Hudson & Harlem Div. private commuter club cars

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Hudson & Harlem Div. private commuter club cars

Postby TCurtin » Sat Jul 01, 2017 8:18 am

I remember when I was a college student in New York in the 60s the Harlem Div. trains had two commuter club cars. These were obviously converted from 1920's heavyweight coaches and presumably were leased by groups in ritzy destinations like Chappaqua and Katonah.

In addition there was one leased club that operated on the Hudson, and it was a one of a kind oddball. It was painted in the MU car scheme of olive with yellow trim and equipped with electric appliances to operate as an MU trailer --- although sometimes it was seen at the rear of a locomotive hauled train. Can somebody tell me what trains this was assigned to in the 60sm and where the club members originated?

I imagine these club operations lasted until the coming of the M-1's put an end to amenities like that, just as happened over on the New Haven.
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Re: Hudson & Harlem Div. private commuter club cars

Postby H.F.Malone » Tue Aug 01, 2017 7:37 am

The third-rail equipped car had a round roof, not the usual clerestory roof. The windows were the usual square-cornered sash, fixed in place as the car was air-conditioned. I think the car was number 98. The electric equipment was to provide power for lighting, heat and a/c.

The "other" NYC heavyweight club car looked identical to the then-common rebuilt "Harlem Division Coaches", in two-tone gray, round-corner rubber-gasket windows, and clerestory roof. That car was number 97, and was commonly on a Brewster train. It was in service as late as 1970-71.

By 1966-67, there were some streamlined club cars, rebuilt from 6-double bedroom/lounge cars, in service on the Harlem and Hudson Divs.
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Re: Hudson & Harlem Div. private commuter club cars

Postby Noel Weaver » Tue Aug 01, 2017 4:36 pm

When the railroad got rid of the 1000's, (the first LW MU cars formerly 4500's) they kept two of them. One the 1077 was converted to a garbage with all of the passenger accomodations removed and a large baggage type door cut in to both sides. The other one that was retained was one that had been converted to a commuter club car and I think it ran on the Hudson, no. 1037. That particular car lasted well into the 1980's before it finally was retired and set aside. I don't know what finally came of it but I have never heard that it was preserved so it probably was torched sometime in the mid 1980's.
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Re: Hudson & Harlem Div. private commuter club cars

Postby TCurtin » Thu Aug 03, 2017 3:31 am

Very interesting as usual. If that club car on the Hudson was running into the 1980s, that was well into the M1 era and maybe the beginning of the M3 era. Therefore it seems there must have been at least one trainset of "old" MUs to pull this car (unless it ran behind an engine-hauled consist). Obviously the club group that leased it must have been down in the electric zone east of Harmon
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Re: Hudson & Harlem Div. private commuter club cars

Postby TCurtin » Thu Aug 03, 2017 3:36 am

H.F.Malone wrote:By 1966-67, there were some streamlined club cars, rebuilt from 6-double bedroom/lounge cars, in service on the Harlem and Hudson Divs.
. Yeah, two ran on the Harlem. I don't know about the Hudson. The lounge end of the car was configured with a bar for all passengers. The bedroom end was left intact for groups to lease a room. I don't know how many did
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Re: Hudson & Harlem Div. private commuter club cars

Postby Backshophoss » Thu Aug 03, 2017 4:16 pm

There were runs on the Hudson Line covered by the 1100 series MU's,so 1073 could have hung around till the first M-3 pairs went in service.
MN did away with the Commuter Club cars on the Harlem Line around the time of the total change over to M-3's/M-1's on the Harlem
between North White Plains and Brewster North,as part of the AM/PM rush was still covered with FL-9's and coaches during the start up
of 3rd power on the Harlem.
A bit off topic,but the first club cars to bite the dust were on the Danbury Thru trains as they were converted to BBD Shoreliner I/
Comet II cars and the 4 rebuilt FL-9's from Chrome Crankshaft,however,2 coaches (1 each set) had a "MINI BAR" space created.
Any Club car on the Hudson Line went away at the same time of the Harlem Club cars went to the Garden tracks north of
Harmon Shop.

AS the 1100 series were retired a pair of them were converted to Combines for station trash duty.
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Re: Hudson & Harlem Div. private commuter club cars

Postby Noel Weaver » Thu Aug 03, 2017 5:34 pm

None of the 1100's were converted to anything by the railroad. Two ended up in Danbury and the rest were sold for scrap.
As for commuter club cars on the New Haven end, there were none out of Danbury or on the Danbury Branch. One ran out of New Canaan to New York and return. Two ran on a more or less private train that handled regular passengers to and from Larchmont and Rye only, it was a very heavy train with two club cars in the consist on the west end of the train. The fourth MU club car ran on another train out of Stamford. The name of the group that leased the three private cars was "The Special Car Associates". It lasted until most of the M-2's were on the line in the early to mid 1970's. The New Canaan group actually owned the stuff that was inside their car (5113) and when that operation ended the New Canaan Dink took the car up to New Canaan one Saturday in the AM and the members came down to the station and removed everything that belonged to them. Later that Saturday the car was returned to Stamford. A day or so later the car ended up in GCT and I was on an emergency job which included moving engines and cars around the terminal as necessary. I moved the car from one of the engine house storage tracks somewhere else, probably under the Waldorf, for storage and I was probably the last person to operate that particular car under its own power. It was totally empty inside. There was also one club car operated out of New Haven on trains 369 and 360 for a commuter club which I think operated out of Southport. That was one of the AF coaches that had wide windows and a club car interior. When they retired that car they converted an MU car for their purposes and that lasted until the other MU club cars were all retired and replaced by M-2's. The state at that time laid down the law, mo more private club cars period. New York State did the same thing with the private cars on the Hudson and Harlem but I think the H & H private cars lasted a little bit later than the Connecticut cars.
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Re: Hudson & Harlem Div. private commuter club cars

Postby TCurtin » Sat Aug 12, 2017 1:44 pm

Noel Weaver wrote: The New Canaan group actually owned the stuff that was inside their car (5113) and when that operation ended the New Canaan Dink took the car up to New Canaan one Saturday in the AM and the members came down to the station and removed everything that belonged to them. Later that Saturday the car was returned to Stamford.

I know this is a really bad case of "thread drift" (wrong railroad!), but I'm wondering: Did you ever see the inside of the 5113 when it was furnished, or otherwise have any knowledge of what the New Canaan club had their car furnished with? Something like, perhaps, overstuffed leather club chairs, or "Bar Harbor" style wicker?
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Re: Hudson & Harlem Div. private commuter club cars

Postby Noel Weaver » Sat Aug 12, 2017 6:32 pm

It was a long, long time ago in years that I was in any of those cars although I know I was inside the New Canaan car not too long before it was withdrawn. I believe none of them had carpet on the floor and I think for the most part tables and chairs. I seem to think the New Canaan car had chairs something like the chairs in the smoking lounges of some of the newer coaches (8500's and 8600's). As I say it has been a long time.
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