California Railroad Museum in Sacramento

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California Railroad Museum in Sacramento
Posted by ROBIN LUETHE on Wednesday, June 12, 2019 5:58 PM

We visited this several days ago. While we are RR fans not all that technical about it. Docent suggested we could go through in about 90 minutes.  We took 4 hours. The volunteers were all knowledgible and fun to talk with.  Most single impressive thing was comparing a side by side early locomotive and an articulated 4-6-6-4 (IIRC), the later is simply huge. Most of the rest is impressive as well, as is the building.  And the Sacramento River, and RR swing bridge (a medium tour boat required a swing). 

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Posted by Electroliner 1935 on Wednesday, June 12, 2019 11:51 PM

Do they still have the Pullman sleeping car with the motion inducer to give the feel of the rails?

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Posted by ChuckCobleigh on Thursday, June 13, 2019 12:29 AM

The cab-forward is a 2-8-8-4 arrangement. The machine was not a compound arrangement.  And, yes, it is huge.

It's been a bit over five years since my last visit, I guess time for another trip to Sacramento.

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Posted by Backshop on Thursday, June 13, 2019 7:40 AM

Since it's a cab forward, it's actually a 4-8-8-2.

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Posted by ROBIN LUETHE on Thursday, June 13, 2019 9:17 PM

(motion inducer) They do.  And several other specialty cars, including a mail car

 

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Posted by mudchicken on Friday, June 14, 2019 7:40 AM

ROBIN LUETHE

(motion inducer) They do.  And several other specialty cars, including a mail car

 

 

While they get outside funding from the state and other outside sources, they struggle to stay open. The library and archives struggles to function at all. Go visit sooner than later.

Mudchicken Nothing is worth taking the risk of losing a life over. Come home tonight in the same condition that you left home this morning in. Safety begins with ME.... cinscocom-west
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Posted by lenzfamily on Friday, June 14, 2019 12:04 PM

mudchicken

+!

When my wife and I were there in 2015, one of the people who had worked for RPS  was the docent on the mailcar. I found it fascinating to talk with him about his work of forty years or more. He also was one of the first people of colour to work in this service. That discussion too was fascinating and a little sobering. He was a real gentleman.

The museum is a remarkable place, for sure.

Charlie

Chilliwack, BC 

 
ROBIN LUETHE

(motion inducer) They do.  And several other specialty cars, including a mail car

 

 

 

 

While they get outside funding from the state and other outside sources, they struggle to stay open. The library and archives struggles to function at all. Go visit sooner than later.

 

 

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Posted by kgbw49 on Friday, June 14, 2019 1:11 PM

As big as the Cab Forward is, the Big Boy is even bigger, of course. But the Cab Forward is a great locomotive in its own right. At 295 of them, there were more of them built than any other class of articulated, if my memory is serving me correctly. Baldwin got them right and SP loved them.

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Posted by Deggesty on Friday, June 14, 2019 1:28 PM

I agree that a Cab Forward is an impressive machine. There are, indeed, many interesting exhibits in that museum--and my wife really liked the gently rocking Pullman

Johnny

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Posted by Electroliner 1935 on Friday, June 14, 2019 4:52 PM

ROBIN LUETHE

(motion inducer) They do.  And several other specialty cars, including a mail car 

2

This last Sunday, we went to the Illinois Railway Museum and watched a demonstration of an RPO exchanging mail at about 30 mph. E-9 BN-3 led two heavyweight cars,an RPO / Express  car and a coach /baggage car and the clerk kicked out a mail pouch and grabbed a mail pouch from the holder. That had been a regular event until the middle sixties.  When the postal service killed mail by rail, it doomed most passenger trains. When I was dating the girl that I married, her home was 100 miles North of Cincinnati. I would drive to the Winton Place station (first stop 10 minutes out of CUT) and hand a letter to the RPO clerk on the B&O Detroit bound overnight train and she would have it the next day (her father was a postmaster) in a smaal town East of Sidney OH. That was in1959. 

Also ,Winton Place had seven* overnight trains  in the morning that discharged mail for all the northern Cincinnati suburbs and there were over ten trucks lined up in a row and as the trains arrived, the clerks would eject the appropriate sack.Saved the time taking it down to CUT and back. That was probably a carry over from when there was multiple deliveries in a day.

* PRR Chicago

  PRR Pittsburgh

  NYC Detroit

  NYC Cleveland

  B&O Detroit

  B&O Washington DC 

  N&W Portsmouth,

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Posted by Deggesty on Friday, June 14, 2019 7:30 PM

It is, indeed, interesting to watch the exchange of mailbags when a train does not stop. When I lived in Wesson, Mississippi in the early sixties, I could watch the exchange twice a day as #3 and #4 came through town. #8 stopped about midnight, and picked northbound mail up (it may have also picked southbound mail up and left it in Jackson for #25 to deliver), and #25 stopped about 3:30 in the morning to leave mail. Some people in town complained about the blowing horn early in the morning, for there were two crossings close to the station--I never heard it, even though I lived across the street from the track and one of the crossings.

Johnny

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Posted by BaltACD on Friday, June 14, 2019 7:34 PM

Electroliner 1935
 
ROBIN LUETHE

(motion inducer) They do.  And several other specialty cars, including a mail car  

This last Sunday, we went to the Illinois Railway Museum and watched a demonstration of an RPO exchanging mail at about 30 mph. E-9 BN-3 led two heavyweight cars,an RPO / Express  car and a coach /baggage car and the clerk kicked out a mail pouch and grabbed a mail pouch from the holder. That had been a regular event until the middle sixties.  When the postal service killed mail by rail, it doomed most passenger trains. When I was dating the girl that I married, her home was 100 miles North of Cincinnati. I would drive to the Winton Place station (first stop 10 minutes out of CUT) and hand a letter to the RPO clerk on the B&O Detroit bound overnight train and she would have it the next day (her father was a postmaster) in a smaal town East of Sidney OH. That was in1959. 

Also ,Winton Place had seven* overnight trains  in the morning that discharged mail for all the northern Cincinnati suburbs and there were over ten trucks lined up in a row and as the trains arrived, the clerks would eject the appropriate sack.Saved the time taking it down to CUT and back. That was probably a carry over from when there was multiple deliveries in a day.

* PRR Chicago

  PRR Pittsburgh

  NYC Detroit

  NYC Cleveland

  B&O Detroit

  B&O Washington DC 

  N&W Portsmouth

Worked seveal stations where mail was picked up an delivered on the fly.  PO employee would arrive several minutes prior to the scheduled arrival of the train and hang the outgoing mail on the Mail Crane and then await the arrival of the train.  The RPO clerk who operated the pick up hook on the RPO would kick the incoming mail pouch off the RPO aiming for the part of the station that was defined by the Operators bay window.  The stations where I worked and on the fly mail was performed had 'track speed' of 79 MPH - the speed at which the exchanges happened.

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Posted by MidlandMike on Friday, June 14, 2019 9:19 PM

Were there incidences of passengers or other civilians on the platform when the mail sacks were tossed off the moving train?

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Posted by BaltACD on Friday, June 14, 2019 9:22 PM

MidlandMike
Were there incidences of passengers or other civilians on the platform when the mail sacks were tossed off the moving train?

Stations I was working where mail was handled on the fly were not passenger stops.  Very little to no foot traffic and no passenger platform.

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Posted by Miningman on Friday, June 14, 2019 10:18 PM

So 7 overnight trains everyday in 1959 as posted by Electroliner

Electroliner 1935
 
ROBIN LUETHE

(motion inducer) They do.  And several other specialty cars, including a mail car  

This last Sunday, we went to the Illinois Railway Museum and watched a demonstration of an RPO exchanging mail at about 30 mph. E-9 BN-3 led two heavyweight cars,an RPO / Express  car and a coach /baggage car and the clerk kicked out a mail pouch and grabbed a mail pouch from the holder. That had been a regular event until the middle sixties.  When the postal service killed mail by rail, it doomed most passenger trains. When I was dating the girl that I married, her home was 100 miles North of Cincinnati. I would drive to the Winton Place station (first stop 10 minutes out of CUT) and hand a letter to the RPO clerk on the B&O Detroit bound overnight train and she would have it the next day (her father was a postmaster) in a smaal town East of Sidney OH. That was in1959. 

Also ,Winton Place had seven* overnight trains  in the morning that discharged mail for all the northern Cincinnati suburbs and there were over ten trucks lined up in a row and as the trains arrived, the clerks would eject the appropriate sack.Saved the time taking it down to CUT and back. That was probably a carry over from when there was multiple deliveries in a day.

* PRR Chicago

  PRR Pittsburgh

  NYC Detroit

  NYC Cleveland

  B&O Detroit

  B&O Washington DC 

  N&W Portsmouth

... so If this existed today the freight lines would howl about congestion coming out of their ears. Also I believe the freight trains were more numerous than today and more local switching and such. My, how on earth did they do it?... and all this without all the fancy schmancy digital world. I also suspect it was even more so during the war years into the early fifties. 

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Posted by Backshop on Saturday, June 15, 2019 6:57 AM

They did "howl".  How many "train off" petitions did railroads have in the late 50s for their money losing passenger operations?

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Posted by Electroliner 1935 on Saturday, June 15, 2019 1:13 PM

Miningman

So 7 overnight trains everyday in 1959 as posted by Electroliner

Electroliner 1935
 
ROBIN LUETHE

(motion inducer) They do.  And several other specialty cars, including a mail car  

This last Sunday, we went to the Illinois Railway Museum and watched a demonstration of an RPO exchanging mail at about 30 mph. E-9 BN-3 led two heavyweight cars,an RPO / Express  car and a coach /baggage car and the clerk kicked out a mail pouch and grabbed a mail pouch from the holder. That had been a regular event until the middle sixties.  When the postal service killed mail by rail, it doomed most passenger trains. When I was dating the girl that I married, her home was 100 miles North of Cincinnati. I would drive to the Winton Place station (first stop 10 minutes out of CUT) and hand a letter to the RPO clerk on the B&O Detroit bound overnight train and she would have it the next day (her father was a postmaster) in a smaal town East of Sidney OH. That was in1959. 

Also ,Winton Place had seven* overnight trains  in the morning that discharged mail for all the northern Cincinnati suburbs and there were over ten trucks lined up in a row and as the trains arrived, the clerks would eject the appropriate sack.Saved the time taking it down to CUT and back. That was probably a carry over from when there was multiple deliveries in a day.

* PRR Chicago

  PRR Pittsburgh

  NYC Detroit

  NYC Cleveland

  B&O Detroit

  B&O Washington DC 

  N&W Portsmouth

... so If this existed today the freight lines would howl about congestion coming out of their ears. Also I believe the freight trains were more numerous than today and more local switching and such. My, how on earth did they do it?... and all this without all the fancy schmancy digital world. I also suspect it was even more so during the war years into the early fifties.  

For the entire day, this double track line had about 26 passenger trains and I would estimate about 20 freight trains. Everything heading North and East of Cincinnati. Freight transfers between C&O, L&N and Southern to NYC. Through B&O freight trains to/from the East and the North. It was a great place to watch activity. And one other thing was that the B&O trains to Detroit had to make a back up move just East of Winton Place to transfer from the B&O east/west line to the CH&D line. There was NA tower that controled the junction of the NYC and the B&O plus the connection to the CH&D. Shell of the forlorn tower still exists and can be seen from I-75 but former B&O toward the east is now regional I&O single track. Fo. rmer NYC is now NS toward Dayton. CSX installed a double track connection between the CH&D and the B&O in the seventies and raised the tracks where Winton Place station had been. Clifton Ave became an underpass having previously been a manned grade crossing. Depot was relocated to Sharon Woods Park. 

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Posted by gmpullman on Sunday, June 16, 2019 12:19 PM

I thoroughly enjoyed my visit there in 2003:

Enjoy, Ed

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Posted by Flintlock76 on Sunday, June 16, 2019 1:00 PM

That's a nice bit of film-making Mr. Pullman, my compliments!

And you didn't forget the old show-biz rule...

"Always leave them wanting more!"

Thanks for posting!

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Posted by LAWRENCE W PERRIGO on Tuesday, June 25, 2019 10:33 PM

Electroliner 1935

Do they still have the Pullman sleeping car with the motion inducer to give the feel of the rails?

 

[quote user="Electroliner 1935"]

Do they still have the Pullman sleeping car with the motion inducer to give the feel of the rails?

 

[/q

Electroliner 1935

Do they still have the Pullman sleeping car with the motion inducer to give the feel of the rails?

 

[quote user="Electroliner 1935"]

Do they still have the Pullman sleeping car with the motion inducer to give the feel of the rails?

 

[It has been 12 months since I have seen the Pullman car with the motion and sounds, but I have seen it every year for 20 years.  CSRM is a fringe benefit when we live 800 miles away and have family in the area.]

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Posted by kkriege on Wednesday, June 26, 2019 9:27 AM
Yes. I was there in May 2019. Still in service
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Posted by kkriege on Wednesday, June 26, 2019 9:28 AM
Yes still part of display
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Posted by mersenne6 on Monday, July 01, 2019 3:16 PM

...and here's what it was like way back when for that first day on the job as a mail clerk on one of the mail cars...

Working the Railway Mail- My First Run
 
   "My first duty was to take into the car some tons of Kansas paper mail... I had less than five minutes; but I did it somehow, though every nerve was quivering and my breath seemed gone forever.  Just
as I finished: 'Here, feller,' said a superior clerk, 'face this mail up in station order.'  I didn't know the order of stations; but believing that hesitancy would be punished as mutiny, I tackled those huge stalls... A lurch of the car threw me off my feet and an enormous sack pinned me down.  I was rescued by the superior clerk,  thoroughly disgusted:-'Guess embroidery work would suit YOU better!' But he turned in and helped; for we were approaching Mount Pleasant and there were still scores of sacks to be sorted.
 
   These preliminaries finished, I was ushered back into the second car, where my patriotism was put to the test of dragging mail to the opposite end, lifting it to the tables, 'setting it up' piece by
piece for the convenience of the swiftly throwing distributor.  Before we reached Ottumwa, the glamour and glory of my dreams had departed, in company with the spotlessness of my shirt sleeves and bosom.  I was dizzy and faint; the cars were dark with smoke and dust, and the whole scene inside seemed an endless tangle of pouches, sacks, and pigeon holes, these presided over by perspiring demons whose flying hands kept the air alive with packages and bundles, the while mumbling a jargon, concerning routes and connections, which was all Fiji to me.  Other demons rushed up and down the aisles, dragging behind them bags which anon they hurled from the train and snatched others as though by magic from the winds without.
 
   The noise was deafening, myriad switches crashed alarmingly beneath the wheels, trains on other tracks suddenly and ominously rushed past, throwing me into a state of panic.  Then the roll of the train, rounding sharp curves, taxed my strength and nerve, and levied toll upon the breakfast which I had eaten in such repose and anticipation... I sank down in utter weakness on a detested sack...
 
   A new field of endeavor awaited me, however. By ukase of the clerk-in-charge I was to try the catcher, a performance which in my nervous state I mentally compared with powder making or bronco-busting. I urged my inexperience and said I was ill, but to no purpose. 'Got to learn-as well now as any time,' he replied.  'Get ready. when she whistles, spot the crane.  Just before you reach it, throw out your pouch hard and raise the catcher; the rest'll come to you.'
 
  I glanced ahead, unable to spot any crane, only switch targets, telegraph poles, and semaphores in spindling abundance, but I knew it must be there somewhere so I decided to raise the catcher in good time and wait for the 'rest to come to me.'  It came-even sooner than I expected, and with such violence that the catcher was torn from my grasp, wrenched from its socket, and disappeared entirely, leaving me dumb and paralyzed.  I had caught a semaphore post instead of the mail pouch.  Grasping the situation instantly from the crash fellow clerks yelled, 'throw it out', meaning the outgoing pouch which I held stupidly in one hand.  I quickly obeyed, and another tremendous crash and clatter followed its exit.  A glance back showed that my pouch had crashed through the station's bay window...In mute horror I
 looked at the clerk in charge...Imagine my surprise when I saw him double over a pouch rack, howling with amusement, while the other clerks made pandemonium with merriment.  It was several days before they could look at me without whooping and much longer before I could be induced to touch one of those pesky catchers"
 - E.M. Martindale
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Posted by Dr D on Tuesday, July 02, 2019 1:42 AM

mersenne6 et al.

Which reminds me of the interview I had with a retired local US Postmaster who ran the Davisburg MI post office.  Lucille Krause was nearly 100 years old at the time and we were talking about railroad mail delivery on the Grand Trunk Western Line into Detroit, MI.  As Postmaster it was her daily duty to see that the evening mail was taken regularly from the US Post Office, and the outbound bag attached to the mail crane near the Davisburg passenger station. The mail would then be retrieved "on the fly" sorted and delivered to the Royal Oak MI branch office about 30 miles distant.

At the end of one winter day she said, "We hung the bag as usual and left it to be retrieved.  The traveling RPO mail car hook pulled it and lost it!  Which was particularly unfortunate because it was late winter in April and the mail went all over the tracks and some stuck to the undercarrage of the cars.  Much of it was never recovered.  

It was particularly worrysome for many because this happened during tax season and the US Income Tax returns were in the post.  It took several weeks before all of what could be found of the mail was gathered and processed or returned damaged if at all to the sender.  Folks really did not know if their tax returns went on thru or never made it and I never did hear how the IRS responded to that particular situation.  It was just one of the everyday hazzards of US Post Office mail delivery at the time."

Yah! I understand that - I really do!  The laughter of folks who have become numb to the responsibility they ignorantly bear to the public.

She also added "Typically the system of 'on the fly' mail retreval worked flawlessly most of the time; except in this one unfortunate incident; which was the only one in my career." 

Stories from the days of steam and the US railroad RPO post office system.

-----------------

Dr. D   

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Posted by skline on Tuesday, July 02, 2019 4:24 AM
gmpullman, THANK YOU for a wonderful job on that youtube video of the California Railroad museum. Wonderful job!
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Posted by n9jig on Tuesday, July 02, 2019 7:54 AM

We were at CSRM this weekend and enjoyed it. It does not have quite the collection on display as an outdoor museum like IRM but the inside exhibits are great. It is more of a history type museum that explains what the railroads meant to the area rather than a display of artifacts like locomotives and train sets.

I was a little disappointed in that there were no large deisel locomotives on display. The excursion train was pulled by an EMD switcher on Saturday and a saddle tank steam engine Sunday.

All in all it is a great place to visit if you are in the area but I would not have driven 12 hours to do so if I wasn't already planning on being in the area. There are other attractions right in Old Sacramento to make the family happy after they put up with you going to the railroad museum.

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Posted by ROGER ADAY on Tuesday, July 02, 2019 10:27 AM
Yes they do. I always like to take my guests through this.
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Posted by guetem1 on Saturday, July 06, 2019 1:38 AM
spent many hours chatting with operators at NA Tower in the early 70's as well as GK (East Norwood) probably what let to my career in railroading today

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