Pennsyjohn wrote:Perhaps it was because the Crescent continues from DC to either new Orleans or Birmingham?
I'm not sure, but I think it's first (and only) stop on the NEC was DC.
The April 1971 Official Guide (the last pre-Amtrak) shows the Southern Crescent down to one coach and one sleeper from New York to Birmingham four days a week and to New Orleans the other three (blast from the past: the sleeper continued to Los Angeles on the Sunset, providing an overnight stay in New Orleans Union Station for interstate passengers). The Southern added additional coaches and sleepers, as well as a diner and tavern-lounge, at Washington. The train on PC was No. 173, the Senator, from Boston, offering tavern and grill cars, which picked up the Southern cars at Penn Station and stopped after that at Newark, Trenton, North Philadelphia, 30th Street, Wilmington, and Baltimore en route to Washington. An earlier Guide from June 1968 shows the Crescent equipment originating on PC Train 149, the Afternoon Keystone, along with the Southerner equipment (the Crescent and the Southerner ran combined from Washington to Atlanta), consisting of coaches for Birmingham and New Orleans (as the Southerner), two Atlanta sleepers (one each as the Crescent and the Southerner), and another to New Orleans (as the Southerner); a Southern diner also ran from New York to New Orleans. Additional equipment, as always, originated in Washington. Train 149 made the same stops as 173 did in 1971. I don't know how it would have been possible for Southern train crews to operate over PC from New York to Washington without seniority rights or qualification, even on an exclusively Southern train, let alone a regular PC train in regular NY-Washington service. In 1968 there was probably a Pullman (but not Southern Railway) conductor who went all the way through; by 1971 even he was probably gone, with a porter-in-charge responsible for the lone sleeper until it got to Washington (this last is just a guess, but it seems likely).