Muldtiple sections of pre-1938 20th Century Lmtd. Question

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Muldtiple sections of pre-1938 20th Century Lmtd. Question
Posted by daveklepper on Tuesday, May 01, 2018 7:57 AM

When multiple sections of the heavyweight Century were run, was there an effort to have the 1st section arrive early so the last could arrive on-time or nearly on-time?   Anyone old enough to remember or even have the experience or learn from someone who did?

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Posted by matthewsaggie on Tuesday, May 01, 2018 8:35 PM

I remember reading of an Advance 20th Century running 20 minutes ahead of time.

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Posted by BaltACD on Tuesday, May 01, 2018 9:03 PM

I can't imagine the 7th Section arriving destination at the scheduled time for the First section - purely from a operating viewpoint.  UNLESS there was a large amount of slop in the schedule, and for the 20th Century Limited I doubt there was much if any slop time.

         

Never too old to have a happy childhood!

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Posted by rcdrye on Wednesday, May 02, 2018 6:18 AM

The Advance 20th Century Limited was a different train with its own numbers, and often ran in several sections as well. In the pre-1947 world, trains often ran at full speed "on the yellows", a practice that was forbidden after WW II.  The real limiter for section timing was track availability, with Harmon (Croton-Harmon), Buffalo and Collinswood (Cleveland) stops for engine change and fueling, requiring the services of many carmen to check and inspect equipment during the trains' service stops.  LaSalle street was also tight, so the first sections in would have to be pulled before the last ones could get platform space.

The Century's operation was helped immensely by not having to run in "dark" territory which meant that the timetable was more of a guideline and not as important as a safety device.  Most railroads preferred to have early sections leave ahead of the public schedule, as arrival time was more valued by passengers.  In the case of the Century this was often accompanied by the first section carrying the RPO and most of the checked baggage.  All seven sections would have been bunched within about a half hour window.

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Posted by daveklepper on Wednesday, May 02, 2018 7:12 AM

In asking the question, I had forgotten about nake-up time.  For example, the time from Harmon (later Croton-Harmon) to GCT was shown in the timetable as five to seven minutes longer than GCT to Harmon.  This could mean that the 1st Section would arive early if all went well, and the second on-time, even without an advanced setion as a separate train.

I think the best example I did experience was the operating of the Super and the El Cap when separate trains but shown as the same time in the timetable for the seasons when they were run combined.  Genrally, the Super did get to LA Union some ten minutes ahead of time, with the El Cap just a few minuutes early or on-time.

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Posted by Miningman on Wednesday, May 02, 2018 8:48 AM

Re: rcdrye--That is totally amazing. Now THAT is precision railroading.

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Posted by 54light15 on Wednesday, May 02, 2018 9:18 AM

If you wanted to travel on the Century, could you ask to be on a specific section? How did ticketing work for a multiple-section train? 

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Posted by Gramp on Wednesday, May 02, 2018 9:01 PM

What a wonder it must have been to stand next to the Central's "boulevard of steel" in its prime, watching several sections of the Century storm by.

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Posted by Overmod on Thursday, May 03, 2018 3:12 AM

Perhaps far more a wonder was to ride the observation platform of one of the leading sections and observe the headlight of the following one, often clearly in view not that far back ... accounts include how easy it was to make out the exhaust plume of the turbogenerator when daylight permitted.

It is difficult to imagine such a thing in the absence of automatic train stop, although I have to wonder greatly if the functional 'safety' of the inductive ATS was essentially limited if 'running on the yellows' involved some regular use of the forestaller.  I have mentioned in the past the British practice of running at high speed to schedule in pea-soup fogs, another triumph of mechanical faith.

As an aside, I remember being able to watch following trains, at some speed, on the IND lines in Manhattan; these were D trains being switched in behind A trains and the large luminous D could show up in the occasional nightmare, it seemed that close.

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Posted by daveklepper on Thursday, May 03, 2018 11:21 AM

who blew up my mug so large?

Please put it back to the regular size and post whatever I had to say in the posting.

Is it the moderator's fault or some glitch in the sysem?

I think the normal size portrait satisfies any curiousity as to what I looked like while riding North American rails.

Anyway, thanks for any repair job that you can do.

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Posted by charlie hebdo on Thursday, May 03, 2018 11:36 AM

Overmod
As an aside, I remember being able to watch following trains, at some speed, on the IND lines in Manhattan; these were D trains being switched in behind A trains and the large luminous D could show up in the occasional nightmare, it seemed that close.

I recall seing something similar while riding on the L in Chicago.

The CB&Q Naperville crash of the Exposition Flyer into the the rear of the stopped Advance Flyer in 1946 at 80 mph, 45 dead, 125 injured. This led to the Burlington increasing the headway from 2 minutes to 15 minutes. 

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Posted by David Lassen on Thursday, May 03, 2018 3:03 PM

Nothing changed here, and it looks the same on my screen, Dave.

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Posted by rcdrye on Thursday, May 03, 2018 6:49 PM

54light15

If you wanted to travel on the Century, could you ask to be on a specific section? How did ticketing work for a multiple-section train? 

 

Pullman would have a diagram card for every car assigned to each section of the Century.  The cars would have a designation for train ("Line" to Pullman), section and car number.  Since the number of sections changed from day to day it might be possible to ask for a particular one, but no guarantees.

The various Chicago "L" lines used "spacing boards" placed between the tracks to maintain spacing.  If an operator (on the right side of the car) could see a spacing board past the left corner of the car ahead, he had enough room to stop at posted track speed.

http://www.chicago-l.org/operations/signals/signals.html#boards

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Posted by daveklepper on Friday, May 04, 2018 1:11 AM

Third Avenue Elevated, indeed all four Manhattan elevateds, were not signalled on the local tracks except at interlocings.  Trains proceeded on sight, like streetcars.  Top speed was only about 30 mph, in this service, however.

Since the enlargement of my picture icon has yet to be corrected, what I wished to post where the enlargement is shown, is the idea that perhaps the just-before-terminal makeup time solved the problem.

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Posted by CSSHEGEWISCH on Friday, May 04, 2018 6:43 AM

The spacing boards on the North-South line of the L lasted well into the late 1960's on the lines south of the State Street Subway since the line was unsignalled except at junctions.

The daily commute is part of everyday life but I get two rides a day out of it. Paul

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