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Classic Train Questions Part Deux (50 Years or Older)

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Posted by Overmod on Monday, June 5, 2023 9:19 PM

The start-of-cutoff was railfan gospel for a long time; in fact I learned it directly from Karl R. Zimmermann when I was in high school (as I recall there was an actual picture with a zero marker on it).  There was always that niggling annoyance about it being spelled with an S and not a Z, but that was the age of Boxpok and other annoying pseudo phonetic spellings, and I just assumed they thought 'Orestod' sounded better then 'Oreztod' (which it does).

However, the primary sources all seem to agree on the older name, and evidence of it in pre-cutoff timetables cements it pretty well.

The railroad town is indeed Bond.

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Posted by daveklepper on Tuesday, June 6, 2023 5:03 AM

From Wicki: 

Dotsero. "Although it's been suggested by some that this name, given to a small town in Eagle County along the I-70 corridor, comes from a word in the Ute language meaning “something unique,” the better theory is that the name came from a start-of-the-line marking on an old Denver & Rio Grande Western Railroad map --“.4 Jan 2017

 

 

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Posted by Overmod on Tuesday, June 6, 2023 6:20 PM

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Posted by Overmod on Tuesday, June 6, 2023 6:20 PM

Frankly, considering the evidence in what seem to be reliable primary sources about the origin of both the place name and the 'carbonate boomtown', I wouldn't give such a Wikipedia account the time of day until they produce their actual, dated sources so we can assess their validity.  Something like this has suspiciously-'researched' looking data (even if their IT people can't spell 'dotsero'):

https://cms5.revize.com/revize/eagle/Document%20Center/Departments%20&%20Services/Community%20Development/Planning/Adopted%20Long%20Range%20Plans/Doterso%20Community%20Plan%20Revised%2005142013.pdf

Go back to the Wikipedia entry and look at the talk page, where any discussion about the matter would be recorded.  How do they account for the name being used in 1902?  How do they explain the 'local history' about the carbonate boom (that would have been familiar to local newspapermen in the early '30s in a way that is likely far less familiar now)?

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Posted by daveklepper on Wednesday, June 7, 2023 1:13 AM

I'll return that job back to you and accept your conclusion.  Some of the refernces may provoke the server.  And time spent on repairing photographs is more productive, even if (hopefully temporarily) they aren't available for the website.  Many others do enjoy them.

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Posted by Overmod on Thursday, June 8, 2023 7:05 PM

It would appear that your Wiki entry was cribbed nearly verbatim from a Colorado Public Radio story, circa 2017, touting a book on curious Colorado place-names written by a fellow named Flynn.

Flynn is no railroader, though, as it does not take more than a cursory look to find pictures of (for example) the bridge over the Colorado at Dotsero in 1900 and, from 1919, someone standing next to a station sign -- in 1870s-style lettering and well-weatherworn -- that says Dotsero.

Ironically enough he would have been right if he were discussing Orestod, which I think clearly gets its name from the opposite end of the Cutoff, distinct from the actual station name near that point (which is indeed, as noted, Bond).  But Dotsero as a community does go back to the lead-carbonate rush.  It is a terrible pity that Vince (miningman) got run off, because he could add enormously to our knowledge here.

The actual story involving 'surveying' (and the folk-etymology probable origin of 'dot zero') comes from the Hayden survey of Colorado resources, in 1877.  Tremendously detailed topo maps resulted from this work... which I cannot inspect effectively on a phone.  If indeed the Dotsero volcano got its name by being denoted as a reference point, that theory would work, but it would have to be proven by direct reference to the materials.

Meanwhile, it appears that the original Ute population was run out of the area only after a massacre in 1879, with some indication that the boomtown proper wasn't fully established until it was 'safer' to do so -- it seems to me that roughly 1882 would make sense.  That the town was named in some sense after the volcano, and not vice versa, seems more likely than not to me.

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Posted by daveklepper on Friday, June 9, 2023 9:54 AM

THanks and hope you'll come up with a queswtion.

What does the beautiful book Giants Ladder (David Moffat bio.) say about the Dotsro and its name?

And Orestod does work (OK, shortened to Orsted, does work better than Dnob.

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Posted by Overmod on Friday, June 9, 2023 3:33 PM

It's been literally over a half-century since I looked at Giant's Ladder.  From what I recall, it included the initial-surveying-milepost-on-the-cutoff explanation (although I don't know if it actually gave a comparable milepost for Orestod, which would be the defined 'end').

I would NOT be surprised if the D&SL or D&RG engineers adopted 'dot zero' as a pun for the point-of-beginning for the "revised" section of Moffat line that was to be used as the cutoff.  Mike might have been able to find sources to substantiate that speculative hypothesis.

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Posted by daveklepper on Sunday, June 11, 2023 12:54 AM

I'll always consider you as a giood source for information.  Thanks.

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Posted by Overmod on Saturday, June 17, 2023 1:18 PM

Bumping this to keep it at the top of the list.  Anyone with an interesting question, go ahead and run it.

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Posted by daveklepper on Tuesday, June 20, 2023 3:23 AM

The New York Central System's Boston & Albany had THREE Boston stations during the Classic Era.  Two were unusual for an intercity passenger railroad operation, but quite usual for downtown streetcar stops.  What were the three stations, where located, and which if any where shared, and what was the subsequent history.

The definition of station includes terminal station. 

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Posted by rcdrye on Wednesday, June 21, 2023 6:17 PM

Incorrectly posted in other Quiz thread...

 

Kneeland Street pre-dated South Station.  The other two stations in Boston city limits were Columbus Ave (later Huntington Ave AKA Trinity Place, replaced by Back Bay, and Lansdowne, AKA Beacon Street or Brookline Junction.  The station that replaced it when the Mass Pike was built is (or at least was) called Yawkey.

I seem to remember that B&A and Boston & Providence crossed each other at street level near the present Back Bay station.  B&A's Boston-Framingham local service via the main line and the Riverside branch made local stops at all three stations.  Quite a bit of B&A's early trackage was actually in city streets.

 
 
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Posted by daveklepper on Thursday, June 22, 2023 8:55 AM

I'll give you credit if you answer what was unusual about Trinity Place and Huntington Avenue,   Did any train actually stop at both when terminating or originating at South Station?

Trinity Place and Huntington Avenue did not survive up to intown Mass. Pike Construction, but were abandoned earlier with the reduction of the number of trains using them before the Highland Branch became the Green "D" Light Rail Line.  Use of one newer, but Classic-era. station replaced both, and involved use of an existing platform that previously had only been used for specials, and very rarely.

This was the station replaced  by the current one, which now includes an Orange Line subway station, the best loication for transferring from  the NEC or the Lakeshore Boston Section to the Downeastern service at North Station, or use of a  taxi to Harvard or MIT.

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Posted by rcdrye on Thursday, June 22, 2023 10:57 AM

Westbound trains stopped at Trinity Place, eastbound at Huntington Avenue, so no trains stopped at both.  Back Bay was constructed (by the New Haven) in 1899, then replaced in 1987.  The B&A's former Columbus Ave station was very close to Back Bay, which was already used by the B&A before the Mass Pike rebuild.

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Posted by daveklepper on Friday, June 23, 2023 1:51 AM

By alll means, ask the next question,

The B&A facilities at Back Bay were a freight track bypass, one passenger track, and one platform that was a lateral and curved  extension of the New Haven's southbound platform.  Use had to wait until the reduction in numbers of B&A passenger trains.

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Posted by rcdrye on Tuesday, June 27, 2023 7:28 AM

We'll stick with the mighty New York Central System.

There were four third-rail installations on the New York Central.  Well-known are the Grand Central and New York area, the Michigan Central's Detroit-Windsor tunnel electrification, and the test installation near Schenectady NY used to validate the S-Motors (T-motors at the time) prior to the Grand Central installation.  A less-famous installation was passenger-only, but was almost 50 miles long, and carried equipment that included "Windsplitter" cars.  Name the two endpoints, and the NYCS member railroad.

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Posted by Overmod on Wednesday, June 28, 2023 6:04 PM

Dat's zimple... und I tink id's been on de quiz alreddy.

Utica to Schenectady on the West Shore, using underrunning third rail compliant with NYC's other electric power.  The original plan was to run high-speed car service in about an hour and a half with two stops enroute (and two other classes of slower service) -- if I'm not mistaken, using street-railway trackage at either end.

Technically this started out as the Oneida Railway Company, leasing trackage rights on the West Shore with the understanding the existing local trains wouid be discontinued -- something I suspect the New York Central didn't complain highly about.

The two 'windsplitter' cars came in 1912.  When I was a kid I suspected this had something to do with a possible NYC competition with the C&NYAL... if that line ever got built to desired standards... without interfering with the Great Steel Fleet operations.  I never did find out just how fast those cars could run...

(One thing to note: Much of the high-speed projected service foundered in the wake of the Panic of 1907.  Note that the truly high-speed equipment came a half-decade later...)

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Posted by rcdrye on Wednesday, June 28, 2023 6:52 PM

Oneida Railway had street connections in Utica, Oneida and Syracuse.  The Windsplitter cars were developed by Kuhlman in response to testing done at the University of Illinois.  Wooden versions shown at the Louisiana Purchase Exposition in St. Louis ended up on the Winona Railway in Indiana.  I can't confirm it, but I'm pretty sure Oneida's were steel-sheathed.

A droll side note on the Oneida Railways was the 1910 trip of the Utica Chamber of Commerce to the Kentucky Derby on a chartered Oneida Railways car, including a side trip to Detroit.  Car was furnished with wicker chairs and an amazing amount of alcoholic liquor.

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Posted by Overmod on Wednesday, June 28, 2023 6:55 PM

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Posted by Overmod on Wednesday, June 28, 2023 7:06 PM

If I remember correctly -- it has been a very long time, and I don't have the reference material to check -- the University of Illinois study was the one that demonstrated that the parabolic end should go forward and the pointy 'windsplitting' end in the rear.

A similar service, starting the same year and in a nearby area, operated a considerable length of time.  When the main line of the railroad offering this service was originally  completed, a famous public figure provided a lesson to railfans everywhere by riding the entire distance in a rocking chair on an open car, accompanied by a sizable 'little brown jug' for warmth.  Who was that person?

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Posted by daveklepper on Friday, June 30, 2023 2:35 AM

The Erie Railroad, with itd predicessor, the New York and Erie, opened with then Secratary of State Daniel Webster riding the length in a rockingchair on a flatcar.

I believe this electrification also can Utica as a terminal, but I don't remember where the other terminal was.

Used overhead wire.   Have slomwhere in my computer a photo of a car, unusual because of a pantograph over the middle of the car insead of over a truck (bogie).

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Posted by rcdrye on Friday, June 30, 2023 8:21 AM

Erie's electrification was at Rochester NY, running to Mt. Morris NY.  It used the same 11KV 25 Hz system used on the New Haven at the time.

The center-mounted pantograph wasn't unusual for contemporary AC interurbans like the WB&A, since most also had poles for low-voltage operation on city streets.  Sacramento Northern cars used center-mount pans on the Key System and Bay Bridge.

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Posted by Overmod on Friday, June 30, 2023 10:54 AM

daveklepper
The Erie Railroad, with itd predecessor, the New York and Erie, opened with then Secretary of State Daniel Webster riding the length in a rockingchair on a flatcar.

That's it; you're up!

I believe this electrification also had Utica as a terminal, but I don't remember where the other terminal was.

Connection was at the 'main line' of the Erie, which of course ran substantially south of Rochester.  I believe you're thinking of the NYC West Shore electrification in the previous question, but of course that was third rail.  Since this operated on street-railway trackage at either end, it would not surprise me if it involved some sort of compatible overhead pickup.

However, since this was nominally compatible with the New York City electrification, it might have featured sections of either overhead rail or wire at the usual sorts of places, with appropriate tiny pickups on the car roofs -- these would have become essential if the anticipated competitive speeds were to be achieved...

Have somewhere in my computer a photo of a car, unusual because of a pantograph over the middle of the car instead of over a truck (bogie).

That was a notable characteristic of the Erie electrification.  I have not seen any indication that this was to accommodate pole operation, although I have a copy of the definitive reference on order and will be able to comment more effectively on the question then.

My assumption, since this was the model for a very extensive planned electrification in northern New Jersey, was that a bidirectional operation using only one expensive pantograph and set of switchgear per car would be highly preferable.  I have not yet seen any indication whether the Reading's method of intercar power busses (oh brother, talk about dubiously safe!!) was planned, but it would have been very useful in the event any particular car lost its pan or was intended to run with it down to save aggregate wear.

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Posted by rcdrye on Friday, June 30, 2023 2:35 PM

The Oneida Railway cars had poles at each end, or at least at the rear end of one-ended cars.  The other third rail interurban in New York State was the 1200 volt Albany-Hudson fast line, which equipped at least a few cars with third rail shoes (overrunning), trolley poles and a pantograph.  I believe the pantograph was experimental, as most of the railway's equipment made do without it.

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Posted by daveklepper on Saturday, July 1, 2023 4:52 PM

This New England short-line railroad operated well into the postwar era.  In the end, regular passenger service was provided by a blue-pained simingly regular hood-in-front school-bus-on-flanged-wheels, operated in reverse in one dorection, since  the connection point, one end of its line, had no turning facilities, but did feature an across-the-platform passenger connection to the far-more frequent fast passenger trains of the Class-I connection.  I think an old thread of mine has a photo.  Freight service involved a small diesel, posdsibly a GE 44-ton or something very similar.  Passenger service was still provided as late as 1950.

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Posted by rcdrye on Tuesday, July 4, 2023 4:25 PM

The eight mile long Narragansett Pier RR in Rhode Island bought a Brill-Mack bus in 1940, which was converted for rail use by replacing the front axle with a small four wheel truck (the rear simply got a plate wheel with flanges).  The bus lasted until 1952 when one of the axles broke, an event which led to the end of passenger service.  A 1948 OG shows up to 8 trips in each direction, depending on the day of the week. Trips connected with New Haven Shore Line trains at West Kingston RI.

Brill-designed busses were built to the same basic design into the 1950s.

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Posted by daveklepper on Wednesday, July 5, 2023 1:44 AM

Thanks for the additional information.  Please ask the next question.

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Posted by rcdrye on Monday, July 10, 2023 6:16 AM

A specific offering of the "Alphabet Route" railroads began in the 1960s to compete with PRR's one-line piggyback service between Chicago and Philadelphia/New Jersey.  Give the service name and at least three of the railroads involved.  Bonus:  Name the PRR service for which it was the competition.

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Posted by daveklepper on Monday, July 10, 2023 7:22 AM

East-to-West:  Central of New Jersey, Reading, Western Maryland, Pittsburg and West Virginia, Wheeling and Lake Erie, Nickle Plate.

Alpha-Jet Service

PRR Truc-Train competition.

Not sure of the interchange poiints.   Possibly Connosville P&WV-WM and Easton, Reading CNJ.

Regarding my question, the NYNH&H, now Amtrak, Station may be in West Kingston, but the Station name is simply Kingston.

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Posted by Overmod on Monday, July 10, 2023 2:19 PM

He got it all, except that it's "Nickel Plate" and I think "TrucTrain" without a dash -- and yes, 'Pittsburg' is the right spelling here (as it was for the city for a number of years in the Twentieth Century!).  Connellsville is probably one of the interchange points.  CNJ would likely be Bound Brook; from B&LE to NKP might have been in Conneaut or nearby.

The origin of that Alphabet Route is interesting.  It is the legacy of George Gould's fascinating attempt to assemble a true transcontinental railroad east of the Missouri Pacific... and another prospective part of it was the Ramsey Survey high-speed line.  It might have been interesting to see what happened with this had there been no Panic of 1907.

Extra extra points for the 'other' competition in high-speed interlined intermodal modal in the Northeast, named after a seminal thing in the late 1960s...

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