• Lines West Passenger crews

  • Discussion relating to the NYC and subsidiaries, up to 1968. Visit the NYCS Historical Society for more information.
Discussion relating to the NYC and subsidiaries, up to 1968. Visit the NYCS Historical Society for more information.

Moderator: Otto Vondrak

  by Railjunkie
How and where did the crews turn from Buffalo? Century crews turned at Collinwood? What role did Linndale play in the turns for west end trains if any?? Cleveland was an interesting place for how seniority and on and off duty points were assigned curious how it all worked.
  by twropr
I had asked an old timer about this and here's what he told me:

You are correct that the New York Central conductors and brakemen, based out of Buffalo, NY and worked Buffalo to New York City and return on the old 20th Century Limited. 20th Century Limited engine crews based out of Buffalo and worked between Buffalo and Syracuse; Based out of Albany and worked between Albany and Syracuse and Albany and Harmon: Harmon engine crews worked between Harmon and NYC. Train crews on that famed train were also based out of Toledo, OH and worked between Toledo and Buffalo and Toledo and Chicago. Buffalo engine crews worked between Buffalo and Collingwood (Cleveland), OH. Toledo enginemen worked between Collingwood and Toledo. and Toledo and Elkhart, IN. And Elkhart engine crews worked between Elkhart and Chicago.
  by Railjunkie
Thanks Andy, good info for the Century some of those turns are very similar to today's Amtrak turns. Now can anybody help with what role Linndale played with westbound trains Ive heard it mentioned but don't know a lot about it.
  by NYCRRson
Well, I believe (but could easily be mistaken) that the 20th Century Limited did not stop at Cleveland Union Terminal (CUT) which was electric territory from the 1920/30's until the 1950's. Instead it took a shorter route up along the shoreline of Lake Erie and stopped at an older station (pre- Cleveland Union Terminal) to drop/pickup mail and change crews. I believe this is right around where the current "Cleveland Lakefront Station" (Current Amtrak stop for the Lake Shore Limited) is located.

Linndale was the western "engine change" point where steam was swapped for electric locos.

Passengers where not accepted/discharged at Cleveland for the 20th Century Limited. In older time tables passengers where not accepted/discharged for the 20th Century at any of the on-route stations (Syracuse, Buffalo, Cleveland, Toledo, etc.). In later years (1960's) they started allowing passengers onto the train at more in-route stations, but you had to ride all the way to the "end of the line" (GCT/Harmon or Englewood/Chicago).

Lesser named trains did go through Cleveland Union Terminal and accept/discharge passengers.

Can't help much with the exact crew change points around Cleveland. Only know that the division point from "Lines West" and "Lines East" was at Bayview on the mainline about 8 miles west of Buffalo Central Terminal. This is out in the boonies with no station or yard facilities nearby so the crew change for passenger trains happened at Buffalo Central Terminal (later at the Depew NY Amtrak Station).

In modern times the crew change for freight trains has been at Frontier Yard (a few miles east of Buffalo Central Terminal).
  by shlustig
There were some interdivisional train crew runs GCT to Buffalo and Toledo to Buffalo. Engine crews changed at Harmon, Albany / Rensselaer, Syracuse, Buffalo, Cleveland (Collinwood), Toledo and Elkhart.

When several of the premier trains bypassed CUT via the Lakefront, the crew change was at the old Union Depot.

Trains that went via CUT had electric engine crews Collinwood / Linndale.

Linndale was originally a Big Four facility, but Toledo engine crews turned there during the CUT electrification era.

The "Century" mail shuttle ran between CUT and Collinwood.
  by Railjunkie
Mr Lustig back in the day of the electric service through CUT was this a separate seniority district?? So say if the list in Collinwood was exhausted they couldn't call you for work as an example.

Thank you all for filling in the blanks on the handling of crews in the Cleveland area. A friend of a friend grew up there and always curious.
  by shlustig
CUT was a separate seniority district for engine service as well as certain other crafts. I was told that augmenting engineer's positions from other lists was not usually done as personnel from the Cleveland East or Cleveland West Yard districts would not be qualified on the P-motors or the physical characteristics. A CUT fireman would be promoted, and the resulting vacancy could be covered by a non-CUT fireman.

One of the interesting operational problems involved the turning of the 3 trains that had semi-fixed consists which included round-end observation cars. These were the "Empire state Express", "Cincinnati Mercury" and the "Cleveland Mercury". Since there was no wye within the CUT district, normal procedure was to call a Big Four engine and crew from Linndale which would back down to CUT and then make the required number of trips out to the Van Bergen Wye at Short Line Jct. If all 3 trains were at CUT, a favorite move was to triple up the combined consist and just make a single trip. Must have been a sight: a J, L, or S engine doing the honors. No known photographs as this was a nighttime event!
  by Railjunkie
WOW thank you again Mr Lustig. This information will be passed along and I am sure it will answer many more questions. Thanks again