Historical questions from 1953

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Historical questions from 1953
Posted by A McIntosh on Thursday, July 12, 2018 12:40 PM

The decision of the NRHS to hold the 2019 convention in Salt Lake City prompted me to seek out answers to some questions. In 1953, the year before I was born, my grandmother rode the train from our home in Summerville, SC near Charleston to visit her brother, my Uncle Harry, a mining engineer living and working in Salt Lake City. She would have boarded the Carolina Special in Summervill on the first leg of the trip. My questions are as follows:

 1. Did the Carolina Special continue through to Chicago from Cincinnatti on New York Central's Big Four? Which station would it have used in Chicago?

 2. From my Grandmother's recollection, she probably rode the Union Pacific train to Salt Lake City. Besides the City of San Francisco, what other trains on the C&NW/UP  were available? I don't have access to an Official Guide of that year. I have thought of re-tracing this route as much as it exists under Amtrak using the Silver Meteor to Capitol Limited to California Zephyr, but I may just end up flying out there, perhaps on Delta.   

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Posted by Deggesty on Thursday, July 12, 2018 1:31 PM

In February of 1953, there was an eight section five double bedrrom sleeper from Charleston to Chicago that arrived at the Central Station at 3:00 in the afternoon.

If she traveled sleeper, unless she spent the night in Chicago, she could not have taken the California Zephyr, which left the Union Station at 3:30 in the afternoon. If she traveled coach, she had to change in Cincinnati, taking either the Reilly, which gave her an hour and a half in Cincinnati and arrived in Chicago at 1:00, or the Chicago Special which gave her forty minutes more in Cincinnati and arrived in Chicago at 3:00.

The City of Los Angeles left the North Western station at 7:15 in the evening, and arrived in Salt Lake City at 7:10 the next evening, The Gold Coast left, also from the North Western station, at 8:00 in the evening, and arrived in Salt Lake City the second morning. Both trains and the CZ had coaches and a variety of sleeping accommodations.

As it is, unless she took the California Zephyr, you cannot retrace any of her route.

 

Johnny

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Posted by A McIntosh on Thursday, July 12, 2018 7:03 PM

Deggesty

In February of 1953, there was an eight section five double bedrrom sleeper from Charleston to Chicago that arrived at the Central Station at 3:00 in the afternoon.

If she traveled sleeper, unless she spent the night in Chicago, she could not have taken the California Zephyr, which left the Union Station at 3:30 in the afternoon. If she traveled coach, she had to change in Cincinnati, taking either the Reilly, which gave her an hour and a half in Cincinnati and arrived in Chicago at 1:00, or the Chicago Special which gave her forty minutes more in Cincinnati and arrived in Chicago at 3:00.

The City of Los Angeles left the North Western station at 7:15 in the evening, and arrived in Salt Lake City at 7:10 the next evening, The Gold Coast left, also from the North Western station, at 8:00 in the evening, and arrived in Salt Lake City the second morning. Both trains and the CZ had coaches and a variety of sleeping accommodations.

As it is, unless she took the California Zephyr, you cannot retrace any of her route.

 

 

Thanks for the reply. I believe my Dad would have helped make the travel arrangements and would have insisted that his mother, my grandmother, travel in a Pullman.

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Posted by timz on Friday, July 20, 2018 12:23 PM

In 10/53 the Carolina Spec arrived Cincinnati at 0700 EST. Out of Chicago she would want the City of LA leaving at 1915 or the CZ leaving at 1530 -- so why not take PRR's Red Bird leaving Cincinnati at 0830 and arriving Chicago 1350? Then you can get the CZ at the same station.

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Posted by daveklepper on Monday, July 23, 2018 1:14 AM

Obviouxly,she might prefer to stay in the same Pullman all the way to Chicago, rather than have a second change in Cincinnati.   Parmelee made change of stations in Chicago easy for through passengers at the time, and the Parmelee transfer would have been included in her ticket price at no extra cost.

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Posted by BaltACD on Monday, July 23, 2018 7:45 AM

daveklepper
Obviouxly,she might prefer to stay in the same Pullman all the way to Chicago, rather than have a second change in Cincinnati.   Parmelee made change of stations in Chicago easy for through passengers at the time, and the Parmelee transfer would have been included in her ticket price at no extra cost.

Remembered that there was a company that facilitated quick and easy transitions between the various stations in Chicago but couldn't come up with the name Parmelee.  

The various terminals in Chicago would have required a WHOLE LOT of walking and being with baggage it would have been out of the question expecting people to do it.  Parmelee was the company that took the pain away from travelers and let Chicago become a passenger 'mixing center' that worked for the benefit of all the railroads.

         

Never too old to have a happy childhood!

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Posted by Deggesty on Monday, July 23, 2018 8:16 AM

I also did not think about Parmalee.

There was a transfer service in New Orleans; in 1953 I came in from Baton Rouge on the GCL, and left for Birmingham on the Southern. Since I was riding on a pass, I paid the driver for the transportation.

Johnny

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