3 and 2 seating

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3 and 2 seating
Posted by daveklepper on Wednesday, August 30, 2017 5:01 AM

The latest Rail Passione magazine from France details the new bilevel Paris suburban coaches.  2nd class has 3 and 2 seating on both levels.  1st class 2 and 2.

Who and when intoduced 3 and 2 seaing?  I don't remember it in any of the pre-WWII commuter equipment.   Was it introduced by the Rock's post-war single-level commuter cars?  By the NY Central's 1000-series post-WWII air-conditioned cars and by similar cars for the LIRR?  The New Haven's Washboards and PRR-REading Silverliners came a bit later.

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Posted by CSSHEGEWISCH on Wednesday, August 30, 2017 6:50 AM

3-2 seating never really showed up in the Chicago area.  South Shore experimented with it in one coach but it got a negative response so it never expanded.  The Chicago railroads went for bi-level gallery coaches rather than 3-2 single-level coaches when they re-equipped.

The daily commute is part of everyday life but I get two rides a day out of it. Paul
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Posted by NKP guy on Wednesday, August 30, 2017 10:46 AM

   With my tongue firmly in my cheek I posit:

       That this is a proofing error; you must mean 3 IN 2 seating, meaning in 3 people in 2 seats, as was proposed a few weeks ago by some misguided, well-paid manager at Amtrak.

   Now, with my tongue out of  mycheek:

       When I ride the LIRR or MetroNorth I find such 3-abreast seating crowded beyond comfort.  

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Posted by pajrr on Wednesday, August 30, 2017 4:03 PM

On NJT usually the middle seats go empty. They are a waste of space. The 3 - 2 seating makes the aisles narrower

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Posted by timz on Wednesday, August 30, 2017 4:28 PM

Dunno if they were first, but weren't the NYS&W Budd coaches 3-2? And yeah, I suspect the Rock Island center-door single-level 100-seaters (?) were too.

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Posted by Firelock76 on Wednesday, August 30, 2017 6:42 PM

timz

Dunno if they were first, but weren't the NYS&W Budd coaches 3-2? And yeah, I suspect the Rock Island center-door single-level 100-seaters (?) were too.

 

The Budd coaches purchased by the Susquehanna in 1951 were indeed 3-2 seating.  These were bench seats, and according to "Susquehanna Trackside"  by Walter Zullig most passengers said they were really 2 1/2 by 1 1/2, those benches being a bit on the narrow side. 

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Posted by daveklepper on Thursday, August 31, 2017 8:58 AM

I think the Central's and the LIRR's first postwar MUs came in 1948 and had the  3-and-2s.  The LIRR's eventually became trailers for push-pull service when the sufficienet M-1's and high-platforms took over the electric service, by around 1970-1972.  But the Central's 1000's ran as MUs until withdrawn around 1975.

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Posted by timz on Thursday, August 31, 2017 12:09 PM

I was wrong about the Rock Island 100-seat single-level cars-- they were 2-2. So first looks to be the NY Central 4500s that appeared in 1950-51; the NYS&W Budds were in 1951 and LIRR was later than that.

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Posted by Warren J on Saturday, September 09, 2017 3:42 PM

All single-level MARC trains are 3/2 seating; these were the first cars to appear after the retirement of the old Penn and B&O cars the MTA inherited when it took over the commuter network.  All the newer bi-level cars are 2/2 seating.

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Posted by jarodlan on Tuesday, September 12, 2017 9:45 AM

In Norway, a bit far off, all EMU commuter trains use 3+2 seating to provide seats for as many passengers as possible. Bilevel coaches are not used, mainly due to the OHL height. Carriages are 10' 2" wide. In long distance coaches 2+2 seating is the norm.

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Posted by NKP guy on Tuesday, September 12, 2017 2:38 PM

   Does anyone here recall riding in Parlor Cars?  That was a wonderful train riding experience!

   Parlor Cars are the antidote to 3 - 2 seating;  as long as I can buy a ticket to ride in the Parlor Car, they can make the seating in coaches 8 - 8, for all I care.

   Railroad travel, even for commuters, ought to provide a pleasant level of comfort.  Notice how in Europe even subway cars often feature fabric covered seats, while in the US our seats, especially in 3 - 2 style, are made from molded polymers.

   Which way to the Parlor Cars, please?

 

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Posted by Deggesty on Tuesday, September 12, 2017 4:02 PM

Yes, a parlor car seat was quite different from even two and two coach seats. My first ride in a parlor came one day when I rode up to Jackson, Mississippi, from Brookhaven in an IC parlor that had been substituted for the regular observation car on the City of New Orleans. My next experience was on the same stretch of track, but in the IC parlor that was operated on one set of the Panama's equipment after one of the Pullman observation cars was wrecked (I do not remember if it was Gulfport or Memphis that was wrecked). I did not get to enjoy a reclining rotating seat long on that trip, though, for the conductor (I do not remember if it was C.Y. Penn or his brother--they held that job between McComb-New Orleans-Canton-McComb) invited me into the drawing room for conversation with him and the flagman.

At one time or another, I rode in other railroads' parlors--GM&O, Milwaukee, New Haven (one and two seating), Pennsylvania (operated by Pullman), and an Amtrak train between Washington and Back Bay.

Johnny

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Posted by CSSHEGEWISCH on Wednesday, September 13, 2017 6:50 AM

A parlor car is quite uncommon on a suburban train, the length of the trip is just too short.  It would also be an expensive commute, what with a first class fare plus a seat charge.

Parlor Car East on LIRR is primarily a weekend-only operation to the east end of Long Island, not a daily operation.

The daily commute is part of everyday life but I get two rides a day out of it. Paul
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Posted by pajrr on Wednesday, September 13, 2017 4:13 PM

The Lackawanna had "subscription" club cars starting on their MU's in 1931. Specific commuter trains had these members only cars on them, complete with bar and attendant. Pssengers would buy a monthly or yearly pass to ride these cars. They had chairs and couches. The bar would serve coffee and pastries on the inbound morning trips. These were popular with bank and corporate executive types.

 

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Posted by Firelock76 on Wednesday, September 13, 2017 6:01 PM

I, well we, Lady Firestorm and I have only ridden a parlor car once.  It was in 2000 on the Durango & Silverton run from, well, Durango to Silverton and back.

Let me tell you, if you're ever going to ride that line spend the extra money and ride the parlor car, it's worth it!

Imagine our thrill when we saw the article in "Classic Trains" last year about Lucius Beebe and Charles Clegg's chartered narrow-gauge excursion through Colorado back in the 50's!  We rode in Lucius' car!

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Posted by RTroy on Sunday, October 08, 2017 10:17 PM

Selected LIRR passengers have had the pleasure of riging in the 3 and 2 MARC antiques over the summer, and even more when LIRR supposedly 'overhauls' their C3 car fleet.  The seeting is pretty much worn out, the AC sort of works, which should make these MARC rejects feel right at home on Long Island.  But hey, at least some of them get to start out their evening runs at a reject LIRR station - HPA Hunters Point Avenue, where when you walk on the rotted out wooden platform extensions you bounce up and down.

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Posted by Dave Phelps on Monday, October 16, 2017 4:02 PM

The LIRR's "first" postwar MUs were the double-deckers, which were 2-2.  Next was a small order of single-level, 85 ft. cars circa 1953 +/- which were the LIRR's first 3-2 cars.  The big 1955 order was all 3-2.

Dave Phelps

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Posted by MidlandMike on Monday, October 16, 2017 7:42 PM

According to Middleton, the 3-2 seating was looked at as an easier way to add capacity without the complications of a split-level double-decker. 

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