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20th Century Ltd -v- Lake Shore Ltd.


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#21 jis

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Posted 21 April 2017 - 12:44 PM

Thanks railner!



#22 ehbowen

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Posted 21 April 2017 - 01:38 PM

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


Another thing to keep in mind re checked baggage service is that, at the time, there were several additional (slower) trains. If you had a lot of baggage you could still check it; it would just follow you on a different train. Or, you could have it sent to the station from your hotel (or home) in the morning and it would be waiting for you upon your arrival. The railroads offered transfer services between station to and from homes and hotels, normally utilizing local taxi or cartage services. There was none of the present-day TSA enforced "you must be on the same flight as your luggage" diktat.

 

These days, with virtually all LD service being "one a day", there are no secondary trains to handle checked baggage for the benefit of the premium customers.


Edited by ehbowen, 21 April 2017 - 01:44 PM.

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#23 caravanman

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Posted 21 April 2017 - 02:08 PM

Thanks for the replies. I don't see any need for superfast trains on this route nowadays, just interested to discover why the train was faster back then.

 

I am sure some of the crack express trains in the UK were as fast or faster in the days of steam than now!

 

Ed.



#24 jis

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Posted 21 April 2017 - 02:33 PM

Thanks for the replies. I don't see any need for superfast trains on this route nowadays, just interested to discover why the train was faster back then.

 

I am sure some of the crack express trains in the UK were as fast or faster in the days of steam than now!

 

Ed.

Except for the one to Paris of course :D



#25 Devil's Advocate

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Posted 21 April 2017 - 02:44 PM

Thanks for the replies. I don't see any need for superfast trains on this route nowadays, just interested to discover why the train was faster back then. I am sure some of the crack express trains in the UK were as fast or faster in the days of steam than now!
 
Ed.


Except for the one to Paris of course


When I read that I was wondering which steam engine was doing 180MPH back then. Unless I'm mistaken there are a series of plans and projects designed to upgrade major UK trunk lines to 180-200MPH speeds over time. It will probably take a half century to complete these upgrades at the current rate of progress, but that's still light speed compared to the Divided States. Also, why did they call them "crack" passenger trains? I've read that term a hundred times or more but never saw any sort of explanation or etymology.

Edited by Devil's Advocate, 21 April 2017 - 07:54 PM.

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#26 caravanman

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Posted 21 April 2017 - 06:06 PM

I think the Golden Arrow coaches were hoisted aboard the ferry in the old days, certainly the tunnel has made the journey faster.

 

While there is no contest that some superfast trains on new tracks are quicker, my gut feeling is that some of the regular express trains in the 1930's were pretty rapid.

 

As to why  "crack " I am not sure. I imagine it is derived from "cracking a whip" where things are in tip top order, maybe because of the threat of the whip?

 

Ed.



#27 tomfuller

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Posted 21 April 2017 - 06:24 PM

The "average" speed of the Phoebe Snow was 42.4 MPH. Several times i went with my dad to pick up my great aunt about 4 PM in Elmira NY.

http://www.streamlin...oebe196412.html



#28 west point

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Posted 21 April 2017 - 06:32 PM

Can we suspect that Steam trains might have been faster than diesel. It used to take diesel up to 10 minutes to add water for the steam generators. Also fueling an enroute diesel takes some time. Anyone with the NY Central's water and fuel capacities of their diesels ?.

#29 Anderson

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Posted 21 April 2017 - 10:09 PM

 

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


Another thing to keep in mind re checked baggage service is that, at the time, there were several additional (slower) trains. If you had a lot of baggage you could still check it; it would just follow you on a different train. Or, you could have it sent to the station from your hotel (or home) in the morning and it would be waiting for you upon your arrival. The railroads offered transfer services between station to and from homes and hotels, normally utilizing local taxi or cartage services. There was none of the present-day TSA enforced "you must be on the same flight as your luggage" diktat.

 

These days, with virtually all LD service being "one a day", there are no secondary trains to handle checked baggage for the benefit of the premium customers.

 

I remember trying to do this between KCY and RVR last year and getting looked at like I was from Mars by the station agent.  Somehow the agents at Chicago had no problem checking my stuff through as an Amtrak Express package, and my bags and I got into RVR on the same train despite the bags taking the Cap while I met with a friend in Chicago and then flew to JFK and caught the Meteor from there.


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#30 MikefromCrete

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Posted 21 April 2017 - 10:22 PM

Can we suspect that Steam trains might have been faster than diesel. It used to take diesel up to 10 minutes to add water for the steam generators. Also fueling an enroute diesel takes some time. Anyone with the NY Central's water and fuel capacities of their diesels ?.

 

Steam locomotives require a lot more servicing than diesels. Steamers also had to stop fairly frequently for water and coal. I doubt if any diesels requiring refueling on eastern routes, perhaps once for longer western runs. 



#31 JohannFarley

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Posted 21 April 2017 - 10:36 PM

Can we suspect that Steam trains might have been faster than diesel. It used to take diesel up to 10 minutes to add water for the steam generators. Also fueling an enroute diesel takes some time. Anyone with the NY Central's water and fuel capacities of their diesels ?.

 
Steam locomotives require a lot more servicing than diesels. Steamers also had to stop fairly frequently for water and coal. I doubt if any diesels requiring refueling on eastern routes, perhaps once for longer western runs. 

Didn't the NYC have water pans along the tracks and scoops on the underside of the Hudsons' tenders to get water while on the move?

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#32 ehbowen

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Posted 22 April 2017 - 01:06 AM

 

 

Can we suspect that Steam trains might have been faster than diesel. It used to take diesel up to 10 minutes to add water for the steam generators. Also fueling an enroute diesel takes some time. Anyone with the NY Central's water and fuel capacities of their diesels ?.

 
Steam locomotives require a lot more servicing than diesels. Steamers also had to stop fairly frequently for water and coal. I doubt if any diesels requiring refueling on eastern routes, perhaps once for longer western runs. 

Didn't the NYC have water pans along the tracks and scoops on the underside of the Hudsons' tenders to get water while on the move?

 

 

The NYC and a few other railroads did indeed use "track pans" for their fastest trains to save time taking on water. With the track pan to pick up water "on the fly", the tenders could be optimized for maximum coal capacity to allow the locomotive to run farther between changes.

 

Elsewhere, water stops were made usually every 40-70 miles, depending on loads, speeds, and grades encountered. Water towers and columns were designed to deliver a rapid flow to cut down on this time as much as possible. However, while there were some coaling towers located where tenders could be refueled "on the main", to my best understanding the general practice (especially for express trains) was to locate engine terminals within the limits of the steamers' fuel range and to physically swap out a depleted engine with a fresh and fully stocked engine to save time. (But, this was not always the case...I believe that the Santa Fe Hudsons sometimes used to operate through from Kansas City to the West Coast...with helpers at the major passes, of course.)


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#33 chakk

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Posted 22 April 2017 - 01:51 AM

I don't believe Santa Fe ran coal-fired steam locomotives into California by the mid-1930s. By then, those western engines had been converted to oil-fired.

#34 jis

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Posted 22 April 2017 - 08:27 AM

At least in India, on crack trains, the entire engine was switched out and replaced by another at some watering points, to save time. That is how the Imperial Mail operated on the EIR between Allahabad and Howrah (Calcutta). I suspect the same happened on GIP between Bombay Ballard Pier and Allahabad.

The practice was similar when it was rerouted on the shorter BNR route via Nagpur.

#35 ehbowen

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Posted 22 April 2017 - 08:35 AM

In American practice, engines usually weren't switched out for watering but they were for refueling, whether coal or oil. I believe that practice may have continued into the Diesel era.


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#36 NS VIA Fan

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Posted 22 April 2017 - 08:49 AM

Here's the last NYC timetable with the Century in Nov 1967.......

http://www.canadasou...ges/tt-1167.pdf

.....and the first timetable after it was discontinued. This is also the launch of what eventually became the 'Empire Service'

http://www.canadasou...ges/tt-1267.pdf

If you are looking to research 20th Century Limited schedules through the years.... there is a great selection here:

http://www.canadasou.../timetables.htm

Edited by NS VIA Fan, 22 April 2017 - 12:01 PM.


#37 railiner

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Posted 22 April 2017 - 10:58 AM

Here's the last NYC timetable with the Century in Nov 1967.......

http://www.canadasou...ges/tt-1167.pdf

.....and the first timetable after it was discontinued. This is also the launch of what eventually became the 'Empire Service'

http://www.canadasou...ges/tt-1267.pdf

If you are looking to research 20th Century Limited schedules through the years.... there is a great selection here:

http://www.canadasou...ges/tt-1167.pdf

Great Links, thanks for posting them!   (Although it appears that last one is a repeat of the first...)

 

Those $7.00 plus coach fare Sleepercoach charges are incredible, compared to what you pay today...

 

I noticed in the timetable, that the Century and the New England States seem to have identical schedules between Toledo and Chicago, although the Century doesn't make all of the same stops...I wonder if they were combined at that point at some date?


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#38 railiner

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Posted 22 April 2017 - 11:02 AM

Also amazing in those timetables, is the fast time on the Canada Southern portion, between Buffalo and Detroit, including crossing the border twice...try that nowadays, even if the route still existed...(sigh)...


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#39 MARC Rider

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Posted 22 April 2017 - 11:15 AM


Can we suspect that Steam trains might have been faster than diesel. It used to take diesel up to 10 minutes to add water for the steam generators. Also fueling an enroute diesel takes some time. Anyone with the NY Central's water and fuel capacities of their diesels ?.

 
Steam locomotives require a lot more servicing than diesels. Steamers also had to stop fairly frequently for water and coal. I doubt if any diesels requiring refueling on eastern routes, perhaps once for longer western runs. 

The Silver Meteor and Silver Star refuel in Jacksonville.

#40 NS VIA Fan

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Posted 22 April 2017 - 12:04 PM

Great Links, thanks for posting them!   (Although it appears that last one is a repeat of the first...)


Thanks.....corrected!




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