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Classic Train Questions Part Deux (50 Years or Older)

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Posted by daveklepper on Wednesday, September 30, 2020 5:57 AM

How about a question, Zephyr?

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Posted by ZephyrOverland on Sunday, October 4, 2020 10:16 AM

In June of 1927 PRR renamed a pair of their St. Louis trains, the St. Louisian and the New Yorker, to "The Spirit of St. Louis", in recognition of the New York to Paris transatlantic flight made by Charles Lindburgh, utilizing the name of the plane for the trains revised moniker.

Two years later, a daytime train was renamed after another plane that accomplished a different areonautical feat. Name the train, the involved railroads (the train was a joint operation), and endpoints.

Extra kudos for mentioning the feat the plane accomplished.

 

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Posted by daveklepper on Sunday, October 4, 2020 1:41 PM

Yankee Clipper, NYNH&H, NY - Boston, inauguration of Pan American Airways awevixe to South America.

 

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Posted by ZephyrOverland on Sunday, October 4, 2020 2:16 PM

daveklepper

Yankee Clipper, NYNH&H, NY - Boston, inauguration of Pan American Airways awevixe to South America.

 

 

No, its not the Yankee Clipper. If you will read my original question, you will see that the train (which was a joint operation of two railroads) I'm looking for was renamed in 1929; the Yankee Clipper started in 1930. Also, the Pan American Yankee Clipper began service in 1939.

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Posted by daveklepper on Monday, October 5, 2020 1:13 AM

The Pan Am Clipper service started 1930 to South Ameruca with planes landing and taking off on water, not seaplanes, which use pontoons, but with another name that I forget where the fusalage is the main elemenet for boyancy.  The Yankee Clipper was the first of these.  I believe the 1939 date was for conversion to faster planes that used airport runways.

The Yankee Clipper ran on two railroads. the NYNH&H and NYCentral.  Clearly a New Haven train, however, and 1930 isn't 1929.

You asked a good question.

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Posted by Overmod on Monday, October 5, 2020 2:01 AM

daveklepper
The Pan Am Clipper service started 1930 to South Ameruca with planes landing and taking off on water, not seaplanes, which use pontoons, but with another name that I forget where the fuselage is the main element for buoyancy. 

The usual name is 'flying boats'.  

You have your history badly sideways.  Pan Am's Yankee Clipper was a Boeing 314, not in service until the late 1930s, long after the luxury seaplane service was established.  You're thinking of Sikorsky (S.40) -- American Clipper and Caribbean Clipper.  (In view of New Haven also introducing trains in the late '20s with names like 'Harpooner' it's pretty clear that they meant the famous ship type, not the aircraft, even though they were heavily involved with airline development at that time...)  [Of course SV "Yankee Clipper" would have been more appropriate for a NYC train namesake ... and she still would have been 'Cressida' in 1930.]

The reason for using flying boats in these years was quite simple.  Few if any of the regions Pan Am was interested in expanding to had landing facilities even suitable for their early Fokker Tri-Motors -- let alone the kind of luxury aircraft needed to appeal to the prospective clientele 'flying down to Rio'.  The cost of clearing land and then building and maintaining large airports would have been primitive even in less... interesting ... climates.

The obvious answer was to use very long stretches of water as permanent, easy-to-find, self-leveling runways, easily established at any prospective stop added to the network, or requested as a 'special' destination.  Even the need for a dock was eliminated by giving the boats "landing wheels" (which were actually used to 'taxi' the aircraft onto a simple apron so the passengers could deplane 'dry'.)

Only when regular transport aircraft became radically faster than the boats did the service model shift toward transport aircraft more suitable for continental as well as foreign coastal service.  Amusingly, while it was not practical to use turbojets on commercial flying boats, they were actually built (you don't want to know about the maintenance requirements for the engines!); meanwhile very large examples were being planned for logistic support of the prospective invasion of the Japanese home islands (Vince is no longer here to talk about the delightful Martin Mars, but everyone is familiar with the somewhat larger Hughes Hercules ... perhaps better known as the Spruce Goose...

This of course was not the glorious apogee of the flying boat.  That was reserved for Bartini's A57, an aircraft design I could not do justice to in comments here.  Let's just say that it would be highly interesting to see one built and improved through testing.  And even more highly interesting to see a passenger variant built for, I don't know, fast offshore travel to South American points ... Whistling

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Posted by CSSHEGEWISCH on Monday, October 5, 2020 12:21 PM

The current issue of "Air & Space: Smithsonian" has an article that gives October 23, 1945 as the end of the flying boat era.  On that date, an American Export Airlines (part of AA) DC-4 left La Guardia for Bournemouth by way of Boston, Gander and Shannon.

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Posted by daveklepper on Monday, October 5, 2020 3:46 PM

Fhe DC-4 was the Flying Boat version of the familiar DC-3?

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Posted by Overmod on Monday, October 5, 2020 4:34 PM

daveklepper
Fhe DC-4 was the Flying Boat version of the familiar DC-3?

Not at all; it was the C-54, the only slightly larger four-engined version of the Douglas transport aircraft.  Eminently suited to be a next-generation DST, but by then the market had moved away from "Pullman equivalent" toward a world in which all travel segments could be covered in the time between sleeps.

Note that the British banked a considerable amount of prestige and industrial effort they could ill afford to spare in the postwar '40s on precisely an apotheosis of the 'Flying Boat Experience' in travel.  They actually built and ran aircraft by far more luxurious than anything the United States, or any other European power, actually flew effectively on schedule from point to point; ocean-liner quality in the air at ocean-liner prices and, to an extent, ocean-liner-like size and operating expense.  The American industry, on the other hand, looked around at all the airfields constructed 'free' during the war years, including the vast runway complex built at Gander to ferry aircraft east and all the Fairwing facilities in South America, and realized that fast and fairly efficient landplanes were the wave of the future.

Now, when the British came to their senses regarding enormous 'airliners', they rather promptly made a different sensible choice: they built an enormous luxury airliner instead.  Oh dear, the market for that didn't 'eventuate' either.  So they made yet another sensible choice, a streamlined airframe with turbojet power, and started to run away with the future ... until British build quality, so well demonstrated at the Firth of Tay, reared its head and stopped that, too.  This gave Boeing and Douglas the time to leverage their Cold War equipment into effective consumer airframes ... and off to the Seventies we went with a bang, losing most of our passenger-train infrastructure with dramatic speed on the way.

(And there the British had their fourth great cropper, betting on the expectation that yet higher speed would be the Next Big Thing, and developing a truly magnificent piece of engineering that, merged with equally magnificent French engineering, resulted in one of the ten best things built in the 20th Century.  Which lost money every mile it flew...

But the British did have the last laugh.  The thing that substituted for speed was volume, volume, volume ... and the first one to figure out exactly how that could be gainfully used was someone half the people on this list might not remember, Freddy Laker.

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Posted by daveklepper on Saturday, October 10, 2020 2:39 PM

In trying to answer your question, I learnred much about Rear-Admiral Byrd and Emelia Airheart, but I'm still stumprd.  Any other hints?

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Posted by rcdrye on Saturday, October 10, 2020 3:30 PM

How about PRR's Airway Limited, inaugurated in joint service with Transcontinental Air Transport and Santa Fe.  PRR New York to Columbus, TAT to Wayoka Okla, AT&SF to Clovis NM, then TAT to Los Angeles (well, Glendale...).  Service started July 1929.

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Posted by ZephyrOverland on Saturday, October 10, 2020 5:49 PM

rcdrye

How about PRR's Airway Limited, inaugurated in joint service with Transcontinental Air Transport and Santa Fe.  PRR New York to Columbus, TAT to Wayoka Okla, AT&SF to Clovis NM, then TAT to Los Angeles (well, Glendale...).  Service started July 1929.

 

No, unfortunately thats not it. I don't think The Airway Limited was named after an aircraft.

The two railroads that operated this train renamed their train after a particular plane that achieved a specific feat.

Another clue: the example train I gave and the train I'm looking for shared a common endpoint.

 

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Posted by rcdrye on Saturday, October 10, 2020 7:19 PM

Curtiss-Robertson's plane Robin set an endurance record at St. Louis of 420 hours in 1929.  I haven't found a train to go with that yet.

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Posted by ZephyrOverland on Saturday, October 10, 2020 9:55 PM

rcdrye

Curtiss-Robertson's plane Robin set an endurance record at St. Louis of 420 hours in 1929.  I haven't found a train to go with that yet.

 

Ok, you're getting the extra kudos for mentioning the plane type and feat that the plane accomplished. Still need the train name, railroads and endpoints.

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Posted by Overmod on Saturday, October 10, 2020 10:20 PM

And it wasn't City of Cleveland?

 

The two Curtiss Robins were the "St. Louis Robin" and the "Missouri Robin" for those with better knowledge of esoteric trains...

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Posted by Overmod on Saturday, October 10, 2020 10:21 PM

And it wasn't City of Cleveland?That was the record-holder the Robin took it from.  There were quite a number of endurance record holders that year...9

 

The two Curtiss Robins were the "St. Louis Robin" and the "Missouri Robin" for those with better knowledge of esoteric trains...

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Posted by rcdrye on Sunday, October 11, 2020 7:22 AM

If this was a day train out of St. louis it would almost have to be Alton-CB&Q to Kansas city (via Mexico MO).  Most if not all of the other day train length trips out of St. Louis were handled by a single railroad.  I can't (yet) verify this because the 1931 OG is still copyright-protected and the nearest physical copy in a library is about 100 miles away.

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Posted by ZephyrOverland on Sunday, October 11, 2020 9:25 AM

rcdrye

If this was a day train out of St. louis it would almost have to be Alton-CB&Q to Kansas city (via Mexico MO).  Most if not all of the other day train length trips out of St. Louis were handled by a single railroad.  I can't (yet) verify this because the 1931 OG is still copyright-protected and the nearest physical copy in a library is about 100 miles away.

 

This is sort of frustrating, when you ask a question and several people give parts of the eventual answer. First off, here is the answer, courtesy of Railway Age of August 24, 1929:

"The Chicago & Alton and the Chicago, Burlington and Quincy have changed the name of their jointly operated Mid-Day Limited, which runs between St. Louis, Mo. and Kansas City, to the "St. Louis Robin" in honor of the plane in which Dale Jackson and Forest O'Brine established the world's endurance flight record."

Unfortunately, the endurance record which triggered the name change would be eclisped within a year and the train itself would be gone by mid-1930, an early victim of the depression, leaving the overnight Night Hawk as the only through train on this particular St. Louis-Kansas City routing.

You got the right train (minus the name) and the reason for the change, while Overmod had the right name within his last comment. So I'll give the next question to you while giving a shout out to Overmod for getting the name.

 

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Posted by daveklepper on Monday, October 12, 2020 12:49 AM

RC when, where is your question?

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Posted by Overmod on Monday, October 12, 2020 4:29 AM

ZephyrOverland
So I'll give the next question to you while giving a shout out to Overmod for getting the name.

Exactly as it should be, except that I get very little credit, less than implied here, since all the relevant information to find what I did was suggested by others.

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Posted by rcdrye on Monday, October 12, 2020 7:27 AM

There are many cases of interurbans handling steam-road freight cars.  This midwestern steam road was one of the very few that would handle interurban-standard trailers in interchange, even if only for short distances.  This particular carrier had arrangements in at least three places with at least three different interurban systems.

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Posted by daveklepper on Tuesday, October 13, 2020 1:22 AM

The Monon had arrangements with Indiana Railroad.

When you write "three different systems," do you mean before or after Indiana RR was formed from sepereate systems?

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Posted by rcdrye on Tuesday, October 13, 2020 7:06 AM

Before and after.  This railroad had at least two with Indiana RR or its predecessors.  It also had arrangements with systems that did not connect to IRR.

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Posted by daveklepper on Tuesday, October 13, 2020 8:06 AM

Did the railroad opeerate outside the Midwest, did it reach the East Coastho?

Are either or both the South Shore and Illinois Terminal, despite their freight equipment being entirely steam-road equipped?

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Posted by rcdrye on Tuesday, October 13, 2020 8:42 AM

Both South Shore and IT handled interurban-style boxcars, but they're not steam roads.  The railroad operated mainly in the midwest.  The railroad also had a reputation for being friendly to interurban's passenger needs, though the largest pro-interurban project was never used.

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Posted by Overmod on Tuesday, October 13, 2020 9:44 AM

Is this an actual 'Midwest' road and not a Midwest subsidiary of something like, say, C&O of Indiana?

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Posted by rcdrye on Tuesday, October 13, 2020 10:58 AM

Actual midwest road.  Did not reach east coast and only touched the Mississipi.  Cars handled included CERA box trailers.

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Posted by CSSHEGEWISCH on Wednesday, October 14, 2020 10:14 AM

I'm going to suggest that the road in question is the Clover Leaf.

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 Wednesday, October 14, 2020 11:51 AM

Close enough (as long as you ask the next question).  I was actually looking for the Nickel Plate.  The "Vans" had a pretty enlightened view of working with interurbans, and provided switching service for IRR, Northern Ohio Traction & Light, Lake Shore Electric and possibly others.  Most of the moves involved reaching a warehouse that was just off line from the interurban.

As an example of the "Vans" care for interurbans, built into Cleveland Union Terminal was an interurban terminal (separate from the Shaker Rapid terminal), including a section of private right of way to the west to allow the Lake Shore Electric and Cleveland & Southwestern to avoid a lot of street running.  By the time the CUT project was complete the only remaining interurban in Cleveland was Lake Shore Electric. LSE never had the money to lay track on the bypass, and loaded out front of CUT on Public Square until the end of operations.

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Posted by daveklepper on Thursday, October 15, 2020 2:07 AM

RC, Do you consider CERA Bulletins authoritive?

Page 48 of The Indiana Railroad, the Magic Interurban- 2nd column, 2nd paragraph, 2nd and 3rd sentences.  "A later connection at Limedale, on the Terre Haute, with the Monon proved unique as the Monon would handle interurban box trailers over a short portion of their mainline, in a switch movement to a cement factory.  This was a a unique operation that was not considered by the other railroads."

Indiana RR interchanged with Indianapolis Union, where Monon had access.  This could be considered their second interchange eith Indiana RR, even though only steam road ewuipment was handled.  And Monon tnterchanged with the South Shore in several locations and at least one other interurban, name to be added

 

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