• Camp Trains 1947 NY-Worcester-Maine

  • Discussion relating to the NH and its subsidiaries (NYW&B, Union Freight Railroad, Connecticut Company, steamship lines, etc.). up until its 1969 inclusion into the Penn Central merger. This forum is also for the discussion of efforts to preserve former New Haven equipment, artifacts and its history. You may also wish to visit www.nhrhta.org for more information.
Discussion relating to the NH and its subsidiaries (NYW&B, Union Freight Railroad, Connecticut Company, steamship lines, etc.). up until its 1969 inclusion into the Penn Central merger. This forum is also for the discussion of efforts to preserve former New Haven equipment, artifacts and its history. You may also wish to visit www.nhrhta.org for more information.
  by edbear
 
I am working on an article on 1947 Camp Trains, New York City to mostly Maine points, that utilized the State of Maine route. About a year earlier, the State of Maine was rerouted off the Norwich Branch to operate via Providence and the P & W. Did the engine crew/train crew that took the trains east from New Haven run all the way through to Worcester? This route could really be busy on Friday nights going and Sunday returning from Worcester. I am guessing that in anticipation of a busy summer the NH made sure they had enough crewmen qualified between Providence and Worcester. I have the Transportation Notices for both 1947 and 1948. Almost all the Camp Extras were made up of heavyweight 12-1 or all section Tourist Pullmans and ran overnight. They were scheduled at just about State of Maine time 5 hrs. 20 min. Grand Central to Worcester. On Tues. July 1, 1947, 3 Camp Extras ran that night plus the State of Maine. On Wed. July 2, 1947, there were two Camp Extras, the Bar Harbor and State of Maine. East Wind was also operating daily this route daytime, plus the local passenger train and two symbol freights. Like the Long Island, PRR and PRSL, was "protection power" staged at some location to rescue a train with engine failure. Another guess is that there was a lot of motive power at Worcester that had nothing to do as the return Camp Extras did not start running until mid-August, 1947. So maybe the power was deadheaded back to Providence and then worked its way back to New Haven.
Questions - did crew run through New Haven-Worcester, was there protection power. I'd appreciate any help.
  by Noel Weaver
 
I worked more than one camp train from New Haven to Worcester, great jobs and great memories. I remember one trip with 21 HW sleepers and three GP-9's, you should have heard those geeps bark on the Shore Line. As for how these jobs ran, it depended on traffic, there was a lot of freight traffic on the Norwich Branch including two very hot trains M-6 and M-7 which were through jobs via the NH and the B&M to and from Portland (Rigby). I have worked them on both lines although by the 1960's there was only one engineer on the Cedar Hill Spare Board who was still qualified to Worcester via Providence although there were lots of engineers qualified to Worcester via the Norwich Branch. I would have to say that the Norwich Branch was the preferred route but often they ran them via Providence in order not to interfere with M-6 or M-7. When we got to Worcester it was a crap shoot, sometimes we deadheaded back to New Haven but most times we went back light or laid over for one of the trains (deadhead equipment by this time) to return and take the cars back to New Haven. Incidentally in the days when the Maine passenger trains ran via Providence the engine crews always ran through between Worcester and New Haven and the train crews ran through between New York and Worcester. The miles run was about the same from New York to Worcester as it was from New York to Boston. We had a decent bunk room in Worcester as well.
Noel Weaver
  by edbear
 
Thanks. The article is for the National Association of Timetable Collectors.
  by Allen Hazen
 
Campers came back at the end of the summer. I assume there would have been similar southbound passenger extras in August, using the same route or routes?
When did camp trains end? There were at least some in at least the early 1950s: schoolmates talked about them in the "what I did over the summer" assembly when I was in elementary school, I think at least as late as 1955 or 1956.
  by Rockingham Racer
 
I remember one going by FA tower in Lawrence one evening in the late 60's.
  by edbear
 
The return to New York Camp Trains started in mid-August, 1947. When I started with the B & M in 1968, there were still a few but by then they ran days and used New Haven coaches. I don't know if there were any after the New Haven went into the Penn Central.
  by Noel Weaver
 
So far as I know the last camp trains ran in 1968. Penn Central took over the NHRR on Jan. 1, 1969 and they immediately stated that there were no cars available for any camp trains as of that time.
Noel Weaver
  by Allen Hazen
 
Noel--
Thanks for the information! (It certainly sounds like the Penn Central we all knew and loved! "We have no cars... and if you find them, we'll think of another excuse!")
  by gokeefe
 
Were these trains running to Maine in 1968?
  by Rockingham Racer
 
I got out of college in '66. Used to frequent the tower in Lawrence, MA, after that, and I'm almost positive they were still running in '68. As an aside, I wonder if any of them came off the Conway Branch. I would be interested in the Maine destinations of these trains.
  by gokeefe
 
It's pretty significant if they were running in Maine. They would be an outlier that is nearly lost in the historical record.