Historic Service Restorations

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Historic Service Restorations

Postby gokeefe » Sun Dec 03, 2017 11:47 pm

In preparation for the "Coastal Connector" that will be added on as a seasonal weekend only extension of the Downeaster this coming summer I have been researching the service history.

The Maine Central Railroad operated year round scheduled passenger service on the Rockland Branch until 1958 when the Maine Public Utilities Commission granted their petition for discontinuance of all service.

At that time all coaches terminated at Portland (the parlors usually ran through). I was very curious to know just how long it had really been since coaches ran through from Boston North Station. I made some interesting discoveries along the way but the most recent example I was able to find was Train 57 which operated as a section of the heavyweight Flying Yankee to Portland and ran coaches all the way through from Boston in the summer of 1930.

There may very well be something more recent, perhaps in the mid to late 1930s but anything post war seems out for the moment.

It would appear that the extension of the Downeaster to Rockland will be the most historic service restoration ever done by Amtrak. I cannot think of a single example where Amtrak restored service that had not existed since before WWII.
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Re: Historic Service Restorations

Postby BandA » Mon Dec 04, 2017 4:06 am

gokeefe wrote:....[In 1958] all coaches terminated at Portland (the parlors usually ran through). I was very curious to know just how long it had really been since coaches ran through from Boston North Station. I made some interesting discoveries along the way but the most recent example I was able to find was Train 57 which operated as a section of the heavyweight Flying Yankee to Portland and ran coaches all the way through from Boston in the summer of 1930.
So the Flying Yankee existed as a joint B&M / MEC train prior to the Budd self-propelled hybrid streamliner Flying Yankee coming into existence? That actually makes sense.
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Re: Historic Service Restorations

Postby F-line to Dudley via Park » Mon Dec 04, 2017 8:34 am

BandA wrote:
gokeefe wrote:....[In 1958] all coaches terminated at Portland (the parlors usually ran through). I was very curious to know just how long it had really been since coaches ran through from Boston North Station. I made some interesting discoveries along the way but the most recent example I was able to find was Train 57 which operated as a section of the heavyweight Flying Yankee to Portland and ran coaches all the way through from Boston in the summer of 1930.
So the Flying Yankee existed as a joint B&M / MEC train prior to the Budd self-propelled hybrid streamliner Flying Yankee coming into existence? That actually makes sense.


Yes. "FY"-the-trainset's decorative metal signboard was changed around to whatever route it was running on at a given time, so the same exact trainset unit went by many different names over its lifespan. Flying Yankee was just the first route it ran on and most oft-patronized route, so it was the name that stuck for the streamliner's iconography.


Same exact consist here, just running under The Mountaineer name for seasonal summer service to the White Mountains:
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Re: Historic Service Restorations

Postby gokeefe » Tue Dec 05, 2017 12:07 pm

BandA wrote:So the Flying Yankee existed as a joint B&M / MEC train prior to the Budd self-propelled hybrid streamliner Flying Yankee coming into existence? That actually makes sense.

Absolutely correct.

I am still checking records but as of right now I can't find any reference to through coaches from Boston North Station to Rockland beyond the one MEC passenger timetable I have for summer 1930. I am guessing that through coach service ended prior to WWII. I also have not found any indication whatsoever that this service resumed after the war but I don't have enough references to be certain.

I have also reviewed the Amtrak routes in the wiki (good starting point but never definitive) and cannot find anything that appears to be a pre-war service restoration. The closest might be the Cape Codder but even that route saw service as late as 1964.
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Re: Historic Service Restorations

Postby mtuandrew » Tue Dec 05, 2017 12:50 pm

gokeefe wrote:I have also reviewed the Amtrak routes in the wiki (good starting point but never definitive) and cannot find anything that appears to be a pre-war service restoration. The closest might be the Cape Codder but even that route saw service as late as 1964.

The West Side Line in Manhattan didn’t have passenger service after the mid-1930s, being freight-only through 1980 and embargoed altogether until its 1991 reopening.
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Re: Historic Service Restorations

Postby mohawkrailfan » Tue Dec 05, 2017 1:59 pm

There was no service between Whitehall NY and Rutland VT from 1936 until Amtrak started the Ethan Allen in 1996.
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Re: Historic Service Restorations

Postby John_Perkowski » Tue Dec 05, 2017 4:50 pm

gokeefe wrote:It would appear that the extension of the Downeaster to Rockland will be the most historic service restoration ever done by Amtrak. I cannot think of a single example where Amtrak restored service that had not existed since before WWII.


Amtrak restored a second frequency to the Santa Fe in the Summer of 1972 as a 90 day test. They even called it "The Chief". What's more, they gave it the running numbers of the ATSF Chief, Trains 19-20.
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Re: Historic Service Restorations

Postby Gilbert B Norman » Tue Dec 05, 2017 5:05 pm

On the New Haven, passenger service on the Norwich & Worcester (New London-Worcester) was discontinued after WWII. With delivery of Budd RDC's, the service was restored about '51 and survived until "fairly late in the game".

"The Champ" for New Haven branch lines was The Berkshire. That survived until A-Day.
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Re: Historic Service Restorations

Postby gokeefe » Tue Dec 05, 2017 5:20 pm

mohawkrailfan wrote:There was no service between Whitehall NY and Rutland VT from 1936 until Amtrak started the Ethan Allen in 1996.


That is a fantastic example. Thank you!
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Re: Historic Service Restorations

Postby Allouette » Tue Dec 05, 2017 6:33 pm

Gone now, but from 1987 to 1995 the Montrealer ran on the Central Vermont/NECR between Brattleboro VT and New London CT, with mid-line stations at Amherst MA and Willimantic CT. The section north of Palmer remained in service for the Vermonter until 2013, including the stop at Amherst.
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Re: Historic Service Restorations

Postby Ridgefielder » Wed Dec 06, 2017 12:07 pm

Gilbert B Norman wrote:On the New Haven, passenger service on the Norwich & Worcester (New London-Worcester) was discontinued after WWII. With delivery of Budd RDC's, the service was restored about '51 and survived until "fairly late in the game".

"The Champ" for New Haven branch lines was The Berkshire. That survived until A-Day.

I believe the Worcester-New London round-trip also survived until A-Day.

It's amazing to me that we're going to see Boston-Rockland service restored before the Inland Route to Boston. Would never have predicted that.

What's next-- the return of the Day White Mountains? :wink:
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Re: Historic Service Restorations

Postby east point » Wed Dec 06, 2017 6:33 pm

SOU RR discontinued service Greensboro - Raleigh - Selma - Goldsboro date unknown. SAL did continue service on the ~ 8 miles Cary - Raleigh and the Amtrak STAR continued that service. When the "S" line service from Raleigh north was discontinued the Star was rerouted onto a restoration of service on NS tracks Raleigh - Selma. Then when the Carolinian service started the Greensboro - Cary section got restored service.
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Re: Historic Service Restorations

Postby Mackensen » Wed Dec 06, 2017 7:13 pm

east point wrote:SOU RR discontinued service Greensboro - Raleigh - Selma - Goldsboro date unknown. SAL did continue service on the ~ 8 miles Cary - Raleigh and the Amtrak STAR continued that service. When the "S" line service from Raleigh north was discontinued the Star was rerouted onto a restoration of service on NS tracks Raleigh - Selma. Then when the Carolinian service started the Greensboro - Cary section got restored service.


Contemporary news accounts from the Carolinian's first restoration in 1984-1985 said "over 30 years" since the last Charlotte-Raleigh service: https://news.google.com/newspapers?id=EDxVAAAAIBAJ&sjid=Kj4NAAAAIBAJ&pg=6734,5161093.
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Re: Historic Service Restorations

Postby east point » Wed Dec 06, 2017 9:54 pm

Mackensen wrote:[
Contemporary news accounts from the Carolinian's first restoration in 1984-1985 said "over 30 years" since the last Charlotte-Raleigh service: https://news.google.com/newspapers?id=EDxVAAAAIBAJ&sjid=Kj4NAAAAIBAJ&pg=6734,5161093.


Carolinian would carry between 1 -3 cars ? What a change to today.
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Re: Historic Service Restorations

Postby R36 Combine Coach » Thu Dec 07, 2017 8:33 pm

mtuandrew wrote:The West Side Line in Manhattan didn’t have passenger service after the mid-1930s, being freight-only through 1980 and embargoed altogether until its 1991 reopening.

I don't believe any passenger service operated on the open cut and elevated viaduct built by Moses in 1934. The new elevated St. John's Park freight terminal that was built on the High Line was freight only and never saw passengers.
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