• Ice Capades and/or Ice Follies equipment in Atlantic City

  • Discussion relating to the PRSL
Discussion relating to the PRSL

Moderator: JJMDiMunno

  by mitch kennedy
One of the few things mentioned but never pictured in the "PRSL in Color" book was the Ice Follies or Ice Capades baggage car that showed up til around 1970 around Labor Day or so.. I remember stainless steel baggage cars kind of like the Athearn car, and once, cars painted like a VIA rail or Conrail blue head out on a run back to Philly... anyone have more info or links to a place that does (I KNOW Steam Man or Don Lee must!!!)

  by JimBoylan
I can remember their ads painted on the water pipe out in the meadows facing the trains.

  by PRSL1972
Believe it or not the words can still be seen on the pipes. Can use a good paint job for historical sake.
  by JimBoylan
I think the Ice Capades used the train to Atlantic City and Shipstead's and Johnson's Ice Follies used the bus to Philadelphia. I remember a newspaper article about why the Ice Follies always played Philadelphia on Christmas. When they were new and struggling, some of the performers had borrowed money from the bus driver, promising to pay him back with tickets when they got to Philadelphia. Upon arriving at Convention Hall, they weren't able to fulfill the bargain. The ticket clerk was gone and had left a sign on the ticket window, "All Performances Sold Out"!

  by PRSLTrainman
To the best of my memory (from the early 70's) the Ice Capades used the AC Convention Hall from about 4th of July to Labor Day. I don't know if they were performing public events or rehearsing a new show for the winter season, probably some of both.

Anyway, I remember them having about four lightweight stainless baggage cars they used for their equipment. The cars sat in the yard parallel to the Expressway during July-August, then loaded and sent north about Labor Day.

The PRSL moved the cars as an extra freight, actually referred to (perhaps informally) as an "Ice Capades Extra". When I was on the extra list I always hoped to get the call to work the job, and one Sunday in September I actually did. Ran light from Pavonia to AC. waited about an hour until the cars were finished loading, and then brought them back to Pavonia (via Clementon Branch) and cut them off on the Back Road.

It was a fun trip. Everybody on the crew was in a good mood. The engineer (Jimmy Marsh) put on a non-stop high-speed show and ran the job north like a first-class passenger train. There were no passengers, of course, but putting your head out the window looking back at the lightweight stainless cars gleaming in the sun, it was as close to a "streamliner" as you were going to get on the PRSL in the 70's.

Oh, and not too bad a day's work for a brakeman .... a total of 1 coupling (in AC), 1 uncouple (back at Pavonia), and 120 miles of fun for a day's pay.

  by mitch kennedy
Good stuff!!!! Thanks for sharing that with us. That's the great thing of this website... someone remembers something, someone else had been there or done that and passes it on to be part of the informal PRSL history we scattered fans carry on!