EP5 Electric Locomotives - Jets

Discussion relating to the NH and its subsidiaries (NYW&B, Union Freight Railroad, Connecticut Company, steamship lines, etc.). up until its 1969 inclusion into the Penn Central merger. This forum is also for the discussion of efforts to preserve former New Haven equipment, artifacts and its history. You may also wish to visit www.nhrhta.org for more information.

Re: EP5 Electric Locomotives - Jets

Postby Tommy Meehan » Mon Jan 05, 2015 9:53 am

shlustig wrote:The Park Ave. tunnel fire ended the Jets service on the Metropolitan Region.

There were several fires involving EP-5s in the Park Avenue tunnel but I believe the one shlustig refers to took place on May 29, 1973. By this time the New Haven Shore Line suburban service was part of Penn Central's Metropolitan Region and operated under contract for the New York MTA and the Connecticut Transportation Authority. As a result of several conferences between PC, NY MTA and New York City officials, the railroad agreed to withdraw the Jets from commuter service shortly after the May 1973 fire. I think they were banished by July or possibly earlier.
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Re: EP5 Electric Locomotives - Jets

Postby Statkowski » Mon Jan 05, 2015 10:13 am

In 1962, the mechanics at Eastern Airlines went on strike, effectively killing the hourly service between New York City and Boston which, in turn, caused a lot of people to suddenly rediscover the New Haven Railroad. Scraping together all available cars, the New Haven performed an admirable job dealing with the sudden influx of long-haul passengers. They ran 22-car trains from Grand Central Terminal, using one of the loop track platforms. EP-5 powered, for sure. Such a train would have required four FL9s, but for the EP-5s it was just another day.

Circa 1965, I had the opportunity to ride one from Bridgeport to Penn. Station. 18 cars pulling out of Bridgeport (lots of head end stuff), around Jenkins Curve, and we just kept going faster and faster until we were up to running speed.

The EP-5s were also the preferred motive power for symbol freights HB-8 and BH-7, the Trailiners. Their limit was 75 cars.
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Re: EP5 Electric Locomotives - Jets

Postby Tommy Meehan » Wed Jan 07, 2015 8:06 pm

Tommy Meehan wrote:It is stated on Wikipedia that-
The units were known as "Jets" due to the roaring sound made by their main blowers; an example of this characteristic was inadvertently preserved for posterity in a scene shot at Grand Central Terminal, the very first moments of the movie The Man in the Grey Flannel Suit.

Ironically the film is available in its entirety on Youtube (link) but the scene referred to doesn't seem to exist. However, there are two scenes early on in which an EP-5 is shown on a New Haven train. The first at 1:49 shows a Jet heading to Connecticut on the Park Avenue viaduct in Harlem. The second scene I found, at 3:13, shows a Jet arriving at Westport station with a train of immaculate stainless steel New Haven coaches.

Here are three screen captures from the Man in the Grey Flannel Suit:

This is the first one at 1:51 into the movie. It shows a New Haven train on the Park Avenue viaduct in East Harlem heading west (at least that is how NYC designated the direction, westward, but to the NYNH&H it was eastward!). The structure astride the tracks is New York Central's NK Tower at E. 106th Street. Given the sun angle this scene showing a supposed homeward bound commuter train was actually shot in the morning hours. But that's H-H-Hollywood folks! :wink: Also the EP-5 on the head end has not yet been modified with the additional carbody vents.


This shot shows the train arriving at Westport-Saugutuck. The sun angle (and the large number of people on the westbound platform) suggest this shot too was taken in the morning.


Finally, the locomotive might be the same in both scenes but the train consist is different. Note that on the viaduct the head car is a combine baggage-coach. Upon arrival at Westport the head car is now a standard coach.

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Re: EP5 Electric Locomotives - Jets

Postby TCurtin » Mon Aug 03, 2015 4:51 pm

[quote="Tommy Meehan"]As far as the FL-9s being operated in threes in passenger service, it might've happened but I don't think I ever saw it and I'm not sure if all of the units had nose MU cables. If it did happen I think it was pretty rare. But a single Jet could definitely outpull an FL-9 or even a pair of FL-9s. I don't think there's any question about that.

In the 60s Boston-Washington #171 The Colonial normally had 3 FL9s on Sundays because it was extra heavy with head-end equipment. All that mail traffic operated on #181 The Hell Gate other days, but #181 didn't run Sundays so #171 picked up the slack. There are photos of this. Also, the NHRHTA's DVD New Haven Main Lines has a brief scene of it.
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Re: EP5 Electric Locomotives - Jets

Postby Noel Weaver » Mon Aug 03, 2015 8:06 pm

After the Park Avenue Viaduct was repaired/rebuilt in the early to mid 1970's three unit sets of FL-9's were pretty common on a daily (weekdays that is) basis. In the New Haven days there was one daily train out of Boston that practically always had three FL-9's for power and that was train 187. It left Boston somewhere around midnight and ran with a heavy consist of head end traffic and a few coaches on the rear. Train 187 made local stops WB from Boston to Providence and handled a fair number of passengers a few of whom were actually sober. I had the job firing in 1968 every Saturday, EB on the Merchants and back to New Haven on 187. Most every trip I ran the job WB and it was a good job to get good experience on a heavy train making local stops. I made sure I was always well rested for 26 on Saturdays on that one.
As for MU equipped FL-9's on the nose, all of the first thirty were so equipped and Penn Central equipped some of the second order with nose MU connections as well.
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Re: EP5 Electric Locomotives - Jets

Postby chnhrr » Mon Aug 03, 2015 9:01 pm

Peter Cooper Hewitt was one of the first to explore the concept of a mercury rectifier. In 1906, GE tested the usage of a rectifier for the Paul Smith Railway. The seven mile railway served a popular resort of the same name in the New York Adirondacks. The experimental rectifier technology at the time proved unsuitable for the rough ride of the Brill car pictured and the unit eventually incorporated a motor-generator set. Paul Smith and his sons are posing at the car’s end.
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Re: EP5 Electric Locomotives - Jets

Postby shlustig » Tue Aug 04, 2015 8:14 am

After the Jets were barred from the commuter service after the tunnel fire, we had a problem with 2 of the big rush-hour trains. A pair of FL-9's cou;d not make the schedule on #'s1362 and 1356 (IIRC) with 12 / 14 coaches and many stops. The answer was to assign 3-FL-9's.

No problem with #"s 1360 and 1370 because they only made Stamford, Westport, and Bridgeport.
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