having been cleaned in a car wash?) but there is no indication of a nose door, as in the model photo above. However 3013 clearly had a nose door as delivered and apparently didn't at the World's Fair.

Peter

  • Member since
    April, 2018
  • 950 posts
Posted by Jones1945 on Thursday, February 07, 2019 1:12 AM

I guess the SAL added the nose door on 3014, year unknown...

https://www.shorpy.com/node/19490

 

Jones Family Railroad Hobby YouTube Channel: 
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCu9gt9Q9RF-Hwq7xWciVcWg/

SUBSCRIBER & MEMBER LOGIN

Login, or register today to interact in our online community, comment on articles, receive our newsletter, manage your account online and more!

FREE NEWSLETTER SIGNUP

Get the Classic Trains twice-monthly newsletter