Bar Harbor Express - East Wind (B&M/MEC Seasonal Service)

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ExCon90
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Re: Bar Harbor Express - East Wind (B&M/MEC Seasonal Service

Post by ExCon90 » Thu Dec 26, 2013 4:04 pm

There was an exhaustively researched book, I think by Jeremy Plant, devoted entirely to the East Wind, with some great color photos, and a funny story about repainting the B&M coaches at the end of the second season. I don't have it, and don't remember the publisher, but it was one of the better-known railroad publishers; I think it came out sometime in the 1990's.

Dick H
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Re: Bar Harbor Express - East Wind (B&M/MEC Seasonal Service

Post by Dick H » Thu Dec 26, 2013 6:40 pm

I have been unable to find a reference to the East Wind book by Mr. Plant.
"
"BOSTON AND MAINE, Three colorful decades of New England Railroading",
by Robert Willoughby Jones (1991) has a photo of the EAST WIND taken at
Barbers MA in 1941 with B&M Mountain loco 4113 and 10 cars in the vivid
yellow and silver paint scheme that lasted only three years. It is noted that
the 4100's were the only B&M loco that could make it from Worcester to
Portland without stopping for water.

Mr. Jones' "BOSTON AND MAINE, City and Shore" (1999), has two color photos
of the EAST WIND In August 1953 east of Worcester and at Barber's Crossing.
The first photo has the B&M E-7 3805 and five cars and the second photo has
MEC E-7 706 and five cars. There is also a photo of the B&M East Wind coach
reservation identification. There is also a photo of B&M 4113 with the EAST
WIND crossing Exchange St. in the 1940's.

Thanks to "goKeefe" and "eastwind" for all their great work in researching this
topic. Two fine example of many great posters on RAILROAD.net.

ferroequinarchaeologist
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Re: Bar Harbor Express - East Wind (B&M/MEC Seasonal Service

Post by ferroequinarchaeologist » Fri Dec 27, 2013 11:55 am

FYI, B&MRRHS Bulletin, Summer 1978, there is a seven page, twelve photo Arnold Wilder article on the East Wind, history and anecdotes.

PBM

gokeefe
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Re: Bar Harbor Express - East Wind (B&M/MEC Seasonal Service

Post by gokeefe » Sat Dec 28, 2013 12:37 pm

Dick H wrote:Thanks to "goKeefe" and "eastwind" for all their great work in researching this
topic. Two fine example of many great posters on RAILROAD.net.
Thanks very much Dick! :-D

My compliments to everyone who has posted here. We are making this thread one of the very best locations on the internet to find infomation on the B&M and MEC Seasonal Services, with a particular focus on the East Wind and of course the "mother of all trains" to ever run on the MEC the Bar Harbor Express.

Part of my purpose in writing this thread was to better understand how these services worked so that knowledge could be preserved for potential future use and service development. One of the worst possible mistakes in any new service development plan for passenger rail would be misunderstanding previous service, infrastructure and routings. There is a lot of institutional knowledge that can be gleaned from merely understanding routes, timetables, annual schedule patterns and on board service levels.
gokeefe

eastwind
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Re: Bar Harbor Express - East Wind (B&M/MEC Seasonal Service

Post by eastwind » Sat Dec 28, 2013 5:14 pm

Dick H wrote:Thanks to "goKeefe" and "eastwind" for all their great work in researching this
topic. Two fine example of many great posters on RAILROAD.net.
Why, thank you, sir.
*deep bow*
It's gratifying to know that my lifelong interest in these two particular trains—which I am just old enough to have ridden but never got the chance—has resulted in knowledge that I am happy to share and that others appreciate.

--eastwind
Formerly of Pittsfield and Waterville (Maine), New York City, Montréal, and San Francisco.

eastwind
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Re: Bar Harbor Express - East Wind (B&M/MEC Seasonal Service

Post by eastwind » Sun Dec 29, 2013 10:07 pm

There is some very interesting information regarding the makeup of the Bar Harbor contained in the document, "The Pennsylvania Railroad MAKE-UP OF TRAINS, NEW YORK DIVISION, No. 4, In Effect 2:00 A.M. Sunday, April 26, 1953." It can be downloaded from http://pennsyrr.com/operations/94-passenger/511-makeup-of-trains.

On page 95 (pdf page 53), the consist of eastward PRR-NHRR Train 184, the Bar Habror [sic], is listed. It shows the train leaving Philadelphia Mon-Wed-Fri at 4:30 p.m. (Standard Time), with 14 cars (17 on Friday), arriving New York at 6:15 and departing at 6:30.

There is the curious notation, "Cars designated N-6, N-14, N-18, N-24, N-26, N-28 and N-30 for exclusive New York sales." In other words, the seven cars listed in the public timetable for New York to Ellsworth, Rockland, and Plymouth were not switched into the train at New York Penn Station but rather ran light from Philadelphia and were merely opened at New York.

That answers the question I've long had about how so many New York cars could be switched into the train in the proper order at Penn Station, load, and depart in such a short time during the afternoon rush without tying up precious station tracks. That's not how it worked. The train arrived and began loading immediately. Fifteen minutes was plenty of time for that, especially since there were no passengers getting off. The only switch move was the change to a New Haven engine, a routine that happened several times a day in Penn Station.

A fascinating look at the operation of this train.
Formerly of Pittsfield and Waterville (Maine), New York City, Montréal, and San Francisco.

ExCon90
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Re: Bar Harbor Express - East Wind (B&M/MEC Seasonal Service

Post by ExCon90 » Mon Dec 30, 2013 6:06 pm

Thanks for posting that bit about the sleepers deadheading from Philadelphia. It's the kind of information never found in public timetables.

Dick H
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Re: Bar Harbor Express - East Wind (B&M/MEC Seasonal Service

Post by Dick H » Fri Nov 14, 2014 8:06 pm

The quote below comes from a August 20, 2012 post on this thread.

"The train that did carry a parlor car to Rockland was the Kennebec to/from Boston, up in the morning and down in the afternoon. The B&M-MC parlor car ran during the summer only and, as far as I can tell, in 1946 and 1947 but gone by 1951."

Not to take anything away from the well maintained high end passenger equipment that the
Maine Eastern runs on the Rockland line, but was yesterday the first time since the MEC
shut down the line that an Amtrak OCS trainset and a Guilford (now PAR) OCS car paid a
visit to Rockland?

Also, does anyone know how the train was handled to make the trip back to Brunswick,
where it could by wyed? Thanks.

gokeefe
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Re: Bar Harbor Express - East Wind (B&M/MEC Seasonal Service

Post by gokeefe » Fri Nov 14, 2014 8:31 pm

Dick H wrote:Not to take anything away from the well maintained high end passenger equipment that the
Maine Eastern runs on the Rockland line, but was yesterday the first time since the MEC
shut down the line that an Amtrak OCS trainset and a Guilford (now PAR) OCS car paid a
visit to Rockland?
I believe the answer is yes on both counts. I was more curious about the question of how long its been since a sleeper car was at the station in Rockland. It might be a stretch but I don't think this has happened in an even longer time that than. I seem to recall discussion of a through sleeper Rockland - New York City, perhaps operated seasonally.
gokeefe

edbear
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Re: Bar Harbor Express - East Wind (B&M/MEC Seasonal Service

Post by edbear » Sat Nov 15, 2014 7:26 pm

Labor Day 1960 was the last time the Bar Harbor ran and a sleeper left from Rockland. Next morning, a Tuesday, the Bar Harbor terminated at Grand Central in New York as the PRR was on strike that day.

gokeefe
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Re: Bar Harbor Express - East Wind (B&M/MEC Seasonal Service

Post by gokeefe » Sun Nov 16, 2014 1:11 am

edbear wrote:Labor Day 1960 was the last time the Bar Harbor ran and a sleeper left from Rockland. Next morning, a Tuesday, the Bar Harbor terminated at Grand Central in New York as the PRR was on strike that day.
So likely 54 years?!? Wow.....

Any idea whose sleeper it was? NH, PRR?
gokeefe

Watchman318
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Re: Bar Harbor Express - East Wind (B&M/MEC Seasonal Service

Post by Watchman318 » Sun Nov 16, 2014 3:48 pm

Dick H wrote:Also, does anyone know how the train was handled to make the trip back to Brunswick, where it could by wyed?
The second photo on the BDN page seems to show the "roll-up observation" car facing the bumper that's at the east end of the station track, so my guess would be that some equipment got turned around on the turntable by the engine house, which is about 0.58 mile west of there. The falling snow suggests the photo was from Friday morning, 11/14.
Image

edbear
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Re: Bar Harbor Express - East Wind (B&M/MEC Seasonal Service

Post by edbear » Wed Nov 19, 2014 10:05 pm

Whose sleeper was it? I don't know. But Pullman maintained a fleet of cars for seasonal services after the sleeping car operations were spun off to the various railroads, 1947. Most cars were sold to the railroads and new construction after that was bought by the railroads. The seasonal fleet was reserved for Florida (and probably Arizona) service in the winter, conventions, mountain and beach destinations for summer. If the last car out of Rockland was a Roomette/Bedroom car it was probably a railroad owned car; if it was compartment/drawing room it was probably a Pullman pool car.

gokeefe
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Re: Bar Harbor Express - East Wind (B&M/MEC Seasonal Service

Post by gokeefe » Sun Nov 26, 2017 3:00 pm

Just a little over three years ago the Amtrak Theater Car, "American View" took a trip down the Rockland Branch. And now we are seeing some of the fruits of that trip with the potential reintroduction of seasonal weekend only passenger service from Boston.

***CORRECTED***
Of some interest and "on topic" with this thread I found a reference to a train by the name of the Rockland Express which ran from Grand Central Station. The Rockland Express was a lesser known but apparently no less prestigious all-Pullman service operating from Grand Central Terminal in New York. On the Maine Central it was numbered "53" with the "BHE" (as it was often referred to in company documents) numbered "153". From what I can tell it appears that the Rockland Express received sleeping cars from the "BHE" in Portland and then departed. Worth noting that the Bar Harbor Express operated via the Back Road through Lewiston (not jointly to Brunswick with the Rockland Express as originally posted).

I have been checking for research purposes lately to see if there was ever run through service from Boston North Station. As best I can tell this absolutely never happened. Although there were plenty of run through Parlor Car services there was never a run through train (which most likely would have been coaches, perhaps with a parlor). If anyone knows of or can find an example to the contrary I would be interested in hearing about it.

***ADDED***
At least one timetable (Maine Central Summer 1930) seems to indicate that Train 57 ran through from Boston North Station with coaches and a broiler buffet parlor car and operated as a section of the Flying Yankee (pre-1935 heavyweight version).

Here is a link to that PDF: https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B4OG6 ... FdrWDBIZU0" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
gokeefe

Noel Weaver
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Re: Bar Harbor Express - East Wind (B&M/MEC Seasonal Service

Post by Noel Weaver » Mon Dec 04, 2017 5:56 pm

RE: The Rockland Branch

I finally had a chance to dig out some old Boston and Maine public timetables from the 1930's and 1940's, the ones from the 1930's are in pretty bad shape and I did not manhandle them too much but I found no examples of a through train (entire train that is) from B & M points to Rockland. From the Boston and Maine timetable for the summer of 1948 (cover date April 25, 1948) there was a lot of through sleepers from New York and beyond to points in Maine. The peak time was Friday evening out of New York and here are some of them: The State of Maine had 7 sleepers from New York (GCT) to Portland and one additonal to Farmington, Maine and it also had one to Concord, NH. One of these sleepers had a lounge. The Bar Harbor had 1 sleeper from Washington to Ellsworth, 2 sleepers Philadelphia to Ellsworth one of which had a lounge, 1 sleeper from Philadelphia to Portland, 1 sleeper from Philadelphia to Rockland, 2 sleepers from New York to Ellsworth, 1 sleeper from New York to Bangor and 2 sleepers from New York to Rockland. The only coach on this train was between Portland and Rockland, otherwise it was sleeping cars only. The train ran Monday, Wednesday and Friday in the summer of 1948, June 18th through September 10th. The closest to a through train was the Down Easter which had 3 sleepers to Waterville and 3 sleepers to Rockland one of which was a lounge sleeper. This train also had a through sleeper from New York to Plymouth, NH. It ran out of Penn Station, NY and on Fridays from June 25th through September 3rd. The timetable showed no coaches. On both the Bar Harbor and the Down Easter the Rockland sleepers rode from Portland to Rockland on train 53 which left Portland at 4:50 AM and arrived Rockland at 7:33 AM on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday mornings. The Rockland train did not show in the Rockland Branch schedules but it showed in the through schedules from New York. During the summer of 1948 there were around 25 through sleepers on a Friday evening out of New York and beyond for points in Maine. WHAT HAPPENED?? In short the jet plane, Interstate Highways and probably much less market overall for these destinations. Both the State of Maine and the Bar Harbor made their last trips in 1960.
Noel Weaver

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