• Mixed New Haven/Penn Central Consists on NEC circa 1969 ?

  • 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 3rdrail
 
I've been trying to recall ever seeing any mixed motive equipment on the Boston end of the NEC, such as a mixed New Haven FL9 coupled to a Penn Central FL9. (or NYC, PRR for that matter.) It seemed as if at the time of the takeover, that you saw NH exclusively just prior, and then just PC thereafter. A PC Engine pulling NH coaches ? Did PC paint everything up that fast ? Correct me if I'm wrong. Anyone ever see such lashups ?

  by 3rdrail
 
I guess I found the answer to my own question on NERAIL ! Thanks to Carl Weber Jr. for the photo.

http://naphotos.nerail.org/showpic/?pho ... %20Central

  by TomNelligan
 
By the summer of 1969, ex-PRR E8s were pretty much standard power for passenger trains east of New Haven, replacing FL9s that had been moved to the Harlem Division for commuter service. I did see a few FL9/E8 lashups during the short transition period, but they weren't very common. As for coaches, the NH 8600-series stainless steel coaches mixed with PRR stainless and heavyweight (P70) cars for a while, up through the Amtrak transition.

And I assume that you're asking about NEC passenger service, since mixed PC/NH lashups on freight were very common for several years until the NH units had been repainted, reassigned, or scrapped.

  by Noel Weaver
 
I had a regular firing job between New Haven and Boston for a few
months in 1970 and during that time, we had occasions where we would
get an FL-9 coupled with an E-8.
It was desired by PC that the former NHRR 8600's would be used in
commuter service and the ones that were rebuilt by the railroad would be
confined to New York commuter service. Due to various problems, this
policy was not always followed but this was their plan at the time. They
wanted former PRR and NYC equipment on the corridor trains which had
been reduced both in numbers and size by this time.
Noel Weaver

  by 3rdrail
 
Hi Tom and Noel -
Thanks for your recollections.
Now that I've given it more thought, I also recall that NH RDC's, the "Buddliners", were not quick to adopt the new scheme. I recall seeing them with their white ended, orange striped ends with white "NH" logos well into the 70's zipping through Forest Hills. I wonder how the NH crews fared with the changeover - if it was the same song, different title, or if some of them never made the transition. It would seem from what I've heard that PC did not have the level of standard that NH had, so for the NH employees who did make the jump, there must have been some difference. Being a teenager in 1969, in retrospect I wished that I had made the trip on long distance runs on NH & PC (as well as B&M) so as to compare, but alas at that time the Budds were all that I could afford !

  by Noel Weaver
 
3rdrail wrote:Hi Tom and Noel -
Thanks for your recollections.
Now that I've given it more thought, I also recall that NH RDC's, the "Buddliners", were not quick to adopt the new scheme. I recall seeing them with their white ended, orange striped ends with white "NH" logos well into the 70's zipping through Forest Hills. I wonder how the NH crews fared with the changeover - if it was the same song, different title, or if some of them never made the transition. It would seem from what I've heard that PC did not have the level of standard that NH had, so for the NH employees who did make the jump, there must have been some difference. Being a teenager in 1969, in retrospect I wished that I had made the trip on long distance runs on NH & PC (as well as B&M) so as to compare, but alas at that time the Budds were all that I could afford !
The transition from the New Haven Railroad to Penn Central was not
particularly easy for me. We worked with a lot of sub-standard
conditions especially regarding the equipment. The diesel locomotives
were in terrible shape for the most part and the passenger cars were not
much better. The Penn Central did not want us in the first place and when
they took us over they had a terrible attitude toward former New Haven
Railroad people. I felt that I myself and the vast majority of NHRR
people contributed in a big way to keeping the NHRR running. We all went
above and beyond the call in keeping balky locomotives and steam
generators running and keeping any delays to an absolute minimum
whenever we could. Penn Central people for the most part treated us like
s--t and it was a difficult period at best.
Sometimes I and others would stand up to various PC bosses and often
when I did, I got more respect. I can cite a number of instances where
I had guts enough to stand my ground and eventually a good number of
them when they heard my name or encountered me in person would
just "leave me alone".
I did not enjoy delaying a train or tying up a job but I could only take
about so much of their crap before I started to "balk and bark back.
Eventually, things got better and I got along very well with most of the
supervision. A good number of officials were also my friends and have
remained so over more recent years.
We did get some benefits out of the Penn Central takeover too, for some
of us we expanded our work territory and over the years we could bid
and bump to a much larger variety of jobs. We also (to Penn Central's
credit) got system passes almost immediately after the take over.
Yes, on the former NHRR we lost a good amount of work but if you
wanted to work, there was a job somewhere for you and in at least some
cases the job might be on another division but often still not too far from
home.
Like everything else, there were pros and cons to the Penn Central too.
Noel Weaver
  by fordhamroad
 
-Noel, can you recall the timing when GG-1's hauled passenger equipment from Penn to New Haven. I remember them rushing through New Rochelle after the Penn Central takeover.

Roger
  by Noel Weaver
 
fordhamroad wrote:-Noel, can you recall the timing when GG-1's hauled passenger equipment from Penn to New Haven. I remember them rushing through New Rochelle after the Penn Central takeover.

Roger
Penn Central took us over on January 1, 1969 and the GG-1's started
appearing in the same month of January, 1969. They had already made
some test runs with them from New York to New Haven and return before
the take over.
Noel Weaver
  by Tom Curtin
 
I have seen a photo of a GG-1 in New Haven dated 1/5/69. If you want to assume the date is accurate (many photo dates are not, which makes me nuts!!), then that might have been the maiden run up there.
  by TomNelligan
 
Tom Curtin wrote:I have seen a photo of a GG-1 in New Haven dated 1/5/69. If you want to assume the date is accurate (many photo dates are not, which makes me nuts!!), then that might have been the maiden run up there.
I don't know if this is the photo you're referring to, but the April 1969 issue of Trains carried my shot of PC 4923 in New Haven on January 5, 1969, and yes, that date is accurate. It was a Sunday morning and I was on my way back to college in Boston after Christmas vacation. I was surprised to find it there in Motor Storage.

I have no idea whether that was the first post-merger GG1 visit, though.
  by Tommy Meehan
 
To revive a very interesting thread here.

Maybe someone like Noel Weaver can answer this, how did the GG1s fare on the former Shore Line? I remember seeing them too, in the spring of 1969. They were all twenty-five years old or older by then and I wondered how well the Pennsylvania had maintained them. I know former PRR people who rave about the GG1 to this day (not all of them though) and I always wondered what the New Haven crews thought of them.

This might be a dumb question but did they mostly run through from Washington? They didn't have a New York-New Haven pool did they?
  by Noel Weaver
 
The first test of a GG-1 to New Haven occurred I think in 1964 or so.
As far as their operation to New Haven, when they began running these engines to New Haven there were a few problems mostly with the pantographs which needed to be ironed out. For one thing, in the air gap at Cos Cob where there was no wire on the New Haven equipment the pantograph would only go so high and so it just rode off the wire. On the GG-1's the pantograph went considerably higher and so it had to be lowered or it would be broken off, It happened to me one night on train 179 and we took a big hit in time. They had to get the wire train up there to cut off the damaged pantograph so we could put the head pantograph up and continue the trip west. The contacts in the switch to lower the pantograph on engine 4937 at the time were found to be bad and the pantograph would not reliably lower when the switch was operated. On the New Haven electric motors we had a magnet valve that we could operate to lower the pan in a case like this but the GG-1's
which also had a magnet valve for this function had them in a number of different locations and they were not labeled as to which one would actually do what was needed at the time. We had the same problem at the phase break east of Harold. In both cases they eventually raised the wires to clear the higher pantographs of the GG-1's.
Another problem with these was also pantograph related and resulted in a 50 MPH restriction through all wired interlockings because the double shoe pantographs would occasionally get tangled in the wire and cause big problems. Eventually all of the GG-1's ended up with single shoe pantographs as a result of this one. If you look at old pictures of these motors you will see the presence of single shoe pantographs after this finally took place.
The only other major problem that we had with GG-1's was really not the fault of the locomotive but rather that up toward the New Haven end we usually had low voltage problems and leaving New Haven it is uphill for a couple of miles up to the top of West Haven Hill. On train 179 we left at close to the same time that 177 was also preparing to leave and train 180 was also eastbound at that time, we usually met 180 somewhere around Bridgeport so there was a big load on Cos Cob as there was no longer any power feed at Devon at that time. This meant that we had to watch the air pressure as we would draw so much power from the wire that the compressor would not pump enough air to keep the brakes released going up the hill. The steam generator motor was also an AC motor on the GG-1's and sometimes the steam generator would die as well. Usually when that happened, we would just leave it shut down until we got stopped at Bridgeport where the voltage was a little bit better and it would finally stay operating.
THe GG-1 was a high performing motor and I suspect it drew more power then most of if not all of the New Haven motors not only of this period (just the jets and the MU's by now) but the older electric motors of which we had a lot. I well recall the 350's and 360's and don't ever remember low voltage problems with these engines. The electric motors that the trustees bought from the Norfolk and Western in 1963 had a line voltage meter in the cab and there the truth came out, sometimes the line voltage went down to maybe 7000 volts instead of the 11,000 volts that it was supposed to be. The Virginian's had better compressors on them and two units as well and I don't recall any major low voltage problems with these motors.
Noel Weaver
  by Tommy Meehan
 
Thanks so much Noel, great great history. Really excellent.

As is so often the case, the reality as experienced by the people who operated these systems is so diferent than what one can surmise from the outside looking in. And without people like Noel Weaver taking the time and trouble to record it, it's all lost.
  by Rick Abramson
 
Tommy:

I have 2 B&W photos of PRR GG1s on the NH in 1961 and 1964; One shot is of a lite GG1, 4862 at Oak Point on 2/21/61, the other is 4936 on #170 at SS-14 on 8/13/64.

Rick