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Service between Pittsburgh and Harrisburg

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Service between Pittsburgh and Harrisburg
Posted by Gramp on Saturday, February 19, 2022 12:57 PM
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Posted by Lithonia Operator on Saturday, February 19, 2022 2:38 PM

I assume that when/if this happens, one train each way will be the existing Pennsylvanian, which is actually NYC-Philly-Pittsburgh.

 

Still in training.


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Posted by BaltACD on Saturday, February 19, 2022 7:53 PM

Gramp

While in its 'hey days' I suspect the PRR probably operated 20 or more passenger trains between the cities in each direction daily - I suspect only one or two in each direction were 'allowed' to haul passengers BETWEEN the two cities.  In the hey days, the THROUGH trains catered to the long haul passenger - Passengers picked up at Harrisburg were for destinations well West of Pittburgh, Passengers picked up at Pittsburgh were for destinations well East of Harrisburg.  Suspect there were a couple of Locals per day that catered to the short haul passengers in each direction.

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Posted by rixflix on Sunday, February 20, 2022 7:06 PM

Wowee! I googled "The Blue Ribbon Fleet" and got Americanrails.com where an article covered both that and "The Fleet of Modernism". There were a whole lot of trains.

I recall reading an account of a night shift towerman outside of Lewistown or Huntingdon during WW2. In addition to all the westbound name trains that left NYC, Philly and Washington at the end of the business day, he had mail/express, troop and of course lots of critical freight trains to deal with. Many trains would have to get from track 1 to track 3 to make their station stops, dodging the slower traffic. He was one busy guy, and that was probably Pennsy's and America's most glorious time in the 20th century. 

I wish I could find that article or knew how to plug in the link to the Americanrails piece.

Rick

rixflix aka Captain Video. Blessed be Jean Shepherd and all His works!!! Hooray for 1939, the all time movie year!!! I took that ride on the Reading but my Baby caught the Katy and left me a mule to ride.

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Posted by daveklepper on Monday, February 21, 2022 11:17 AM

Correction:  Through passengers as dscribed in the posting before the previous one were true for the Broadway, The Spirit of Saint Louis, The Trailblazer, The Jeffersonian, and on-and-off for the Red Arrow.   For the General, the Steel City. the Admiral, Cincinatti Limited, on-occasion for the Red Arrow, boarding at Pittsburgh was for Harrisburg and all points east of there, and boarding at Harisburg was for Pittsburgh and (exception of the Steel City, of course) all points west of there.  And please do check on my memory.  I refer to the period, 1948 -1954, before train-offs started multiplying.

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Posted by PennsyBoomer on Monday, February 21, 2022 6:34 PM

rixflix

 

 

 

 

 Blessed be Jean Shepherd and all His works!!!

Just listening to a Shep program today, talking about trains in Indiana (Hammond). From whom else could one hear what it was like to work in a steel mill? Excelsior, you fathead!

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Posted by PennsyBoomer on Monday, February 21, 2022 7:09 PM

In 1959, there were 8 west that made intermediate stops (everything stopped at Altoona): Lewistown, Huntingdon, Johnstown, Latrobe, Greensburg (not all stations in every case): Nos. 55, 61 (to discharge psgrs.), 25, 33, 23,  31 (Lewistown only), and Nos. 49 and 39 (Johnstown only). 7 east made intermediate stops: Nos. 50, 32, 26, 16, 24, 22 and 60. The Broadway and Penn Texas both ways highballed all but Altoona as well as several mail & express schedules. Some 60 miles of the railroad had had one of the main tracks removed between Newport and Derry, while the rest of the plant pretty much remained intact at that time.

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Posted by Electroliner 1935 on Monday, February 21, 2022 10:37 PM

Looking at my October 1952 copy of the Official Guide, and looking at timetable #133 which is labeled ALTOONA to PITTSBURGH and covers one and a half pages lists 25 trains. Four are commuter trains. I note at least one through train (#3 The PennTexas) is not shown. There are some hours with only one train and some hours with trains arriving 5 to 15 minutes apart. Also, it does not show 2nd sections. It does show that the General and the Trailblazer ran combined some days and ten minutes apart normally. Thi means three listings for two trains. Nine trains in the 7:00 AM to 9:00 AM period which includes the four commuter. Busy period is 11 PM - 2 AM when the majority of trains are bound for Cleveland, Detroit, Chicago, St. Louis, Concinnati. Also noted on the timetable are trains that had NO coaches. The Broadway Ltd, The General, The Spirit of St Louis & The Pittsburger. There were also all coach streamliners, The Trailblazer, and the Jeffersonian, which ran about ten minutes apart from their mates (tGeneral and Jeffersonian) and carried diners, lounges and observation cars. 

Also there was a large amount of car switching between trains at Harrisburg, as many New York trains picked up cars from Philly or Washington at Harrisburg and at Pittsburg, some trains from Cleveland  or Detroit had cars put onto Chicago or St. Louis trains. I remember PIT tower which was up on the cliff alongside the East Side of the tracks. IT had a big U.S.& S. interlocking which controlled the station. The panhandle trains came in through a tunnel on the SouthEast side of the station while the Chicago trains came in on the West side.  

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Posted by Overmod on Tuesday, February 22, 2022 7:21 AM

PennsyBoomer
Just listening to a Shep program today, talking about trains in Indiana (Hammond). From whom else could one hear what it was like to work in a steel mill?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HVCfWbSs6O0

Note how much he looks like Elvis would, a year later.  And we thought that was normal back then!

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Posted by rixflix on Tuesday, February 22, 2022 10:59 AM

Shep's Army lives! I suppose with reruns of "A Christmas Story" and the internet, it'll never be completely defeated. My memories of the original WOR broadcasts remain, especially:

   -the time the cold strip broke and sent everyone to the floor.

   -the old lady in tennis shoes: "Dear Mr. Shepherd, why are you always reminiscing?" I always thought it was more like ruminating on the vagaries of the human experience.

  -From management: "Jean Shepherd where are you? Please come back."

My dad and I would be working late at night listening to him and Long John Nebel on one radio and Detroit Tiger baseball on the other. Don't know if WOR and WJR were clear channel stations but their signals were strong in Reading. Heck, when we drove into Philly on 422, 724 and the Schuylkill Expressway, we'd be Rambling with John A. Gambling and Fearless Fred in NYC!

Guess I need something here about PRR passenger service. I loved the navy bean soup and the street running in York enroute to basic training.

Rick  

 

rixflix aka Captain Video. Blessed be Jean Shepherd and all His works!!! Hooray for 1939, the all time movie year!!! I took that ride on the Reading but my Baby caught the Katy and left me a mule to ride.

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Posted by Overmod on Tuesday, February 22, 2022 11:14 AM

rixflix
Shep's Army lives! I suppose with reruns of "A Christmas Story" and the internet, it'll never be completely defeated.

There is an old adage that no one really dies until the last person who remembers him or knew him has died.  

The very highest high point of my years in college can be easily pegged.  Every year, we sponsored a 'Shep' concert on campus... and afterward we retired to the Holder Broadcasting Complex ("8 great stories of radio!") with a stack of pizza boxes and row of Cokes and just... listened to Shep hold court.  I never saw him leave before 2:00 or later in the morning, and everything was fair game, far beyond just the broadcasts or recordings.

He and Alison Steele were two people who should have been allowed to live... and broadcast... forever.

On the subject of PRR: I got the impression that most of their 'existing' service was not even remotely comparable to the air service evolving by the early '50s, or to increasing automobile facilities.  The things they tried, like the Aerotrain and the Tubular Train, just weren't anything the public cared to take once they didn't "have to" -- the experience mirrored with Pullman service nearly everywhere in the two decades from the early '50s to Amtrak day.

If there was a shining chance for PRR, it was when the Central put coaches on the Century and Lucius Beebe switched allegiance to the Broadway.  For all I know, PRR made the train as good as the Century in the right ways.  It was not enough, for enough people.

Even if it had been, the age of the 'train de luxe' was probably dead in America.  We might look at the Normandie (and why it so conveniently burned, and why it was never resurrected, and why the line took the cash payment instead of building the Yourkevitch follow-on) for a grim presage.  There were simply too few Americans interested in a white-tie-and-tails high society experience, even though rich in an age when everything got cheap to provide if you had the cash.  And of course by the late '40s what few there were insufficient to run the service, and by the late '50s they were the 'jet set' instead.

Now look at the tired old Broadway lurching its way around Horse Shoe in the middle of the night...

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Posted by PennsyBoomer on Tuesday, February 22, 2022 6:45 PM

rixflix
My dad and I would be working late at night listening to him and Long John Nebel on one radio and Detroit Tiger baseball on the other. Don't know if WOR and WJR were clear channel stations but their signals were strong in Reading. Heck, when we drove into Philly on 422, 724 and the Schuylkill Expressway, we'd be Rambling with John A. Gambling and Fearless Fred in NYC!

 

So familiar. Lived in Philly growing up and WOR was the source. When I was old enough to drink in New York (18), use to take one of the Clockers to see his live shows from Greenwich Village then home sometime in the wee hours. My parents always had "Rambling with Gambling" on in the morning, and the radio playing softly in their bedroom most of the night with Long John.

On the subject of passenger service, one of the subjects Shep dealt with occasionally was Americans love with cars and the freedom that implied. That said, passenger service often survived as an option for business travelers before airplanes made travel more expeditious in many cases, coupled with the deteriorating service on rail as losses mounted. And, as Overmod notes, experiments such as Aerotrain were less than attractive - merely an uncomfortable emulation of bus service.

I'm not sure much is going to change insofar as rail viability, and certainly not on long distance routes; and with the extraordinary delays that seem commonplace as service disruptions seem to shut down rather than impede operations. The (labor-intensive) philosophy of the passenger train being a chosen one, always getting through, is old hat.  

In my early days of RR employment old heads would talk about how severe penalties were for delaying a passenger train - a day off without pay for a half minute delay attributed to oversight. Actually, this strict regard - if not the actual penalties - remained ingrained in the work force for many years after passenger service had ceased to maintain its sanctity. 

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Posted by bill613a on Thursday, February 24, 2022 9:28 PM

Five year plan! Good grief, shades of Mao-Tse-Tung. I think everyone agrees that AMTRAK erred in cutting the NY-PITT section of the THREE RIVERS but its been over 15 years and how much money has been spent on studies and consultants.  Not only that but how many Office Car Specials has NS run and the service did not collapse. With AMTRAK in a modified service mode until late March it's time for some expeditious adjustments:

1. Convert the CAPITOL LTD to a single level train.

2. Beween PITT-NY run over the route of the PENNSYLVANIAN.

3. Run thru cars CHI-DC via Harrisburg.

4. Run CHI-FW via ex-NKP and FW-Butler via ex-WAB.

5. The displaced Superliners would run on a daily CARDINAL CHI-DC.

 

 

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Posted by BEAUSABRE on Wednesday, March 2, 2022 11:30 AM

Overmod
We might look at the Normandie (and why it so conveniently burned, and why it was never resurrected, and why the line took the cash payment instead of building the Yourkevitch follow-on) f

Why it burned was because safety was ignored (there's a war on!) and sparks from a welders torch ignited a pile of life jackets. What followed was a comedy of errors - US fire hoses couldn't mate with metric threaded piping and the fire mains were shut off anyway, the New York fire department pumped so much water so high, she capsized, etc, etc

As far as a replacement, French Line built the SS France - last of the great trans-Atlantic liner (launched in 1960, fer Pete's sake, when the writing was clearly on the wall). After SS America was sold by United States Line, she and SS United States were teamed together (One going Eastbound and the other Westbound each WEEK - who was going to wait that long for the next ship and then spend four days traveling, no matter how luxurious - with the two companies sharing the revenues, excuse me, losses) in a last gasp at the trade.

"With the loss of the Normandie in New York Harbour in 1942, the Ile de France became the only French Line largest Trans-Atlantic liner. However, the German liner Europa, which had been captured by Allied troops towards the end of World War II, was awarded to the French Line, who renamed her Liberte. This liner kept the French line afloat throughout the 1950's.However, with Cunard operating the pride of their fleet with the 83,673-ton Queen Elizabeth, French Line directors decided to go one better than the British and build the longest passenger liner ever, to replace both the aging the Ile de France and Liberte, both of which were taken out of service by 1960. The 66,348-ton SS France was to be the last French liner to be built for the Trans-Atlantic service."

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Posted by BaltACD on Wednesday, March 2, 2022 2:36 PM

BEAUSABRE
 
Overmod
We might look at the Normandie (and why it so conveniently burned, and why it was never resurrected, and why the line took the cash payment instead of building the Yourkevitch follow-on) f 

Why it burned was because safety was ignored (there's a war on!) and sparks from a welders torch ignited a pile of life jackets. What followed was a comedy of errors - US fire hoses couldn't mate with metric threaded piping and the fire mains were shut off anyway, the New York fire department pumped so much water so high, she capsized, etc, etc

As far as a replacement, French Line built the SS France - last of the great trans-Atlantic liner (launched in 1960, fer Pete's sake, when the writing was clearly on the wall). After SS America was sold by United States Line, she and SS United States were teamed together (One going Eastbound and the other Westbound each WEEK - who was going to wait that long for the next ship and then spend four days traveling, no matter how luxurious - with the two companies sharing the revenues, excuse me, losses) in a last gasp at the trade.

"With the loss of the Normandie in New York Harbour in 1942, the Ile de France became the only French Line largest Trans-Atlantic liner. However, the German liner Europa, which had been captured by Allied troops towards the end of World War II, was awarded to the French Line, who renamed her Liberte. This liner kept the French line afloat throughout the 1950's.However, with Cunard operating the pride of their fleet with the 83,673-ton Queen Elizabeth, French Line directors decided to go one better than the British and build the longest passenger liner ever, to replace both the aging the Ile de France and Liberte, both of which were taken out of service by 1960. The 66,348-ton SS France was to be the last French liner to be built for the Trans-Atlantic service."

WW II and bad fire fighting on the Normandie have nothing on the fire fighting of the USS Bonehomme Richard

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USS_Bonhomme_Richard_(LHD-6)

Never too old to have a happy childhood!

              

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Posted by Overmod on Wednesday, March 2, 2022 10:41 PM

BEAUSABRE
Why it burned was because safety was ignored (there's a war on!) and sparks from a welders torch ignited a pile of life jackets.

Why it burned was because the fix was in -- Yourkevitch himself told the Navy to counterflood and they ignored him.

That the French Line never built the improved, larger sister ship Yourkevitch designed is likely a further indication.  The France, when she was built, was a demonstration of modern esthetic -- one of my beloved Time-Life Books featured an extensive description of the ship at the height of her prowess.

Then the Norwegians bought her, blew up part of the steam plant, and never could find an excuse to rebuild it.  I looked once -- once -- at a picture of the ship at Alang with her bow nipped, and never looked again.

Now, what might have been interesting was the Sea Coach idea, enormous hulls with hotel amenities for a glorified version of steerage.  I think it was buildable (but I cannot account for them not taking the obvious route of having an established flag carrier operate the hulls and outsource the hospitality stuff to the established hotel chain...)  On the other hand, I cannot see the operation being profitable very long into the jet age, and in particular after Freddy Laker (walking in Dalziel's footsteps, in a sense) made jet steerage practical.  

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