• New York Central Empire State Express

  • 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 Howard Sterenberg
I recently purchased the MTH version of the 1941 NYC Empire State Express cars. Those cars are coach, parlor, dining, and observation cars only - no sleepers. On the MTH web page, the ESE is described as "The finest in comfortable daytime travel at an affordable price". Was the ESE not an overnight train? I get the impression that the train did not go as far west as Chicago. Yet, I have a picture of the train headed west into Elkhart IN in late 1941 with the new Budd cars. If the train was not an overnight train and it did not go as far west as Chicago, what was it doing headed west at Elkhart IN? Where could I find the west and east bound schedules for the Empire State Express?

Howard S
  by edbear
The 1941 Empire State was a day train. For many years it was scheduled out of Grand Central Terminal, New York, at 9 a. m., made Buffalo about 4:30/4:45, was split up with one section going to Detroit via the Canada Southern route and the other to Cleveland. The next day the Cleveland and Detroit sections hit Buffalo about 12:30 p. m. and combined for about a 1 p. m. departure for New York. The Budd-built cars bore the names of Governors of New York State. I think there were some numbered only cars which were used as spares. Four Hudson type engines and tenders were sheathed in fluted stainless steel to match the cars. First runs were on Dec. 7, 1941....most of you know the date. For a short time, about 1948 or so, the Cleveland section was abbreviated at that terminal and a short consist continued on to Toledo. The train in the photo may have been on tour prior to going into service. This was a common practice. The Boston & Maine's Flying Yankee was on display at Keene and Nashua, NH prior to entering service on a route to Maine, miles away from those cities. UP's Kansas streamliner was on display in Grand Central Terminal, over 1,000 miles from its home station.
  by Howard Sterenberg
Thanks for the info. That answers most of my questions very well. I checked the caption again under the picture I mentioned and it was the Fall of 1941 that the train was entering Elkhart IN. That was probably before the 12/07/1941 roll out date.

  by Otto Vondrak
We got a whole bunch of ESE cars here:

http://www.rgvrrm.org/about/railroad/ese/index.htm" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

  by wjstix
IIRC the original 19th century Empire State Express was a daytime train between New York City and Buffalo - entirely within "the Empire State" of New York.