‘Southern Crescent’ - Last Run Souvenirs

Discussion in 'Travelogues / Trip Reports' started by NS VIA Fan, Mar 8, 2019.

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  1. Mar 8, 2019 #1

    NS VIA Fan

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    It was 40 years ago last month I was riding around on a USA RailPass when I got word the Southern Railway’s ‘Southern Crescent’ would be making its ‘Last Run’ overnight January 31 – February 1, 1979.

    I boarded southbound #1 at Washington Union Station and immediately headed to the Dining Car just like everyone else and it was a long wait before I could enjoy ‘Fried Chicken’ ‘Southern Style’

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  2. Mar 8, 2019 #2

    NS VIA Fan

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    We arrived into Greensboro NC around 1:20am and along with many other making the round trip back to Washington….. got off to wait for northbound #2 at 2:20am. I managed to keep my Ticket as a souvenir and the Ticket Agent was passing out Timetables date stamped for the Last Run

    In the morning…..another fine Southern Breakfast! I had heard of ‘Grits’ but not knowing what they were….decided to give them a try along with my Ham & Eggs!

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  3. Mar 8, 2019 #3

    NS VIA Fan

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    February 1, 1979…Amtrak took over with their ‘Crescent’ #19 #20

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  4. Mar 8, 2019 #4

    cpotisch

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    Wow, great pictures. Thank you so much for sharing!!! :)

    I didn’t realize Amtrak ever ran through-cars to any non-Amtrak trains. And looking at those menus really makes me realize just how much we’re missing now. Why couldn’t I be born 50 years ago???
     
  5. Mar 8, 2019 #5

    railiner

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    Amtrak still does....(Maple Leaf) ;)
     
  6. Mar 8, 2019 #6

    Bob Dylan

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    Great trip, I'm envious. I rode these Trains many times back in the day. :hi:

    I still remember the Slumber Coaches which were a great deal, and I consider their Diner Fare to be on a par with the Super Chief and the Panama Ltd. ^_^

    There is an old  Southern Diner that was used as a Cafe/Bar in the City of Taylor,now sadly closed, where I take day trips on Amtrak to visit my favorite Q-joint.

    As for the Grits,that's how you used to know you had crossed the Mason-Dixon Line and were in the South.I had many a wonderful Breakast in the Diner with Fine Virginia Ham and Grits accompanying the to order eggs. ^_^
     
  7. Mar 8, 2019 #7

    MARC Rider

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    Note that the $7.95 Sirloin Steak dinner is actually about $28 in today's money.
     
  8. Mar 8, 2019 #8

    cpotisch

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    Yes, but with the ML, the physical train stays the same the whole way through. With the transcontinental sleeper, you had an SP 10-6 hooked up to Amtrak rolling stock for the 46 hour journey west of New Orleans. That’s very different.
     
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  9. Mar 8, 2019 #9

    jis

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    SP 10-6? Are you sure? SP bought into Amtrak from day 1, so it really had no Sleepers, 10-6 or otherwise for commercial use of its own after A-Day.
     
  10. Mar 8, 2019 #10

    cpotisch

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    Says 10-6 here (in the SLEEPING CARS section), and from everything I'm seeing it was an SP car, so...

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  11. Mar 8, 2019 #11

    jis

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    After A-Day it was an Amtrak car in the rainbow era. It was yet to be repainted in Amtrak livery. So yeah, ex-SP but not SP strictly speaking in terms of actual ownership.
     
  12. Mar 8, 2019 #12

    cpotisch

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    So I guess it could either be considered an SP car in an Amtrak consist, or an Amtrak operated car in an SP consist. But either way, it's pretty different from the Maple Leaf.
     
  13. Mar 8, 2019 #13

    jis

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    The Sunset Limited was an Amtrak train, and in the Rainbow era it had cars from SP in SP livery or from a few other roads that joined Amtrak, but they were all owned by Amtrak. So irrespective of what the livery said on the car, when it was attached to the Sunset Limited it was attached to an Amtrak train and if it was in SP livery it was a car owned by Amtrak after A-Day. So it was an Amtrak car attached to an Amtrak train. When it was attached to the Southern Crescent, it was an Amtrak car attached to a Southern train.

    The fact that it is different from Maple Leaf situation is not what I was contesting.

    What was like Maple Leaf somewhat was the Southern Crescent between Washington and New York specially after 1976, when it was a Southern train conveyed by Amtrak T&E crew from Washington to New York on Amtrak trackage. I believe the OBS crew was still Southern, so it was different from Maple Leaf in that way. Also the Southern train number 1 and 2 was the same on Amtrak. Interestingly the Amtrak Sunset Limited was also 1/2 at that time. So Amtrak operated its own train numbered 1 and 2, and a foreign train numbered 1 and 2, albeit on a non-overlapping piece of railroad.
     
  14. Mar 9, 2019 #14

    railiner

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    The Southern Crescent was not operated as Train No. 1 and 2 on the NEC...it carried numbers 171 and 172 in the 31 October 1976 timetable.  At that time, that train was a Boston Washington train, which carried Southern Crescent cars between New York and Washington...

    Back in the PRR and PC era, they carried thru trains to and from several railroads beyond Washington, but while on PRR or PC tracks, they were operated under PRR or PC numbers.
     
  15. Mar 9, 2019 #15

    jis

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    The 1978 timetable shows them as 1 and 2. I guess Amtrak was not consistent about how they listed it in the public timetable.
     
  16. Mar 9, 2019 #16

    Bob Dylan

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    Inconsistent! Amtrak??? <_<
     
  17. Mar 9, 2019 #17

    Maglev

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    My grandfather worked for the Louisville and Nashville, and my father grew up considering the Southern Crescent to be the epitome of luxury transportation.
     
  18. Mar 9, 2019 #18

    NS VIA Fan

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    At the time of the Southern Crescent's Last Run.....the thru New York cars were being handled on the NEC in the Patriot #172nb and #173 sb. The Transcontinental Sleeper would begin it's journey on Amtrak....then Southern Railway....then Amtrak  again.

    Even after Amtrak took over...the Crescent's New York cars were handled in the Patriot.
     
  19. Mar 10, 2019 #19

    NS VIA Fan

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    The Chicago – Toronto International was also a VIA train while in Canada but unlike the Maple leaf…..used a combination of Amtrak and VIA equipment over the years. Even the snack-bar was restocked with 'Canadian' items.

    You could find an Amtrak F40 powering VIA 'Tempo' cars (seen below at Port Huron MI in Jan '83) and VIA F40s and LRC locomotives running  thru to Chicago. Later on ..... VIA acquired the ex Amtrak LRC coaches...repainted them VIA and used them on the International (they weren't incomparable with VIA's own LRC equipment)  I always found it strange boarding an Amtrak 'Superliner' in Guelph ON for a local run to Stratford on the secondary CN route between Toronto and London.

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  20. Mar 10, 2019 #20

    railiner

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    I didn't know VIA Rail ran Superliner's other than the four car set they "borrowed" one winter for cold weather HEP testing on the secondary train (Panorama?), between Winnipeg and Edmonton, one winter around 1980...
     
  21. Mar 10, 2019 #21

    railiner

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    IIRC, in the past, the Southerner was run on the route of todays Amtrak Crescent...all former Southern Railway.   The Crescent Limited, ran via the L&N route via Mobile.  The Southern Crescent was created when the two former trains were "merged" into one when Amtrak started up.
     
  22. Mar 10, 2019 #22

    railiner

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    I agree with NS VIA Fan on this one...the October 1978 system timetable clearly shows the "Southern Crescent"  being operated as #173 and 172 between New York and Washington, and SR #1 and 2 between Washington and Atlanta/New Orleans, on the page dedicated to that train.

    It shows as the Patriot with #'s 173 and 172 on the part of the timetable devoted to the Northeast Corridor.

    http://www.timetables.org/full.php?group=19781029&amp;item=0031
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 10, 2019
  23. Mar 10, 2019 #23

    jis

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    My bad I guess :wacko:
     
  24. Mar 10, 2019 #24

    cpotisch

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    Don't they still sort of do that on the Maple Leaf? I'm pretty sure they serve Coke and other "special" items while it's a VIA train...
     
  25. Mar 10, 2019 #25

    Bob Dylan

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    You are correct Sir! The changeover takes place during the stop @ the VIA Station on the Ontario side of the River.
     

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