Discussion relating to the PRR, up to 1968. Visit the PRR Technical & Historical Society for more information.
  by ExCon90
Interesting point. Let's hope somebody has an employee tt from 1933-34 -- if any trains ran in that period to or from NYP rather than Jersey City the engine change would have had to be at MT. There might even be a hint somewhere in the Special Instructions as to what power was used.
  by timz
I do have a 4/34 TT, and trains to the Coast were scheduled for a 4-minute stop at Manh Tfr. But no way to know whether AC or DC brought them out there.
  by Statkowski
Engine changes for the New York & Long Branch were done at Union, N.J.
  by timz
As long as Manh Tfr still existed, why not change there? What would be the advantage of waiting until Union?

In any case, the 4/34 timetable shows a 4-minute stop at Manh Tfr for trains to the NY&LB and no stop at Union (or DK, as it was then known).

Next question: what if catenary was extended to South Amboy by 1935-36, and Manh Tfr was still open? Did trains to the NY&LB still change engines there until it closed?
  by ExCon90
I was just looking through Chris Baer's chronology on the PRRT&HS website, and it states that after Jan. 16, 1933, when through AC operation began between New York and Philadelphia, the third rail was removed west of the Bergen tunnel portal. This would mean that any trains that still changed engines at Manhattan Transfer (and not all the clockers were electrically powered until Feb. 1) would have had to use AC power between Penn Station and Manhattan Transfer. Apparently this would also have applied to South Amboy trains until about Sept. 9, 1935, when electrification was extended from Rahway to South Amboy Jct. (Dec. 12 to South Amboy station), and MU service began. After that, the only reason even to stop at Manhattan Transfer was, as BaltOhio indicated above, to permit passengers to transfer to and from H&M trains until H&M began using the new Newark station in 1937, and no need to change power on either through trains or South Amboy-NY&LB. It does look as though AC power may have been a common sight at engine changes there from 1933 to 1935.
  by timz
The 1934 empl TT says third rail ends so-and-so feet east of "signal bridge 79" on tracks 1-2 and so-and-so feet west of there on tracks 3-4. Dunno for certain where sig bridge 79 is, but if tracks 3 and 4 are involved it's got to be west of Hudson?

FWIW the 6/37 and 4/39 TTs say third rail ends 500 ft west of the eastward signal bridge at Portal.

Seems like a train from NY to Bay Head might as well change power at Manh Tfr, in 1935; even after catenary reached S Amboy, Manh Tfr might still have been as good a change point as any.

The 2/36 Guide shows Bay Head trains leaving Manh Tfr 16-17 minutes after they leave NY Penn (except one train is shown leaving NY at 1550, Manh Tfr 1602, Newark 1606, which must be a typo?). A train that stopped at Perth Amboy, S Amboy and Matawan would be scheduled 4 min from start Perth Amboy to start S Amboy (2.2 miles), and 8 min from there to start from Matawan (5.2 miles). So no time for an engine change there.
Last edited by timz on Wed Jan 27, 2010 5:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.
  by ExCon90
On the 1928 track diagram in Triumph V, signal 79 is the westward automatic signal located at the western interlocking limits of Manhattan Transfer and the distant to the home signal (2538 feet to the west) protecting the Passaic River drawbridge, so it looks like all the third rail was left in. Maybe it was one of those things where they announced their intention and then didn't do it. Certainly changing power at Manhattan Transfer would have made a lot of sense, particularly considering that servicing facilities were so close by, at least until shifting the H&M made it possible to close the Transfer permanently.
  by BaltOhio
In going through the photo collection of a deceased friend, I found a beautiful action photo taken in 1936 by Donald W. Furler showing the Lehigh Valley's WB "John Wilkes" crossing the Passaic River drawbridge and entering the new PRR Newark station behind an LV Pacific. This would indicate that the LV was changing engines at Manhattan Transfer at this date, too.
  by timz
It seems the John Wilkes didn't start until 1939, so probably it never ran thru Newark Penn behind steam. But for all we know other LV trains might have changed engines at Manh Tfr until it closed in 1937.

Can you tell the time of day of the pic? What's the engine look like?
  by BaltOhio
The LV engine was #2094, a plain-vanilla Pacific; the lower carbodies of head-end cars visible behind were painted in some light color, with a dark shade of paint along the upper section with a narrow light band along the letterboard. Photo lighting indicates AM.

Putting all this together, and assuming that the 1936 date on the photo is correct, I dug out my 9/36 issue of the Official Guide and see that the most likely suspect would be #9, the "Black Diamond," which was scheduled into Newark at 11:22 AM. All LV trains at this date showed a stop at Manhattan Transfer, and apparently the engine change was still taking place there then.
timz wrote:Dunno for certain where sig bridge 79 is, but if tracks 3 and 4 are involved it's got to be west of Hudson?
The 79 signal bridge is currently where the 80 Automatic on Track-2 (Eastward Distant Signal to REA Interlocking on Track-2) is at the East end of DOCK Interlocking. It's located at the Eest end of the PATH Harrison Station.