• Consists

  • Tell us where you were and what you saw!
Tell us where you were and what you saw!

Moderator: David Benton

  • 113 posts
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  by David Benton
I wonder if theres enought demand for private cars to be regularly attached to the florida trains in season . Would there be enough people willing to pay the higher fare ? .It seems this route , if any , may have the numbers ?

  by Gilbert B Norman
NellieBly wrote:The other thing I remember is that SAL would only use Pullman cars that were all stainless steel, so in the winter we'd have lots of cars from Santa Fe and the California Zephyr.
Actually Ms. Bly, even though I certainly agree that the Seaboard made a far greater effort to draw stainless cars for the peak periods from the Pullman pool, it was not 100%. On a Jan 1967 Wash-Miami journey (Meteor down, Special return - haven't yet located those consists) the Meteor did have at least one UP "Pacific--' 10-6 in consist.

Now as to what has astounded me over the years (I have addressed this over at the Amtrak Forum in the past) is why any road, Seaboard, Auto Train, and Amtrak has ever spent a dime on sightseeing equipment for the East Coast. In short, Coast Line/FEC had it right.

Possibly Ms. Bly is an arborist, but I am not. If you've seen one Pine Tree, you've seen 'em all. Save that, the scenery other than a few vistas along the RF&P is a zero. Of course railfans appreciated the Meteor's obs-lounge, but I would think for the rest of the Coach passengers having the bar on the rear of the train simply would deter some from purchasing high gross margin beverages (OK, I realize back then from Georgia to Virginia it was dry, but Florida and the Corridor states were not). Apparently Seaboard "saw the light' with the Star and assigned its diaphram equipped obs mid-train. One such SAL obs is preserved at a RR museum located in the FEC station at Boca Raton.

But for those of us "privileged to ride', both roads had something Amtrak sorely lacks - and that was class. Even though for the consist reported above, the "--Beach' Sun Lounge was shopped, I did have several occasions to ride those cars in railroad service (and also after Amtrak "Bengstonized' them - but let's not go there at a G rated site); they were truly immaculate!!

  by John Laubenheimer
My own opinion was that the ACL (thanks in large part to the FEC) served the coastal communities of Florida much better than SAL ever did. Orlando was just a stop on the way to Tampa/St. Pete (no not Miami ... that was an SCL enhancement). Plus, ACL had (I believe) a double track mainline all the way down.

SAL had E-4s up front (no one else had E-4s) in orange and yellow livery. STRIKING! SAL had the newer equipment, with some 1956 purchases from Pullman Standard. But, it also had a winding single-track railroad, which (reportedly) was quite noticable when one tried to sleep. (I've only been on the ex-ACL routings ... someone else can add comments here, hopefully.)

The consists here are terrific. The FEC stock had all but disappeared by the time I became interested and/or old enough to care.

Now, NIAGRA COUNTY. (This name just smells of New York state, so, that's where I'll look first.) My only hope here is that it really is NIAGARA. NYC had a NIAGARA COUNTY, a 1938 13DBR sleeper from the CENTURY pool. However, this doesn't pass sanity check; it reportedly went south of the border in 1961. (Your consist was from 1962.) NIAGARA RIVER stands a better chance though. This car is a 1948 10RMT-6DBR sleeper from the NYC general pool, and didn't head north of the border until 1965. However, NYC stock was quite rare in Florida service, but not unheard of.

Both RF&P and PRR had 10-6 COUNTY-series cars from the same lot as the ACL cars, but names don't even come close.

  by Gilbert B Norman
Here is a consist of a “sectioned” Super Chief El Capitan that departed LAUPT June 8,
1962. I was aboard for a “bumper to bumper’ ride in Roomette 1 of “Pine Dale”: Of
interest, TRAINS, as part of their LAUS article published about a year ago, had a night
photo of a “sectioned’ Super/Cap taken in the same time frame as when I made my

1-18 (El Capitan)

4 F-7’s
Baggage 91
Dorm 3481
Hi-L Coach 535
Diner 653
Lounge 578 (Amtrak Pacific Parlour today)

2-18 Super

F-7 47
47 B
47 A
47 C
Baggage 3677
10-6 Pine Dale
4-4-2 Regal Ruby
Regal Town
Pleasure Dome 501
Diner 604
Dorm Lounge 1343
Regal Elm
Pine King
10-6 Palm Star (LA-KC)

‘Those were the days my friends”; I was privileged to ride as a 21 year old college student

  by Gilbert B Norman
This month, let's take a peek at an off peak City of Miami:

NB #54 observed Champaign 10/2/63

IC E-8 4040
IC Dorm 1905
N&W Sleeper 10-6 Buchannon County (liveried IC colors)
IC 10-6 Sleeper Chebanse
11-BR Bloomington
Diner 4100
Coach 2626
CofG Coach 670
IC Obs-Lng 3320

Any foreign road equipment assigned to the City was painted in IC colors. I can't say same for the South Wind as anytime I observed that it was a 'circus train", or a precussor to "early Amtrak".
Last edited by Gilbert B Norman on Tue Jul 11, 2006 8:39 am, edited 1 time in total.

  by Gilbert B Norman
OK we missed last month (I was out of town on June 10), so let's catch up lost ground with a "double header':

SP 98 Coast Daylight June 5-62 (rode SF to LA; South was East on the SP)

Alco PA 6068
E-7B 5909
E-7A 6002
SP Combine 3303
Artic Coach 2480
& 2490
Artic Diner 10258
& 10257
& 10256
Artic Coach 2960
& 2959
10316 Tavern (Shasta; no sales primary Election Day)
3002 Parlor
2239 Parlor Obs

#76 Lark Jun 05-63 (observed 3rd St; flew to LA next day with train hating Father)

E-7 6017
E-7B 5908
Alco PA 6092
SP Bagg 6720
Mail (HW as I recall) 4119
Art Coach 2462
& 2461
SP 10610 Automat
9304 22 Rmt
9105 4-4-2
10213 Diner Budd Sunset
2986 Lounge
9049 10-6
9400 12 BR
9007 10-6 Budd Sunset Blunt End

It appears the Lark Club was shopped for this trip. Fortunately it was there when I rode during a Dec 1963 Rose Bowl trip that I made.

Please accept that I am working from penciled records now over 40 years old.

  by Gilbert B Norman
OK folks, continuing with "passenger hating" SP. This one goes out to all at the Amtrak Forum who wonder "why can't a San Joaquin be extended over Tehachapi to serve LA?":

SP 57 The Owl; LA to Oakland via Tehachapi (observed at 16th St 12/29/63)

SP FP-7A 6203
SP Bagg 6761
Coach 2203 (New Haven RR American Flyer style)
2402 Articulated
10-6 10501

  by Gilbert B Norman
Here's one going out to Colonel Perkowski

UP #9 City of St Louis observed LAUPT June 6, 1962

E-8 900
Bagg 5607
RPO 5607
Coach 5474
Dome 7014
Lounge 6101
Diner 4612
Dome Lounge 9012
6-4-6 National Command
10-6 Pacific Park

  by John_Perkowski
Look at all that non-revenue space. Compare it with what we're discussing about cover charges in the Amtrak forum today!!!

John Perkowski
  by Gilbert B Norman
Lest we forget, this was one of three trains daily over the route during 1962; today Amtrak offers one train three times a week.

C&O #3 The FFV - rode Richmond to Cincinnati Sep 20, 1962

E-8 4009
11 Br 2800 Homestead NY-White Sulphur Spg
10-6 2631 City of Covington
PRR 4-4-2 Richard Beatty Mellon ACF
12Dx-4BR Henry Clay Frick
3Cp-DR-Lng Butternut Falls
HW Diner 4473
C&O HW Bagg 268 Wash Cinci
112 Newport News-Cinci
Coach 1651
10-6 2602 City of Montgomery (my car)
2613 City of Staunton Wash-Cinci
Diner 1925 (converted from obs-lng)
PRR Coach 4056 NY-Huntington
10-6 2614 Virginia Hot Springs
C&O 10-6 2622 City of Huntington NY-Clifton Forge
Piggyback Charleston-Cinci

That was an eighteen car train into White Sulphur Spg; the six cars set off there were ahead of the Baggage cars and apparently was a tour party. Lest we also forget, there were no LearJetsand Gulfstreams back then.

Lastly, this was the only passage I have ever made through the New River Gorge by light of day.
  by Ocala Mike
Mr. GBN, do you take requests? If so, could you post a consist for the State of Maine Express (NH/BM, GCT - Portland), ca. 1948? Also, the Flying Yankee (BM, Boston - Portland), ca. 1957?


Ocala Mike

  by Gilbert B Norman
Unfortunately, Mike, NO.

These consists are drawn from recording my personal observations and that I had previously given up for lost. There are still several to go, as well as others that are incomplete especially with regards to date.

I omit details of the cars, because any student of the "postwar lightweight fleet' has ex libris any of, if not all, the premier references regarding styles, builder, numbers, names, and date delivered.

The best I can do on a State of Maine consist is note that I recall a December1959 Stmfd-Kennebunk ride aboard such. The through passenger consist comprised a B&M 6-4-6 "--College" GCT-Bangor, 6BR-Lng "--State', 14-4 "Pond Point' (my car), and an 8600 Coach - all New Haven GCT-Portland. When I rode same Stmfd-Meredith to camp 1952-1955 regretably I was "not into' recording consists.

Flying Yankee? saw it once at Edaville, can't help you further.

But I sincerely thank you for visiting my consist topic; I believe I have brought to this Forum a historical feature that is not found at any other rail website and I still have some to go.
Last edited by Gilbert B Norman on Sat Oct 28, 2006 8:14 am, edited 1 time in total.
  by Ocala Mike
Thanks, Mr. Norman, and you are quite welcome. I do believe the NH 8600 coaches were the ones I rode back in the late 40's/early 50's on the State of Maine. Real "rattlers" those!

By the way, I think I will be shooting past your bailiwick in around a month on one of the CZ coaches at speed. Will be meeting up with my wife in Mt. Pleasant, IA to continue the trip on the next day's run. We'll have a bedroom for the 30-hour run to Salt Lake City to see our son.

Ocala Mike

  by Gilbert B Norman
Barry Goldwater Northbound Campaign Special observed during a "whistle stop" at Champaign October 2, 1964

IC 4035 E8
4105 E8
4013 E7
B&O 1239
Loch Lomond 14 Sec
Tuscarwra 10-6
UP Imperial Palm 4-4-2
Imperial Letter
Imperial Rock
PRR Brich Falls 6BR-Lng
IC Chicagoland 4-4-2
St Louisian
B & O Pittsburgh Diner
UP Imperial Robe
PRR Maiden Brook 4-4-2
B&O Guyandotte 10-6
NYC Dover Fort 12Sec 1DR
B&O Metcalf 6BR-Obs Lng
3302 Coach “Press” Room
Augalaise 10-6
RI Golden Desert 4-4-2
B&O 100 Business Car

Even if I voted for the “other guy”, this was quite the spectacle to observe - something else to review it 42 years later while preparing this posting.

  by David Benton
Who was the other guy , Mr Norman , excuse my knowledge of american presidential candiates , id take a quess at Kennedy ?
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