• SWIFT STREAM and The Empire State Express

  • 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 jhdeasy
I was looking at the web site for private car SWIFT STREAM (former New York Central SWIFT STREAM, Budd lightweight six double bedroom buffet lounge) ...


and I see the statement that the car operated in the consist of the Empire State Express as well as other trains.

I was not aware that New York Central STREAM or LAKE series six double bedroom lounge cars were assigned to the Empire State Express. Any comments?

  by arnstg
I was in Syracuse about 1958 and was taking the train back home to Buffalo. At the time it had been converted to a regular train. The Observation Car was gone and there was no reserved seating except, I believe, it still carried a parlor car (No. 84 ?).

I was looking forward to a unique trip but it was a usual NYC normal train at the time.

Don't recall a "Stream " car on it and I doubt they were ever used. But I am sure somebody can prove me wrong.

  by arnstg
Looked further into what happened to "Swift Stream".

"New York Central Great Steel Fleet 1948-1967" book published in 1995 shows the following: NYC number for Swift Stream was 10627. It was then know as a Sleeper/Buffet/Lounge.

In 1976 it was renumbered as 660 and became a Parlor/Buffet/Lounge with no name.

Therefore, it could have been used on the Empire in place of the original parlor car.

Later info shows it became Amtrak 3204 in 1973 and was later sold to a Michael K. Fox and named "City of Angels".

Hope this helps.

  by arnstg
Did further research to recall that era and found that NYC eliminated all named trains on 12/3/67 including the 20th Century, Empire Express and all the others.

NYS service was replaced with "Empire Service" . Therefore, the 660 could have been used on the Empire but for a very short time.
  by Tom Curtin
In an earlier post somebody commented on the ESE's parlor car, which according to my public timetables ran up until the big downgrading in 1967. Was that a conventional "parlor car," with 1-and-1 swivel seating, such as the NH and PRR operated many of?

And if so, was this the only such "parlor car" on the NYC?

  by arnstg
To Tom Curtin, the answer is yes. The ESE had 6 Parlor Cars assigned for its use. Built by Budd and delivered 11/41. They consisted of 30 single seats and a drawing room. These are the only lightweights that are pure parlors.

they were named as follows for former NYS Governors:

81 - Charles E. Hughes

82 - Herbert H. Lehman

83 - Natham Miller

84 - Levi P. Morton

85 - Alfred E. Smith

86 - Samuel J. Tilden

Only 82 and 84 lasted till Amtrak. Various Lake and Stream cars were changed to Parlor-Buffet-Lounge cars. I believe they were mainly used on long haul commuter trains.
  by Tom Curtin
Thanks for the response about the parlor cars. I would suspect these were the only true parlor cars the NYC operated --- at least I am not aware of any others.

RE 6BR-lounge sleepers converted to commuter equipment: I well remember these, in their converted configuration, from my commuting days on The Harlem in the 60s, and tipped many a beer (and morning coffee) aboard them. The lounge was converted to a stand-up bar. The bedrooms were basically left intact. A conductor friend told me the railroad's intent was to lease the bedrooms to "clubs;" however that idea appeared not to work, as I was never of their being occupied!
Bill Owen purchased NYC SWIFT STREAM from AMTRAK 1983 car located Buffalo Central Terminal. Moved to Cleveland Ohio then sold to Mike Fox.