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NYC streamlined Hudsons

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NYC streamlined Hudsons
Posted by John-NYBW on Thursday, June 3, 2021 7:16 AM

My NYC calendar has a picture of streamlined Hudson 5342 dated August 5, 1946. This came as a surprise to me because I had been under the impression that the Hudsons lost their streamlined shrouds during WWII due to the need for scrap metal. How long did the Hudsons keep their streamlining and did any survive until the end of the steam era on the NYC.

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Posted by wjstix on Thursday, June 3, 2021 3:53 PM

A few of them survived the war with their streamlining, and a few were "semi-destreamlined" - some parts of the sheathing was removed, but not all.

Not sure of the last date a fully-streamlined J3 Hudson pulled a train, but in 1945 the Central got it's first E-units and 4-8-4 Niagaras, which took over the top trains and bumped Hudsons down to lesser trains. Since the streamlining was specific to a train (20th Century Ltd / Empire State Express) I'm pretty sure once Hudsons were pulled off those trains any that had streamlining had it removed very soon...educated guess would be by end of 1946(?)

Stix
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Posted by John-NYBW on Thursday, June 3, 2021 4:27 PM

I can't remember the date but I seem to remember seeing a photo of one of the streamlined ESE Hudsons pulling the James Whitcomb Riley out of  Cincinnati. 

UPDATE: I found this photo of the ESE behind a streamlined Hudson on March 3, 1947. 

 

streamliners2.pdf (wordpress.com)

Still looking for more. 

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Posted by tstage on Thursday, June 3, 2021 4:46 PM

I was reminded again that the debut of the ESE in 1941 was, unfortunately, spoiled by the fateful lead-in of the US into WWII.

Tom

https://tstage9.wixsite.com/nyc-modeling

Time...It marches on...without ever turning around to see if anyone is even keeping in step.

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Posted by John-NYBW on Thursday, June 3, 2021 4:52 PM

I'm guessing the NYC chose a Sunday to launch the new version of the ESE figuring it would be a slow news day. Railroads used to launch new trains with the same fanfare that there would be for a new ocean liner. When the new diesel equipment was assigned to the 20th Century Limited in 1948, Ike presided over the festivities. At the time he was president of Columbia University.

Needless to say, the launching of the new consist for the ESE didn't get a whole lot of press coverage. 

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Posted by gmpullman on Sunday, June 6, 2021 5:57 PM

As mentioned, the War years weren't kind to the Streamlined Hudsons:

 NYC_5445_Elkhart by Edmund, on Flickr

This is March of 1945 in Elkhart, Indiana.

I don't recall hearing that streamlining panels were intentionally removed to aid the scrap drives of the War effort but, due to turn-around and maintenance time constraints bits and pieces were left off as necessary. One of the hudsons, 5450, was destroyed in a tragic boiler explosion in 1943. Eventually repaired after the War. I recall another with the "bullet nose" removed after an unplanned meet with a paint truck at a grade crpossing.

Both the Empire state Hudsons were still roaming around in 1947 with most of their streamlining intact but their tenders had been replaced by PT- types by then.

More about the Empire State Express here:

https://nycshs.files.wordpress.com/2019/04/streamliners2.pdf

[edit] I see this is the same link previously posted Embarrassed

Good Luck, Ed

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Posted by wjstix on Monday, June 7, 2021 9:59 AM

My guess on the streamlined Hudsons being de-streamlined is that it wasn't like the railroad decided on some date to remove all the streamlining during the war. It maybe was more like "Hey, I had to remove this part of the shroud to fix something, should I put it back on?" "Nah, leave it off and put in the scrap metal bin."

Stix
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Posted by wjstix on Tuesday, June 8, 2021 3:25 PM

OK, I went to "the bible" - "Know Thy Hudsons" by Thomas R. Gerbracht:

There were 11 Hudsons in the 20th Century / Dreyfuss streamlining scheme.

The first 10 were new J-3 "super" Hudsons which started out their career in 1938 streamlined. Some of the NYC records are incomplete, but it appears 1 (or possibly 3) J-3s were de-streamlined in 1944; the rest were de-streamlined spread out over 1946-47 (the last being 5445 in Dec. 1947).

The "most famous Hudson", J-1e 5344, received the Dreyfuss streamlining in 1939 (after it's "Commodore Vanderbilt" streamlining was removed) and had it removed in 1945.

The two Empire State Express engines were de-streamlined in 1949 (5429) and 1950 (5426).

Basically, after a certain date, as each streamlined engine came in for major shop work, the streamlining was removed.

Stix
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Posted by OT Dean on Friday, June 11, 2021 11:49 PM

gmpullman
gmpullman wrote the following post 5 days ago: As mentioned, the War years weren't kind to the Streamlined Hudsons:

That photo is almost too hard for me to look at!  Of all the streamlined steam locos, that "Centurian Helmet"-fronted beauty has always been my favorite--and I grew up in Hiawatha territory, about 16 miles west of Milwaukee.  To me, that would be like seeing a beautiful Hollywood actress dressed in rags and pushing a shopping cart with all her worldly goods stuffed inside it...

Deano

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Posted by gmpullman on Saturday, June 12, 2021 12:21 AM

OT Dean
That photo is almost too hard for me to look at! 

I can cure that:

 Century_life1 by Edmund, on Flickr

 Century_life48 by Edmund, on Flickr

 Century_life27 by Edmund, on Flickr

 Century_life7 by Edmund, on Flickr

Cheers, Ed

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Posted by John-NYBW on Saturday, June 12, 2021 9:00 AM

gmpullman

As mentioned, the War years weren't kind to the Streamlined Hudsons:

 NYC_5445_Elkhart by Edmund, on Flickr

This is March of 1945 in Elkhart, Indiana.

I don't recall hearing that streamlining panels were intentionally removed to aid the scrap drives of the War effort but, due to turn-around and maintenance time constraints bits and pieces were left off as necessary. One of the hudsons, 5450, was destroyed in a tragic boiler explosion in 1943. Eventually repaired after the War. I recall another with the "bullet nose" removed after an unplanned meet with a paint truck at a grade crpossing.

Both the Empire state Hudsons were still roaming around in 1947 with most of their streamlining intact but their tenders had been replaced by PT- types by then.

More about the Empire State Express here:

https://nycshs.files.wordpress.com/2019/04/streamliners2.pdf

[edit] I see this is the same link previously posted Embarrassed

Good Luck, Ed

 

I have a book put out by a former NYC company photographer and I think that is where I read about the streamlining falling victim to scrap drives. I think he also noted that before that happened, the side panels were permanently removed for ease of maintenance. The impression I got was that ALL the streamliners lost their shrouds during the war but obviously that isn't the case. That book is boxed away and I'll have to go through my collection to find it.

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Posted by OT Dean on Sunday, June 13, 2021 1:29 AM

Thanks, Ed.  Every once in a while, I search YouTube for what little footage there is of the Century engines charging along the Hudson.  What magnificent beasts!  Dreyfus really outdid himself when he designed the shrouding for the Century and the Empire State Express Hudsons.  I wish I had the bucks to buy a model--and the room to display it in my "Large" studio apartment.  (There are some even smaller in this building!)

Deano

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Posted by wjstix on Tuesday, June 15, 2021 1:44 PM

John-NYBW
I have a book put out by a former NYC company photographer and I think that is where I read about the streamlining falling victim to scrap drives.

Perhaps "ED NOWAK'S NEW YORK CENTRAL - A Company Photographer's View of the Railroad: 1941-1967" by Ed Nowak with Karl Zimmerman.

Stix
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Posted by angelob6660 on Tuesday, June 15, 2021 2:36 PM

OT Dean

 

 
gmpullman
gmpullman wrote the following post 5 days ago: As mentioned, the War years weren't kind to the Streamlined Hudsons:

 

That photo is almost too hard for me to look at!  Of all the streamlined steam locos, that "Centurian Helmet"-fronted beauty has always been my favorite--and I grew up in Hiawatha territory, about 16 miles west of Milwaukee.  To me, that would be like seeing a beautiful Hollywood actress dressed in rags and pushing a shopping cart with all her worldly good stuffed inside it...

Deano

 
With that beautiful description I was picturing Cinderella. Or Apple Annie (Bette Davis) in Pocketful of Miracles.

Modeling the G.N.O. Railway, The Diamond Route.

Amtrak America, 1971-Present.

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Posted by gmpullman on Tuesday, June 15, 2021 4:17 PM

angelob6660
With that beautiful description I was picturing Cinderella.

Or perhaps Norma Desmond in Sunset Boulevard.

https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0043014/

"You used to be in silent pictures. You used to be big."

"I AM big — it's the pictures that got small."

One of my favorites.

Cheers, Ed

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Posted by John-NYBW on Saturday, June 26, 2021 12:55 PM

wjstix

 

 
John-NYBW
I have a book put out by a former NYC company photographer and I think that is where I read about the streamlining falling victim to scrap drives.

 

Perhaps "ED NOWAK'S NEW YORK CENTRAL - A Company Photographer's View of the Railroad: 1941-1967" by Ed Nowak with Karl Zimmerman.

 

Yes I believe that is the name of the photographer. I have my old railroad books and magazines boxed up and a few of those boxes are currently being used as supports for a temporary makeshift workbench. I'd have to clear off that work bench to get at the boxes below it. 

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