• New England States

  • Discussion relating to the NYC and subsidiaries, up to 1968. Visit the NYCS Historical Society for more information.
Discussion relating to the NYC and subsidiaries, up to 1968. Visit the NYCS Historical Society for more information.

Moderator: Otto Vondrak

  by SouthernRailway
I had the pleasure of seeing two former New England States cars at Grand Central Terminal this weekend: Babbling Brook and I believe #43, a lounge.

That train must have been first-rate, not far behind the 20th Century Limited. Does anyone have any personal recollections about it?

  by edbear
The New England States first ran June 15, 1938 and replaced the Boston section of the 20th Century Limited, which began operating with a fully-streamlined consist that date. The NE States operated for the next decade or so with a mix of light and heavyweight rolling stock and at times all-Pullman. In 1948 or 1949 it received an all-Budd streamlined consist with reserved seats in the coaches. The usual consist was 12-15 cars. I have lived my whole life in Framingham, Mass. and started train riding as a teenager in the 1957-58 period. If the westbound NE States was longer than 14 cars the rear end blocked the Concord St. crossing in Framingham. A long eastbound consist required a double stop at Framingham. Although the timetable showed footnotes (i) and (h), stops to discharge or receive passengers respectively, by 1958 anyway, you could use the train for Boston-Framingham hops, both ways; you paid the conductor the reservation charge when he lifted your ticket. From what I could find out, commutation tickets could not be used on the train. The observation cars were removed about 1956-57. When a Boston-Springfield express which left a little before the NE States was discontinued early in 1958, its two heavyweights were added to the consist as far as Springfield and these no longer required reservations. By 1959 or so neither the east or westbound train required seat reservations at all. Up until 1958 or so the NE States had been a Chicago only train. By late 1958 the NE States was the only eastbound train on the Boston & Albany route that carried sleepers, so it got the Michigan sleeper (once through from Chicago; later from Detroit only), the Toronto, Cleveland, Cincinnati and St. Louis through sleepers. With multiple connections it could be quite tardy eastbound. The Toronto and Detroit cars lasted into the late 1960s. There had once been a Boston-Pittsburgh sleeper on other trains. As the timetable shrank, the sleeper was cutback to Albany-Pittsburgh and was run on the NE States, deadheading on the Boston-Albany portion of the route. Operation in sections around Christmas lasted on the NE States until aout 1960. One section was coaches, the other sleepers. Running westbound the sections used Track 4 on certain days and made a stop at Wellesley for the college girls going home for Christmas break. The NE States got a Sleepercoach (bargain, high capacity sleeper) right after the 20th Century did. With all the timetable changes from the mid-1950s on, the all-Budd consist was no more and the train had both all stainless Budd cars and two-tone gray Pullman built cars.
  by edbear
The NE States bypassed Cleveland Union Terminal and used the lakefront line. Reductions in service beginning with the Perlman/Young administration saw the eastbound rerouted via CUT. The westbound never normally operated through CUT. How's this for a consist. In my June, 1954 (only one I have) NY Central System Train Register and Watch comparison book, Form T-129, this is what the westbound NE States had leaving Springfield, Mass, June 10, 1954. Engines 5006, 4010, 4039. Dorm 8970, coaches 2667. 2931, 2944, sleepers Michigan City Harbor, Imperial Majesty, Humber Bay, Onondaga Valley, twin unit diner 480/406, sleepers Morning Valley, Caribou Valley, Zoar Valley, observation Bonnie Brook. Conductor Mallouef, Engineers Maynard and Freegon. Lost 4 minutes at Springfield coupling on helper #5006 (an FM unit that happened to be skulking around on the Boston & Albany Div at this time - hence two engineers). Great good old days.
  by R Paul Carey
Was it possibly Mike Maloof in that crew??
  by edbear
This day it only gave last names and that's how it is spelled. When I have a chance, I'll look at some other days.
In 1961 I lived in Providence and had to go to Chicago on business. I decided to take the New Haven to Grand Central where I caught the Twentieth Century. On my return I used the New England States to Boston and then the New Haven to home. I slept in a Slumber Coach both ways which was roughly the equivalent of a roomette but less expensive. The room had a toilet and wash bowl but I think I had to make the bed -- there wasn't a porter as I recall. I was satisfied. I have used a lower berth in an open section, a roomette and a bedroom and I remember that the slumber coach was also fine -- a lot better than trying to sleep in coach and you had privacy. The one thing that really impressed me in the dining car was that the waiter brought a finger bowl which I suspect is something few people see today and most have no idea about what it is. Even though I was fresh out of college I had seen finger bowls before so didn't make a fool out of myself in the diner (At least I think I didn't make a fool out of myself). I mention the finger bowl because 1961 was a time when the New York Central still did some things in a first class manner even though hard times had already reduced service.