• PRR equipment on the NH

  • 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 chnhrr
 
How did some of the former Pennsy equipment fare on the New Haven line during the Penn Central days? Were modifications required to the equipment? Pictured are some MP-54 units at Bridgeport. Ironically the MU's were tested on the New Canaan Branch back in 1914, but the New Haven was not impressed.
  by Backshophoss
 
How long were they running on the New Haven line,an early experment of New Haven-NYPenn service?
  by TomNelligan
 
NH and PRR cab signals were compatible, so PRR diesels had no problems in the cab signal territory on the Shore Line east of New Haven. As for electrics, the GG1s initially had problems with taking down the wires at catenary gaps like the one at the Cos Cob drawbridge when NH engineers sometimes forgot to lower the pantographs and they shot up to full height. My recollection is that the GG1 were modified with locks to prevent this but Mr. Weaver can confirm or deny that.

As for the MP54s at Bridgeport, I never saw that but I was living at the Boston end of the railroad.
  by chnhrr
 
Thanks Tom for your insight.
Backshophoss that was a question I have as well. Did the MP-54’s go between Penn Station and New Heaven or did they go just between New Rochelle/Stamford and New Haven? I remember as a kid seeing a GG-1 go by Old Greenwich. It was like a giant dinosaur on wheels, very impressive.
  by Backshophoss
 
If a MP54 did time on the New Canaan dinky,most of the passengers thought PC took a step backwards, :(
there's been a story that a GG-1 wandered up to New Canaan,for a weekend display,not sure if this was a
"tall tale" or actual fact, back in the PC era.
  by TomNelligan
 
there's been a story that a GG-1 wandered up to New Canaan,for a weekend display,not sure if this was a
"tall tale" or actual fact, back in the PC era.
What did visit New Canaan for a weekend display circa 1967 or 1968 was a 300-series EF4 freight motor. The town was having an anniversary celebration of some sort and the NH participated with a small equipment display at the station.
  by Tadman
 
Great picture, I've never heard of MP54's making it past NYP. Really cool addition.

Related to the issue of GG1's pulling down wire on the NH line, I heard that the PC changed the pans from two-shoe to one-shoe and that helped prevent de-wiring on the NH main. I don't remember where I heard that so it could be questionable.


Finally, if anybody does come up with a pic of the GG1 at New Canaan, that's a heck of a find. It'd look like a giant mainline electric on an interurban (which did happen - South Shore had the 800's and Piedmont & Northern had some massive boxcabs).
  by Statkowski
 
The GG-1 dewiring occurred at Cos Cob Drawbridge, where there's a gap in the wire. The first such event happened when it was still the New Haven and they were experimenting with run-through service. Nobody thought about the gap at Cos Cob, the GG-1's pans went skyward, and the rest became history. The second time was when Penn Central took over and desired to use GG-1s through to New Haven. The powers that be had forgotten about the first incident, and the second occurred. To avoid similar occurrences, stops were installed on the GG-1s used, and instructions were posted requiring that the pans be dropped when coasting through the gap.

The New Haven never had anything similar happen at Cos Cob since the New Haven's pans either had stops or weren't designed to go as high as the PRR's. PRR basically ran with 21-foot catenary, whereas the New Haven basically ran with 18-foot wire.
  by Backshophoss
 
An EF-4(E-33) would have the same effect,a bit out of place at New Canaan station.
The New Canaan branch always had that interurban feel to it,even when the M-2's showed up.
  by Noel Weaver
 
When the Penn Central started using the GG-1's to New Haven they had major problems with the phase break east of Harold and at the gap on the Cos Cob Bridge. At the phase break east of Harold the wire on each side went up to a point where it dead ended with an insulator. At this location they lowered the wire and made the wire continuous through the break with two section insulators on the wire itself and when this happened, it was no longer necessary to lower the pantograph at this location. At Cos Cob they raised the wire at the ends of the gap to clear a raised pantograph on a GG-1. Take a look there today and I believe you can still see where they put some new steel work where they raised the wire. After they did this it was also no longer necessary to lower the pantograph through this area. As to wire damage, we had a 50 MPH restriction through all interlockings with GG-1's for some time and they got around this mostly by substituting single shoe for the double shoe pantographs on all of the GG-1's and after they did that the 50 MPH through interlockings was done away with. Pennsylvania pantographs were heavier than the New Haven's pantographs and thus had a greater potential for wire damage. Even worse was the Favily Pantographs on the M-2's which destroyed more wire than the GG-1's ever did, these pantographs were the wrong design but they stuck with them for many long years. It was much simpler and cheaper to fix pantographs in the shop than it was to not only fix pantographs but also replace many feet of wire over more than one track in most cases because the pans got tangled in the wire. This problem was nowhere near as bad when the New Haven only used their own locomotives and MU's which had lighter built pans that were more or less designed to break up when trouble occurred enroute under the wire.
Noel Weaver
  by Tommy Meehan
 
Great photo.

Could that have been a fan trip?
  by Noel Weaver
 
I seem to think there was at least one fan trip on the New Haven with the old PRR MUTS.
Noel Weaver
  by Tommy Meehan
 
So do I and I know some people who were members of the Electric Railroaders Association back then and, if ERA didn't sponsor it, I'm sure a lot of their members rode it. I sent a couple emails out and hope to find out more when I meet a couple of the guys tonight.
  by chnhrr
 
Noel and Tom, I think you are right. With a little research I’ve come up with some additional photos, one on the Hellgate Bridge and another at Fairfield. This may be a fan a trip from around 1970. In Fairfield you can see some of the fans milling about. I do remember in the past seeing some other photographs of some MP-54’s in faded Tuscan red parked at New Haven’s Union Station. I guess they were of an earlier fan trip. I’m surprised the PC had the money for those trips back then.
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All these photos bring up another question. What was the advantage of owl-eye windows in the front? The NYW&B Stillwell cars had them as well.

Chuck
  by Statkowski
 
chnhrr wrote:All these photos bring up another question. What was the advantage of owl-eye windows in the front? The NYW&B Stillwell cars had them as well.

Chuck
No corners on the glass to induce stress fractures while bouncing around going down the track. The first Comet passenger planes suffered that fault, resulting in window failures at altitude, with the resulting disaster from depressurization. Subsequent improvements in railroad glass eliminated that problem. Manufacturing glass, an amorphous solid (i.e., a slow liquid), is a science all itself, and is constantly being improved upon.