L&H Memories: Where'd the cars come from????

Discussion of the L&HR and its predecessor the Warwick Valley Railroad for the period 1860-1976 at its inclusion with ConRail

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L&H Memories: Where'd the cars come from????

Postby jmchitvt » Sun Aug 14, 2011 7:11 pm

I have reason to believe a lot of todays railfans caught up with locomotive details don't give a thought to where all the freight comes from. Do the cars JUST show up at interchange.???

For those who DO care I'll share some thoughts from my background from about 1950 to 1966.

The L&H had traffic offices in strategic locations across the country with their own people knocking on doors for new business and keeping the "regulars" happy. Then, you had the reputation of a SCHEDULED service with dedicated employees.
The L&H could NEVER exist on local customers only. This became very apparent after THE BRIDGE burned. The physical plant and overhead BURIED them without those 300 cars a day into Maybrook that management dictated.

The MOST important L&H connection was the B&O without a doubt. A solid train, CSD-96, the "Central States Dispatch" sent 80-90 cars daily out of Cumberland, MD. The symbol changed to HO-6 on the Reading at Rutherford and the consist went untouched Cumberland to Cedar Hill, CT. This train was featured in TRAINS magazine March 1952 and we were SO proud to be featured in a national publication. A later issue showed a picture of HO-6 meeting a ballast train at Allamuchy. Because the B&O competed with the BIG BOYS, PRR, NYC and ERIE for New England traffic they played "second fiddle", though.

To a lesser exent a second routing guide was the Alphabet Route made up what in the greater scheme ranked even lower but with smart railroading made a VERY respectful show. Those interchange clerks must have done a "melt down" with their rubber stamps that were required on every waybill at the "hand off" point. Oh, how the computer has smoothed out this bump in the rug. These cars were handled in L&H AO-4 eastward, OA-3 westward.

The Central States Dispatch evolved into "Time Saver Service" in the early sixties and sometimes there were TWO eastbounds to handle increased business. The huge B&O staff and the little L&H's dedicated emloyees were a perfect combination. You'll note the L&H line is in bold on the B&O maps of their day.

Well, I'll dig out that TRAINS some day and quote what Wallace Abbey had to say about our favorite, wonderful little L&H.
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Re: L&H Memories: Where'd the cars come from????

Postby njmidland » Mon Aug 15, 2011 8:11 am

Back in 1982, before the big auction I was given the opportunity to go through the Warwick headquarters building and buy stuff. I also came back and bought more (but not nearly enough!) during that auction. In one of my buys I found a fascinating folder that described the L&HR sales offices setting up at hotels for Christmas parties for their customers. Offhand the only two I remember were setting up at the Hotel Bethlehem and the Blackstone in Chicago. The letters were instructions to the hotel of what to set up, right down to having card tables and playing cards in case anyone wanted to play. What a different world!
~Tim Stuy
Purveyor of fine food products from the Golden Age of Railroad Travel: http://www.phoebesnowco.com
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