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Classic Railroad Quiz (at least 50 years old).

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Posted by Overmod on Monday, October 23, 2023 5:23 PM

All this time I'd been thinking it was RF&P.  Now I have to go check.

I remember that one company anticipating running sideloading container blocks to the yard was Southern Railway.  Was the yard used at some point as an overflow coach yard for some of the major Washington PRR (and NH) trains?

 

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Posted by daveklepper on Wednesday, October 25, 2023 11:40 AM

As far as I know, no passenger equipment was regularly seen in Patomic Yard.

The 11000V AC catenary was on the still-in-use two-track heavily-used Patomic River Bridge.

It did not exist in the two-track tunnel south from Washington Union Station, except about 500 feet south of the north tunnel portals, and trains using catenary power to and from Patomic Yard yard did not run through Union Station.

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Posted by rcdrye on Wednesday, November 1, 2023 9:53 AM

PRR (PW&B) owned the track on the bypass route as far as the interlocking at the north end of Pot Yard, B&O had trackage rights.  Conrail passed it to CSX when it was split up, quite a few years after CSX acquired the RF&P.  Ownership now is clearly in CSX's hands.

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Posted by daveklepper on Thursday, November 2, 2023 11:48 AM

The bypass route still exists today, as far as I know.  At 91, my memory may not be perfect;  however, my memory is that the bypass route does not extend to Patomic yard but just to the north end of the Patomic River Bridge, and was the only reason there was catenary on the bridge.  If I'm wrong, then the question is  wrong, there was no catenary on the bridge, and there was a second bridge  with catenary that still exists without it.  I'll look for it on tge web.

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Posted by daveklepper on Thursday, November 2, 2023 12:09 PM

The  freight bypass had the catenary remoived by Conrail in 1982.  it has a bridge over the Anacosta River but does not have a separate Patomic River bridge.  Ny memory is  correct.

But you still should be  able to answer the question. Railroad?

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Posted by rcdrye on Friday, November 3, 2023 6:33 AM

Strictly speaking the freight bypass was owned by the Philadelphia, Wilmington & Baltimore. Pot yard itself was owned by the RF&P, which in turn was owned by six other railroads including PRR.

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Posted by daveklepper on Sunday, November 5, 2023 6:50 PM

Amd the tracks on the "Long Bridge" and the railroad between there and Patomic Yard, which also had the  catenary and were used by the PRR and B&O freights, which railroad?

And today, Amtrak, CSX, NS, or Shared Assets?  (Not part of the question, but of interest)

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Posted by rcdrye on Monday, November 6, 2023 6:03 AM

From the point of view of the Coast Guard and the Army Corp of Engineers the Long bridge was always Baltimore & Potomac (PB&W) (PRR) after 1904.  Ownership passed to PC and then Conrail.  In the Conrail split, CSX got ownership of the bypass because NS didn't want it, though NS retains trackage rights.  C&O, Southern, and RF&P all had trackage rights on the bridge to reach Union Station.  B&O had rights on the bypass to reach Pot Yard.  PRR ownership extended to RO interlocking at the north end of Pot Yard.  The yard was owned and operated by the RF&P, itself partly owned by PRR.

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Posted by daveklepper on Tuesday, November 7, 2023 8:53 AM

Well, you taight bme something.  Your first answer, just the catenary in Patomic Yard, is the only correct answer.  I always  thought the tracks on the Liong Bridge and south to Patomic Yard was RF&P-owned., like the yard itself.  That PRR owned it is new information for me.

But I am correct that the PRR and Bn&O freight route shared the RF&P-Southern-C&O passenger route over the Long Bridge, with the freight bypass connected to the north end of that bridge.

It's logical for CSX to own the freight bypass, since it is part of the promary route from the southeast to the northeast and Canada,  Most southeast to northeast traffic on NS probably moves via Hagerstown and Harrisburg, since NS does not have its own freight route Washington - New York Harbor,  running a few trains on Amtrak.  

 Current ownership of the Bridge and tracks to Patomic Yard?  Also CSX?

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Posted by rcdrye on Tuesday, November 7, 2023 1:44 PM

CSX owns the bypass and bridge (except for the NEC connecting track, which is owned by either NS or Amtrak). Pot Yard is gone, but the former RF&P has been CSX since 1998 or so.  The State of Virginia purchased a 50% interest in the right-of-way, but has yet to start any enhancements.

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Posted by daveklepper on Wednesday, November 8, 2023 1:54 AM

Next questionm RC?

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Posted by rcdrye on Wednesday, November 8, 2023 7:31 AM

Between 1946 and 1957 there were several Pullman "lines" that were routed from New York or Washington via Chicago to San Francisco or Los Angeles.  Almost all of the cars had to be turned between connecting trains or transferred between stations. Here are a couple of questions about the service:

1.  Only one of the Chicago stations never handled any of the cars, though in the last year of through operation a train that had used that station carried a transcontinental Pullman westbound only.  Name the train.

2. Participating railroads over the period included PRR, NYC, B&O from the east and C&NW, CMStP&P, AT&SF and CRI&P from the west.  Only one railroad pair did not require turning the cars, though it did require a short transfer move.  Name the railroad pair.

NYC's decision to take over operation of its own cars was the death knell for the service, though it was probably little used in the end and missed only be the transfer crews that moved the cars.  The longest move between stations was around 9 miles, passing through about 10 interlockings.

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Posted by CSSHEGEWISCH on Wednesday, November 8, 2023 10:08 AM

For part 1, the station is Central Station and the train is the "Wolverine".

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 daveklepper on Wednesday, November 8, 2023 11:02 AM

The pair that did not require trabnsfer between stations was PRR to CNstP&P after the latter took over from C&NW the Chicago - Couincil Bluffs leg of the UP's Cities streamliners

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Posted by daveklepper on Wednesday, November 8, 2023 11:08 AM

And the longest transfer move occured only up to the C&NW to CNStP&P changeover, B&O - C&NW.

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Posted by rcdrye on Wednesday, November 8, 2023 2:16 PM

Pretty close.  The Wolverine carried a car for the City of LA in 1957 - running via Ontario!  NYC had moved the Wolverine to LaSalle from CEntral before this assignment was made.  

The longest moves were between LaSalle and C&NW's CPT, for which the cars.  went all the way out to Western Avenue before returning.  Cars between the NYC and CRI&P, and cars moving between PRR and CB&Q still had to be turned.  Cars to the CMStP&P could be handled via the bypass tracks at Union Station.

As far as I can determine from Official Guides, Cars from the B&O only went to the Santa Fe, requiring the cars to cross the Chicago River twice, on the B&OCT and 21st St. bridges. PRR and NYC swapped cars cars with CRI&P, AT&SF, C&NW and CB&Q.  I'll have to check to see if PRR and CRI&P swapped cars.

All yours.

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Posted by daveklepper on Wednesday, November 8, 2023 2:40 PM

CSS got blone right.   I got one right and one wromg.  If CSS can come up with a question, I'll be happy to give him the honor of doing so.

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Posted by rcdrye on Wednesday, November 8, 2023 3:51 PM

B&O's Shenandoah exchanged cars with the C&NW/UP/SP Gold Coast for a few years.  The service probably expired with UP's move to CMStP&P from C&NW, though a through Washington-LA sleeper (Shenandoah Westbound, Capitol Ltd eastbound, Super Chief on the AT&SF) lasted to the end of transcontinental service.  

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Posted by daveklepper on Thursday, November 9, 2023 1:04 AM

Since the move from Chicago Grand  Central to the C&NW was longer than the move from La Sall, Idid get  two right, ao hrtr goes:

Link-and-pin and Janney are not the only couplers that saw wide use in North America.  Tomlison, Westinghouse, and  a  popular European type (blocking on the name at the moment) are still in use by various transit systems and commuter railroads and ususally include integral ele3ctrical connections and often air-brake line connections.

There is another type that externally resembles link-and-pin, can be compatible with link-qand-pin, and has some of the advabntages of the Janney, but not all.   At one time nearly all Manhattan and Brooklyn Elevated trains and an area suburban railroad used it.

Name and full description, please.

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Posted by rcdrye on Thursday, November 9, 2023 8:25 AM

LaSalle to C&NW was about a half mile longer than GC to C&NW.  It could be done one of two ways, via the St Charles Air Line and the C&NW Rockwell Sub or via the bypass tracks at Union Station.  Either way got you all the way out to Western Avenue.  Grand Central to C&NW's CPT used the StCAL and the Rockwell sub west of the B&OCT bridge.  I'm pretty sure cars were wyed at Western Avenue (where the Rockwell Sub meets C&NW's Geneva Sub) in either case to get them facing the right way.  Transfer moves were handled with steam-equipped locomotives, and had cabooses for the transfer crews.

The Van Dorn coupler is the one you're looking for.  It has a link that goes between two open sockets.  Pins hold the links.  Common in the wooden car era, it survived into the 1990s and later on work equipment. 

Chicago Rapid Transit also used the Stearns and Ward coupler on North Side and Lake Street equipment.  While it had a link, one end was held by the pin and the other hooked onto its mate automatically, like a model railroad "horn hook" coupler.  S&W's could be mated with Van Dorns by substituting a special link, though that was rarely done.  A Tomlinson can take a link as well, but under normal circumstances there's no pin in the hole for the link pin. 

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Posted by daveklepper on Friday, November 10, 2023 3:49 AM

If you inclide the moves to turn, I think GTC may be longer than LD.

Van Dorn is correct, and your description iof the Stearns and Ward seems approximately like the Van Dorn'

My recollection of the Van Dorn is that couplers themselves were just about identical to the link-and-pin couplers.  The link was what was special.  Instead of a link with two simple holes, at least one or both ends of the link had a sideways slot, with a spring element that completed the hole and  extended forward with a gathering angle.  the pin could remain in place in the receiving coupler, and as the closure was made, the pin would force the spring element open and fit into the hole as the spring closed.

This made standing between cars durimg coupling unecessary, a great step forward in safety, but it remained necessary for uncoupling.

And the coupler was useless in heavy freight service, because in such service in curve transitions, particularly reverse curves, forces could rersult in uncoupling.

RC can  correct me where my memory differs from what he knows and can ask the next question.

The modern trasnsit-system coupler that I'd blocked on Is Sharfenburg or Sharfenberg.

 

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Posted by rcdrye on Friday, November 10, 2023 6:37 AM

The Van Dorn used a solid link with holes.  Dave is correct in that the link had a slot cut in it making a sort of hook.  There was a leaf spring in the head allowing the hook to catch on a pin placed in the proper hole. 

The Stearns & Ward is almost like a small version of an MCB coupler.  CTA's heritage cars 4271 and 4272 were still equipped with them last I knew. S&W's would couple automatically.

The Scharfenburg is pretty common on transit equipment and also used on several European high-speed designs.

And finally, the distance from LaSalle to the SCAL Chicago River bridge via 16th St is 1.22 miles.  From Grand Central to the B&OCT Chicago River bridge is just about 1 mile.  The two bridges share an abutment, and the rest of the route to C&NW's CPT is the same.

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Posted by daveklepper on Friday, November 10, 2023 8:34 AM

And the next question is....

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Posted by rcdrye on Friday, November 10, 2023 9:03 AM

Later this afternoon... I need to verify something before I post it.

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Posted by rcdrye on Friday, November 10, 2023 4:54 PM

For many years, this train from Chicago to Los Angeles left the country for part of its trip.

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Posted by CSSHEGEWISCH on Saturday, November 11, 2023 10:11 AM

The only possible train that comes to mind is the RI-SP "Imperial".

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 daveklepper on Saturday, November 11, 2023 1:33 PM

Greagt question,  and I think you did get the answer.  Thanks to both of you,

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Posted by rcdrye on Saturday, November 11, 2023 7:40 PM

The Imperial (SP 39 and 40, operated jointly with CRI&P) was routed between Araz Jct. CA and Niland CA via SP's Inter-California Railroad (FC Inter-California in Mexico).  Stops were made at Los Algodones BC (Baja California) and Mexicali BC in Mexico before heading north to rejoin the Sunset Route.  The Inter-California was a low-grade alternate route for freight as well.  Trains 362 and 363 also used the route west of Yuma to carry the through coach and sleeper for San Diego via the SD&AE.  Upgrade of the Sunset Route to CTC and the improved operation with F7s and other diesels on freight made the Inter-California redundant.  The Imperial moved to the Sunset Route around 1956, shortly before the I-C was abandoned between Araz Jct. and Mexicali.  The rest of the line north of Mexicali remains to connect with the former FC Sonora-Baja California, operated today by Ferromex.  What's left of the SD&AE also connects at El Centro CA.

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Posted by CSSHEGEWISCH on Sunday, November 12, 2023 10:06 AM

I'll concede that it was an inspired guess on my part (apologies to John Cleese). For the next question, what do GE-built electrics MILW E70-E79 and NH 300-310 have in common?

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 rcdrye on Sunday, November 12, 2023 4:03 PM

The only thing I can think of, aside from both classes coming from Erie, is that both groups were built for other railroads, something rare in U.S, mainline electrifications.

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