Train sets in New York

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Train sets in New York

Postby chnhrr » Sat Apr 05, 2014 4:28 pm

How often did the New Haven’s lightweight articulated and RDC train sets visit New York City? Did they visit just for press releases or fan trips, or was there an effort to provide through service to Boston?
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Last edited by chnhrr on Sat Apr 05, 2014 4:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Train sets in New York

Postby DutchRailnut » Sat Apr 05, 2014 4:48 pm

The Comet was not used in regular service to New York but the 3 lightweight sets were.
Daniel Webster - John Quince Adams - and Roger Williams all had third rail capability.
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Re: Train sets in New York

Postby edbear » Wed Apr 09, 2014 9:09 pm

From consist book for timetable #3, 4/28/1957.
one set leave Boston 6:45 a. m. due GCT 10:45 a. m. Train #1 Daily
one set leave Boston 7:00 a. m. due GCT 11:15 a. m. Train #5 Daily
one set leave Boston 2:00 p. m. due GCT 6:15 p. m. Train #15 Exc. Sunday
one set leave Boston 8:00 p. m. due GCT 12:00 mid Train # 45 Exc. Saturday
one set leave GCT 7:30 a. m. due Boston 11:30 a. m. Train # 6 Exc. Sunday
one set leave GCT 12:00 noon due Boston 4:15 p. m. Train #14 Daily
one set leave GCT 4:45 p. m. due Boston 8:45 p. m. Train #24 Exc. Saturday & Holidays
one set leave GCT 8:00 p. m. due Boston 12:15 a. m. Train #46 Exc. Saturday & Sunday

Since three sets covered 4 round-trips on a weekday, the same equipment would not probably cover the same assignment two consecutive days. Once the flashover & resultant fires that happened when the lightweights went onto 3rd rail power were licked, the lightweights worked. However, the price was high. The NH had two Baldwin engines that didn't match anything else on the road. There were two FMs that shared some parts with other FMs. The coach stock on the Dan'l Webster & John Quincy Adams didn't match anything else on the road. Only the Roger Williams Budd set was compatible with the NH's large RDC fleet.

Less than a year after this consist book was printed the lightweights could be found running between Springfield and GCT. The Webster and Adams sets were out of service by Spring 1958. The Roger Williams set lasted into the Amtrak era.

Note that the first two Boston daytime departures are lightweights.
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Re: Train sets in New York

Postby Noel Weaver » Thu Apr 10, 2014 1:28 am

The chances of seeing the LW equipment on all of the trains listed in the book was pretty remote, they spent a lot of time in laid up status, awaiting shop attention or on fire someplace. The Budd train was quite successful as a supplement to the existing RDC fleet in Boston commuter service but the other two were FAILURES in every respect. They were hard riding, not able to be utilized on very busy weekends due to fixed capacity, not at all dependable either in electric or in diesel operation and they were noisy due to the HEP requirement. The FM engines were especially noisy, you always knew when that thing was around even without looking for it. The "COMET" made a few trips to New York but terminated and originated at 125th Street and at least one or more excursions were operated using this equipment to New York, I have something somewhere here on at leastt one of these trips. Another classic example of gross mis-management by one Patrick B. McGinnis way back when.
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Re: Train sets in New York

Postby ExCon90 » Thu Apr 10, 2014 2:50 pm

How did the adaptors on the low-level units for boarding and alighting at the high-level platforms at GCT work out in practice? I don't think I ever actually rode one to New York, but I would think that the passenger loading and unloading would have been pretty slow.
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Re: Train sets in New York

Postby Noel Weaver » Fri Apr 11, 2014 1:07 am

ExCon90 wrote:How did the adaptors on the low-level units for boarding and alighting at the high-level platforms at GCT work out in practice? I don't think I ever actually rode one to New York, but I would think that the passenger loading and unloading would have been pretty slow.


I rode the JQA from New Haven to Boston a couple of times but never west of New Haven to New York. I believe there was an adaptor incorporated in the entrance to the cars that would lprovide a step down to the floor of the car from a high level platform. In those days the only place that high level platforms were used was Grand Central Terminal.
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Re: Train sets in New York

Postby ExCon90 » Fri Apr 11, 2014 2:52 pm

That's what I remember seeing when the trains were on exhibition. I wondered then (and do now) whether that slowed down the boarding process significantly compared with just stepping across the gap to standard equipment at a high platform. Also I can't recall noticing how much likelihood there was of bumping your head while boarding.
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Re: Train sets in New York

Postby DutchRailnut » Fri Apr 11, 2014 6:27 pm

In GCT tracks 11 and 13 were the only low level platform tracks, originally yard tracks but track 12 was taken out for light weight train sets to platform, they needed access to engines.
After demise of light weight trains the platform was raised to High level.
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Re: Train sets in New York

Postby ExCon90 » Mon Apr 14, 2014 3:13 pm

I didn't know that; so it seems there is no real-world experience of daily operation of those trains at high-level platforms. There's been some discussion in other forums about finding a home for the orphan Talgos from Wisconsin, perhaps on the Pittsburgher -- so the high-level platforms on the NEC would be a problem.
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