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What would a short passenger train in the streamliner era look like?

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What would a short passenger train in the streamliner era look like?
Posted by CRH380AL on Wednesday, January 16, 2019 3:39 PM

I'm looking to get a model passenger train from the streamliner era. I wish my consist could be as close to reality as possible, but I definitely don't have enough room for a 10+car consist. 

I did some research about trains in that era, but as far as I know, most of the named trains at that time are long-distance passenger trains with dozens of cars.

I did come across Wabash's Bluebird. Also, the Silver Streak Zephyr seems to be another short option. But those are the only two I can find so far.

So is there any other short (4~8 cars) passenger trains at that time? I would guess short distance services tend to use fewer cars, but I didn't find enough record of them. And what would be a typical consist of these short trains?

Thanks.

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Posted by xboxtravis7992 on Wednesday, January 16, 2019 5:26 PM

Budd RDC services such as the WP Zephyrette are about as small as you could go in that era while still counting as 'streamlined.' One lone RDC, from Oakland to Salt Lake City.

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Posted by NHTX on Wednesday, January 16, 2019 6:05 PM

CRH380AL,  The streamline era actually can be traced back to the 1930s.  The Burlington's Pioneer Zephyr and Union Pacific's M-10000 were some of the first streamliners.  Crude but, streamliners none the less.  Smooth and corrugated sided cars also appeared in the thirties, being pulled by steam, which was often streamlined to match the consist.

     The years just before Amtrak also saw many short trains, some just a single unit and a coach.  I remember  New York Central' New England States with three E units and 16 or 17 cars.  I also remember it as a Penn Central train of one E unit and four cars.  During the early to mid 1960s, the New Haven's train number 13, the 42nd Street used to run between Boston and Grand Central Terminal with a single FL-9, a 60 foot heavyweight baggage car, and stainless steel parlor car, diner, and two coaches.  As passenger trains faded into history, many went through a process of shedding cars as ridership dropped and, they were finally discontinued.

    You will get more definitive answers if you narrow your time frame and railroad of interest.

 

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Posted by wojosa31 on Wednesday, January 16, 2019 6:52 PM

The Reading Crusader consisted of five Budd Built cars, two Observation-coaches, two coaches and a mid train diner. This consist ran from Philadelphia and Jersey City from 1937 to 1962, when it was replaced by a three car RDC consist

The Central of Georgia, ran the Nancy Hanks and the Man of War, both were 4 car streamliners.

The B&O Cincinnatian Train, a home built streamliner, initially ran a five car consist between Washington and Cincinnati OH. 

Most original Metroliners ran with a four car consist, a parlor car, a snack bar coach and two full coaches. Full consists increased the train size by two cars.

Amtrak's Keystone service consists averaged three coaches, either conventional or Amfleet, behind a P42.

There are numerous other examples, including two Model Railroader articles about "Pike Sized Trains".

Boris

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Posted by gmpullman on Wednesday, January 16, 2019 7:07 PM

Hi and Welcome

As mentioned there were several MR articles about "Vest-pocket" streamliners or Pike-Sized passenger trains.

In one of the replies to this earlier thread there is a rather comprehensive list of smaller passenger trains:

http://cs.trains.com/mrr/f/88/p/203072/2219680.aspx

 

Hope that helps, Ed

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Posted by Heartland Division CB&Q on Wednesday, January 16, 2019 8:19 PM

Note: .... Moving this thread to the prototype section likely means the origanal poster will not see it. ... He is a new forum member.... 

 

I will post anyhow. 

 

CRH380AL ... Welcome to the forum.... Feel free to continue psoting here. 

You asked about short passenger trains. ... Model Railroader calls them "Pike Sized Passenger Trains". Over the years, they have published manyrticles about them. I suggest you get their book on sale at kalmbach for some ideas. ...https://kalmbachhobbystore.com/product/digital-download/mrpdf024 ..... (It is a downloadable product )  ...... Prior to Amtrak, railroads across the country operated the short trains you are envisioning. Typically, they traveled 500 miles or less. 

My favorite is the Kansas City Zephyr. .... Below is my model of the KCZ. 

GARRY

HEARTLAND DIVISION, CB&Q RR

EVERYWHERE LOST; WE HUSTLE OUR CABOOSE FOR YOU

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Posted by dehusman on Wednesday, January 16, 2019 9:01 PM

RDG Crusader.

5 car set with a obs car at either end.  Consist was bi-directional.  Original consiste was a streamlined stainless steel clad pacific with a tender fairing the enclosed the "front " obs end.  All you did was turn the engine and put it on the other end of the train and its was good to go.  

Later used an A-A set of F units.

 

Dave H. Painted side goes up. My website : wnbranch.com

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Posted by dti406 on Thursday, January 17, 2019 7:45 AM

The Wabash Bluebird - St. Louis to Chicago

Engine, Baggage, 3 Dome Coaches, 1 Diner, 1 Dome Obersvation.  With E-units only one engine, with PA's they ran with two engines.

Rick Jesionowski

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Rule 3: Illuminating discussion of prototype history, equipment and operating practices is always welcome, but in the event of visitor-perceived anacronisms, detail descrepancies or operating errors, consult RULE 1!

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Posted by xboxtravis7992 on Thursday, January 17, 2019 12:15 PM

Here's another great shorty passenger train; the connection from Salt Lake City to Ogden on the Rio Grande Zephyr. Three or four cars and a regularly scheduled foreign road (SP) unit pulling it on DRGW trackage (photo source from Marty Bernard here: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=2022723071352953&set=a.1441806412777958&type=3&theater )

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Posted by gmpullman on Thursday, January 17, 2019 2:01 PM

NHTX
You will get more definitive answers if you narrow your time frame and railroad of interest.

Good advice.

And there's this:

 ATSF_26_Clovis by Edmund, on Flickr

Roger P. Uta photo

Santa Fe #26 at Clovis, N.M. August '67. A nice Warbonnet PA on the head-end.

Good Luck, Ed

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Posted by Renegade1c on Thursday, January 17, 2019 2:29 PM

The Rio Grande had several short passenger trains they ran other than the one from Salt lake to Ogden as mentioned above. 

There was also the Prospector and the Yampa Valley Mail. The Rio Grande would scale their trains to match ridership. Even in the last days of the Rio Grande Zephyr they would par the train down to just Dome cars if ridership was low. There are several photos out there of a 6 car Rio Grande zephyr (5 domes and a combine). 

The Yampa valley mail was generally a baggage car and a coach or dome car. 


Colorado Front Range Railroad: 
http://www.coloradofrontrangerr.com/

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Posted by selector on Friday, January 18, 2019 12:29 PM

CRH380AL

...

So is there any other short (4~8 cars) passenger trains at that time? I would guess short distance services tend to use fewer cars, but I didn't find enough record of them. And what would be a typical consist of these short trains?

Thanks.

 

There were short trains everywhere, but their make-up depended on the clientelle.  Some were locals, or commuters, headed by a 2-8-0 or a Pacific class 4-6-2.  They might have a diner included, but perhaps only 3-6 coaches if the trip were to total 60 miles between termini.   Some might be 'extras', an oversubscribed name train that needs another four cars to tag along behind by 30 minutes or so due to unusually heavy volume.

There might be a combine on a local or commuter to include an RPO and baggage.  A diner only if the train's corporation knew there was demand and that the competiton provided one that kept customers loyal. Chances are good that there might be simply coaches, as I said previously, and a snack bar/galley.  No need for a baggage car, maybe not even a combine, for all those briefcases and shopping parcels returning to the outlying townships after a day at Kresge's or Sears.

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Posted by garya on Friday, January 18, 2019 2:42 PM

The Great Northern introduced The Red River in 1950, service from St. Paul to Grand Forks via Fargo: http://www.gngoat.org/the_red_river.htm

The consist was an EMD E7, followed by a mail/baggage, 3 coaches, and a parlor/observation car.

Gary

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Posted by CRH380AL on Friday, January 18, 2019 2:47 PM

Thank you all for replying. I learnt a lot from all these information.

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Posted by wjstix on Friday, January 18, 2019 2:58 PM

Similar to the Red River was GN's Badger/Gopher between Mpls-St.Paul and Duluth-Superior. It normally ran about 5-6 cars, with an RPO/Baggage car up front, coaches, and a parlor/cafe car. In the 1940's, it was a Pullman green heavyweight train pulled by A-B sets of FTs. After the GN's E-7s failed on the Empire Builder, they often were used on the Gopher / Badger. By the later 1950's it was a streamlined train (with one or two rebuilt / repainted heavyweights) using some hand-me-down cars from the earliest streamlined Builder.

Stix
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Posted by Erik_Mag on Friday, January 18, 2019 10:57 PM

Rock Island had a couple of 3 or 4 car Rockets. Cars were baggage/kitchen/dinette, coach (or two) and observation/lounge.

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Posted by mbinsewi on Friday, January 18, 2019 11:06 PM

Yea, the Rock.  It had a train through Colorado that split up, with a cab control B unit that takes part of train to Colorado Springs, while the rest of the train went to Denver.  The two trains came back together in Denver.

I forget the name of the train.

I know this thread has inspired me to look at options for short commuter and passenger trains on my layout!

Mike.

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Posted by Erik_Mag on Saturday, January 19, 2019 12:16 AM

The train's name was the Rocky Mountain Rocket. The locomotive was the EMD model AB, which consisted of a single 1,000hp 12cyl 567 in the front half and a baggage compartment in the rear half running on a pair of three axle Blombergs. The cab end was built with a flat face to simulate the appearance of a B unit.

The train mentioned in my previous post was the 1937 edition (three car) and 1939 edition (four car) of a non-specified Rocket. The 1937 edition was hauled by an EMD model TA locomotive powered by a single 1,200hp 16cyl Winton 201A engine riding on a pair of two axle MCB trucks. The rear of the carbody on the TA was dropped down to match the height of the following cars. These Rockets could be considered RI's version of the early Zephyrs, with separable cars (though two of the cars were articulated).

Information on the model TA and AB were from RMC's Loco 1, the Diesel and the 1937/39 Rockets from Train Shed Cyclopedia #16, which reprinted selected pages from the 1943 Car and Locomotive Cyclopedia.

 

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Posted by jeffhergert on Saturday, January 19, 2019 12:34 AM

The Rocky Mountain Rocket split at Limon, CO.  The Colorado Springs section terminated/originated in Colorado Springs.  Somewhere on the Kalmbach website there are (or were) pictures of the process for combining the two sections at Limon.  For a time, there was also a Kansas City section that split/combined at Belleville KS.

The EAB6 units were found to be underpowered and a second engine block was eventually placed in the baggage section.  They finished their careers in Chicago suburban commuter service.  

Jeff 

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Posted by NHTX on Saturday, January 19, 2019 1:10 AM

     On most railroads, when a regularly scheduled train was sold out as far as space was concerned, the overflow would be handled in a train running behind the original consist by a certain time interval.  This train would keep the same schedule as the original except a set interval later. The  original consist would display green flags by day and green marker lights by night on the lead locomotive to indicate a second (or more) section(s) would be following.  This was required of each section, except the last.  During the heavy travel periods in the heyday of train travel, many premier trains would run in as many as five sections, somewhat like streetcars.  The last section running on a given schedule displayed no flags or markers, indicating it was the final train of that scheduled series.  Extra trains were just that--trains operated in addition to regular schedules.  Most extras were troop trains, camp trains, Boy Scout extras, baseball, football, race track specials, and fan trips--in other words, chartered moves.  They didn't normally adhere to a set schedule although, they were first class trains.  Extras were identified by white flags by day and white markers by night on the lead locomotive.

    As far as baggage cars, in many cases they were the only thing that kept a lot of trains in the timetables.  On many railroads, once great name trains went to oblivion as a worn out coach trailing a string of head end cars.  It was the mail and express that helped make up what was lost moving people.  Even some commuter trains carried a head end car transporting bundles of daily newspapers to the suburbs.  If there wasn't enough papers to warrant a separate car, usually the first vestibule of the first car behind the power became an impromptu express car with bundles of newspapers.  Then, Budd came along withe RDC-2 and RDC-3.

     Personal experience:  Left South Station in Boston on one night in December of 1964, maybe a week or ten days prior to Christmas, on New Haven train 185, the New Yorker bound for Penn Station, New York.  Three FL-9s, 25 head end cars, two occupied 8600 coaches, and one deadhead idling RDC-1.  No question as to what was paying the bills that night.  It was more freight train than a passenger move!

      A sight you don't see now:  Many a time we'd pull into a smaller station and, there would be a hearse from a local funeral parlor backed up to the platform with the rear door open to receive someone coming home for the final time.  Those stops were always made with a little extra care, simply out of respect.  Now UPS handles human remains, instead of Railway Express Agency.  A  vignette for a model railroad?  Occasionally?

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