Hey you two!

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Hey you two!
Posted by Miningman on Friday, August 16, 2019 2:37 PM

PHOTO OF THE DAY

20190816

Titans of transportation

New York Central boss Alfred E. Perlman, left, shakes hands with Chairman Robert R. Young, hanging out the window of the experimental Xplorer lightweight train in 1956.
New York Central photo

 

Hey you two knuckleheads, it's 1956 and there is still time to save a pair of Hudsons and a Niagara to show your company pride. Get them in tip top road worthy shape , a bunch of spare parts and store them inside until a suitable candidate for ownership comes along. 

 

No Titans of industry in my book. Knuckleheads. Oh by the way that Xplorer thingie you're in Mr Young is a piece of serious crappola. 

 

Do something right for once!

 

Things will turn out much better for you.

 
-- The Ghost of Railroad Future
 
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Posted by Flintlock76 on Friday, August 16, 2019 3:07 PM

LaughLaughLaughLaugh

Had me in stiches there bro!  Especially that "Ghost of Railroad Future" bit!

While it's true that Robert R. Young offed himself, no-one to this day knows why he did it.  Maybe remorse in not  saving a pair of Hudsons or Niagaras, or even a Pacific?  Hmm

I don't think Al Perlman cared about the Xplorer being a bust, he'd have been happier to get rid of the NYC's passenger trains altogether.  Not a bad guy really, he had his reasons, good ones, even if we can't agree with them.

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Posted by Penny Trains on Friday, August 16, 2019 7:43 PM

Being a mill town, the NYC had a spectacularly depressing deadline at Collinwood yard of legends awaiting their turn in the blast furnaces along the Cuyahoga.  Sad

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Posted by Miningman on Friday, August 16, 2019 8:36 PM

Spectacularly depressing indeed. It's mind boggling how they did not save one Hudson, the pride and face of the NYC. Also a slap in the face to the employees.

I do not share Wayne's absolution of Perlman. He hated steam, hated passenger, participated in the Penn Central meltdown turning a blind eye to all the crookiness going on. Young was just nuts, depressed all the time and ended it all. 

The employees, the New York Central and railfans suffered their nonsense. 

 

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Posted by CSSHEGEWISCH on Saturday, August 17, 2019 10:20 AM

Alfred E. Perlman was brought in by Robert R. Young to turn NYC around.  Steam locomotives and money-losing passenger trains were not conducive to that turnaround.  After all, a railroad is in business to make money first and foremost.

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 Flintlock76 on Saturday, August 17, 2019 4:26 PM

In all fairness to "Big Al," and according to Rush Loving's "The Men Who Loved Trains,"  Al wasn't in favor of the PRR / NYC merger that resulted in Penn Central.  

In Al's mind it made no sense, that is, merging two 'roads that essentially paralelled each other.  Al advised an "end-to-end" merger with someone, anyone, that the NYC could recieve and exchange freight with.  Very  sensible.

However, he was overruled by the NYC's board of directors.  He was given a position in the new Penn Central organization, but it amounted to a powerless "figurehead" type position.  Stuart Saunders, the "Steam Assassin," ran the whole shebang and never asked Al for any input.

As it was, it worked out for Al in the long run.  When the crash came the industry knew it wasn't his fault, and he emerged with his reputation pretty intact and went on to other things.

We all know what happened to Saunders.  "Over-the-side" with his reputation in shreds. 

Why didn't Al save any NYC steam?  Well, more than likely that's not where his mind was, but I think that not coming up through the NYC organization, and coming in as an outsider, he just didn't have a sense of the company's history.  Obviously no-one else at the NYC did either, I've never heard of an effort to save any  NYC steam from within the company.  I could be wrong on that though.

Pretty sad when you compare it to the western 'roads like the Santa Fe and Union Pacific, who were pretty generous in donating steam locomotives to just about anyone who wanted one.

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Posted by Miningman on Saturday, August 17, 2019 7:30 PM

Michigan Central Terminal in Detroit

Buffalo Grand Central Terminal

CASO left to rot 

Many many more.

Absolute disgrace all around. The NY Central looked like hell on wheels.

You know I could hoard money too.. don't cut the grass any more, sell the lawnmower, let it fend for itself, don't fix anything outside or inside for that matter. Sell the car, no more insurance, gas or maintenance. I can mooch rides from a vast pool of suckers at work and friends for this and that. Pay a % of bills so they can't cut you off. Slow road to complete loss of respect but I don't care. 

If he was that good the Central would be here today, intact and a household name. 

There is no New York Central. All those assets gone. All that history gone. 

P.S.-- perhaps not fair but I'm mad at the guy for not saving NYC iconic steam.

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Posted by jeffhergert on Saturday, August 17, 2019 11:01 PM

Flintlock76

 

Pretty sad when you compare it to the western 'roads like the Santa Fe and Union Pacific, who were pretty generous in donating steam locomotives to just about anyone who wanted one.

 

Both of those railroads were pretty prosperous at the time, and still are.  Many of the eastern roads were already feeling the pinch.  Not that donating a locomotive here or there would break them sooner, but the minds of those in power were probably occupied by those other matters.

I just wish the Rock Island had donated a Northern or a Mikado for display.  At least there are 3 Pacifics.

Jeff   

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Posted by daveklepper on Sunday, August 18, 2019 1:12 AM
The PRR was not prosperous at the time.  And NYC people were surprised by the amount of deferred maintenance after the merger, much worse than the Central. But the PRR did save some steam!
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Posted by Flintlock76 on Sunday, August 18, 2019 12:10 PM

Well, repectfully I really can't agree that if Al Perlman was "...that good..." the Centrl would still be here today.  Even if you're the 'roads top man, you still answer to the board of directors, and if they won't listen then you only have two choices, go along with the program or hand in your resignation.  There's no other choices available.  

David's right, as usual, the Pennsy did save some steam, maybe not as much as we would have liked, but not a bad collection when you come down to it.

One thing we have to remember, although I'm sure David certainly does, is back in those early days of the rail preservation movement railroads were willing to sell their old steamers to anyone who could come up with the money, but fundraising was extremely difficult in those pre-Internet, pre-"Go-Fund-Me" days.  Unless you had a Paulson Spence, a Nelson Blount, or an Ellis Atwood in your corner you had a tough uphill climb ahead of you.

I'm reminded of the internecine feuding after the Penn-Central merger, the fights between the "Green Hats," the NYC crew, and the "Red Hats," the PRR boys.  Not the key to success for an organization.  

As Abe Lincoln (and Jesus long before him!) said, "A house divided against itself can not stand."

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Posted by Overmod on Sunday, August 18, 2019 3:05 PM

Miningman
If he was that good the Central would be here today, intact and a household name.  There is no New York Central. All those assets gone. All that history gone. 

Suggest you read DPM's opinion of Perlman.  He tried.

It could be argued that no one could have 'saved' the early-50s New York Central: it had so many problems, most of them particularly leveraged toward disaster as the postwar years went on.  It is difficult to imagine NYC succeeding with the antique close-spaced four-track railroad they ran prior to Perlman's CTC conversion; meanwhile, the whole rationale for Niagaras being 'equal' to E units was declining almost before the ink on the reports was dry, with no one caring by the mid-Fifties.  I give him points for Flexi-Van, but as with any of the other optimized-speed services the demand to make the trick work financially just wasn't there, and if the whole of the service didn't balance there was a problem with moving the special road carriages that I never quite understood how they solved.

Of course you have to recognize that had Young not shot himself there is almost zero likelihood we'd still have GCT.  On the other hand, we'd have had one of the great unbuilt wonders in architecture, the Hyperboloid.  Traditionalists are likely to sneer, but it was precisely what Young and Perlman were trying to get NYC to become, and it would have been interesting to see them get into the same game of diversification that so well served IC in the 1960s ... something at which Young in particular should have been both aware and adroit.

With the passing of the Great Steel Fleet there was no more need for the expensive castles of stations in places like Buffalo and Detroit, and as far as I can see no possible justification for paying huge sums of money to keep them maintained for the fewer and fewer grudging passengers still riding.  The problem was that, just as there's 'too big to fail', there's also 'too big to succeed': there wasn't any way that those big facilities could be sold and leased back reasonably, and not enough private money stupid enough to waste it trying.

In this framework I'm not inclined to kill Perlman for fast-tracking anything that would wring working capital out of completely obsolescent steam, especially once I know he ordered a Hudson saved but the same sort of screwup that got rid of the EM-1 made saving 3001 the priority instead.  As for preserving more private engines, consider the Railroadians, many of whom were brokers and such to whom scrap value of $5000 or so would be pocket change.  And whose friends were often far more well-heeled and had places to store the 'result'.  Then consider the history of Lackawanna 952 ... and the general mealymouthed commentary that results depending on 'where you sit' on the matter.  Heck, nobody saved 774, and that engine was famous to railfans everywhere.

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Posted by Miningman on Sunday, August 18, 2019 6:13 PM

Meanwhile back in thoroughly defeated Japan the Bullet Train is being planned. That is what the Central should have been doing. A four track mainline could have been quite an advantage with that wide right of way. 

Also not buying that Detroit or Michigan terminals could not have been leased or sold. They were eyesores and advertised to the public that the Central flipped the bird to the cities and the public not to mention that the whole NYC looked like losers. Fix them up! They were not that bad until years later Central let them go to the dogs.

As to the screw up in not saving a Hudson I've heard that same story about a half a dozen or more times involving all manner of locomotives all over both of our countries. Obviously it was not a priority or followed through or wink wink nod nod. When the CEO says jump you jump. 

It is a bit puzzling that not one well heeled Wall Street type or railfan did not step up. Nelson Blount excepted.

No doubt I was a wee bit harsh on Perlman. Yes I've read DPM's account. Just get cheesed off and emotions take over. Pinheads, tiny little pinheads all over the place. 

However, I'm still playing the Ghost of Railroading Future and I'm gonna  blast those two pinheads. Make 'em see the light. 

.

 

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Posted by Penny Trains on Sunday, August 18, 2019 6:37 PM

To oversimplify things, I'll play devil's advocate and ask the question: How many of your perevious personal automobiles do you have on display around your yard?  (I used to throw rocks at my Dodge. Laugh)

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Posted by Miningman on Sunday, August 18, 2019 6:52 PM

3, not around the yard though. 1969 Chevrolet Malibu Convertable , 1973 Covette and 1982 Corvette ( not the special edition jobie) ..!!

Wish I had kept one of 2 International TravelAll's. Must be a million miles on the Malibu. Have no idea. 

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Posted by Backshop on Sunday, August 18, 2019 7:04 PM

It's interesting how two people can like the same thing for different reasons, depending on their ages.  Miningman loves and misses the CASO because of the Hudsons, etc, and the passenger trains.  I always liked it because of the GMDL built Geeps.  In fact, the Morning Sun Conrail Power books has a few pics I took of them in it.  Too bad they misspelled my name, but no big deal.

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Posted by Flintlock76 on Sunday, August 18, 2019 7:25 PM

Miningman

3, not around the yard though. 1969 Chevrolet Malibu Convertable , 1973 Covette and 1982 Corvette ( not the special edition jobie) ..!!

Wish I had kept one of 2 International TravelAll's. Must be a million miles on the Malibu. Have no idea. 

 

I "kinda-sorta" wish I still had my '94 Cavalier.  Got 265,000 miles out of it.  It was still running strong but was getting rickety, so it was time to let it go.

Interesting thing though, if I was parked by a railroad track watching trains and a GM diesel rolled past the whole car trembled.  Sympathetic vibration?  I don't know, but no car I've had since has done the same thing!

I miss my PT Cruiser, fun car to drive, but my sister-in-law's hubby Warren, who's a car guy told me "Chrysler makes good cars, but they don't age very well."

He was right.

So long, mid-life Chrysler!

Oh well, the Hy-yun-dai-yay's worked out pretty good.

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Posted by Flintlock76 on Monday, August 19, 2019 9:02 AM

Oh brother, that "Hyperboloid" building is ug-leee!  

Reminds me of the lattice masts that were installed on American battleships of the World War One era, have a look...

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lattice_mast#/media/File:Uss_south_carolina_bb.jpg  

Built as a way to lessen top-weight, they weren't too popular with the men who had to man the tops to spot artillery fire.  The things wiggled like bowls of Jell-O when the main batteries fired. Some were a bit fragile and susceptible to damage from heavy weather.  Most had been replaced by the time of Pearl Harbor. 

As the saying goes, "It seemed like a good idea at the time!"

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Posted by Overmod on Monday, August 19, 2019 9:59 AM

Flintlock76
As the saying goes, "It seemed like a good idea at the time!"

It was a dumb idea at any time; particularly silly because they started being used in an era autogenous welding was becoming well-established on railroads like ATSF.  (Ridiculously early, as things turned out, but surely adequate to take the lost motion forever out of lattice construction).  

It does have to be said that deflection during firing would be more interesting for a guyed-spar construction than compression lattice, if 'wiggling like Jell-O' is the issue.  The problem was more in the detail design than in the conception ... reminds me of the Jacobs-Shupert firebox.

You'd think there would be common sense once the first firing exercises were conducted during proving.  Wouldn't be the first time the Navy built something it would rather defend than improve.

What's your take on Japanese 'pagoda' masts?

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Posted by selector on Monday, August 19, 2019 10:07 AM

I happen to think that building is stunning.  Go figger.

What magician could have placed the corrupted flesh of the two cantaloups, PRR and NYC, under a cloth, waved his hands over the coverlet, and then whisked it away to reveal something of use already morphed, or that would have become good over time? Without knowing or understanding the genisis of the rot, what could any sane person have hoped would come of the magic?

Over time, the best and most productive way to alter the course of a business is to bring in someone who does not have history with it.  Someone who won't play favourites, who sees things closely as they really are, who will ask questions and evaluate the responses critically, and who can always be counted on to keep his eye on the ball (of turning a profit for a change).  If it were me, and the formal scrapping of every steam locomotive would have allowed me to show a USD$200 profit after the second year into strictly diesel, I would have done so.  It was my agreement at hire after all.

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Posted by Flintlock76 on Monday, August 19, 2019 10:10 AM

And people believe "group-think" is a recent idea! It's as old as the human race itself, and it's nearly always wrong. In addition to being wrong it also leads to the idea of preferring to cut your own throat before you're willing to admit  you were wrong!  Hence the lattice mast "experiment."  Among other things, then and now.

The Japanese "pagoda" superstructures?  I don't know much about them, they look a bit bizarre, but obviously they worked for the Japanese.  The thing with naval architecture and design is there's always compromises that have to be made and some times there's no real "right or wrong," jusr different approaches.   

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Posted by Overmod on Monday, August 19, 2019 10:57 AM

Flintlock76
In addition to being wrong it also leads to the idea of preferring to cut your own throat before you're willing to admit  you were wrong!

The Navy is notorious for likely ruining more than the last third of the Twentieth Century with a few cold-soldered joints.  (And I don't mean on the USS Eldridge or with weird Tom Brown)

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Posted by Flintlock76 on Monday, August 19, 2019 3:58 PM

Overmod

 

 
Flintlock76
In addition to being wrong it also leads to the idea of preferring to cut your own throat before you're willing to admit  you were wrong!

 

The Navy is notorious for likely ruining more than the last third of the Twentieth Century with a few cold-soldered joints.  (And I don't mean on the USS Eldridge or with weird Tom Brown)

 

Yep.  RIP Lt. Joe Kennedy Jr., USN.  Who knows what turn history might have taken had he not been killed, as Overmod said, by some lousy cold-solder joints.

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Posted by Miningman on Wednesday, August 21, 2019 2:22 AM

By chance does anyone out there know when the New York Central gave up on the CLiners and the Baby Face Baldwin sets? I cannot seem to find any info. I'm guessing early 60's way before Penn Central but maybe I'm mistaken. Did either ever lose their stunning pinstripe paint to the cigar band like the Sharks did? 

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Posted by 16-567D3A on Wednesday, August 21, 2019 5:18 PM

Miningman

By chance does anyone out there know when the New York Central gave up on the CLiners and the Baby Face Baldwin sets? I cannot seem to find any info. I'm guessing early 60's way before Penn Central but maybe I'm mistaken. Did either ever lose their stunning pinstripe paint to the cigar band like the Sharks did? 

 

The Baldwin DR-6-4-15 Babyface sets were all retrucked w/Drop equailzed type1950. reengined 3/55-5/55 by EMD w/567Cs w/org WE412 Generators but replaced pnumatic throttles w/electric and MU.3200-3300-3201/-3202-3301-3203 delivered in 2 tone gray for service on the Paul Revere.none wore cigar bands,all Ret 12/60 scrapped 1/61-3/62.                The Baldwin DR-4-4-15 Babyface sets were all retired 12/60 and scrapped between 5/61-7/62 with the exception of 3803 which was reengined 10/57 with an EMD 567C w/electric throttle and MU using the WE412 Gen.It wore the cigar band after 1960.ret 2/63,scp 7/64.FM CFA-CFB 20-4 (15 units)were all reengined 7/55-1/57 with 567A/567C with orig.westinghouse electricals.various units wore cigarbands.ret 11/64-9/65 some scrapped,some traded to GE and some to Precision.FM CFA/CFB-16-4 all ret 9/66 most got the cigar band. FM CPA-24-4 #4500-4507 all Reengined at Collingwood with 567C but keeping the WE electricals 10/55-4/56 all got the cigar band.some sources report 4505 received Century green w/ script herald in 1960(unconfirmed)Ret 10/66 scr.1/67.    edit,Only records i found of confirmed Century green units are E8A 4053, E8A 4083 and E7B 4107.unconfirmed E7B 4109.possibly 2 or 3 others.(4505?)The Century green experimental paint was short lived,units were repainted to standard black after a little over a year. Other NYC paint scheme expirimental units were E8A 4056 in all Grey cigar band.confirmed of several GP7s in all Grey. F3 1608 wore an expirimental black with gold cigar band stripe scheme susposedly with gold lettering on one side and white on the other.

 

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Posted by Miningman on Wednesday, August 21, 2019 5:56 PM

Terrific information 16-567D3A. FM CPA #4505 in Century Green with Script Herald! Wow! That would be a sight. If it's true someone, somewhere has a picture.

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Posted by CSSHEGEWISCH on Thursday, August 22, 2019 10:07 AM

There were several IHB switchers that were painted in Jade Green with a red lightning stripe in the early to mid 1960's.

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 Miningman on Thursday, August 22, 2019 11:11 AM

Hmmm.. that would be very interesting .. did not know that ( I think) .. assume the Jade Green didn't hold up too well, it got real streaky ( rust stains) on the rolling stock. 

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Posted by Overmod on Thursday, August 22, 2019 2:00 PM

Miningman
... assume the Jade Green didn't hold up too well, it got real streaky (rust stains) on the rolling stock.

I did not particularly agree with the 'dip' jade green.  But one of the preserved E units (4083) was purposefully repainted in this scheme not long ago, and it might be interesting to see how it held up afterward...

 

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