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Classic Railroad Quiz (at least 50 years old).

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Posted by daveklepper on Monday, May 12, 2014 12:50 PM

While we are on Pittsburgh (the other thread) I should mention that all the double-end Peter Witts that survived WWII were the lightweight variety.   But there were some heavyweight single-end Peter Witts that provided rush hours service on specific lines, even after 1700's arrived.   Which lines were these?  What was the wonderful difference in the seating arrangements (and the seats themselves) of these and cars that made them popular for railfans?   (My question)  Some were exceptions to the general rule other than PCC's and were arch-roof cars.  I don't know the numbers and someone can refresh my memory on them.

Pittsburgh was a pioneer in Peter Witt one-man safety cars, and as far as I know, none were ever two-man.  Even Brooklyn started with two-man 8000's and converted to one-man during construction of these cars.   This also might help explain why Pittsburgh did not refer to their cars as Peter Witt, because in the early '20's, when the first of the lightweights was built, a "Peter Witt" car refered to a two-man car as described on the other thread.

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Posted by daveklepper on Tuesday, May 13, 2014 10:27 AM

The arch-roof cars were the 3800's, and the older cars were 3700's, and (this I had forgotten) were railroad-roof, not deck-roof.   (The cleristory curved down in typical railroad passenger car fashion, not jus cut short.)  I am uncertain whether all the 3700's had the unusual and wonderful seating arrangement, but I know the 3800's did.   Now what was it?

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Posted by daveklepper on Tuesday, May 13, 2014 1:03 PM

My information about Pittsburgh's non-PCC cars is from Bill Vigrass, who was the project engineer and later operating manager for the PATCO Philly-Camden-Lindenwald Line, supplimenting my own multiple visits and rides in the 1949-1989 period.  In addition to the railroad-roof low-numbered 3700's, there were the deck-roof higher number 3750 and up speeded-up regular lightweight cars.   And Pittsburgh did call its lightweight pre-PCC Peter Witt cars low-floor cars.   Today the term usually refers to cars with floors only slightly above sidewalk level, 12 - 15 inches above rail hight, permitting entrance without steps from street level.  Typical lighweight cars, the single-truck Birney being the first, through PCC's, generally have a floor level of about 26-28 inches above the rail, requiring at least one step.  

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Posted by rcdrye on Tuesday, May 13, 2014 9:14 PM

So what's the new question?

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Posted by daveklepper on Tuesday, May 13, 2014 10:15 PM

Repeating the question:   What was the unusual seating arrangement in the 3800's that made them liked especially by railfans, possibly also in some 3700's?

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Posted by rcdrye on Wednesday, May 14, 2014 6:36 AM

The 3800s had the operators area slightly below the seating level.  They also had bucket seats for a kind of theater view forwards.  The front section had transverse seats, unlike many Pittsburgh Railways single-enders.  I think there was a wraparound seat in the rear, similar to many Cleveland cars.

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Posted by daveklepper on Wednesday, May 14, 2014 8:48 AM

You are correct except for the last sentance and that is the clue you need for a complete answer.  Yes, all seats were transverse, and all but one group faced forward and that is the second clue.  They were all very comfortable leather seats, better than the seats in the 1700 interurbans!

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Posted by rcdrye on Wednesday, May 14, 2014 9:29 AM

daveklepper
Yes, all seats were transverse, and all but one group faced forward and that is the second clue.  They were all very comfortable leather seats, better than the seats in the 1700 interurbans!

Then they had seats set up to allow a good view out the back.  I haven't found a diagram of the 3800 cars' seating on line, and my books are at home.

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Posted by daveklepper on Wednesday, May 14, 2014 10:33 AM

Correct, the rear was set up like a railroad Solarium car, with one group of seats, either a wide bench seat seating two or three, or three leather seats in a row acessed from the sides, facing a large rear window.

The next question is yours.

The 1700 pretty much wiped out the 3700's, but the 3800's continued to provide rush hours service, usualy short-turning at Cannonsburg, until the service beyond Drake to Charleroi and Rosco was ended.

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Posted by rcdrye on Wednesday, May 14, 2014 11:13 AM

At 24 1/2 miles, this was one of longest, as well as one of the heaviest, streetcar lines in the U.S.  Another line that shared just over 16 miles of this line ran for 6 1/2 miles under "L" structure.

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Posted by daveklepper on Wednesday, May 14, 2014 1:18 PM

Chicago's  Western Avenue or its State Street & (forget the other Avenue it ran on)     The other line ran under the Lake Street "L", probably State and Lake, but possbly there was a Western Avenue - downtown line.   Both State and Western Avenue were the main hangouts of the largest PCC streetcars built, (single-end, of course, like 95% of the total PCC North American production) with three doors on the right side, two-man, rear boading if I remember correctly.

Both the State & ? and the Western Avenue lines were long north-south lines, and I think both went north as far as the boarder with Evanston.

If I remember correcdtliy, the main use of the prewar PCC's was on Cottege Grove.   I am sure there were other lines.

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Posted by rcdrye on Wednesday, May 14, 2014 1:33 PM

Close enough.  Since you go the State part the other section was Broadway making the Broadway-State route (Through Route 36)  State-Lake was TR16.  Broadway turned west on Devon about 3/4 of a mile short of Howard, the border with Evanston.  The State portion ran south over State and Michigan to 119th and Morgan, turning on a loop via 120th.  Prewar PCCs ran on Madison when delivered, were reassigned to Cottage Grove and 63d street lines in the 1940s and 1950s. 

Western was the longest line on a single street (~ 25 miles). Western got postwar PCCs but was truncated on both ends  to about 18 miles when that happened.

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Posted by daveklepper on Thursday, May 15, 2014 2:53 AM

My New Question:   From sometime in the 1920's to about October 1950, on a Boston street with street trackage and trolley wire, several times a month, on a weekday early morning, around 2am or so, one could see a very weird sight.    A four car train of rapid transit cars, with third rail shoes and no trolley pole or pantograph, being pulled or pushed by a trolley-pole equipped work motor, usually a differential crane or side-dump ballast workmotor, or the train running under its own power with a trainman standing at the rear train door with an insulated pole with shoe contacting the trolley wire and a heavy flexible cable from the shoe to a point inside the rear car.

What was going on?   Why?  Which Street?  From where?   To where?   What started this?   What ended it in October 1950?

 

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Posted by NorthWest on Thursday, May 15, 2014 10:03 PM

Going to use some modern day brand names here-

The Blue Line lacked a car maintenance shop, and so the cars would be transferred from the connection to the streetcar network near Russell Street, and hauled along the streetcar tracks to a connection to the Red Line, and the Eliot Street Shops. When  the Blue Line had its own shops built, the trackage was removed.

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Posted by daveklepper on Friday, May 16, 2014 3:29 AM

100% and the next question is yours.  My error, 1952, not 1950.   The present Blue line was oriinally a trolley tunnel, and cars from East Boston, as far north as Day square, Orient Heights (beyond was then Bay State Electric, then Eastern Mass. territory) ran through each way to and from Harvard Square using the outer two (in the roadways) of the then four tracks on Longfellow Bridge., running either via Broadway or Main Street, Central Square, and Massachusetts Avenue in Cambridge, and this service was retained after the present Red Line began rapid transit service on the inner two, isolated, Loongfellow Bridge tracks.  Whe the East Boston Tunnel was converted to third rail rapid transit, double track from the Russel Street incline on Cambridge Street was retained to Charles Circle, coombining to the westbound, north, track on Longfellow Bridge,  A sliding fence gate had been installed previously with a crossover between this north track and the westbound track of the present Red Line approximately at the center of the bridge.  This was the connection used for the movement I described.

Streetcars from Cambrdige that used to run over Longfellow Bridge were terminated at Kendalll Station, and were among the first bus conversions.  Streetcars from Esst Boston were terminated at Mavrick Station, and this operation expanded to include most former Chelsie and Revere Eastern Massachusetts lines in 1935.   All but one of these Mavarick-based streetcar lines lasted until the 1952 extension and shop opening.

All third rail Boston rapid transit lines had trolley wire in the tunnels, but not uually on elevated and open air protions of the lines.  Exception was the Longfellow Bidge, which had trollley wire over all active tracks.

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Posted by NorthWest on Friday, May 16, 2014 7:11 PM

This streamlined train, discontinued before 1960, was partially operated by electric locomotives for a portion of its life. An unrelated modern train has a similar name and serves one of the end points. What is the name of this train?

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Posted by NorthWest on Saturday, May 17, 2014 10:01 PM

This train only lasted as a streamliner for 5 years before being discontinued.

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Posted by NP Eddie on Saturday, May 17, 2014 10:20 PM

Is this the "Olympian Hiawatha"?  I regret not being old enough to ride it.

Ed Burns

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Posted by NorthWest on Saturday, May 17, 2014 11:17 PM

Nope, but you've got the right geographical area.

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Posted by NP Eddie on Sunday, May 18, 2014 9:44 AM

Northwest:

The only other road I can think of is the Great Northern.  Would be the train be the "Cascadian"?

Ed Burns

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Posted by NorthWest on Sunday, May 18, 2014 10:22 AM

Yes! Your question.

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Posted by NP Eddie on Sunday, May 18, 2014 4:31 PM

Again I am honored!

The Minneapolis, Northfield, and Southern Railroad was a 45.2 railroad from Minneapolis to Northfield, MN. They were an aggressive "bridge line" between the various Class 1's in Minneapolis to the RI, CNW, and CGW.

A 1948 OG shows off-line traffic offices in New York City, San Francisco, Seattle, etc. in order to capture revenue for the MNS. In Minneapolis, Tony Babich was the main MNS traffic man. He bought lunches, etc. to bring revenue to his railroad.

The MN&S had two nicknames. What were they?

I remember checking the MNS interchange with two car inspectors. They showed me the fine points of inspection of freight cars.

Ed Burns

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Posted by efftenxrfe on Sunday, May 18, 2014 7:44 PM

I don't think it was a "nickname" cause I think it was  advertised as the "Dan Patch Line." Sort of formal, not casual.

Another name.....no idea.

Fun topic tho.' Advertising, common public, and railfan nicknames for railroads or.....

  Ya' know, like, the "Late Invariably" for the LIRR.

The "to Hell & back" for the TH&B;

"Old & Weary" for the NYO&W;

"Big New Santa Fe" for the BNSF

and_____

You're inspiring, Ed.

TNX

30 

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Posted by KCSfan on Monday, May 19, 2014 5:39 AM

High Line (or Highland Line) in addition to the Dan Patch Line.

Mark

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Posted by NP Eddie on Monday, May 19, 2014 10:44 AM

Nope--both are incorrect.  I will give the answers on Friday, so keep on guessing.

 

Ed Burns

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Posted by rcdrye on Wednesday, May 21, 2014 11:15 AM

Minneapolis Belt

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Posted by NP Eddie on Wednesday, May 21, 2014 11:52 AM

Rob:

Nope--nice try. I will give you the answers on Friday.

Ed Burns

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Posted by NP Eddie on Thursday, May 22, 2014 12:25 PM

Rob and all:

Today is Thursday and I will be busy Friday.

The Northern Pacific yard clerks at Northtown (Fridley) called the MN&S the Mighty Nice, and Smooth and the "Monkey Nuts". Not sure how the second one was coined.

Ed Burns

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Posted by daveklepper on Thursday, May 22, 2014 4:09 PM

So ask another question!

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Posted by NP Eddie on Sunday, May 25, 2014 1:25 PM

Dave, Rob, and All:

Hope all are having a great Memorial Day weekend.

This question is about last passenger trains runs.

I rode the last CNW 400 out of Minneapolis, the last CGW Omaha train into Minneapolis, and the last SOO Minneapolis to Duluth and back passenger train.  Very sad, but a lot of memories!

What are some of the last runs did you ride??

I was on a CBQ 5632 fan trip when the 5632 ran out of fuel at Alma, WI and the 5632 fan trip when the MILW derailed at St. Croix Tower, Minnesota. We (and the NCL, EB, and us arrived in Minneapolis about 630AM on Monday morning!. Both stick in my mind as adventures for a teenager.

Ed Burns

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