"Eagle" sleepers on PRR through trains?

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"Eagle" sleepers on PRR through trains?

Postby mike253 » Tue Jan 13, 2009 8:54 pm

In 1966/1967/1968 I would have to pass under the PRR Northeast Corridor in the vicinity of what is now the Metropark Station in Iselin, NJ to get to school. I would often see a train headed to New York between 8:00 and 8:30AM. What made this train curious is that directly behind the baggage car were two black or dark blue sleepers that bore no railroad name. In the usual area on the top of the cars, both had "THE EAGLE" written in white.
Does anyone know the origination of these cars (railroad, city, train, where switched to the PRR??????)
Also, am I correct in assuming that the cars were being carried on the Broadway Limited to New York?
Thanks in advance to everyone.
Mike
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Re: Explanation of Childhood Memory, Please

Postby ex Budd man » Tue Jan 13, 2009 9:50 pm

Hi Mike, It sounds like those cars were from the Missouri Pacific train of the same name. Pennsy ran many through trains with cars from other RR's. The Silver Meteor comes to mind. It ran from NYC to Florida. Perhaps others can verify or disprove this.
Bob
"I may not have a brain, but I have an idea!" BOB, benzoate ostylezene bicarbonate.
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Re: Explanation of Childhood Memory, Please

Postby JimBoylan » Wed Jan 14, 2009 11:42 am

I don't have a schedule handy.
Could it be the "Penn-Texas", which got its name because it did carry through cars from trains beyond St. Louis like the "Texas Eagle". The "Spirit of St. Louis" also carried such cars in some eras.
Missouri-Pacific Lines ("Do not confuse this road [MP] with the Maryland & Pennsylvania [MPA]") had many trains with names ending in "Eagle" besides "The Eagle". Did they have a pool of cars with a generic letterboard for all of these trains, or did they use cars with different letterboards for each of those trains?
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Re: PRR thru Iselin

Postby timz » Wed Jan 14, 2009 3:08 pm

It seems the thru sleepers from west of St Louis ended in 1961-- the ones from west of Chicago ended before that. So no theories about the sleepers.

The 4/66 timetable shows passing times at Metuchen (shown here as EDT) for the trains from the west:

train 22-- 0712
4-- 0835
28-- 0858
48-- 0919
30-- 0958

10/66 timetable-- times now EST:

22-- 0712
4-- 0733
48-- 0822
30-- 0848
28-- 0858

4/67 timetable (EDT):

22-- 0655 and no change on the other four.
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Re: Explanation of Childhood Memory, Please

Postby Nacho66 » Wed Jan 14, 2009 8:52 pm

I think one posibility might be N de M's Aztec Eagle which ran thru sleepers from Mexico City to New York into the Amtrak era.
As they were originally partners with Missori Pacific for this service, their cars were painted in the 'Eagle' theme.
A bit of detective work would be needed to find out which PRR train they were attached to.
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Re: thru sleepers

Postby timz » Wed Jan 14, 2009 11:04 pm

Nacho66 wrote:N de M's Aztec Eagle which ran thru sleepers from Mexico City to New York into the Amtrak era.

Anybody got a timetable showing that, after 1961?
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Re: Explanation of Childhood Memory, Please

Postby Nacho66 » Mon Jan 19, 2009 6:25 pm

One can only conjecturize as to whom may have been regular clientelle of this train.
Mexican Embassy employees? American attache?
Sure wish I could go down to 30th St. and book a bedroom for that trip.
I believe it ran into the '80's too.
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Re: Explanation of Childhood Memory, Please

Postby ExCon90 » Wed Jan 21, 2009 3:55 pm

The December 1960 Official Guide shows that the Mexico City sleeper on the Missouri Pacific ran only between MexC and San Antonio by that time, requiring a change there into the New York sleeper, which ran in the Penn Texas from St. Louis on the PRR. The December 1964 Guide shows no through cars remaining on any St. Louis trains on the Pennsylvania. Any through cars on the Broadway would only have come from a connection at Chicago, having originated in California and not involving the Missouri Pacific. Maybe the PRRT&HS website has a forum where this could be explored. During the time when through sleepers operated in connection with the MP, the MP paint scheme was medium blue with a cream or light gray window band, and the PRR painted a few of theirs to match the MP scheme and assigned them to the Penn Texas through car lines, but that wouldn't account for a solid dark blue or black color. I can't figure out what those cars could have been, particularly if they appeared regularly.

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Re: Explanation of Childhood Memory, Please

Postby Nacho66 » Thu Jan 22, 2009 11:52 pm

I KNOW I read somewhere (Trains?) about the demise of the thru sleepers in the '80's.
The news came after-the-fact as if this service was a well kept secret.
Maybe it was the late '70's...
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Re: Explanation of Childhood Memory, Please

Postby ExCon90 » Fri Jan 23, 2009 4:06 pm

After Amtrak took over intercity passenger service in 1971 the term "through sleeper" became meaningless in its traditional (interline) sense, since all sleeping-car routes were single-line (i.e., Amtrak). I don't have any old Amtrak schedules handy, but I don't recall that Amtrak ever had sleepers operating through Chicago or St. Louis. Also, according to the Pullman book by Joe Welsh and Bill Howes, the Pullman Company discontinued operations in 1969, further complicating any effort to operate through interline sleepers through a major gateway like Chicago or St. Louis.

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Re: Explanation of Childhood Memory, Please

Postby JimBoylan » Mon Jan 26, 2009 1:02 pm

Amtrak did run sleepers through St. Louis, since their National Limited was a New York-Kansas City train. At some times, it also had a transcontinental sleeper and coach New York-Los Angeles. In modern times, Amtrak runs Chicago-San Antonio and some Chicago-Los Angeles sleepers through St. Louis. Early Amtrak timetables had a footnote beside the schedule for the shuttle bus between Laredo, Tex. and Nuevo Laredo, Tamps. that Amtrak desired to run through service with the National Rwys. of Mexico and was working to make that happen.
Amtrak did run interline sleepers New York-New Orleans and sometimes New York-Los Angeles until Southern Rwy. stopped running the Southern Crescent and they became all Amtrak runs.

There were some tour operators like 4 Winds Travel Agency that ran chartered sleepers interline including over PRR for their clients. Could they have used these cars instead of running PRR sleepers out to the West?
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Re: "Eagle" sleepers on PRR through trains?

Postby JimBoylan » Tue Mar 24, 2009 7:32 pm

If your memory goes back to Oct. 25, 1964, then we have proof at this link that you weren't dreaming, but did see Train 4, the combined Blue Ribbon and Penn Texas. I don't know how much later the practice lasted.

http://kc.pennsyrr.com/passops/download ... nsists.pdf

Page 22 has a foot note for cars 41 and 45, the St. Louis and Indianapolis, respectively, to New York sleepers: "Eagle" type cars assigned!
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Re: "Eagle" sleepers on PRR through trains?

Postby mike253 » Wed Apr 01, 2009 10:21 pm

Thanks so much, Mr. Boylan!
I did move to NJ in mid 1963 so I might have been a bit off on when I did spot this train - it has been 45 years!
I sincerely appreciate the time you took to research this.
Now for a good night's sleep, thanks to you!
Mike
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Re: "Eagle" sleepers on PRR through trains?

Postby John Laubenheimer » Fri Apr 24, 2009 7:31 am

The PRR owned 11 ACF 10 roomette-6 double bedroom sleepers, built in 1950, that were painted in MP colors (blue and grey, with THE EAGLE in bold letter mid-car, and smaller P.R.R. lettering near the car ends). These were assigned to through service to Texas on the PENN TEXAS and the TEXAS EAGLE. These cars were eventually repainted to tuscan red and renamed into PRR's RAPIDS series (7 in 1964, 4 in 1966). See Dubin's MORE CLASSIC TRAINS, page 160, for a picture of EAGLE OAK.

PRR was still rather picky about what equipment was used on the GENERAL and BROADWAY LIMITED at this late date. These cars probably stayed assigned to the PENN TEXAS (and probably the SPIRIT OF ST. LOUIS) until repainting. At 8AM (or so), you would have seen the PENN TEXAS; the SPIRIT would have passed Metropark around 9AM, since it was due into NYC at 9:20. You probably would not have seen any true MP equipment in NJ at that date, since through service with the MP ended in the early 1960s.

AMTRAK never had any sort of through service to Mexico. Their closest stopped at the border in (I believe) Laredo, Texas. From there, it was a short walk across the border to NdeM's station in Nuevo Laredo.
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Re: "Eagle" sleepers on PRR through trains?

Postby Brannan » Tue Aug 22, 2017 2:03 pm

In the mid-1950s I recall seeing the opposite situation described in this post. The T&P "Eagle" often had a run-through Tuscan Red Pennsylvania RR Pullman car coupled on the west bound passenger train as it ran through Abilene, Texas.
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