May 15, 1977: The Rededication and first run of GG1 4935

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May 15, 1977: The Rededication and first run of GG1 4935

Postby MACTRAXX » Thu May 17, 2018 2:13 pm

Everyone:

41 years ago this week Amtrak Rededicated GG1 4935 with a ceremony at Washington and then
with a first revenue run to Penn Station New York pulling the Murray Hill. The train had then-new
Amfleet cars along with a power generator car (GG1s were not HEP equipped) and also featured
two private cars for dignitaries which were Pennsylvania 120 and the Lionel-Ives which were both
in the traditional PRR Tuscan red color scheme.

The group "Friends of the GG1" raised funds and then got #4935 - which was chosen because
of its original unmodified condition - renovated and repainted into a classic Pennsy Brunswick
Green GG1 color scheme thanks to co-operation by Amtrak as the then-current owner.

Does anyone have memories to share of the 5/15/1977 ceremony or the WAS-NYP train ride?
I was just a high school age youth that did travel to Washington for the festivities and rode the
train back to New York along with many other fans and public that chose to ride that day.

Another question is about the Lionel-Ives private car: What is its status today?
Is there any more information available from AAPRCO or elsewhere about this car?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PRR_4935
http://cs.trains.com/ctr/b/mileposts/ar ... -unit.aspx

GG1 4935 turned out to be one of the best preserved stationary heritage locomotives thanks to
the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania making it a centerpiece of their indoor rail collection.

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Re: May 15, 1977: The Rededication and first run of GG1 4935

Postby Amtrak706 » Thu May 17, 2018 10:12 pm

What modifications were done to the other G’s that made 4935 the candidate? I always thought they were pretty much the same when they were retired as they were when new, aside from the handful that got re-geared for Metroliner schedules.
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Re: May 15, 1977: The Rededication and first run of GG1 4935

Postby amtrakhogger » Fri May 18, 2018 4:36 am

Amtrak706 wrote:What modifications were done to the other G’s that made 4935 the candidate? I always thought they were pretty much the same when they were retired as they were when new, aside from the handful that got re-geared for Metroliner schedules.


The only thing I could see is they didn’t relocate the air intake (traction motor blower.)
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Re: May 15, 1977: The Rededication and first run of GG1 4935

Postby ExCon90 » Fri May 18, 2018 2:55 pm

I think that was largely it -- it's a feature you can't help noticing on the modified units.
Also, I can't remember exactly when those mods were done, but it may have been after the PRR abandoned the pinstripes for the solid stripe and large keystone, in which case there never would have been a modified unit in pinstripes.
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Re: May 15, 1977: The Rededication and first run of GG1 4935

Postby MACTRAXX » Fri May 18, 2018 11:32 pm

706 and Everyone:

There were three main reasons why GG1 4935 was chosen for this honor back in 1977:
1-Original unmodified side traction motor air intakes.
2-Good mechanical condition and one of the then-youngest GG1s in service (built 1943 -
34 years old back in 1977)
3-4935 carried its original PRR-given number throughout its years of service (retired in 1980)

All GG1 fans should thank Howard Serig for coming up with this restoration idea and founding
Friends of the GG1 and Russell Wilcox for paying $5000 to Amtrak insuring 4935's preservation
after retirement in 1980 and then donating 4935 to the RMofPA for posterity.

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Re: May 15, 1977: The Rededication and first run of GG1 4935

Postby Amtrak706 » Sat May 19, 2018 3:00 am

Interesting, I never noticed the air intakes having been moved up on some units. The GG1s were well before my time, and I guess that detail never stood out to me in photos or videos.

It is a shame that so many of the preserved G’s are rusted hulks now, although that may just be a side effect of the sheer number that were saved. I had the chance to tour the inside of 4935 at RRmPA not too long ago, and she is in great shape. The toilet, out in the open among the high-voltage electrical gear, was an interesting detail.
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Re: May 15, 1977: The Rededication and first run of GG1 4935

Postby Noel Weaver » Sat May 19, 2018 5:53 pm

I ran the 4935 a good number of times between New York and New Haven on various trains. It was just like all of the rest of them except for the great paint job, ran good, cold in the winter, hot in the summer, dirty, dependable, good smooth riding etc. Some things good and some things not so good. I am glad I had many opportunities to run these famous and basically good locomotives during my long and good career. As to the toilets, you didn't want to have to use them, it was an ordeal.
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Re: May 15, 1977: The Rededication and first run of GG1 4935

Postby Backshophoss » Sat May 19, 2018 8:43 pm

Noel,How quick did Amtrak install "catch" wires to keep the pans from extending to far thru the Gaps at some of the bridges on the New Haven Line?
At least a few GG-1's had their pans destroyed by the bridge wire gaps.
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Re: May 15, 1977: The Rededication and first run of GG1 4935

Postby Noel Weaver » Sun May 20, 2018 6:09 am

Backshophoss wrote:Noel,How quick did Amtrak install "catch" wires to keep the pans from extending to far thru the Gaps at some of the bridges on the New Haven Line?
At least a few GG-1's had their pans destroyed by the bridge wire gaps.


Predating Amtrak the wires at the air gap at Cos Cob were raised by Penn Central maybe around late 1970 or so and the same at the phase gap east of Harold where the power changed from New Haven to or from the Pennsylvania. I probably have the general orders when these chsmges occurred but I can't dig right now. The only change to the motors themselves were a change from double shoe pantographs to single shoe pantographs again around that time.
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Re: May 15, 1977: The Rededication and first run of GG1 4935

Postby jhdeasy » Sun May 20, 2018 10:12 am

MACTRAXX wrote:Everyone:

Another question is about the Lionel-Ives private car: What is its status today?
Is there any more information available from AAPRCO or elsewhere about this car?

MACTRAXX



LIONEL IVES was a previous name of the PRR lightweight bedroom lounge car ALDER FALLS.

In the mid to late 1980s, the car was owned by Mary Frances Olsen of the Pittsburgh area. Later the car was under the care and management of Al & Lucille Siebold who owned MOUNTAIN VIEW. The car spent about a decade on Morristown & Erie Railway property in New Jersey and at their Maine Eastern subsidiary in Maine.

I have not seen this car in awhile. I believe it’s certification to operate on the Amtrak system has lapsed.

I’m not certain, but I think it may have left M&E Railway for another shortline, maybe the Stourbridge Line in the Pocono Mountains of eastern Pennsylvania, maybe somewhere else.
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Re: May 15, 1977: The Rededication and first run of GG1 4935

Postby ExCon90 » Sun May 20, 2018 3:09 pm

I'm trying to remember the name of the owner of the car in 1977 -- he was a member of the FOGG committee.
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Re: May 15, 1977: The Rededication and first run of GG1 4935

Postby jhdeasy » Sun May 20, 2018 5:31 pm

ExCon90 wrote:I'm trying to remember the name of the owner of the car in 1977 -- he was a member of the FOGG committee.


I think it was Larry Batley and Walter Loftin.
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Re: May 15, 1977: The Rededication and first run of GG1 4935

Postby dgvrengineer » Sun May 20, 2018 7:59 pm

I rode that car with Larry & Walter in the late 70's on a New Year's Eve trip from DC to Pittsburg on the DC section of the National Ltd which if I remember right was 2 cars. We went up the Port Road and connected to the New York section in Harrisburg. The car was wyed in Pittsburg after our arrival and froze up. They added it to the steam line in Pittsburg and the car knockers worked most of the night trying to thaw it out. We never did get heat back. It was a cold night and trip back to DC, but it was a great car and a great trip.
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Re: May 15, 1977: The Rededication and first run of GG1 4935

Postby ExCon90 » Mon May 21, 2018 2:28 pm

jhdeasy wrote:
ExCon90 wrote:I'm trying to remember the name of the owner of the car in 1977 -- he was a member of the FOGG committee.


I think it was Larry Batley and Walter Loftin.

Larry Batley is the one I was thinking of. Thanks.
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Re: May 15, 1977: The Rededication and first run of GG1 4935

Postby MACTRAXX » Wed Jun 06, 2018 11:50 am

Everyone:

I was able to locate a copy of Amtrak's National Timetable Effective May 1, 1977.
This is the listed times for train #160 The Murray Hill WAS-NYP which indicates that this train has
Amfleet cars assigned - "Amfleet Service" - #160 runs daily:
Lv Washington.3:05pm
Baltimore........3:45pm
Wilmington......4:47pm
Phila-30th St....5:15pm
N Philadelphia...5:25pm
Trenton............5:54pm
Metropark.......D6:24pm (discharge passengers only)
Newark.............6:45pm
New York Penn...7:00pm
From photographs taken of the train and remembering the train ride #160 ran on or close to
schedule. The good weather and late sunset present during mid-May did contribute to the train
being able to complete the entire run during daylight hours.

I want to thank everyone who contributed memories of this trip and of #4935.
I will thank Mr. Deasy for the further information about what was the "Lionel-Ives".
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