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Classic Train Questions Part Deux (50 Years or Older)

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Posted by CSSHEGEWISCH on Friday, April 22, 2022 10:20 AM

I'm going to say that the road is question is Penn Central, based on re-habbed P70 coaches in service on the Northeast Corridor.

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 Friday, April 22, 2022 12:24 PM

P70s are considered semi-lightweights, but they didn't stray off PC much if at all. The onew I'm looking for looked like they belonged with lightweights by roof profile but rode on six-wheel trucks.  The farthest they got from home rails was less than 100 miles. (also, if it's not giving it away, they were a lot closer to you not counting the Valpo dummies)!

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Posted by CSSHEGEWISCH on Saturday, April 23, 2022 10:17 AM

Thanks for the hints.  The cars in question would be the GM&O dining cars in Chicago-St. Louis service and the brief Milwaukee-St. Louis service.

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 Saturday, April 23, 2022 10:32 AM

That's what I was looking for.  There were a couple of Parlors as well.  GM&O's heavyweights were just as good as or better than some of the lightweight cars that replaced them in service.  GM&O and later ICG also used heavyweight coaches on the Joliet locals until RTA supplied newer equipment in 1978.

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Posted by daveklepper on Wednesday, April 27, 2022 4:29 AM

WAiting for CSS's question

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Posted by daveklepper on Monday, May 2, 2022 2:32 AM

still waiting

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Posted by CSSHEGEWISCH on Tuesday, May 3, 2022 10:16 AM

After all of these New York-oriented questions, it's time for a change.  Provide the names of the four underlying traction companies that operated as Chicago Surface Lines.

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 Tuesday, May 3, 2022 1:46 PM
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Posted by rcdrye on Wednesday, May 4, 2022 7:16 AM

In the Surface Lines era (1913-1947) only Chicago Railways and Chicago City Railways were assigned new cars (C&SC got one as a replacement). CRys lines were on the North and West sides, CCRY the South side, C&SC the far South and Southeast sides.  Southern Street Railway only had one line - Roosevelt Road.  That line was unique in that the last mile on the west end was paired track with Chicago & West Towns Ry., since the city limit with Cicero was Roosevelt Rd.

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Posted by CSSHEGEWISCH on Wednesday, May 4, 2022 10:12 AM

While C&SC and Southern Street were not assigned new cars, new buses were assigned to them from the outset.  Trolley buses were all assigned to CRys.

Daveklepper, it's your question.

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 Thursday, May 5, 2022 3:29 AM

 

Roosevelt Road was unique in other ways, as well.  The original line ended on Michigan Avenue, but was extended on a bridge (or trestle or viaduct if you wish to call it) through the large trasinshed of Central Station to Grant Park, daylighted when the trainshed was replaced by platform canopies. And the Michigan Avenue - Grant Park section remained as a shuttle after the rest of the line went bus and then trolleybus, with the track connection left in place to State Street(?).  Finally, a former Chicago Motorcuach route was extended to replace this shuttle.   This  is all from memory, and corrections are welcome.

Boston had one imoortant line that did not radically lose patronage in the '30s, and served an important and growing commuter function.  Its conversion to bus operation was forced on it, and the line did not go bus all-at-once.  It never entered  the subway but did share tracks with lines that did.  It was not in operation at the start of WWII.

Give its history, route, downtown Boston end-point, and describe the equipment type(s) used.

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Posted by rcdrye on Saturday, May 7, 2022 4:37 PM

There are several Boston lines that sort of match your description, as nearly all Boston "interurban" lines were either converted to bus or abandoned outright in the 1930s.  The lines north to Lynn and Salem were broken by the rebuilding of the Chelsea Street Bridge in 1935, which also affected many local lines that formerly entered the Subway.  The longer distance lines ran on the surface to the Haymarket using Eastern Mass Street Railway equipment - much of which were Laconia-built semi-convertibles.  Buses started as shuttles but were quickly converted by sectionsy. EMSRy sold some lines to the MTA in 1935, the Stoneham line (from Sullivan Square) remained EMSRy even after converted to bus in 1947

Seashore Trolley Musem car 4387 (in active use) is similar in design to many EMSRy cars, though controls aumd motors differed between classes.

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Posted by daveklepper on Sunday, May 8, 2022 1:25 AM

All the lines you mentioned were cross-country streetcar lines with litte or no private-right-of-way, just road-side or on-street/road trackage, except when passing through parks (like the Stoneham Line), and  their fare-collection was flat-fare with zones.  Streetcars were the equipment.  Missing from your list is the one true interurban, with typical wood railroad-roof interrban cars, largely initially on its own PRW, and distance-based conventional ticketing.  Boston was in its name.

Eastern Mass lines to and from the north via the Chelsie Bridge stopped running om the surface to Harmarket Square long before their conversion to bus in 1935.  The Elevated's removal of the surface tracks meant all ran to the Brattle Street Loop in the Subway.

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Posted by Overmod on Sunday, May 8, 2022 6:10 AM
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Posted by daveklepper on Sunday, May 8, 2022 7:09 AM

Exactly.   Please go beyond just posting the reference, and state what you learned that is important.  And of course ask the next question.   Thanks.

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Posted by Overmod on Sunday, May 8, 2022 9:48 AM

Actually the 'reference' doesn't discuss the Boston & Worcester directly; I put it together from an online description of some of the route details and "backtranslated" to the type of equipment that would be needed for such a route.  [This being massively simplified by your having hinted 'Boston' was part of the name...]

Reading a bit between the lines, the thing that progressively killed the 'interurban' B&W appears to be the buildout of consolidated state Rt. 9 (a road the interurban crosses at at least one point).  I understood that the 'bustitution' followed this progressively, with the last sections said to be converted by 1932.

I am just about ready to cry; Kalmbach having tried, and very nearly succeeded, in making my subsequent editing of this reply to include sources a series of tedious multiple posts.

A reference specific to the B&W's progressive conversion to bus service is this PDF (revised as recently as August 2020!):

http://roster.transithistory.org/MBTABUSDEV.pdf

(of course it's also covered in Hilton's book on interurbans...)

The Wikipedia synopsis is as follows:

In 1925–26, the B&W attempted to replace its entire service with buses, but was rebuffed by Brookline.  It However, the Framingham–Framingham Centre and Framingham Junction–Saxonville routes were replaced by buses on June 13, 1925.  On July 3, 1926, the B&W began operating a Boston–Worcester bus line that followed the turnpike west of Shrewsbury, and the Post Road east of Northborough. The Hudson branch was replaced by buses in April 1928, followed by the Natick branch on October 15. Framingham Junction–Framingham service ended in September 1930.  The line was cut back to Framingham on January 15, 1931, as paving of the turnpike progressed eastward, with buses replacing the western half.  On June 11, 1932, the eastern half of the line was replaced with buses as well.

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Posted by Overmod on Sunday, May 8, 2022 2:22 PM

When, where, and under what circumstances was the last armed robbery of a train on a United States class I railroad?

Extra points if you post a picture of the consist.

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Posted by rcdrye on Sunday, May 8, 2022 5:55 PM

https://www.legendsofamerica.com/last-train-robbery/ 

The Apache was a joint Rock island-Southern Pacific train on the Golden State Route.  The robbery was attempted by Henry Lorenz and Harry Donaldson on November 24, 1937.  They boarded the Apache at Deming NM on the Southern Pacific (the Sunset used the ex-EP&SW route that bypassed Deming).  Their attempt to rob the train was foiled when the Conductor and about 20 passengers successfully subdued the would-be robbers.  An off-duty brakeman travelling as a passenger died of a gunshot wound from the scrum.  Both men were convicted and served  time in the New Mexico Penitentiary.  Both were conditionally released in 1945.

The Apache is shown at El Paso TX in the late 1930s, Courtesy of Classic Trains Magazine!

Apache late 1930s

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Posted by daveklepper on Monday, May 9, 2022 11:02 AM

Good job, both of you. My understanding is that most of Route 9 actually includes the roadbed of the P&W.  And it was tied with 2 further north, as the fastest route  for autos west from Boston before construction of the Massachusetts Turnpike. 

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Posted by Overmod on Monday, May 9, 2022 12:34 PM

rc, you're off by over a decade...

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Posted by rcdrye on Monday, May 9, 2022 7:16 PM

You mean the Zoot Suit robbery of B&O's Ambassador at Martinsburg W. VA. in 1949?  Luman Ramsdell and George Ashton (apparently wearing Zoot suits) robbed passengers but were unable to find anything of value in the baggage car.  During the robbery a porter was shot in the leg, and a window in the dining car was shot out.  Train photo from american-rails.com.

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Posted by Overmod on Monday, May 9, 2022 9:31 PM

Nope; later... Big Smile

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Posted by Overmod on Thursday, May 12, 2022 11:44 AM

Hint: the most important part of the consist has survived, and one Web site for it contains the circumstances and the date of the 'event'.

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Posted by SD70Dude on Saturday, May 14, 2022 3:31 PM

I've found a couple references to a CN passenger train being robbed at gunpoint near Woodstock, Ontario in late August 1957.  I don't have a subcription but this article would seem to have the details.

https://archive.macleans.ca/article/1958/2/15/canadas-last-great-train-robbery

https://www.newspapers.com/newspage/501531571/

Edit:  Never mind, your question was about an event south of our border.  I'll leave this up since it's probably an interesting read anyway.

Greetings from Alberta

-an Articulate Malcontent

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Posted by Overmod on Monday, May 16, 2022 5:25 PM

The way I read it, the 1957 train robbery was just a sneaky substitution of mail bags.  The MacLeans article was about the 'all-off' robbery in 1920, and the discussion in the Windsor Star involved a killing, but not on the train (related only by a suspicion 'inside knowledge' of mail operations was involved...

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Posted by Overmod on Sunday, May 22, 2022 7:58 AM

Bumping this with another hint: the consist was unusual even by the standards of the time when the robbery occurred... and it survives in preservation.

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Posted by daveklepper on Sunday, May 22, 2022 1:42 PM

Did it occur on one of the last of the Shovel-Nosed Zephyrs?

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Posted by rcdrye on Sunday, May 22, 2022 4:10 PM

If you don't sweat track gauge... Train robbery in a San Antonio TX Park in 1970.

https://www.tpr.org/arts-culture/2020-07-10/50-years-ago-there-was-a-great-little-train-robbery-in-san-antonio 

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Posted by daveklepper on Monday, May 23, 2022 9:01 AM

Wow!   Tell more!

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Posted by Overmod on Wednesday, May 25, 2022 3:59 PM

The one I'm looking for is the last on standard-gauge common-carrier service in the United States.

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