Hanover, NH to Chicago in 1924

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Posted by daveklepper on Wednesday, August 26, 2020 10:54 PM

And by all means consider the Boston Section of the 20th Century Limited as a through train.  It was advertized as such.  And in periods of heavy traffic, when the Century ran in multiple sections, it ran as a separate train all the way.

It would have been his choice, even getting up at 5AM to catch the B&M 6AM from White River Junction.  He would have arranged for the taxi the day before.  He lived at a frat house and had brothers to help him.  So, perhaps he could have been driven to the station by one.

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Posted by timz on Thursday, August 27, 2020 10:21 AM

If you had to leave White River Jct at 0600 to catch the 20th Century at Springfield, that probably doesn't add up to the fastest combination -- 28 hr 45 min White River Jct to Chicago. So why bother getting up that early? Try changing to B&M at Greenfield, which likely had a thru sleeper to Chicago in March 1924. 

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Posted by daveklepper on Thursday, August 27, 2020 11:07 AM

Good point      But some people did go way out of their way for the prestige of riding the Century.

When the Century was streamlined in 1938, its Boston Section became the heavyweight all-Pullman New England States, then the Budd coach-and-Pullman NES stremliner in 1949.

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Posted by Overmod on Thursday, August 27, 2020 6:55 PM

timz
If you had to leave White River Jct at 0600 to catch the 20th Century at Springfield, that probably doesn't add up to the fastest combination -- 28 hr 45 min White River Jct to Chicago. So why bother getting up that early?

But is there any alternative that comes near matching the Century's arrival time.  I didn't see anything on B&M via Troy that wasn't an afternoon arrival at best.

Now the question that might be most important is the timekeeping of these trains.  Mr. Klepper's assumption was not a 6:00 but a 10:40 departure from White River Junction (the "6:00" being a slow accommodation train with the sole advantage of leaving from a point closer to Hanover) -- I cannot imagine either he or his luggage would have had trouble being driven  to WRJ to be loaded at that time.  The question was the comparatively tight connection time -- was timekeeping on trains like the Day White Mountains Express good enough that arrival at Springfield would be 'on the advertised?'

(One might imagine a little author's license about some silver dollars or quarter eagles or whatever changing hands to make sure any lateness was made up 'timely' ...)

I cannot think either of any service more direct than boarding the Boston Section -- any other train running a through sleeper might have had longer delays or issues switching, and if through Buffalo not one but twice.  For someone supposedly in a hurry to get to Chicago for substantial reasons such delays might be maddening.  Perhaps likewise the provided amenities and food on the extended trip in 'lesser' equipment.

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Posted by daveklepper on Friday, August 28, 2020 3:34 AM

Learning more about the Dartmouth student's habits (He lliked to live well), defintely the 20th Century, even if he decided to go to Springfield the day before and stay at that city's best hotel.

And he would want to use a White River Junction - Springfield train that had a parlor car or a sleeper in use as a parlor.  He would go out of his way to avoid sitting in a coach with ordinary people.

He would not need a taxi in Hanover, after all.  He lived in a fraternity house off campus, and there would be no restrictions on a senior off campus owning a car.  Most certainly, some of his fraternity-brothers already had a car, and one drove him to the White River Junction Station.

Time-keeping in those days for passenger service was generally excellent .  If you check correspondance and stories of the period, late trains and missed connections were very rare.

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Posted by daveklepper on Friday, August 28, 2020 3:44 AM

So Norwich at 10:02 or White River Junction at 10:40 and the 20th Century seems best, if the train to Springfield had a parlor or sleeper operating as a parlor.  And that should be the Day White Muntains Express.  With a diner, probably New Haven.

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Posted by timz on Friday, August 28, 2020 10:16 AM

Only problem with that: he says no such departure from White River Jct in the March 1924 Guide. I was looking at a 1926 Guide.

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Posted by Overmod on Friday, August 28, 2020 3:45 PM

timz
Only problem with that: he says no such departure from White River Jct in the March 1924 Guide. I was looking at a 1926 Guide.

Sure throws a wrench in the works if so!

Do we have a listing of all the trains passing within the ~5 mile radius of Hanover that go via Greenfield and then Springfield, from an OG in force when the historical trip was made?  What was the fastest connection west via the ex-Fitchburg -- via Mechanicville?   

From that we can assess what the fastest connecting option into Chicago for him, based a little perhaps on where he was going upon arrival, would have been.

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Posted by MidlandMike on Friday, August 28, 2020 9:36 PM

Did the CV trains south from WRJ go thru Springfield (via B&M) or Palmer?

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Posted by daveklepper on Saturday, August 29, 2020 2:08 PM

The through CV trains from Montreal become and became B&M trains between WRJ and Springfield.  CV did have one or possibly two locals fron WRJ to New London on their own line east of Springfield, crossing the NYC-B&A at Palmer and using a connecting track at New London to the NYNH&H Station.  The B&M and CV lines south to Brattleboro were paired as a joint double-track line and diverged south of there.

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Posted by rcdrye on Saturday, August 29, 2020 7:45 PM

Between White River Jct and E. Northfield MA (just below the Vermont line) B&M operated over CV from WRJ to Windsor (14 miles), CV over B&M Windsor to Brattleboro (about 45 miles).  South of Brattleboro southbound CV and B&M trains operated over the CV via Vernon VT, northbound CV and B&M trains operated via the B&M's line via Hinsdale NH.  This arrangement held until 1970, when the B&M bridge at East Northfield had an abutment wash out and all trains of both railroads began to operate via the CV line.  B&M and CV did have one joint train from Springfield to White River Jct with a mail contract that operated northbound on the CV with pooled power.  All segments were dispatched by B&M and operated under B&M rules.

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Posted by daveklepper on Sunday, August 30, 2020 2:49 AM

Thanks for reminding me that it was at Northfield, south of Brattleboro, that the two railroads diverged.  Of course a current map will show that, and I apologize for some seeming lazyness.  Just busy.

There were paved roads in the area.  A much earlier thread mentions Henry Ford's auto trip from Brattleboro to Albany about that time, catching the Wolverine at Albany, no doubt for a special unscheduled stop for him at Dearborn.

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