The Overland Limited 1915 Consists

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The Overland Limited 1915 Consists
Posted by Lindsay_K on Thursday, February 14, 2019 11:59 PM

I have read previous forum discussions that mention consists for the Overland Limited, but all I could find was this listing from around 1946 (I think) - 

 

1. Mail-Baggage

2. Baggage-Dormitory

3. Coach

4. Coach

5. Coffee Shop

6. Sleeper 12-1

7. Sleeper 12-1

8. Sleeper 10-1-2

9. Diner

10. Lounge

11. Sleeper 8-1-2

12. Sleeper 6-3

13. Sleeper 6-3

 

Can anyone tell me if this would be accurate for the 1915 Overland Limited?

 

Thank you!

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Posted by rcdrye on Friday, February 15, 2019 8:37 AM

No coaches or coffee shop in 1915.  The Overland was extra fare all Pullman.

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Posted by Lindsay_K on Friday, February 15, 2019 9:17 AM
Thank you again, rcdrye. So the order (less the coffee car and the coach cars) would have been the same? Where would passenger baggage been located? I thought that the baggage-dorm car would have housed the crew's baggage and belongings and the passengers would have had a separate car for theirs???
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Posted by Deggesty on Friday, February 15, 2019 3:26 PM

I have no definite proof, but I do not think that there was such a thing as a baggage-dormitory car in 1915. All checked baggage would have been in the baggage car.

When baggage-dormitory cars were built, they were used to carry passengers' checked baggage along with providing dormitory space for the on-board service crew (waiter, ccoks, dining car steward, lounge car attendants, etc.) 

In many instances, when dormitory space was not provided for the dining car crew, such employees slept on tables (the tables were not fixed in place but could be moved so as to provide an area large enough for sleeping) in the diner.

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Posted by rcdrye on Saturday, February 16, 2019 7:15 AM

A little further digging in "The Trains We Rode" (Beebe/Clegg) and "Some Classic Trans (Dubin) shows up the following:

Non-Pullmans (Baggage, diner) had Harriman (arch) roofs.  By 1913 cars were steel.  In 1905 they would all be wood.

At least on the SP, the "Overland" carried a baggage-RPO. Photos from the period on UP And C&NW don't show one.  From a mail handling point of view this makes sense, as UP and C&NW had several mail-handling trains.  SP had others, too, but they tended to handle bulk mail.  Baggage-Club would be used for passenger baggage and company items, baggage section on RPO was probably assigned to express operator.  Ownership of express operations changed in the 1900-1915 era, so it was done under different names at various times.

The baggage-club car had no dormitory space, but did have a lighting dynamo, which probably ran off the steam line.  The baggage-club had a barber shop.  Baggage-Club cars and Diners were owned by the participating railroads, but built to the same design. Baggage-Club illustrated in "Some Classic Trains" (with floor plan) belonged to C&NW.

Sleepers in 1913 were 10 section, two Compartment, 1 Drawing Room.  Observation Sleeper was 4 Cpt, 2 DR lounge.

The typical consist on SP seems to have been RPO, Bag/Buffet, Diner, two 10-2-1 sleepers and the 4-2 obs.  This might seem a bit small, but a medium Pacific could handle it nicely.  Even that small consist would require a helper in the Sierra Nevada.

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Posted by BaltACD on Saturday, February 16, 2019 8:49 AM

rcdrye
The typical consist on SP seems to have been RPO, Bag/Buffet, Diner, two 10-2-1 sleepers and the 4-2 obs.  This might seem a bit small, but a medium Pacific could handle it nicely.  Even that small consist would require a helper in the Sierra Nevada.

If that was a typical consist - over the length of the run from Chicago to San Francisco - with all the various crew changes in route - the number of employees required to operate the train would have exceeded the number of paying passengers. 

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Posted by rcdrye on Saturday, February 16, 2019 9:59 AM

BaltACD
If that was a typical consist - over the length of the run from Chicago to San Francisco - with all the various crew changes in route - the number of employees required to operate the train would have exceeded the number of paying passengers. 

True enough - but the crew at any given time would be:

Engineer

Fireman

Conductor (railroad)

head brakeman

rear brakeman

RPO Clerk (2)

Baggageman

Club attendant

Barber

Pullman Conductor

Pullman porter (3)

Chef (2)

Dishwasher

Maitre D

Waiters (5)

Train crew would change regularly at division points (4 crews on C&NW, 7 on UP, 7 on SP not counting the ferry crossings at Port Costa and Oakland) Baggageman would change at Omaha and Ogden, Diner, Pullman and Club crews would work through.  Total manpower over 2255 miles 107 not counting RPO clerks.

Against that an average of 35 to 45 first class fares (plus extra fares,) and Pullman space charges. If all space was used the passenger count would be 65, plus a few more if some berths were shared. Extra cars would be assigned if necessary, up to the locomotive's capacity.  It was still possible to make money at those rates.  Even a bit of a loss was tolerated for top-tier trains as their patrons were likely to send other business to the participating railroads.

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Posted by CSSHEGEWISCH on Saturday, February 16, 2019 10:11 AM

RPO clerks were employees of the United States Post Office, not the railroad. 

The daily commute is part of everyday life but I get two rides a day out of it. Paul
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Posted by rcdrye on Saturday, February 16, 2019 5:14 PM

The baggageman might also have been an employee of the express company.  Actual baggage would often be handled by station staff and the head end brakeman.

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Posted by BaltACD on Saturday, February 16, 2019 10:00 PM

Baggage was normally a 'company' function, not an express company function.

From observations, Express, was normally handled in designated mail & express trains which most Class 1 carriers operated.  Such trains normally consisted of storage mail and RPO cars, as well as express cars on designated runs.  The mail and express trains normally had a 'rider coach' as the only passenger carrying car on the rear of the train for the crew.  The trains could be as short as 3 or 4 cars and sometimes be larger than 20 cars.  If shown in public timetables there was frequently a notation that the train DID NOT carry revenue passengers.

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Posted by Lindsay_K on Saturday, February 16, 2019 11:27 PM

Two questions: 

1. So where would the crew (specifically the diner crew) have slept?

2. What is the difference between the "conductor (railroad)" and the "pullman conductor" you have listed?

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Posted by Jones1945 on Sunday, February 17, 2019 8:24 AM

BaltACD

...The mail and express trains normally had a 'rider coach' as the only passenger carrying car on the rear of the train for the crew.  The trains could be as short as 3 or 4 cars and sometimes be larger than 20 cars.  If shown in public timetables there was frequently a notation that the train DID NOT carry revenue passengers.

I once thought those mail and express train carrying a single car or a very short passenger consist was for commuter train service. Sometimes I saw in the video that there was a single passenger car within an all Pullman train consist, usually, in the front end.  I thought they had the same function as well. 

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Posted by BaltACD on Sunday, February 17, 2019 10:38 AM

Jones1945
BaltACD

...The mail and express trains normally had a 'rider coach' as the only passenger carrying car on the rear of the train for the crew.  The trains could be as short as 3 or 4 cars and sometimes be larger than 20 cars.  If shown in public timetables there was frequently a notation that the train DID NOT carry revenue passengers. 

I once thought those mail and express train carrying a single car or a very short passenger consist was for commuter train service. Sometimes I saw in the video that there was a single passenger car within an all Pullman train consist, usually, in the front end.  I thought they had the same function as well. 

In the era of All-Pullman trains - if there were coach(s) ahead of the trains 'normal' consist they most likely were being deadheaded for future needs at the destination - it normally would not be occupied.  Deadhead equipment on trains that carried 'head end' traffic in addition to regular passenger accomidations would have the deadhead equipment placed behind the locomotives ahead of the 'head end' traffic.

The 'rider' coach at the rear of mail and express trains was for the Train Crew - the Conductor and Flagman to occupy.  In many cases it would be a car that had the 'least saleable' accomoditions of any passenger cars in the carriers fleet.  (Straight back, walkover seats without air conditioning springs to mind and might even require a coal stove for heating).  PRR on some of their mail & express trains would use a Cabin Car on the rear for crew occupancy.

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Posted by Jones1945 on Sunday, February 17, 2019 10:54 AM

BaltACD

In the era of All-Pullman trains - if there were coach(s) ahead of the trains 'normal' consist they most likely were being deadheaded for future needs at the destination - it normally would not be occupied.  Deadhead equipment on trains that carried 'head end' traffic in addition to regular passenger accomidations would have the deadhead equipment placed behind the locomotives ahead of the 'head end' traffic.

The 'rider' coach at the rear of mail and express trains was for the Train Crew - the Conductor and Flagman to occupy.  In many cases it would be a car that had the 'least saleable' accomoditions of any passenger cars in the carriers fleet.  (Straight back, walkover seats without air conditioning springs to mind and might even require a coal stove for heating).  PRR on some of their mail & express trains would use a Cabin Car on the rear for crew occupancy.

Thanks a lot, Balt! No wonder I have seen in the video that an oddly P70 coach was attached within the headend of some All Pullman trains like the Broadway and the General, I always want to know why there were there! I thought they were used as a dormitory or other purposes.  

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Posted by BaltACD on Sunday, February 17, 2019 6:01 PM

Jones1945
 
BaltACD

In the era of All-Pullman trains - if there were coach(s) ahead of the trains 'normal' consist they most likely were being deadheaded for future needs at the destination - it normally would not be occupied.  Deadhead equipment on trains that carried 'head end' traffic in addition to regular passenger accomidations would have the deadhead equipment placed behind the locomotives ahead of the 'head end' traffic.

The 'rider' coach at the rear of mail and express trains was for the Train Crew - the Conductor and Flagman to occupy.  In many cases it would be a car that had the 'least saleable' accomoditions of any passenger cars in the carriers fleet.  (Straight back, walkover seats without air conditioning springs to mind and might even require a coal stove for heating).  PRR on some of their mail & express trains would use a Cabin Car on the rear for crew occupancy. 

Thanks a lot, Balt! No wonder I have seen in the video that an oddly P70 coach was attached within the headend of some All Pullman trains like the Broadway and the General, I always want to know why there were there! I thought they were used as a dormitory or other purposes.  

Harry Stegmaier wrote two volumes of books on the B&O's passenger service from 1945 to Amtrak in 1971.  First volume is about traffic on the route of the National Limited and the second volume is on the route of the Capitol Limited.

The books go into the cars that the various train's carried and the business purpose for being in the train.  No matter the railroad or the train, every car in the train has a specific business purpose for being in the train.

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Posted by Lindsay_K on Sunday, February 17, 2019 7:00 PM

would it have been a cabin car in the overland in 1915? trying to figure where the crew slept.

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Posted by rcdrye on Sunday, February 17, 2019 7:59 PM

Balt is of course correct - if there was a baggageman he was a railroad employee.  A second look at the RPO makes me pretty sure it is either one with a 60 foot apartment or one with a 45 foot apartment and 15 feet of storage mail space, for first class mail.  Mail could be picked up and dropped off on the fly.  I doubt the Overland carried express.

The club car had four table sections which were convertible to berths.  These were not revenue sections (and not in Pullman equipment) so they may have been used as dormitory sections.  They were located forward of the buffet lounge.

I can't find a record with start and end dates, but one of the 10-2-1 sleepers was handled between Chicago and Omaha by the Chicago Milwaukee and St. Paul at various times during the 1900-1920 period.  CM&St.P mostly operated its own sleepers, but it did participate in some Pullman "lines".  The car would not have looked any different from the other 10-2-1's.

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Posted by Deggesty on Monday, February 18, 2019 10:17 AM

Lindsay_K

would it have been a cabin car in the overland in 1915? trying to figure where the crew slept.

 

Probably on tables in the diner,

Johnny

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Posted by Deggesty on Monday, February 18, 2019 10:23 AM

Lindsay_K

Two questions: 

1. So where would the crew (specifically the diner crew) have slept?

2. What is the difference between the "conductor (railroad)" and the "pullman conductor" you have listed?

 

The railroad conductor was responsible for the operation of the train and took the railroad tickets. The Pullman conductor was responsible for the Pullman enployees; he took the sleeping space tickets.

If only one Pullman car was on the train, the porter was in full charge of it; only if there were two or more Pullmans on the train was there a Pullman conductor on board,

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Posted by Lindsay_K on Monday, February 18, 2019 10:52 AM
And the passenger baggage would have been in a separate baggage car?
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Posted by Deggesty on Monday, February 18, 2019 3:51 PM

Yes, the checked baggage would have been in the baggage car.

Johnny

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Posted by Lindsay_K on Monday, February 18, 2019 6:23 PM
Would make and female crew have all been in the same rider car in this case?
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Posted by Lindsay_K on Tuesday, February 19, 2019 12:42 AM

I am looking at a picture from the Lucius Beebe book on page 66 of the Overland Limited No 2 in 1917 and it lists the consist as:

 

RPO

baggage-buffet

2 pullman sleepers,

a diner,

overservation lounge.

 

But I see an advertisement on page 152 from 1914 that lists "...barber shop, baths, stenographer, valet, ladies' maid, and excellent dining-car service."

 

I just can't figure out where all those emplyees would have slept. Someone suggested perhaps the dining crew slept in the diner, but what about the rest of the crew? 

 

 

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Posted by Jones1945 on Tuesday, February 19, 2019 8:31 AM

I have seen some time table from the 40s which show "no checked baggage"  (I forgot the exact wording) under one all-coach train schedule. Does that mean the passenger only can take small hand luggage or carry-on baggage onto the train?

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Posted by Miningman on Tuesday, February 19, 2019 1:29 PM

Actual picture of the consist 

am looking at a picture from the Lucius Beebe book on page 66

 

 

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Posted by Jones1945 on Tuesday, February 19, 2019 2:55 PM

Lindsay_K

I am looking at a picture from the Lucius Beebe book on page 66 of the Overland Limited No 2 in 1917 and it lists the consist as:

RPO

baggage-buffet

2 Pullman sleepers,

a diner,

observation lounge. 

But I see an advertisement on page 152 from 1914 that lists "...barber shop, baths, stenographer, valet, ladies' maid, and excellent dining-car service."

I just can't figure out where all those employees would have slept. Someone suggested perhaps the dining crew slept in the diner, but what about the rest of the crew? 

In the 1940s, the rest of the crew slept on the floor in the baggage car, if dormitory car was not arranged by the railroad. Pullman porter would sleep in an unoccupied roomette or bedroom, but I am not sure where they slept in the 1910s; maybe on a chair or slept on the table in the dining car as well? 

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Posted by Jones1945 on Tuesday, February 19, 2019 3:08 PM

Miningman

Actual picture of the consist 

am looking at a picture from the Lucius Beebe book on page 66

Very nice found, Vince. Glad to see my favorite challenger type 4-6-6-4 (pre-war version) once leaded this beautiful train on P.141

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Posted by ZephyrOverland on Thursday, February 21, 2019 2:47 PM
Looking through an August 1915 copy of the Official Guide, I reviewed the Overland Limited consist listings from each of the operating roads.  Since each road described the Overland Limited consist in their unique fashions, I have transcribed as is each roads consist listing:
 
C. & N. W.
Nos. 1 and 2 – Overland Limited - For First Class Sleeping Car Passengers only. The only daily extra-fare trains between Chicago and California. The only exclusively first-class trains between Chicago and San Francisco. Only 65 hours and 10 minutes en route. A superb service of Club-Buffet Cars, Observation Compartment Cars, Drawing Room Compartment Cars, Standard Sleeping Cars, and Dining car service – with barber; ladies’ maid (hairdressing and manicuring); valet (clothes-pressing), baths, stenographer, library and periodicals, electric lighting and ventilation, vapor heating, telephone, telegraphic news service, stock and market reports – between Chicago and San Francisco.
 
U. P.
#1 - Overland Limited – Westbound – Electric Lighted – Extra Fare Chicago to San Francisco and intermediate points. Compartment Observation Car Chicago to San Francisco via C. &N. W., U. P. and S. P. Pullman Drawing Room and Compartment Sleeping Cars Chicago to San Francisco via C. & N. W., U. P. and S. P. Cheyenne to San Francisco from Denver. Pullman Standard Sleeping Cars Chicago to San Francisco via C. & N. W., U. P. and S. P. Club Car Chicago to San Francisco via C. & N. W., U. P. and S. P. Dining Car Service.
(NOTE: Denver-San Francisco sleeper handled on #101 Denver-Cheyenne)
 
#2 - Overland Limited – Eastbound – Electric Lighted – Extra Fare San Francisco to Chicago and intermediate points. Compartment Observation Car San Francisco to Chicago via S. P., U. P. and C. & N.W. Pullman Drawing Room and Compartment Sleeping Car San Francisco to Chicago via S. P., U. P. and C. & N. W.; San Francisco to Denver via S. P. and U. P. (No. 102 Cheyenne to Denver). Pullman Standard Sleeping Car San Francisco to Chicago via S. P., U. P. and C. & N. W. Club Car San Francisco to Chicago via S. P., U. P. and C. & N. W. Dining Car Service San Francisco to Denver and Chicago.
(NOTE: San Francisco-Denver sleeper handled on #102 St. Louis-Colorado Limited)
 
S. P.
Trans Nos. 2 and 1 – Overland Limited – De Luxe – Extra Fare Train – Electric Lighted – Pullman Standard Sleepers: Berths, Sections, Drawing Room, Compartment San Francisco to Chicago, via S. P., U. P., C. & N. W., San Francisco and Denver via S. P., U. P., St. Louis to San Francisco via C. B. & Q., Denver, U. P. and S. P. Dining Car: Meals a la Carte. Oakland and Chicago. Drawing-room Compartment Pullman Observation Car: Library, stenographer, ladies’ maid, newspapers, magazines and periodicals. San Francisco to Chicago
(NOTE: St. Louis sleeper via CBQ #15 Colorado-California Limited to Denver; U. P. #21 Denver-Ogden via Borie (leaving Denver 20 minutes ahead of U. P. #101), where car was switched to SP #1.  Eastbound service via #20 Pacific Limited from San Francisco).
(NOTE: C. B. & Q section lists St. Louis cars as Section, Drawing Room and Tourist Sleeping Cars. Neither U. P. and S. P. acknowledge the Tourist sleeper on #1).
 
Some points to ponder:
The C. & N. W. listing focused on the trains services more than the actual consist, trying to justify the $10 extra fare required to ride this train. Also, note that the railroad mentions that Overland Limited was the only daily extra fare train running between Chicago and California.  This qualification was included because during this time period Santa Fe operated a winter season extra fare train to California, the de-Luxe.
 
There were several non-Chicago sleepers handled that were listed in the U. P. and S. P. sections.  Primarily, a Denver-San Francisco-Denver sleeper that was handled via U. P. Denver-Cheyenne connecting trains, plus a westbound-only St. Louis-San Francisco sleeper and tourist car that was handled via C. B. & Q from St. Louis to Denver and was transferred to U. P. #21, handling the cars to Ogden, departing Denver 20 minutes ahead of U. P. #101 and operating via Borie, bypassing Cheyenne.  U. P. and S. P. mentions the Denver-San Francisco sleeper, S. P. also mentions the St. Louis-San Francisco sleeper, but only C. B. & Q mentions both the St. Louis sleeper and tourist car.  Now, in light of the status of the Overland Limited, the inclusion of a tourist sleeper would merit additional speculation. Did those passengers pay the extra fare to enjoy the additional features of that train, or were they somehow quarantined from the rest of the train, which would not be that farfetched, since at the time tourist sleepers tended to have cooking facilities in them that passengers can use.
 
As for the dining car, only S. P. gives specific endpoints (Chicago-Oakland), whereas C. & N. W. and U. P. do not specify endpoints, only specifing a service.
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Posted by rcdrye on Friday, February 22, 2019 6:39 AM

The tourist sleeper from St. Louis was probably handled in another train west of Ogden, unless CB&Q specifically listed it as operating in SP 1 and 2.  I'm pretty sure UP 21/22 were the "Pacific Limited" which had an SP counterpart 21/22 on a much slower schedule than the Overland.  The Pacific Limited was handled by the CM&StP east of Omaha instead of the C&NW, at least for some period after 1913.

The Dining car is listed with the San Francisco to Chicago equipment.  Even if the reference is to Oakland, that still covers the whole trip. The Oakland to Chicago reference covers the Observation and Club cars.  All of the sleepers except the observation were listed to San Francisco - a neat trick since the run ended at the Oakland Mole.

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Posted by Overmod on Friday, February 22, 2019 10:55 AM

Jones1945

 
Nicer than you think!  You can download the entire book as a PDF from that link.
 
And, thanks to Lucius Beebe, here's something to listen to as you read:
 

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