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Norfolk and Western "Pocahontas" passenger train consist - Late 60's early 70's

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Norfolk and Western "Pocahontas" passenger train consist - Late 60's early 70's
Posted by scottso699 on Monday, November 13, 2017 3:33 PM

Hello,

I recently purchased a whole bunch of N&W passneger cars and plan on modeling the Pocahontas in the late 60's and early 70's (Right before it was given over to Amtrak). My question are this:

1: what were the car numbers (road numbers, and number of each type) used on the Pocahontas Train? I have a rough idea, but information on the seems hard to find. (Everyone gives all the love to the Powhattan Arrow)

2: What order were the cars run in? (I am thinking baggage-mail-sleepers-diner-coaches-observation, but I could be very wrong)

Currently all of  my cars are painted in the red scheme by I am finding out that the Blue Scheme was a lot more prominent by then. I will need to add baggage, sleepers (did they have them by 1970?), but the number required would be nice to know so I am not running too many sleepers, or not enough baggage. Any information is very welcome. 

I've already scowered the internet and the NWHS website and not come up with anything concrete.

Thanks!

Scott

 
 
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Posted by wjstix on Monday, November 13, 2017 4:55 PM

General (not N&W specific) comment: Sleeping car passengers were first class passengers, paying an extra fare for a bed. Sleeping cars were kept toward the rear of the train. Often the dining cars was used as a divider between coach and first class passengers.

RPOs, if on the train, would normally be the first cars. They often had 'blind' ends (no doors) for security, so you couldn't travel through them to get to another car.

So a typical generic train would be RPO, Baggage, Coaches, Diner, Sleepers, Observation.

p.s. I believe the "blue scheme" you refer to are cars N&W acquired when they took over the Wabash.

Stix
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Posted by gmpullman on Monday, November 13, 2017 7:50 PM

Digging through the N&W Historical society I found some consist information (although for 1954) available for a small fee:

http://www.nwhs.org/archivesdb/detail.php?ID=93018

It might be worthwhile to download it and help the organization out at the same time...

Otherwise, you could join the email Q&A list:

https://www.nwhs.org/mailing_list.php

At least one photo here:

https://www.american-rails.com/pocahontas.html

 

Good Luck, Ed

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Posted by wjstix on Monday, November 13, 2017 9:56 PM

My old "Walthers Passenger Car Plans" book (revised 2nd edition, July 1973) has a listing of typical consists for a number of top "name trains". For the N&W, it lists the Pocahontas as having the following consist (starting from the front):

Postal

Postal

Baggage

Baggage

Baggage

Combine

Combine (Streamline)

Chair

Chair

Diner

Pullman 12-1 (12 open sections, 1 drawing room) "Thornhope"

Pullman 10-1-2 (10 sections, 1 drawing room, 2 compartments) "Fort Sill"

Pullman 10s-Obs (10 open sections, observation) "Mt. Nebo"

"Chair" cars are another name for coaches. Combines were often used on name trains as smoking cars, so that might be the case here.

Most of the trains listed in the book refer to steam era or transition era versions of the trains. Most likely by the mid-1960's the train would have been shorter...fewer passengers, plus that was the time the mail contracts were cancelled, so the RPOs wouldn't be there in the later years.

Apparently the blue paint scheme began in 1965, which I believe was a year after N&W bought the Wabash. Could be that Wabash had more passenger cars, so N&W thought it was easier to repaint their cars to blue than repaint the Wabash cars to red? 

Stix
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Posted by arbe1948 on Monday, November 13, 2017 10:00 PM
Bob Bochenek
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Posted by gmpullman on Monday, November 13, 2017 11:35 PM

wjstix
Combines were often used on name trains as smoking cars, so that might be the case here.

More likely it was there to comply with Jim Crow laws in place at the time.

Regards, Ed

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Posted by wjstix on Tuesday, November 14, 2017 8:16 AM

gmpullman
 
wjstix
Combines were often used on name trains as smoking cars, so that might be the case here.

 

More likely it was there to comply with Jim Crow laws in place at the time.

Regards, Ed

 

 
That makes sense, I hadn't thought about that.
Stix
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Posted by dti406 on Tuesday, November 14, 2017 12:04 PM

From my old N&W Handbook, there were two coaches in front of the RPO's for transporting N&W Crews.

 

Rick Jesionowski

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Posted by scottso699 on Tuesday, November 14, 2017 1:05 PM

dti406

From my old N&W Handbook, there were two coaches in front of the RPO's for transporting N&W Crews.

 Rick Jesionowski

 

 
You know Rick, I have often heard about that but never seen it. Seems like such a strange thing to do but after doing a lot of research I found out they were essentially cars to move crews and workers from one location to another. That must have been some kind of movement to necesitate 2 whole cars!
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Posted by wojosa31 on Wednesday, November 15, 2017 9:16 PM

In 1966, the Pocahontas normally ran behind two or three Passenger GP9s,had 2 baggage cars, an RPO, two coaches, a 10-6 sleeper and a dining - lounge car.

The Sleeper ranfrom Roanoke VA to Cincinnati OH, The Diner from Crew VA to Williamson WVA, so they were on the rear. 

The Pokey, was the last passenger train on the Norfolk - Cincinnati route, and was down to a Baggage car, coach, dome coach, Sleeper and Diner Lounge on 4/30/71.

If you google N&W Passsenger Train - Pokahontas you can find a wealth of information, including a PDF copy of the April 1966 N&W system Passenger Timetable, which includes equipment assignments. 

1966, the trains were still mostly red, by 1971, mostly Wabash Blue.

 

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Posted by wojosa31 on Wednesday, November 15, 2017 9:21 PM

scottso699

 

 
dti406

From my old N&W Handbook, there were two coaches in front of the RPO's for transporting N&W Crews.

 Rick Jesionowski

 

 

 
You know Rick, I have often heard about that but never seen it. Seems like such a strange thing to do but after doing a lot of research I found out they were essentially cars to move crews and workers from one location to another. That must have been some kind of movement to necesitate 2 whole cars!
 

They really didn't have another way to deadhead crews conveniently, at that time, but I tend to think two cars was one too many. 

When was that instruction in effect?

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Posted by oldline1 on Friday, November 17, 2017 10:11 AM

If I remember correctly the Pokey consists I remember used mail storage cars more than baggage cars in the consist. The deadhead coaches were indeed used for that purpose and were usually the first cars in the train. I've seen one or two used. Sleepers were normally attached behind the diner to keep non-sleeper customers from wandering through the extra cost cars and also for noise as they were farther from the engines.

oldline1

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Posted by scottso699 on Friday, November 17, 2017 10:29 AM

oldline1

If I remember correctly the Pokey consists I remember used mail storage cars more than baggage cars in the consist. The deadhead coaches were indeed used for that purpose and were usually the first cars in the train. I've seen one or two used. Sleepers were normally attached behind the diner to keep non-sleeper customers from wandering through the extra cost cars and also for noise as they were farther from the engines.

oldline1

 

 
You wouldn't happen to know what type of sleepers/diners they used would you? Information about surviving diners and sleepers around this period is pretty sketchy. I was wondering the kind of car (10-6 Sleeper - 48 Seat diner for example?) what were their pedigree (Ex Wabash? Ex Nickel Plate? NW?) And paint scheme (I'm assuming Pelvar Blue at this point?)
 
Thanks again for all the help!

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