Trains.com

Classic Train Questions Part Deux (50 Years or Older)

806275 views
7634 replies
1 rating 2 rating 3 rating 4 rating 5 rating
  • Member since
    December 2001
  • From: FEC MP334
  • 930 posts
Posted by ZephyrOverland on Friday, October 1, 2021 10:54 PM

rcdrye

Florida Sunbeam Boston-Florida operated by NYNH&H/PRR/RF&P/SAL replaced Seaboard Fast Mail for two seasons (1930 and 1931), name was later re-used by Southern/SAL train inaugurated in 1936, collecting New York Central Pullmans from various cities in the Midwest (Chicago, Detroit, Cleveland and Toledo) for delivery to Florida, bypassing Jacksonville with a SRR/SAL handoff at Hampton FL.

Not easy to find references to the original train - PRRT&HS comes through again.

The "New Royal Palm" replaced the Florida Sunbeam in 1949, providing essentially the same service, but via Jacksonville and with no west coast cars.

 

The Florida Sunbeam was the name I was looking for.

The first incarnation of the name was used on a winter season Washington-Florida SAL train inaugurated in December 1930. The train replaced the Seaboard Fast Mail, but utilized that trains numbers, #3 and #4. The Sunbeam was advertised as a Boston train, but the Boston sleepers were handled on the Federal Express to Washington and the New York sleepers were transported via existing PRR corridor trains north of Washington. The Sunbeam also handled a number of seasonal Midwest-Florida via Washington sleepers. At the end of the winter season the Sunbeam was replaced by the Washington-Jacksonville Seaboard Fast Mail.

During the Florida boom years of the mid-to-late 20s, winter season trains were operated for up to six months out of the year, but for the 1931-32 winter season, seasonal trains made only a brief appearance of about six weeks. In this environment, the Florida Sunbeam returned, but operating southbound only, again replacing the Seaboard Fast Mail. At this time, the northbound Seaboard Fast Mail, #4, remained in operation, but was cut back to a Columbia-Washington run. The Sunbeam no longer handled any Boston or New York sleepers, and only one Washington-Florida sleeper was operated on an alternating basis between Miami and St. Petersburg. The Midwest-Florida via Washington sleepers made a reappearance for what turned out to be a final season. Despite the southbound-only operation, advertisments for the Florida Sunbeam showed a south and northbound schedule, but the later was for #8, the Orange Blossom Special. This seasons Sunbeam ran from mid-December 1931 to the end of January 1932, at which time original #3 was restored, renamed slightly to Seaboard Passenger, Mail and Express. This was the end of the Florida Sunbeam as an east coast-Florida train.

In January 1936, the Florida Sunbeam name returned, this time applied to a new Cincinnati-Miami/St. Petersburg seasonal train, operating via Southern Railway to Hampton, Florida, where it was turned over to Seaboard for the rest of the way. This Florida Sunbeam replaced the former seasonal Royal Palm de luxe and Suwanee River Special, both victims of the depression. The train handled sleepers from Chicago, Indianapolis, Detroit, Cleveland and Buffalo, transported by NYC services to Cincinnati. This Florida Sunbeam was more successful, operating through the 1948-49 winter season (skipping the World War 2 years) and was replaced with the streamlined New Royal Palm.

Rcdrye, the floor is yours.

  • Member since
    May 2012
  • 4,545 posts
Posted by rcdrye on Friday, October 1, 2021 3:18 PM

Florida Sunbeam Boston-Florida operated by NYNH&H/PRR/RF&P/SAL replaced Seaboard Fast Mail for two seasons (1930 and 1931), name was later re-used by Southern/SAL train inaugurated in 1936, collecting New York Central Pullmans from various cities in the Midwest (Chicago, Detroit, Cleveland and Toledo) for delivery to Florida, bypassing Jacksonville with a SRR/SAL handoff at Hampton FL.

Not easy to find references to the original train - PRRT&HS comes through again.

The "New Royal Palm" replaced the Florida Sunbeam in 1949, providing essentially the same service, but via Jacksonville and with no west coast cars.

  • Member since
    December 2001
  • From: FEC MP334
  • 930 posts
Posted by ZephyrOverland on Friday, October 1, 2021 11:01 AM

daveklepper

Muxt be Seaboard, a train 1st Seaboard-Southern-NYCentral Sysyem (lstter possibly only throush Pullmans) Midwest - Florida, and then NY - Florida with RF&P and PRR.

Or the reverse order.

 

O.K. - you got some pieces of the puzzle. Now its time to answer the original question - the name used on both trains and the routes.

  • Member since
    June 2002
  • 18,280 posts
Posted by daveklepper on Friday, October 1, 2021 3:14 AM

Muxt be Seaboard, a train 1st Seaboard-Southern-NYCentral Sysyem (lstter possibly only throush Pullmans) Midwest - Florida, and then NY - Florida with RF&P and PRR.

Or the reverse order.

  • Member since
    December 2001
  • From: FEC MP334
  • 930 posts
Posted by ZephyrOverland on Wednesday, September 29, 2021 9:43 AM

daveklepper

Was there a seasonal Midwest - Florida Special before the ACL's long lasting N Y - Florida winter-season Florida Special?

 

The Florida Special is not it, in light of the fact that ACL's train ran seasonally on a continuing basis more or less consistently from 1888 - but you're in the right direction.

You're also in the right neighborhood, in that the trains I'm looking for had the approximate endpoints you mention.

 

  • Member since
    June 2002
  • 18,280 posts
Posted by daveklepper on Wednesday, September 29, 2021 4:10 AM

Was there a seasonal Midwest - Florida Special before the ACL's long lasting N Y - Florida winter-season Florida Special?

  • Member since
    December 2001
  • From: FEC MP334
  • 930 posts
Posted by ZephyrOverland on Tuesday, September 28, 2021 4:29 PM

Overmod

Can't be B&M Snow Trains for more than one reason, and that's the only thing I knew would fit.

 

No it isn't. Look the other way.

Also, in its first incarnation, it was a secondary seasonal train. But in its second incarnation, it was the primary seasonal train on its route.

  • Member since
    September 2003
  • 17,989 posts
Posted by Overmod on Tuesday, September 28, 2021 3:01 PM

Can't be B&M Snow Trains for more than one reason, and that's the only thing I knew would fit.

  • Member since
    December 2001
  • From: FEC MP334
  • 930 posts
Posted by ZephyrOverland on Tuesday, September 28, 2021 11:45 AM

ZephyrOverland

A Case of Depression Window Dressing, but with a Happy Ending....

More than a year after the Stock Market crash of 1929, American business was experiencing erosion of economic activity but was still optimistic that the better times were soon coming. A new seasonal train was introduced in this environment, but the main operating railroad had to tactfully acknowledge reality by operating this train as a temporary replacement (and upgrade) of an existing train. This facade went on for two seasons, after which the seasonal operation was permanently discontinued. But not to fear, the name that was used on this train reappeared several years later on a new seasonal train on a different route with more lasting results.

That was the name that was applied to these two trains, and what were their routes?

 

(sounds of chirping crickets....)

OK, OK... maybe its time for another clue...

The first train was established for the 1930-31 winter season.

 

  • Member since
    December 2001
  • From: FEC MP334
  • 930 posts
Posted by ZephyrOverland on Wednesday, September 22, 2021 10:03 AM

rcdrye

The Scenic Limited (MP/D&RGW/WP) was briefly renamed the Westerner for a period around 1930.  MP also used the name Westerner on a west Texas train (with T&P) at a later time.

 

A decent guess but its not the answer. The Scenic Limited and the Westerner were not seasonal trains. But you inadvertenly preceeded one of my clues, in that one railroad was involved with both trains. In the first incarnation the railroad was the primary operator of the train, based on mileage, whereas in the second incarnation this same railroad was the secondary operator of the train, again based on mileage.

  • Member since
    May 2012
  • 4,545 posts
Posted by rcdrye on Wednesday, September 22, 2021 9:38 AM

The Scenic Limited (MP/D&RGW/WP) was briefly renamed the Westerner for a period around 1930.  MP also used the name Westerner on a west Texas train (with T&P) at a later time.

  • Member since
    December 2001
  • From: FEC MP334
  • 930 posts
Posted by ZephyrOverland on Tuesday, September 21, 2021 2:52 PM

daveklepper

On either route, was more than one railroad involved?

 

Yes, in terms of through cars and through train operations.

  • Member since
    June 2002
  • 18,280 posts
Posted by daveklepper on Tuesday, September 21, 2021 2:01 PM

On either route, was more than one railroad involved?

  • Member since
    December 2001
  • From: FEC MP334
  • 930 posts
Posted by ZephyrOverland on Tuesday, September 21, 2021 1:14 PM

A Case of Depression Window Dressing, but with a Happy Ending....

More than a year after the Stock Market crash of 1929, American business was experiencing erosion of economic activity but was still optimistic that the better times were soon coming. A new seasonal train was introduced in this environment, but the main operating railroad had to tactfully acknowledge reality by operating this train as a temporary replacement (and upgrade) of an existing train. This facade went on for two seasons, after which the seasonal operation was permanently discontinued. But not to fear, the name that was used on this train reappeared several years later on a new seasonal train on a different route with more lasting results.

That was the name that was applied to these two trains, and what were their routes?

  • Member since
    December 2001
  • From: FEC MP334
  • 930 posts
Posted by ZephyrOverland on Monday, September 20, 2021 3:53 PM

daveklepper

Waiting for ZO's question.

 

So am I. Question coming soon.....

 

  • Member since
    June 2002
  • 18,280 posts
Posted by daveklepper on Sunday, September 19, 2021 1:55 PM

Waiting for ZO's question.

  • Member since
    May 2012
  • 4,545 posts
Posted by rcdrye on Wednesday, September 15, 2021 1:16 PM

Good to see you back, ZO!  Yes, the SF Overland was kept to a high standard, even receiving two of SP's home-rebuilt dome cars in the mid 1950s.  Summer-and-holiday only for its last two seasons, it carried the St. Louis and Denver cars until the "City of Everywhere" rework by UP broke the connections.  The mostly daytime schedule was outfitted with a coffee shop car instead of a diner.  The train was discontinued early enough to miss the Automat Buffet.

  • Member since
    December 2001
  • From: FEC MP334
  • 930 posts
Posted by ZephyrOverland on Wednesday, September 15, 2021 11:34 AM

Would this be the San Francisco Overland? After losing its Chicago-Omaha schedule and its Chicago cars, UP eventually downgraded its portion of the train to an Omaha-Cheyenne local. SP's portion got a new lease on life as being, in essence, the San Francisco connection to the City of St. Louis, still operating with a full compliment of cars and services. Eventually, it existed in name only for several years when it was combined with the City of San Francisco.

  • Member since
    May 2012
  • 4,545 posts
Posted by rcdrye on Wednesday, September 15, 2021 6:09 AM

You're overthinking a bit.  The train was a premier run before streamliners were even thought of.

  • Member since
    September 2003
  • 17,989 posts
Posted by Overmod on Tuesday, September 14, 2021 9:35 PM

Wouldn't have anything to do with a 39 3/4 hour train to rival the Super Chief that was stillborn when the ICC order of 1947 made the timing impossible?  That Hank Snow wrote a song about?

  • Member since
    May 2012
  • 4,545 posts
Posted by rcdrye on Tuesday, September 14, 2021 10:22 AM

CSSHEGEWISCH

With that last hint, I will say that it was the "Arizona Limited".

 

The Arizona Limited was discontinued mostly due to World War II.  The train I'm looking for was better known as a heavyweight that was eclipsed by a streamliner.

  • Member since
    March 2016
  • From: Burbank IL (near Clearing)
  • 12,568 posts
Posted by CSSHEGEWISCH on Tuesday, September 14, 2021 10:07 AM

With that last hint, I will say that it was the "Arizona Limited".

The daily commute is part of everyday life but I get two rides a day out of it. Paul
  • Member since
    September 2003
  • 17,989 posts
Posted by Overmod on Tuesday, September 14, 2021 9:46 AM

I suspect it involves a mighty fine road, a road to ride.

  • Member since
    May 2012
  • 4,545 posts
Posted by rcdrye on Tuesday, September 14, 2021 9:34 AM

So far, so good. The train was seasonal for a couple of years in the 1960s.

  • Member since
    June 2002
  • 18,280 posts
Posted by daveklepper on Tuesday, September 14, 2021 8:53 AM

Was it an SP train, interlined with another ralroad?  Were not all western railroads passenger-friendly until sometime after WWII, when the SP lost that adjective?  The Western Pacific then became unfriendly.  I could not find seasonal trains for, either, but maybe I did nlot look hard enough for the SP.

  • Member since
    May 2012
  • 4,545 posts
Posted by rcdrye on Tuesday, September 14, 2021 8:02 AM

In a series of surprising moves, as this once premier western train was downgraded one of the partners not only kept up its standards but also rebuilt equipment to assign to its portion of the train's run.  Even as the train was reduced to a seasonal offering the equipment and service standards remained high, though the railroad was not known as being particularly passenger-friendly.

  • Member since
    May 2012
  • 4,545 posts
Posted by rcdrye on Tuesday, September 14, 2021 6:24 AM

Considering It was my question the last time I'll withdraw it and try something different...  Give me an hour or so...

  • Member since
    September 2003
  • 17,989 posts
Posted by Overmod on Monday, September 13, 2021 6:58 PM

rc, the Lake Champlain floating bridges was a quiz question at least once before...

  • Member since
    May 2012
  • 4,545 posts
Posted by rcdrye on Monday, September 13, 2021 3:19 PM

CSSHEGEWISCH
The subway that connected Logan Square with the Kennedy median was especially tight.  CTA installed bars over the windows on 6000-series cars assigned to the West-Northwest line to prevent injuries to passengers.

CTA also took all of the roof equipment (poles, trolley boards, ventilators) off the roof of former 4000 series "plushies" assigned to work service on the Kennedy line.

 

This large lake had two floating railroad bridges crossing it in the latter part of the 19th century.  One of them was replaced by a conventional swing bridge, the other remained a "floater" until the USRA took it out of service during WW I.  The bridge was never replaced.  Name the lake and the railroads involved.

 

  • Member since
    March 2016
  • From: Burbank IL (near Clearing)
  • 12,568 posts
Posted by CSSHEGEWISCH on Monday, September 13, 2021 10:20 AM

rcdrye

CRT even had lines that were tight enough to restrict the use of certain types of its own equipment.  5000- and 6000-series cars could not operate west of Laramie on the Lake Street line before November 1962, because they would not clear the island platform station houses on the street-level line. 

 
The subway that connected Logan Square with the Kennedy median was especially tight.  CTA installed bars over the windows on 6000-series cars assigned to the West-Northwest line to prevent injuries to passengers.
The daily commute is part of everyday life but I get two rides a day out of it. Paul

SUBSCRIBER & MEMBER LOGIN

Login, or register today to interact in our online community, comment on articles, receive our newsletter, manage your account online and more!

FREE NEWSLETTER SIGNUP

Get the Classic Trains twice-monthly newsletter