Ticket question

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charlesriverbranch
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Ticket question

Post by charlesriverbranch » Sun Oct 06, 2019 12:26 pm

I received recently as a gift a collection of old timetables. In a Great Northern Railway timetable from January, 1951, I find the following text: All one-way and round-trip tickets will be honored on the Empire Builders (Nos. 1-2) except as follows: tickets endorsed Clergy, Charity, Furlough, Employee, D.V.S., V.A.H., Blind and Attendant, Blind and Guide-Dogs, will not be honored. Circus, Show, Banana Messenger, Drover's or Caretaker's tickets and Live Stock Contracts will not be honored.

Some of these are comprehensible, but what is a circus ticket? Banana messenger? Live stock contract? D.V.S? V.A.H.?

Trains 3-4, the Oriental Limited, had no such restrictions.

electricron
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Re: Ticket question

Post by electricron » Sun Oct 06, 2019 1:51 pm

I’ll admit I don’t know what all those categories are. But back in 1951, the Empire Builder was the Great Northern’s premiere first class sleeper train. Of course they did not honor discounts on it, and there were other non first class trains those discounts could be used.

ExCon90
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Re: Ticket question

Post by ExCon90 » Sun Oct 06, 2019 2:41 pm

Banana messengers accompanied shipments of bananas, riding in the caboose of freight trains, and were granted discounted fares to return on passenger trains. Same with drover's tickets, dating from when cattle drovers traveled in the same freight train with the cattle and returned on passenger trains at a discounted fare, and as electricron pointed out could not use those discounts on the best trains. I have always wondered what D.V.S. and V.A.H. stood for and sincerely hope that somebody on here knows. On an impulse I checked Wikipedia--no luck.

CHTT1
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Re: Ticket question

Post by CHTT1 » Sun Oct 06, 2019 5:38 pm

"Circus" tickets might refer to special rates for circus "advance men" who would travel ahead of the main circus train to promote the upcoming visit by putting up posters and otherwise let the residents of a town know that the big show was coming.

'DVS' and "VAH" might refer to disabled persons and veterans.

nkloudon
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Re: Ticket question

Post by nkloudon » Mon Oct 07, 2019 7:28 am

In addition, most railroads did not allow employees to ride on passes on their premier trains. Back when I worked for Pennsy the pass read "Not valid on trains 48 and 49 (Broadway Limited) or for regular or daily travel between residence and place of business." The latter was upheld only on local (MP54 MU) trains. I used it daily on a "Clocker" between New Brunswick and Philadelphia.

The restriction on 48 and 49 was lifted when the secondary overnight train, The General, was discontinued and coaches were added to the Broadway.

mtuandrew
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Re: Ticket question

Post by mtuandrew » Mon Oct 07, 2019 10:01 am

DVS makes me think “disabled veteran or serviceman” but could just as easily be “doctor, veterinarian, surgeon” or anything else comprehensible to the railroad. For that matter, it might not stand for anything and is just a code used by the GN ticket office to indicate something - maybe it has to do with a replacement ticket voucher.

ExCon90
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Re: Ticket question

Post by ExCon90 » Mon Oct 07, 2019 2:08 pm

No, those initials appeared in timetables of all railroads--I remember seeing them in just about every System timetable I picked up. To grant reduced fares the railroads had to have specific authority from the Interstate Commerce Commission, so there's probably a mass of paperwork buried in the archives somewhere. As I recall, when the I.C.C. was sunsetted in 1995 all their tariff files, and possibly all records, were sent to the University of Denver, but whether they're accessible to the public for research I don't know. In addition, a lot of law firms that dealt with transportation law had bound volumes of I.C.C. decisions, but I certainly wouldn't volunteer for the job of going through that large a haystack. I know those abbreviations go back at least to the 1940's, and probably a long time before that--and it would be nice after all these years to know what they meant.

As to the PRR pass restrictions, the one against use for commuting came In sometime in the early 1960's, and the restriction appeared in fine print on the face of the pass, which when issued included a narrow strip of the same paper, separated by a perforation. If you tore off the perforation and placed a piece of that paper just so over the pass when you put it in your wallet the restriction was concealed (it only applied to employees hired after the restriction took effect). The following year such passes had a prominent orange diagonal line across the face of the entire pass.

mtuandrew
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Re: Ticket question

Post by mtuandrew » Mon Oct 07, 2019 6:39 pm

Here are some answers c/o Title 49 US Code, 1988 edition:

https://www.ferc.gov/legal/maj-ord-reg/ica.pdf
(7) Free transportation for passengers .prohibited; exceptions; penalty

No common carrier subject to the provisions of this chapter, shall, directly or indirectly, issue or give any interstate free ticket, free pass, or free transportation for passengers; except to its employees, its officers, time inspectors, surgeons, physicians, and attorneys at law, and the families of any of the foregoing; to the executive officers, general chairmen and counsel of employees' organizations when such organizations are authorized and designated to represent employees in accordance with the provisions of the Railway-Labor Act (45 U.S.C. 151 et. seq.]; to ministers of religion, traveling secretaries of railroad Young Men's Christian Associations, inmates of hospitals and charitable and eleemosynary institutions, and persons exclusively engaged in charitable and eleemosynary work; to indigent, destitute and homeless persons, and to such persons when transported by charitable societies or hospitals, and the necessary agents employed in such transportation; to inmates of the National Homes or State Homes for Disabled Volunteer Soldiers, and of Soldiers' and Sailors' Homes, including those about to enter and those returning home after discharge; to necessary caretakers of livestock, poultry, milk, and fruit; to employees on sleeping cars, express cars, and to linemen of telegraph and telephone companies; to railway mail-service employees and persons in charge of the mails when on duty and traveling to and from duty, and all duly accredited agents and officers of the United States Postal Service and the Railway Mail Service and post-office inspectors while traveling on official business, upon the exhibition of their credentials; to customs inspectors, and immigration officers; to newsboys on trains, baggage agents, witnesses attending any legal investigation in which the common carrier is interested, persons injured in wrecks and physicians and nurses attending such persons; ...
You were right on with Disabled Volunteer Soldiers, and I bet that VAH is Veterans Arriving Home or something similar.

ExCon90
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Re: Ticket question

Post by ExCon90 » Tue Oct 08, 2019 2:48 pm

Nice catch. That seems to clear it up.

mtuandrew
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Re: Ticket question

Post by mtuandrew » Tue Oct 08, 2019 7:00 pm

ExCon90 wrote:
Tue Oct 08, 2019 2:48 pm
Nice catch. That seems to clear it up.
Thanks, appreciate it. I’d still like to know for certain what V.A.H. stands for, but someone will run across the answer eventually.

electricron
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Re: Ticket question

Post by electricron » Tue Oct 08, 2019 9:15 pm

mtuandrew wrote:
Tue Oct 08, 2019 7:00 pm
ExCon90 wrote:
Tue Oct 08, 2019 2:48 pm
Nice catch. That seems to clear it up.
Thanks, appreciate it. I’d still like to know for certain what V.A.H. stands for, but someone will run across the answer eventually.

Using free dictionary, https://acronyms.thefreedictionary.com/VAH
there are several possibilities for an acronym using V.A.H., but considering its’ use after D.V.S.
I believe Verterans Administration Hospital is the most correct choice.

ExCon90
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Re: Ticket question

Post by ExCon90 » Wed Oct 09, 2019 1:59 pm

Note particularly the word "interstate" in the citation from Title 49. For many years the State of New Jersey required railroads to issue free passes to state legislators, and I believe also judges and State officials (and their sisters and their cousins and their aunts?) for transportation within New Jersey. I'm not sure whether the requirement was incorporated in legislation, but it was certainly "expected"--and provided.

mtuandrew
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Re: Ticket question

Post by mtuandrew » Tue Oct 15, 2019 2:02 pm

Moderator Note: sliced and diced some freight rate structure-related posts from here to a new Interstate Commerce Commission thread in General Discussion: Class 1 and 2 Freight Railroads.

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