Gone, But Not Forgotten!

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Posted by Flintlock76 on Monday, April 08, 2019 9:09 AM

Four hours, twenty minutes, Jersey City to Wilkes-Barre.  That's some smart running.  A great head-end crew and a superb locomotive made it possible.  Which makes it doubly sad none of those CNJ Pacifics were saved. 

The Atlantic City Express?  Oh, that died when they ran out of geezers going to Atlantic City casinos to blow money.  The geezers died or moved to Florida.  Whistling

One thing, remember during World War Two there was a hell of a lot of military training and other action going on in South Jersey, in the AC environs and elsewhere. They had to get there somehow.  Maybe the troops wouldn't have been moved on the Comet but the "big brass" would have ridden it.  All speculation anyway.  Doesn't matter. 

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Posted by Miningman on Monday, April 08, 2019 9:30 AM

The driver of the car was pretty 'brave' too! It could have rolled back and the resulting rollovers would be horrendous. Wonder if he had a quick exit plan in place? 

Even the faculty are wearing goofy hats, looking like the Swiss Guard with those poofy things. Of course the grads have the usual ' flattened out brains' headgear to symbolize their now conformity and conversion.

Academia is easily subject to ridicule of course, leaving themselves wide open like that. Student Services came in last week to measure up my Seniors for their graduation garb and gowns. 

Personally I think they should wear traditional North West Cree Native attire. Their formal wear is quite stunning. Not the spiritual ceremonial dress with all the feathers and colours, but the formal buckskin with beading .. very simple but elegant.

 

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Posted by Overmod on Monday, April 08, 2019 11:08 AM

Flintlock76
Four hours, twenty minutes, Jersey City to Wilkes-Barre.  That's some smart running.

But whoa-ho ... look a little more closely.  That is including FOUR stops en route.  

And it isn't Jersey City to Wilkes-Barre in 4:20 ... it's NEW YORK LIBERTY STREET.  (They allow 12 minutes for the ferry trip and 'transfer', which might be a tad rushed... but that's what the schedule says.)  Actual running time ... achieved over 99% ... was no more than 4 hours 8 minutes, and that's a LOT on a railroad like CNJ.

I am trying to put this in perspective by remembering how long it took to get from Englewood, NJ, which is reasonably close to Jersey City, to Wilkes-Barre by way of 46, 611, and 115 via Brodheadsville, which is how the trip would have been made (via the Delaware Water Gap) on the 'northern' route, basically following the Lackawanna through Stroudsburg.  Even pushing speed limits I think it was comparable ... in good weather.  We had to stay over in motels a couple of times when the snow came unexpectedly to the Poconos...

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Posted by Overmod on Monday, April 08, 2019 11:10 AM

Flintlock76
Four hours, twenty minutes, Jersey City to Wilkes-Barre.  That's some smart running.

But whoa-ho ... look a little more closely.  That is including FOUR stops en route.  

And it isn't Jersey City to Wilkes-Barre in 4:20 ... it's NEW YORK LIBERTY STREET.  (They allow 12 minutes for the ferry trip and 'transfer', which might be a tad rushed... but that's what the schedule says.)  Actual running time ... achieved over 99% ... was no more than 4 hours 8 minutes, and that's a LOT of difference on a railroad like CNJ.  (Leads me to wonder if there was some unsung 'bulletry' on that particular ferry trip!)

I am trying to put this in perspective by remembering how long it took to get from Englewood, NJ, which is reasonably close to Jersey City, to Wilkes-Barre by way of 46, 611, and 115 via Brodheadsville, which is how the trip would have been made (via the Delaware Water Gap) on the 'northern' route, basically following the Lackawanna through Stroudsburg.  Even pushing speed limits I think it was comparable ... in good weather.  We had to stay over in motels a couple of times when the snow came unexpectedly to the Poconos...

... and not all that much faster even in the days 80 was finished over Garrett Mountain all the way to 115N at exit 43.  Nowadays, with traffic and the usual spate of delays, and Jersey's Finest watching at nearly every exit for speeders ... fugeddaboudid.

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Posted by Flintlock76 on Monday, April 08, 2019 11:29 AM

New Jersey's Finest watching?  Well, as a Jersey state trooper told me years ago as far as exceeding the speed limit was concerned...

"Five, you're fine. Ten? You're MINE!"   

It just keeps getting better!  I just found this on the You Tube by accident.  It's from PBS's "Antiques Roadshow,"  2007, and with an original Lionel Standard Gauge "Blue Comet" set.  Leila Dunbar, who I call "The Sports Gal," does the commenting.  She doesn't get everything right, but gets most of it right.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t4L6OPvLZsI  

The video gives a pretty good idea of just how big the thing is, but seeing it in person takes your breath away.  

By the way, I remember watching this show, looking at the "Comet" set owner, and muttering  " I hate youuuuuuu...."  

Just kidding!  Actually, I said the same thing about another guy on an "Antiques Roadshow"  who dug up a Civil War era 12-pounder mountain howitzer in his backyard.  And who didn't know what it was.  Angry

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Posted by Jones1945 on Monday, April 08, 2019 3:01 PM

Flintlock76

...A couple of things.  I wanted to get back "on the air" last night but fell asleep watching a Smithsonian Channel show on a giant volcano under Yellowstone National Park that's going to blow up any time soon and destroy life on earth as we know it.  I guess I nodded off when it didn't happen.

As long as it is not written in the script, it won't blow up. The biggest threat to humanity at this very moment is still... humanity itself. "Team Black Sheep" still having the upper hand, they are extremely smart, resourceful but many of them always act emotionless; they occupied all top tier university, corporation, media, and seat of governments, just to ensure the "show" will go on according to their plan until their master want to sink the ship aka "pressing the reset button", but that's not gonna happen any time soon. Coffee

Flintlock76

Anyway, Becky posted a great example of Lionel's Standard Gauge Blue Comet set from the 1930's.  The last time I saw one of those  engines, and engine alone, it had a $15,000 price tag on it!  Mr. Jones' scenario of Bobby having a heart attack almost happened to me!  Mind you, that Standard Gauge set was for rich kids only, back in 1937 it had a $75 price.  That same amount of money at the time would have bought you a Winchester 30-30 rifle and a Colt .38 revolver, and you would have had $5 change coming to you!

The O gauge set Bobby was handling was $30 in 1937.  That would have gotten you the Colt.  

What cost $75 in 1937 would cost $1327.05 in 2018. IIRC, a ticket for a seat on the PRR TrailBlazer in 1938 cost about $31 which was a 50% off compared with the ticket price of the Broadway Limited. But there are many alternative choices for kids from grass-roots families who wants a toy train: some cardboard, a pencil or colored pencils sets at school, rulers, a pair of scissors ---->  Full-scale cardboard steam locomotive model displayed in Nagoya https://mainichi.jp/english/articles/20181030/p2a/00m/0na/016000c

CoffeeSmile, Wink & Grin

Flintlock76

"If the Blue Comet lasted just a little bit longer..."

Well we could say that about a lot of things, like the New York, Westchester & Boston, the trolley network of North Jersey and other places...

I got you, Wayne. The reason I bring this up is that The Blue Comet was removed from the time table just about 70 days before the Attack of Pearl Harbour which is another never-ending topic for The Blue Comet fans. Though I also believe that it would have only lasted just a few more years longer before the decline of LD passenger train service hit the USA railroad industry like a bullet or...a comet. Surprise

I believe that after a chain of unfortunate incidents and under severe competition, the Blue Comet lost its glamour and CNJ also lost the passion to run the train in later years.

https://www.pinterest.it/pin/520799144404160339/

 

 

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Posted by Flintlock76 on Monday, April 08, 2019 3:28 PM

Great colorizing job on the "Comet" Mr. Jones, you nailed it!

Oh, and that $1,327.05 you mentioned, the $75 adjusted for inflation?  It would still  get you a Winchester 30-30 rifle and a Colt .38 revolver!

More or less, depending where you shop and what they've got.

It's not in production at the present time, but the Lionel-MTH Standard Gauge "Blue Comet" reproduction set, locomotive plus cars, produced in 2017, sold for around $2,000, complete.

Still for rich kids only!  

Getting back to the real "Blue Comet," I just found a 3-plus minute You Tube video with film of the "Comet," plus stills, and ephemera, and Hoagie Carmichael's clssic "Stardust" for background music.  Nice!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BZ4-SywJ3Vo  

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Posted by Jones1945 on Monday, April 08, 2019 4:39 PM

Flintlock76

Great colorizing job on the "Comet" Mr. Jones, you nailed it!

Oh, and that $1,327.05 you mentioned, the $75 adjusted for inflation?  It would still get you a Winchester 30-30 rifle and a Colt .38 revolver!

More or less, depending on where you shop and what they've got.

It's not in production at the present time, but the Lionel-MTH Standard Gauge "Blue Comet" reproduction set, locomotive plus cars, produced in 2017, sold for around $2,000, complete.

Still for rich kids only!  

Embarrassed If only it is my work, Wayne. I just found it on Pinterest. Stick out tongue  But it was probably colorized by a artist who is very good at colorizing black and white photo of America's trains. I think he or she is still active on Facebook. (link added below the pic)

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Posted by Flintlock76 on Monday, April 08, 2019 4:58 PM

Silly me, I let my enthusiam get the better of me!  I should have looked more closely.  Still, a great job!

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Posted by Penny Trains on Monday, April 08, 2019 6:58 PM

Miningman
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jNmtNHdfQBg&t=23s

Not bad,  Engineer looks suspiciously like Fontaine Fox's "Skipper".

I like this one better:

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

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Posted by Miningman on Monday, April 08, 2019 7:01 PM
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Posted by Penny Trains on Monday, April 08, 2019 7:09 PM

Best filmed destruction of a layout?  That award goes to Lex Luthor's Maerklin one gauge set-up in the basement of the widow's house in Superman Returns.  Listen closely as the plastic figures "scream" as they get run down by the flying locomotives.

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

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Posted by Flintlock76 on Monday, April 08, 2019 7:32 PM

Lex Luthor doesn't seem to be having as much fun as Gomez Addams would have.

Sourpuss!

Great selection of that road safety film Becky!  Ironic isn't it, over 80 years and nothing much has changed.  I wonder what grandpa would have thought of smart-phone distraction?  

And how'd you like the prop smoke on that kids Standard Gauge trains?  For the rest of you, Lionel didn't put smoke in the locomotives until 1946!

Great aerial shot Mike came up with of the Jersey Central terminal in Jersey City!  Aside from the headhouse it's all gone now, like it was never there.  Now it's Liberty State Park, the railroad connection is just a memory.

Some more "Blue Comet" stories.  Here's the tale of the "Blue Comet" wreck at Chatsworth NJ in August of 1939.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qt8h9owJEfA&t=53s  

Hey, there was the "Chatsworth Horror" train wreck of 1887, there was the wreck at Chatsworth CA that let to the push for Positive Train Control, and the "Comet's" Chatsworth wreck.  What is it with the name "Chatsworth" anyway?  Seems like some kind of a whammy to me.  Maybe railroads shouldn't run anywhere near a place named Chatsworth!  Bad medicine!

Here's a short about running down and restoring surviving "Comet" cars.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vMayhLrF4cw  

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Posted by MidlandMike on Monday, April 08, 2019 7:56 PM

Flintlock76
It just keeps getting better!  I just found this on the You Tube by accident.  It's from PBS's "Antiques Roadshow,"  2007, and with an original Lionel Standard Gauge "Blue Comet" set.  Leila Dunbar, who I call "The Sports Gal," does the commenting.  She doesn't get everything right, but gets most of it right. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t4L6OPvLZsI  

I noticed at the end of the video they show that the price had deflated by almost half by 2015.  Also I noticed that the model loco had a Jubilee wheel arrangement

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Posted by Miningman on Monday, April 08, 2019 8:38 PM

"Aerial view east across Upper Bay from New Jersey to New York. In the foreground, trains are parked on the extensive system of tracks at the Central Railroad of New Jersey's railroad yards on the Jersey shore. The view also includes the Hudson River, the Lower End of Manhattan, the East River, … [more]"

Extensive is an understatement. Had no idea the CNJ had that much real estate and that much business in NYCity. 

Just packed with all kinds of trains. Can you imagine the property tax bill today? 

Amazing scene, just amazing. To have one afternoon to walk around on the ground all over that on that day of the photo. Simply amazing. 

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Posted by Flintlock76 on Monday, April 08, 2019 8:39 PM

You noticed right Midland Mike.  I think they're a little off on the price drop, I don't believe they've dropped all that much, however at this time the only vintage Lionels of any variety that are bringing the really big bucks are the mint-condition ones.  If I remember correctly a few years back a Lionel Standard Gauge "State Set,"  similar to the "Blue Comet" set, brought at auction $250,000.  It was a salesman's sample set, in brand-new condition and in the original carry case.  The set the gent had on "Antiques Roadshow" had a bit of wear on it.  Hey, it was a toy meant to be played with, it was, and it shows, which affects the value.   

The "Jubilee" wheel arrangement on the Lionel 400E locomotive used in the "Blue Comet" set kind of came about by accident.  A correct Pacific arrangement wouldn't handle the curve radii on Lionels Standard Gauge track of the time, but a 4-4-4 would, so that's what they used.  Nobody seemed to care anyway, it was  a toy after all, although a spectacular one.

And Miningman, the property tax bill is one of the things that helped to kill the Jersey Central.  Interestingly, for much of the 19th Century and into the 20th the tax bill on the railroads operating in Hudson County NJ, where Jersey City is, was at the bare minimum.  The county and state governments believed that a low tax rate kept the railroads there strong and promoted development, which added to tax revenues in the long run.  But at some point in the 20th Century those generous tax breaks ended.  Just one thing in the chain of events that caused the railroad calamities in the 1960's and 70's.

Here's a clip from a promotional film the Jersey Central put out in 1949 called "The Big Little Railroad."  It'll give all another view of those sprawling Jersey City facilities.  And again, the only thing that survives is the terminal building seen in the ferry shots.  Couldn't find the whole film on-line, this'll have to do.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8kYeg5A6jBE  

"Sic transit gloria mundi."    

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Posted by Miningman on Monday, April 08, 2019 11:54 PM

Very good, thanks Flintlock.

I know you're not a sports fan but you now have the bragging rights for the next year in College Basketball. Imagine Virginia will be a madhouse from one end to the other tonight and the next few days. 

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Posted by Flintlock76 on Tuesday, April 09, 2019 7:45 AM

A madhouse?  Probably.  I'm glad I'm retired now and don't have to run the gauntlet in offices around the area!  UVA, amazing and totally unexpected!

Not politically correct to say so in this day and age, but all I can think of is the old Southern saying...

"Save your Confederate money boys, the South's gonna RISE again!"

Wah-HOO!

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Posted by Penny Trains on Tuesday, April 09, 2019 7:04 PM

Flintlock76
Maybe railroads shouldn't run anywhere near a place named Chatsworth!

I believe it was renamed "gunpoint" and instead of train wrecks that's where a large number of the nation's robberies happen nowadays.  Whistling

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

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Posted by Jones1945 on Wednesday, April 10, 2019 3:01 AM

Miningman

Central Railroad of New Jersey in the Big Apple ... Liberty Street

 

Thank you Miningman! This is absolutely breathtaking. I wish I had the time and the ability to understand all the stories of the people who worked in this gigantic rail yard. 

Penny Trains

Not bad,  Engineer looks suspiciously like Fontaine Fox's "Skipper".

I like this one better:

OH MEIN GOTT! Video of the Pre-war The 20th Century Ltd and the Royal Blue led by B&O's Hudson?! This is amazing!

Penny Trains

Best filmed destruction of a layout?  That award goes to Lex Luthor's Maerklin one gauge set-up in the basement of the widow's house in Superman Returns.  Listen closely as the plastic figures "scream" as they get run down by the flying locomotives.

Beautiful. I almost cried... Shy

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Posted by Flintlock76 on Saturday, April 27, 2019 7:26 PM

And just when I thought this thread was over and done with, this popped up while I was perusing the You Tube...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K9bmFemB2cY  

Not quite like meeting a ghost, but close to it!

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Posted by Penny Trains on Sunday, April 28, 2019 7:02 PM

Boy does that stir up memories!  I came accross a scene like that in the 80's.  I spotted a late 19th century date nail but I can't remember the year exactly.  Mine was in a Berea/Strongsville OH park.

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

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Posted by Flintlock76 on Sunday, April 28, 2019 7:10 PM

Isn't that something Becky?  Kind of like stumbling across an undiscovered Civil War battlefield with all the combat litter still on the ground, and hopefully  no human remains.

But, every once in a while here in Virginia a relic hunter with a metal detector will get a hit, start digging, and find something he really  didn't want to!

The usual sign is a guy running out of the woods screaming like a banshee!

Anyway, I'm amazed those Jersey Central tracks are still there and weren't pulled up and sold for scrap years ago.

And they're not the only ones!  Here's a video of the abandoned old Erie mainline tracks through the Carlton Hill section of Rutherford NJ.  As I understand it the tracks were used as a freight/ industrial spur into the 1990's.  

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cgtX8ansBbU  

It's 10 minutes long, and the film-making's not the best, so if it gets tedious here's a slide show and discussion of the same.

http://railroad.net/forums/viewtopic.php?f=127&t=91743     

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Posted by wjstix on Monday, April 29, 2019 12:54 PM

Re Lionel / Sopranos...$8000 would be about right for a mint, in-the-box standard gauge Blue Comet set. An original Lionel O gauge set from the '30's(which is what Bobby was supposed to be looking at, even if they used a repro) in similar condition would sell for about $3500.

I suspect one of the writers did a quick google search on something like "Lionel Blue Comet train set" and saw the price of a standard gauge set and used that, not understanding the difference in the two sizes of trains, or corresponding difference in value.

Stix
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Posted by Deggesty on Monday, April 29, 2019 2:19 PM

Wayne, you mentioning picking things up on a battlefield. I, myself, have never done such, but I have seen a revolver that was picked up on a battlefield in Virginia. As I recall, the grandfather of a second cousin of mine picked it up--and it is the possession of his great-grandaughter. It is iteresting to see how revolvers have been improved since that one was made--it is a cap-and-ball revolver, and it was possible for a man to have one or more cylinders loaded and ready to use, one-by-one, so when after all the balls in one were shot he could take that cylinder out and replace with a loaded cylinder.

Johnny

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Posted by Flintlock76 on Monday, April 29, 2019 4:26 PM

Right you are Johnny about loading a cap-n'-ball revolver.  The first gun I purchased for myself was a Navy Arms reproduction Confederate Griswold and Gunnison .36 revolver, $45 in 1970.  Actually, Dad had to make the purchase, I was only 17 at the time, but I  saved up the money!

It took about five minutes to load it, powder, ball, sealer grease and cap on each cylinder.  Needless to say that would have meant death in a combat situation so men armed with one of those revolvers (typically officers) carried spare cylinders.  Jeff Daniels (as Col. Joshua Chamberlain) in the film "Gettysburg" does a good job of a cylinder swap-out.

He also has what's called a "chain-fire" in one sequence!  Pretty obvious if you know what you're looking at.  "Chain-fires," that is more than one (or all!) cylinders firing could happen if the cylinders weren't properly sealed.  Since Jeff's pistol was loaded with blanks I wasn't really surprised to see it happen. 

Cavalrymen had the advantage of having a horse to help with the weight, so they carried sometimes up to six revolvers!  A great example is that Clint Eastwood film "The Outlaw Josey Wales."  That's just how it was done.

Wayne

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Posted by bill613a on Monday, April 29, 2019 10:11 PM

Since we're talking about gone but not forgotten what about the Jersey Central leg of the INTERSTATE EXPRESS that ran between Syracuse and Philadelphia over the Reading, CNJ and DL&W. The CNJ leg was between Bethlehem and Wilkes Barre, PA. It carried no coaches north of Wilkes Barre, just a sleeper for points only on the DL&W.  As far as I can determine the Binghamton-Syracuse segment was discontinued sometime in 1957 but the train continued to run until June 1963 when the Reading dropped all mail service. I don't know if coaches were still not run north of Wilkes Barre after that.  Pictures of this train are as rare as hen's teeth.

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Posted by Overmod on Tuesday, April 30, 2019 9:57 AM

I have never heard of this, and was actually in a position to have seen it (as my grandparents knew enough people at CNJ to get me a cab ride on six-motor Alco 1611 for my 4th birthday).

The things that pass just out of sight and knowledge!  CNJ ran MU sets of babyface Baldwins as late as 1965...

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Posted by Flintlock76 on Tuesday, April 30, 2019 10:27 AM

Yeah, I'm drawing a blank on the "Interstate Express" myself, definately going to look that one up.

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