Jump to content




Photo

20th Century Ltd -v- Lake Shore Ltd.


  • Please log in to reply
45 replies to this topic

#1 caravanman

caravanman

    Engineer

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,814 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Nottingham, England.
  • Interests:Open minded travel, in which the journey is often as interesting as the destination...

Posted 20 April 2017 - 08:54 PM

I was interested by an old poster for the 20th Century Ltd, running from New York to Chicago in 16 hours.

 

I see the Lake shore Ltd takes 19 hours now in our 21st Century...

 

Is there a significant variation in the route or milage between the two trains, or is the increase more to do with freight congestion, etc, currently?

 

Ed.

 

 



#2 greatcats

greatcats

    Engineer

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,139 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Flagstaff, Arizona

Posted 20 April 2017 - 08:58 PM

Among other factors and rules and regulations, a train like the 20thCentury made a limited number of stops. And I believe it was a 4 track mainline. ( Hi Ed!)
I was a commuter railroad employee in NJ for many years until 2002, and have since been a tour guide at Grand Canyon National Park and Ketchikan, Alaska. Also, have been a National Park Volunteer at Hawaii Volcanoes and now Sunset Crater Volcano near my home. If not on Amtrak, also like long road trips, camping some of the time.

#3 Philly Amtrak Fan

Philly Amtrak Fan

    Engineer

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,382 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Philadelphia Area

Posted 20 April 2017 - 09:12 PM

Among other factors and rules and regulations, a train like the 20thCentury made a limited number of stops. And I believe it was a 4 track mainline. ( Hi Ed!)

 

I kind of would like a train from the East Coast to Chicago or to Florida with a "limited" number of stops. We'd probably need as many trains as we had back then to have another 20th Century Limited or Broadway Limited.

 

Proposal for Express LD trains: http://discuss.amtra...ress-ld-trains/


Edited by Philly Amtrak Fan, 20 April 2017 - 09:44 PM.

Trains Traveled:
 
Broadway Limited (CHI-Harrisburg, PA) 
Three Rivers (Harrisburg, PA-CHI, Altoona, PA-CHI, PHL-CHI)
Capitol Limited (CHI-WAS)
Lake Short Limited (NYP-CHI)
Silver Meteor (PHL-ORL)
Southwest Chief (CHI-LAX)
California Zephyr (CHI-SLC, SLC-EMY)
City of New Orleans and/or Illini (CHI-Champaign, IL)

 

Bring back the Broadway Limited (or Three Rivers or any Chicago-Pittsburgh-Philly train)!
 
 


#4 Steve4031

Steve4031

    Engineer

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 4,993 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Chicago
  • Interests:Riding Trains Often!!

Posted 20 April 2017 - 09:23 PM

The 20th Century Limited iirc departed chicago, stopped at Englewood, and then ran non stop to Albany except for servicing stops.

#5 the_traveler

the_traveler

    Engineer

  • Global Moderators
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 23,502 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Whatever siding I'm sitting on!
  • Interests:Planning my next trip

Posted 20 April 2017 - 09:43 PM

I'm not certain (it was before my time), but I believe it bypassed Albany. Union Station was off the mainline and a backup move would have been necessary. The 20th Century Limited did not have that luxury.

Since it was a steam locomotive which needed water every so often, to save time water filled pans were installed between the rails so it could collect water "on the fly" by dropping a scoop to collect the needed water!:P
Take it easy .......

Take the train instead and enjoy the ride!

#6 jis

jis

    Engineer

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 18,984 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Space Coast, Florida, Area code 3-2-1
  • Interests:Trains, Planes and Travel

Posted 20 April 2017 - 10:11 PM

It did stop at Croton to swap out the steam engine for electric, to get to Grand Central.

#7 ehbowen

ehbowen

    Conductor

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 811 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Houston, Texas

Posted 20 April 2017 - 10:17 PM

Among other factors and rules and regulations, a train like the 20thCentury made a limited number of stops. And I believe it was a 4 track mainline. ( Hi Ed!)

 

One of the important factors and regulations is the much stricter enforcement of speed limits, which are now tied to the capabilities of the signaling system (i.e., no operation 80 mph or more without Automatic Train Stop or Cab Signalling/ACSES). Back in the Century's heyday, enforcement was much more lax..."speed limits" were commonly understood to mean, "You'd better be going at least that fast!"


Posted Image 16 inch Armor Piercing...When you care enough to send the very, VERY best!
Visit Streamliner Schedules - Historic timetables from the Streamliner era.

#8 railiner

railiner

    Engineer

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 4,718 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Queens, NY
  • Interests:All public transportation....land, sea, and air

Posted 20 April 2017 - 10:18 PM

Another difference between then and now... back then the Century used Grand Central Terminal and LaSalle Street Station, although not sure if that makes any difference in running time...
Probably the biggest delay for the Lake Shore, is the time spent at ALB for switching in/out the Boston section...
metroblue?

okay on the blue!

#9 SP&S

SP&S

    OBS Chief

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 431 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:PDX

Posted 20 April 2017 - 11:01 PM

Here's an old schedule from 1967 for the 20th Century Limited.    http://www.streamlinerschedules.com/concourse/track5/century196706.html   16 Hours, earlier schedules were even faster.



#10 Anderson

Anderson

    Engineer

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 8,117 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Virginia

Posted 21 April 2017 - 01:51 AM

My thinking is that if you knocked a bunch of stops off the LSL you might be able to save an hour...but the savings from that would be far outweighed by lost ridership.  About the only train I think there's a viable "express case" for is the Capitol Limited (where you keep somewhere in the ballpark of 2/3 of ridership with only PGH as an intermediate stop and you get into the 70s if you only keep Toledo, Cleveland, Pittsburgh, and Cumberland).  Even there, though, I think you'd need to make sure you had one or two trains covering a "local-ish" schedule on most of the route and keeping connections at each end for those passengers.  Arguably the LSL has this in New York, but forcing pax from intermediate stations to transfer late at night isn't going to be a popular move.

(There might be some cases for switching around which stations an LD train stops at...for example, on the LSL Rhinecliff fails to meet Amtrak's "three pax/train" threshold.)


Capitol Limited (7), CA Zephyr (4) Lake Shore Limited (1), Acela (2), NE Regional (2), Sliver Meteor (4)

Upcoming: Silver Meteor (1), Lake Shore Limited (1), SW Chief (2), MO River Runner (1), Texas Eagle (1)

Possibly Upcoming: Either Texas Eagle (1), Capitol Limited (1), Silver Meteor (2) or Texas Eagle (1), Capitol Limited (1), Silver Meteor (1)

#11 Maverickstation

Maverickstation

    Train Attendant

  • Training
  • Pip
  • 26 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Boston, MA (Eastie)
  • Interests:Equality.

Posted 21 April 2017 - 05:07 AM

Another factor in speed is the note on the 20th Century schedule that it did NOT offer checked baggage service.

Given that businessmen were a key target for this train and were probably traveling with a single suitcase this makes perfect sense.

I remember an interview with a buyer from Carson's in Chicago and he said he would leave a trunk of clothes in storage at his regular NYC hotel to make his train trip faster. No doubt a century rider.

Ken

The poster formally known as Peconicstation.

Location: Boston MA, the greatest city in America, and home of South Station, Amtrak's best large city station.

 


#12 jphjaxfl

jphjaxfl

    Engineer

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,225 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Jacksonville, FL
  • Interests:Rail passenger advocate for modern, reliable passenger trains that will allow for business or leasure travel. I have been riding trains for over 60 years, but I am not advocating going back to what we once had, rather an updated system similar to Europe, Japan, China, India and other nations with great passenger train systems.

Posted 21 April 2017 - 06:47 AM

My Dad worked for the New York Central in the midwest and we did ride the 20th Century LTD.  Everyone at New York Central was aware of the 20th Century LTD, so all other trains along the route both passenger and freight would take a side track so that the Century could pass.  The Century also carried a Railway Post Office car mainly for overnight mail from New York to Chicago and vv.   The Pennsylvania Railroad did same for the overnight Broadway LTD.  Both the Century and the Broadway had a surcharge to the First Class and Pullman tickets that had to be refunded if the train was more than 15 minutes late.  Management at both Railroads took notice if refunds were made.  The Railroad workers for both New York Central and Pennsylvania took pride in all trains on their lines but especially the major passenger trains.  That is why the Penn Central merger of 1967 was such a disaster.



#13 jis

jis

    Engineer

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 18,984 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Space Coast, Florida, Area code 3-2-1
  • Interests:Trains, Planes and Travel

Posted 21 April 2017 - 07:06 AM

Wasn't the 20th Century Ltd. already discontinued by the time the PC merger happened?

#14 Seaboard92

Seaboard92

    Engineer

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,296 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:South Carolina
  • Interests:-Amtrak
    -New York Central
    -Seaboard Airline
    -Scriptwriting

Posted 21 April 2017 - 08:28 AM

Wasn't the 20th Century Ltd. already discontinued by the time the PC merger happened?


It was officially taken off the time card in 1967 in December if I'm correct with no fanfare.

Things that greatly aided it against the Lake Shore of today.

-limited stops, four stops including terminals. Not including service stops.

-no switching enroute

-had the highest priority on the line

-no checked baggage

-the LSL is so long it has to double spot most stations. After ALB.

-higher speed limits, and less enforcement of the ones that did exist.

In case anyone who is interested crew and service stops should have been Elkhart, Toledo, Cleveland, buffalo, Albany (area), Harmon.

View my pictures at http://trainboy1.rrpicturearchives.net

Amtrak Routes I've riden: Silver Star(NYP-ORL), Silver Meteor(KIS-NYP),Carolinian(CLT-NWK), Palmetto (FLO-NYP), Acela(WAS-NYP), NE Regional(WBG-RVR), Pacific Surfliner(SAN-OSD), Piedmont(CLT-SAL), Crescent(NYP-CLT), Cardinal (WAS-CHI), Capitol Limited (CHI-WAS), Cascade (PDX-SEA)

Steam Engines I've worked behind

Norfolk & Western No. 611

Nickel Plate Road No. 765

Southern Pacific No. 4449

 


#15 Steve4031

Steve4031

    Engineer

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 4,993 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Chicago
  • Interests:Riding Trains Often!!

Posted 21 April 2017 - 08:36 AM

I thought those were the service stops but didn't want to post inaccurate information.

#16 jis

jis

    Engineer

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 18,984 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Space Coast, Florida, Area code 3-2-1
  • Interests:Trains, Planes and Travel

Posted 21 April 2017 - 09:21 AM

 

Wasn't the 20th Century Ltd. already discontinued by the time the PC merger happened?

It was officially taken off the time card in 1967 in December if I'm correct with no fanfare.
 

. . . .

In case anyone who is interested crew and service stops should have been Elkhart, Toledo, Cleveland, buffalo, Albany (area), Harmon.

 

Did it go through Union Station in Albany or did it cross the LAB Bridge and do the service stop by Rensselaer Shops? Incidentally contrary to what the traveler posted earlier, there would be no backup move involved to pass through Union Station back then since there was a bridge south of the station that connected back to the Water Level Route near where the Post Road track takes off today. There is very little sign of that bridge left.

 

Yeah, what is now called Croton-Harmon was called Harmon back then. The MNRR shops are still called Harmon shops AFAIR.

 

I know of at least one rather understated but somewhat important person in the Manhattan Project (who passed away about 20 years back) who used to regularly travel from/to Chicago (FermiLab) from his home in Croton by the 20th Century Limited. Through a complete accident of history our family and his became close friends, and I spent many hours with him in his retirement, listening to him reminisce about his experiences just prior to and during the Manhattan project, in which he held a somewhat prominent project management post. But that is a story for another day and another thread.



#17 ainamkartma

ainamkartma

    Service Attendant

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 76 posts

Posted 21 April 2017 - 09:55 AM

Another difference between then and now... back then the Century used Grand Central Terminal and LaSalle Street Station, although not sure if that makes any difference in running time...
Probably the biggest delay for the Lake Shore, is the time spent at ALB for switching in/out the Boston section...

 

Well, in today's schedules the LSL takes 46 minutes to get from Penn to Croton, and the one-stop Metro-north trains take 46 minutes from Grand Central to Croton.  But if you have ever sat at 125 St. waiting for a train, you know that the Metro-north stops there are super quick.

 

According to the 20th Century timetable posted further down this thread, the 20th century took 46 minutes from Grand Central to Croton _including the engine change at Croton_.

 

So one might conclude that the change from Grand Central to Penn did not have a big effect on the schedule, but the generally slower running these days maybe has had some effect.

 

(Without checking, I recall that the Metro-north schedule was lengthened by five minutes or so after the Spuyten-duyvil crash a few years back.)

 

Finally, when I last rode the LSL a few years ago the double spots at many stations seemed crazily time consuming.  Without any actual data, it seemed like the train sat at each spot for about ten minutes.  That adds up!

 

Ainamkartma

Edited to repair basic math errors.  Lordy!


Edited by ainamkartma, 21 April 2017 - 09:58 AM.


#18 dlagrua

dlagrua

    Engineer

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,568 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Hillsborough, NJ
  • Interests:Car collecting, Train Travel, Model RR, Visiting Historical sights, Cooking, Antiques, but above all love for friends and family.

Posted 21 April 2017 - 10:30 AM

In the days when everyone rode trains, there were more trains on the schedule.  You could go to CHI from NYC on a train with a limited number of stops and also have a train on the same route that made all the stops. Today 300 million travelers use US airports, and about 30 million travelers use Amtrak.  If even a third of the air travelers moved to train travel we would see the same thing today. If Amtrak had more equipment for more trains I also believe that ridership would increase and schedules would improve.

Today's trains are basic and slow due to a smaller part of the travel demand and lack of competition. In May 1934 the original Burlington Pioneer Zephyr made the DEN to CHI trip (Dawn to Dusk) in 13 hours 5 minutes at an average speed of 77 mph. It was a special run for which the tracks were cleared of traffic but it just goes to show what was possible with rail travel even 83 years ago. Today that train can be seen at the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago. .


Edited by dlagrua, 21 April 2017 - 10:31 AM.


#19 railiner

railiner

    Engineer

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 4,718 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Queens, NY
  • Interests:All public transportation....land, sea, and air

Posted 21 April 2017 - 10:54 AM


Another difference between then and now... back then the Century used Grand Central Terminal and LaSalle Street Station, although not sure if that makes any difference in running time...
Probably the biggest delay for the Lake Shore, is the time spent at ALB for switching in/out the Boston section...

 
Well, in today's schedules the LSL takes 46 minutes to get from Penn to Croton, and the one-stop Metro-north trains take 46 minutes from Grand Central to Croton.  But if you have ever sat at 125 St. waiting for a train, you know that the Metro-north stops there are super quick.
 
According to the 20th Century timetable posted further down this thread, the 20th century took 46 minutes from Grand Central to Croton _including the engine change at Croton_.
 
So one might conclude that the change from Grand Central to Penn did not have a big effect on the schedule, but the generally slower running these days maybe has had some effect.
 
(Without checking, I recall that the Metro-north schedule was lengthened by five minutes or so after the Spuyten-duyvil crash a few years back.)
 
Finally, when I last rode the LSL a few years ago the double spots at many stations seemed crazily time consuming.  Without any actual data, it seemed like the train sat at each spot for about ten minutes.  That adds up!
 
Ainamkartma
Edited to repair basic math errors.  Lordy!

So that covers the east end of the run....
And to answer my own question, IIRC, at one time both the Broadway and the Century departed their respective terminals (Union Station or LaSalle Street Station), at the same time, and met at Englewood, to depart there at the same time (for their classic "race", until the routes diverged a ways to the east...
So it would seem the running time to either Terminal would be the same, rail and river traffic permitting...
metroblue?

okay on the blue!

#20 railiner

railiner

    Engineer

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 4,718 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Queens, NY
  • Interests:All public transportation....land, sea, and air

Posted 21 April 2017 - 10:57 AM

Wasn't the 20th Century Ltd. already discontinued by the time the PC merger happened?


The Century was "downgraded" around 1958, when the NYC decided to add coaches to the consist.
The Broadway Limited remained all-Pullman, until the Penn Central merger. At that time, it assumed the train numbers, and schedule of the former General,  along with coaches...

In addition to all that, all of the remaining east-west , former NYC trains lost their names, and were identified in the TT by number only. The former PRR trains retained their names.

 

Edit: Thinking back, it was the General, not the Admiral, that 'became' the  Penn Central Broadway...ironically, train numbers 48 and 49 now used by the Amtrak LSL... 

The PRR Broadway was originally train numbers 28 and 29.   The Amtrak Broadway was numbers 40 and 41...

When the Century name was retired from use, so were its numbers, 25 and 26...the closest PC train to its schedule was numbered in the 60's....


Edited by railiner, 21 April 2017 - 09:57 PM.

metroblue?

okay on the blue!




0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users