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Classic Train Questions Part Deux (50 Years or Older)

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Posted by Backshop on Saturday, July 2, 2022 8:41 AM

October 3, 1952, on the Buffalo Creek and Gauley during labor unrest.

FreightOps (buffalocreekandgauley.com)

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Posted by Overmod on Thursday, June 30, 2022 3:13 AM

Actually a robbery -- and recognized historically to be the last.

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Posted by daveklepper on Tuesday, June 28, 2022 12:49 AM

Yor hints sggest that, while it was an incident on RR property, it was not really a train robbery.  It was an attack on RR employees or contractor employees.

Sperry Rail Inspection?

Maintenasnce crew  on a track speeder?

You ask good questions.   No problem with them, except they are tough ones, often.

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Posted by Overmod on Monday, June 27, 2022 5:09 PM

No horses involved... not really any room for them on that 'train' in the first place.

Do I have you buffaloed?  is your guessing up the creek without a paddle?  Is the question galling?

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Posted by Overmod on Monday, June 27, 2022 5:08 PM

No horses involved... not really any room for them on that 'train' in the first place.

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Posted by daveklepper on Monday, June 27, 2022 2:43 PM

Horse-thief?

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Posted by Overmod on Saturday, June 25, 2022 5:04 PM

Final hint before letting someone else put up something interesting: the equipment manufacturer made quite a range of options for what was basically a simple service.

And the car didn't have a road number, but something else, to identify it at the time of the incident...

 

... and now.

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Posted by Overmod on Saturday, June 25, 2022 5:02 PM

Final hint before letting someone else put up something interesting: the equipment manufacturer made quite a range of options for what was basically a simple service.

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Posted by Overmod on Saturday, June 18, 2022 3:09 PM

This question has gone unanswered too long.

The equipment in question had a PRR road number at one time.  The robbery occurred during a particularly acrimonious strike, which I think may well have had something to do with it at this (comparatively) late date.

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Posted by Overmod on Thursday, June 2, 2022 2:35 PM

Be interesting to see details on that one.  You're getting warmer, though.  'Buffalo' is a common link... but not the same one as the Wolverine.

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Posted by rcdrye on Thursday, June 2, 2022 6:29 AM

All I can find without buying subsriptions to several newspapers is a sketchy reference to a robbery on NYC's westbound Wolverine on December 31, 1951.

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Posted by Overmod on Tuesday, May 31, 2022 9:54 PM

NO.  The guns were not real, and what was stolen was not money (although probably worth considerably more!)

Try 1952.  This question is past its sell-by date and I'm prepared to do some deep discounting with hints...

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Posted by SD70Dude on Tuesday, May 31, 2022 3:31 PM

Does the 1963 Princeton Dinky robbery count?  

Greetings from Alberta

-an Articulate Malcontent

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

Wow!   Tell more!

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

Nope; later... Big Smile

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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 12:34 PM

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

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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 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 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 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 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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