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Classic Train Questions Part Deux (50 Years or Older)

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Posted by CSSHEGEWISCH on Wednesday, July 12, 2023 10:10 AM

I'm going to think outside the box and go with M2's on Metro North.

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, July 12, 2023 7:09 AM

No R42's on SIRT.  Retired from B-Division in 2020.

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Posted by Overmod on Tuesday, July 11, 2023 10:08 PM

Aren't there some R42s still on SIRT?  I believe that design dates back to 1971.

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Posted by rcdrye on Tuesday, July 11, 2023 4:50 PM

Most recent info I had on B-Division had R46s as the oldest.  The SIRT ones are very hard to find info on on-line.

SP's partial ownership of Western Greyhound Lines is well known.  On the piggyback side, every SP piggyback trailer from the 1940s on used the reporting mark PMTZ.  What did that stand for?

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Posted by daveklepper on Tuesday, July 11, 2023 3:35 PM

'The question I answered did not use the  word "intermodal."

RC, the second-half of your answer is the correct one.  R44s are still on S. I., but new equipmentvuis arriving, and some have tested in Brooklyn before being sent to S. I.   And R46s are the second-oldest.

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Posted by rcdrye on Tuesday, July 11, 2023 11:59 AM

B-Division R46 (P-S) 1975-1978.  Ordered just around 50 years ago, similar to the R44 (StLCC 1971-1973).  There may still be active sets of R44s on the Staten Island Rapid Transit.

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Posted by Overmod on Tuesday, July 11, 2023 10:40 AM

daveklepper
After the all-coach streamliner Pacemaker was folded into the Commodore Vanderbilt, the Central used the Pacemaker name for its hot NYC - Chicago freight service.

Oddly enough, I knew about the Pacemaker LCL service long before I knew about the passenger train -- I was greatly impressed as a child by that publicity shot of what I recall was a late Mohawk trailing a solid string of those snazzy boxcars with their fancy brake arrangement.

But this was never an intermodal train; it was supplanted first by the systemwide 'Early Bird' LCL service, and then in 1957 by the advent of Flexi-Vans, which although certainly intermodal and nominally competitive were never called by or painted with the Pacemaker name.  

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Posted by daveklepper on Tuesday, July 11, 2023 4:40 AM

With the retirement of the long-lived Subway Budd R-32s, what are the oldest passenger multiple-unit electric cars operted by the New York State  MTA?

Hint:  They won't be  around very long.

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Posted by daveklepper on Tuesday, July 11, 2023 4:34 AM

Pretty sure it's either Easton or Bethlehem, because Bound Brook is out of the way, good for traffic to Philadelphia, but added overall mileage east-west.

After the all-coach streamliner Pacemaker was folded into the Commodore Vanderbilt, the Central used the Pacemaker name for its hot NYC - Chicago freight service.

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

.

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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 6:04 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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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