Devolution. Thread Noir

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Devolution. Thread Noir
Posted by Miningman on Monday, April 13, 2020 5:01 PM

CB&Q Train #11 The Nebraska Zephyr ..bad news : down to 3 cars, good news: one of them is a dome. 

 

2) Not sure what Boston & Maine train this is but it's looking pretty beat up.

 

3) Danbury, Conn. Commuter 

 

4)  Caption says James Whitcimb Riley remnant. Enroute to Cincinnati but I can't explain the IC E7A  Sad looking train. Sept. 2 1968.

 

5)  Lake Shore Limited looking kind of tired. Bet the riders are too! Early Amtrak days, July 72. Worcester, Mass. 

 

6) E8 4256 and 4263 suburban train for Boston South Station. Very rough looking.

 

7)  Don't forget to be smart and plan ahead in these times.

 

 

 

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Posted by Deggesty on Monday, April 13, 2020 5:26 PM

As to the Riley with foreign power, I wonder if the fact that the Big Four used the IC north of Kankakee to get between Cincinnati and Chicago had anything to do with it?

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Posted by Overmod on Monday, April 13, 2020 6:03 PM

#2 is certainly not Herbie's finest hour...

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Posted by Flintlock76 on Monday, April 13, 2020 6:44 PM

Those trains.  It's like watching a good friend die of a terminal disease and there's absolutely nothing you or anyone else can do about it, except pray for a quick end.

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Posted by Miningman on Monday, April 13, 2020 8:06 PM

Overmod-- Yeah, no kidding. Trying to be MOD-ern. Was the times. To bad the phrase "epic fail" wasn't around yet. 

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Posted by rcdrye on Monday, April 13, 2020 8:21 PM

#2 is B&M's Ambassador, the joint CV/B&M/NYNH&H train from Montreal to New York.  The CN RPO (St. Albans and Springfield) and the NH coach are dead giveaways. Probably at Greenfield, definitely on the B&M. 4266 is an F2, the B unit has the only boiler.

#4 The Riley was serviced at IC's engine terminal.  Probably easier to borrow an IC E-8 than to get one up from NYC's 61st street engine terminal with an awkward backup move via the St. Charles Air Line.

#5 Except for the PC E8, all of the equipment is refurbed.  Budd diner-lounge, ex-B&O/SCL 16 dupRmt 4DBR sleeper, ex-Sunset Limited coach and what I think is an ex-UP coach.  In 1972, that was about as good as it got.

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Posted by Miningman on Monday, April 13, 2020 8:32 PM

Well thank you very much rcdrye.

A far cry from these days:

3)  In busier and more prosperous days, here is The Ambassador for Montreal headed by 4-8-2 4117 nicknamed 'Hercules'.  Long train!

Boston North Station, Aug. 1947

 

 

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Posted by rcdrye on Monday, April 13, 2020 8:36 PM

By the time #2 was taken, the Boston section of the Ambassador was a pair of RDCs (usually with a CPR RDC2), which met the through train at White River Jct. VT.  The RDCs went north to Wells River, where they split to Berlin NH and Montreal.

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Posted by MidlandMike on Monday, April 13, 2020 9:13 PM

Those I beams in the Danbury photo once held catenary discontinued in 1962.  The area inside the curve is now a rail museum.

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Posted by M636C on Monday, April 13, 2020 9:17 PM

No idea why it has IC power but:

That's an E-7 not an E-8: the cooling grilles on the roof and the three radiator inlet vents on the side indicate the older E unit equipment layout.

Since, like most of us I guess i'm being told to stay home, I decided to tidy things up and I found that I had two HO E-7s that I'd forgotten about, one in UP colours and one as SP's first E-7 6000, but in Daylight rather than the red and silver Golden Rocket scheme.

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Posted by Miningman on Monday, April 13, 2020 10:19 PM

Suppose at quick glance I took those light areas along the carbody as portholes, but E7 it is! 

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Posted by rcdrye on Tuesday, April 14, 2020 6:33 AM

A closer look also shows Penn Central lettering on the coach's letterboard.

A little further poking on #2 shows the train is northbound  75 about to make its Greenfield MA station stop, around 2 PM.  Tracks to the right are B&M's line to the Hoosac Tunnel and west.  The industrial building in the background is still standing.

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Posted by bill613a on Tuesday, April 14, 2020 11:23 AM

#4 could be the SYCAMORE, a Chicago-Indianapolis run.

#5 the original Amtrak LS was discontinued in January 1972. This photo would be after October 1975.

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Posted by rcdrye on Tuesday, April 14, 2020 1:27 PM

#4 By the time a coach was lettered Penn Central, not only was the "Riley" the only train left on that run, it was the only ex-NYC name train left at all.  NYC dropped all other train names the same day (Dec 2, 1967) it dropped the 20th Century.

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Posted by Deggesty on Tuesday, April 14, 2020 2:18 PM

rcdrye

#4 By the time a coach was lettered Penn Central, not only was the "Riley" the only train left on that run, it was the only ex-NYC name train left at all.  NYC dropped all other train names the same day (Dec 2, 1967) it dropped the 20th Century.

 

I found it quite interesting that this train retained its name whereas all the other NYC trains lost their names--perhaps because it ran on IC tracks between Chicago and Kankakee? Not everything done by railroads was rational.

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Posted by bill613a on Wednesday, April 15, 2020 10:32 AM

Trains 302 & 305 (ex-SYCAMORE) were still in the guide as of Dec 1968.  The pictured train is most likely sb to Indianapolis. Since these trains and the RILEY used Central Station it wasn't unusual to see IC equipment.  As for the RILEY keeping its name there was a group in Indiana (RILEY boosters) that did a lot of grass roois advertising and promotions for the RILEY and the SPIRIT OF ST. LOUIS amd the every other day Chicago-Louisville to a lesser extent.  Apso the RILEY always ran with some type of food service car

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Posted by Miningman on Saturday, April 18, 2020 3:55 PM

1) Penn Central #15 Cleveland - Cincinnati 1968  Good Grief! 

 

2)  Penn Central 'Spirit of St. Louis' 1968   Do you really need 2 E's? 

 

3) Amtrak #363 Westbound St. Clair Mar. 7/74 @ Wayne, Michigan 

I kinda looked like that when I got up this morning.

 

4) The St. Clair again, Amtrak Oct. 26/74 in Detroit at the Michigan Central Station

 

5) Not Passenger but here is a look at Penn Central in its brief existence on the CASO.  May 22/72 Windsor, Ontario 

From magnificence in engineering to winning two wars to yes we have no bananas, we have no bananas today !   

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Posted by Flintlock76 on Saturday, April 18, 2020 5:00 PM

Reminds me of a line Walter Lord wrote about the ending of transportation eras:

"...the railroads sagged into decrepitude like a Bowery bum." 

Man, that just said it all. 

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Posted by GeoffS on Saturday, April 18, 2020 6:03 PM

Pic #3 complete with drooping eye lids and a mortar shell through the front. Good grief how sad!

GS

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Posted by Overmod on Saturday, April 18, 2020 6:22 PM

Miningman
1) Penn Central #15 Cleveland - Cincinnati 1968  Good Grief!

This comes when the government orders you to run a train, but won't give you any money to do it right.  Why have amenities when they lose you money every trip, or food service when it loses you money every trip, or even run a higher-speed passenger locomotive when it would lose you money every trip, on a train that won't even come close to requiring even a coach worth of seats ... and loses money every trip?

Probably on the specific route of the X-Plorer, which also bled money every trip.  I give them full points for trying; that route should have been one of the places 'corridor' service would have provided a useful and valuable rail opportunity.

In the interests of fair disclosure:  I'd have put an RDC on this, torn out a bunch of seats, and put in a self-serve bar and food service.  Perhaps pulled some of those fold-out Sleepy Hollow style chairs out of a long-distance coach and put 'em where someone might find them of value...

2)  Penn Central 'Spirit of St. Louis' 1968   Do you really need 2 E's?

The answer to this is really implicit in Mark Twain's comment about whether the 2 Es can keep a secret...

3) Amtrak #363 Westbound St. Clair Mar. 7/74 @ Wayne, Michigan

 It's a funny thing.  I had lots and lots of experience with PC dip-black Es in abominable white-smoking condition going out of Harmon.  But this is the first time, the very first time, I can recall seeing one that looks physically depressed at its prospects.

4) The St. Clair again, Amtrak Oct. 26/74 in Detroit at the Michigan Central Station

 The actual train back there doesn't really look quite so bad.  One does have to speculate how much of that locomotive's appearance is due to Detroit hoydens and their rocks and cinderblocks.  It was so bad in places in the East around then that bars were being bolted to windshields to keep the crews alive.

5) Not Passenger but here is a look at Penn Central in its brief existence on the CASO.  May 22/72 Windsor, Ontario

They didn't deserve it, and really couldn't do anything with it; neither did struggling early Conrail.  So they gave it to Canadians, who certainly did know what 'they' wanted to do with it, and that's exactly what they did.  Murderers all.

From magnificence in engineering to winning two wars to yes we have no bananas, we have no bananas today!

Or, when the money runs out we can't keep pretending to play trains.

Which is really about what happened with all those traction lines, and all those branch lines, and all the vast and wondrous service at both Ashtabula and Port Burwell ... and right down to what's happening in the Ottawa area.  When even governments pass on the ability to run trains because it costs too much for any perceivable benefit ... and you can't get dedicated volunteers to run it like a bigger version of Strasburg ... it may be time to let it go until such time as a democracy recognizes it wants its service back.

I wouldn't hold my breath for any of what's pictured here, though.

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Posted by Jones1945 on Saturday, April 18, 2020 8:56 PM

Miningman

I kinda looked like that when I got up this morning.

Meanwhile...

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Posted by Miningman on Saturday, April 18, 2020 9:22 PM

Jones-- One can talk and talk about this vast discrepancy and rationalize every which way but in the end it's an embarrassment. A solid private public partnership was in order but it never came. 

Here : this is good for a laugh, at least I did and I haven't felt much like laughing lately. Already sent this to you via email so it's more for the rest of the beloved wahoos on this Forum.

https://imgur.com/gallery/a0pXqvG

You have to turn on the sound on the clip independently. 

Just ask my bird friend how he feels about things these days.

https://youtu.be/m0z-0ZyQ-48

 

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Posted by Overmod on Saturday, April 18, 2020 9:42 PM

Miningman
Here : this is good for a laugh, at least I did and I haven't felt much like laughing lately.

That is pretty sad.  There are better parodies of the JDM/drifting sounds out there.  (Especially for the NSX, which isn't anyone's ricer car...)

And someone dubbed in air tools instead of supercharged V8 sound.

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Posted by Miningman on Saturday, April 18, 2020 10:15 PM

Well that's the point.. its so corny and dumb it makes that the funny part! 

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Posted by Miningman on Saturday, April 18, 2020 10:25 PM

Nonetheless , thanks for the thoughtful replies on the second set of pics. 

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Posted by rcdrye on Sunday, April 19, 2020 7:42 AM

Many of the PC E-units in Amtrak service up to about 1974 still belonged to PC, and were only leased.  Despite their worn paint jobs, most of them were mechanically sound and fairly well-liked by the crews.  The kicker was that several PC lines still required special cab signal or ATC equipment that was far from universal on the equipment that Amtrak owned. SDP40F and F40PH deliveries, along with the "cab signal from hell" developed for the SDP40F, and applied to many of the Amtrak-owned E-Units allowed Amtrak to drop the use of the leased units.

The "hole" in the nose near the headlight is really just a paint failure around the MU receptacle cover.

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Posted by Miningman on Sunday, April 19, 2020 12:33 PM

Thank you for that rcdrye. Side by side with the Bullet Train I think there is no doubt the public would perceive this as ridiculous beyond belief yet there it is. 

Someone was being pressured to keep the finger firmly pressed on the NO button. 

This Covid crisis has exposed many things but one that I find most eye brow raising is how trillions of dollars can be raised out of nothingness.

..so there is zero doubt in my mind that the powers that be and the railroads themselves wanted all the way out of passenger with no thought at all to the benefit of society as a whole but only to enhance their own filthy lucre. 

They got their twin $25,000 fridges stocked to the nines with chocolate ice cream, a walled off estate and armed security. 

The devolution continues. 

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Posted by Overmod on Sunday, April 19, 2020 3:51 PM

Miningman
Thank you for that rcdrye. Side by side with the Bullet Train I think there is no doubt the public would perceive this as ridiculous beyond belief yet there it is. 

It does have to be said that there was an attempt to throw money at innovative passenger service in the United States, in the Johnson Administration from 1965 to 1968, and one could argue that if it had extended to some fairly easily predictable track- and new-route-related things we'd have had 50-mph-plus Metroliners and Turbotrains, good RTG-shell-related options, and fast diesel MU trains to make more of a difference.  Unfortunately the 'public' attitude toward passenger was much the same as toward commuter: do it at least cost, and emphasize better long-distance roads on the one hand and transition to SSTs on the other.

It was disturbing to me that by 1967 with all the supertrain work going on there was no place for an American Orient Express level in the East even with historic names and the fastest timing ever achieved.  See how Perlman valued the concept even to the end!  See how commoditization came to fill the void even with government-level participation and inherent subsidy...

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Posted by Miningman on Sunday, April 19, 2020 6:20 PM

Yeah, it's too bad it fizzled out , now it's all catch up with a lot of the builders and even the technology foreign. 

This current state of affairs maybe yet another set back. Probably will be, funding will not be a priority.

It is however an opportunity for radical design and engineering advances in on board ventilation and seating, even boarding and service.  

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Posted by Overmod on Sunday, April 19, 2020 9:51 PM

It's amazing, the things that would be possible using today's technologyif we had some of yesterday's circumstances.  Take any of the 'waves' of construction, from the Adams Windsplitter train through the early high-speed motor trains, to the idea of the early stressed-skin Pendulum cars, and then the lightweights of the '50s built with automotive NVH attenuation instead of bus-like cheapness, right up through UA and LRC factor, and yes, including the SPV with workable drivetrain and APU, and apply a little modern materials and manufacturing, even of the order we could tap for the New London Bus project.

The United States is even beginning to come off the enormous static buff and draft requirements, in part acknowledging that 'controlled-crush' and CEM can do much of the safety provision.  The near-immediate problem, though, is that in many recent accidents (specifically including 501 in Washington) the crash involved so much unpredictable energy in unpredictable ways that it isn't likely best-practices CEM would have helped make the lightweight structures truly more surviveable.

I got around this 'in the old days' by keeping people in proper position in their seats and providing a proportional 33" or so of deceleration relative to a passenger's immediate surroundings.  This is what provides full braking without contact, if the shell 'stops short' from about 225mph, without causing high-speed aortic shear (the thing that killed Diana) or other obvious deceleration 'morbidity'.  At least theoretically, the sort of 'passenger pod' that provides semiprivate reclining 'sleeper' accommodation can be made reasonably proof against accident trauma with some care (and strategic air/fluid 'bag' provisions) -- I say theoretically because in the airframes where this was tried, including the F111 and XB70, there were still fatalities in misdeployment.

With a properly adjusted model for onboard and 'reservation-filling' food service, it ought to be possible to provide a good luxury-train experience with 'hospitality-trained' staff willing to work 'away cruises' for the right incentives.  Food need not be expensive to be good, but if it needs to be expensive, the 'novelty of having it on the move' won't substitute for care ... the good news being that with convection and sous vide there may be greater options for choices to be served at or near one's accommodations instead of as a high-overhead sit-down venue reached by extensive walking past prospectively infected folks...

Could be an interesting and in many ways better brave new world...

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