Train Pictures

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David
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Train Pictures

Postby David » Sun December 16, 2012, 6:29 pm

From Bruce Brown:

Image
Jackie Gleason's private car on the rear of the Silver Star leaving Miami.



Image

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Postby Jody Meacham » Mon December 17, 2012, 2:05 am

Boy, Bruce, what a set of coincidences for posting these two pictures.

The bottom shot is one I accidentally stumbled across a few years ago on RailPictures.net, a railroad photo website. I used it on the cover of my book and then put it on my book's website. That decision was based on several coincidences:
    -- My book is based on my senior year at Hamlet High School.
    -- It has several scenes at the depot and on the Silver Meteor.
    -- The picture was shot in Hamlet during my senior year.
    -- And it was shot on my mother's birthday.

When I got in touch with the photographer, Martin O'Toole, told him about this and why I wanted to get the rights to his photo, he allowed me to use it at no charge, just a credit. He was on the train that night, got off just long enough to shoot the picture and then reboarded.

O'Toole's collection of pictures on the web include several of the Silver Comet as well. You can see his pictures of Seaboard trains at http://www.railpictures.net. On the search menus, plug in his name from the drop-down photographers' menu and then add "seaboard" as the keyword.

The top picture of Jackie Gleason's private car was connected to the book in my earlier drafts but not the final one.

The second chapter opens with a scene of the Silver Meteor stopping at the depot. Before the trains pulls in, you hear part of a conversation on a car knocker's radio alerting him to the fact that there's a hanging brake shoe on the rear car. It's going to be his job to make that repair during the stop.

In the early drafts the radio message was about a hanging shoe "on Gleason's car," but I decided to drop it because to make sense to the reader, I'd have to spend too much space discussing something peripheral to the scene when the overall point was just to explain to readers how much stuff went on when one of these trains stopped in Hamlet.
Jody Meacham
HHS Class of 1969

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Postby Bruce Brown » Mon December 17, 2012, 1:26 pm

Thanks for enlightning me on these coincidences Jody. It seems that 1968 was a good year for you as well as myself. I got married in 1968 and also marked it as my fourth anniversary of being released from the HHS learning and correctional facility. LOL !!!

I haven't had the chance to read your book. I'm sure it's a good one. I was going thru some of my files yesterday and found these two pics which I sent to David.

The Star with the pic of Gleasons car on the rear didn't run a Observation Car, which his was, but after the merger they stated running a "Vista Dome" for the Pullman passengers . It was located a few cars from the rear and I can remember riding up top in the wee hours of the AM all by myself and watching the stars on a clear nite. It ran between Miami and Washington but no further north because it wouldn't clear the tunnels due to it's height.

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Postby Jody Meacham » Mon December 17, 2012, 5:42 pm

Thanks, Bruce.

The Star had an observation car, but it was a hand-me-down from the Meteor modified to have a diaphragm at both ends so it could run in the middle of the train. It was called a tavern-lounge (http://www.streamlinerschedules.com/concourse/track2/silverstar197104.html) and was the lounge for coach passengers.

The Star's coaches ran on the head end, so the mid-train tavern-lounge meant those passengers didn't have to traipse the full length of the train through the sleepers -- disturbing the big-ticket passengers -- for snacks and cards. That kept the Star from having the classic streamliner look that the Meteor did, but it also made it the natural train to carry a private car like Jackie Gleason's.

I remember seeing the train in its later years when the dome was added. I think they got those cars from the C&O, which ordered and then discarded them for the clearance reason you mentioned north of Washington -- not only the tunnels in places like Baltimore and the Hudson River but the catenary (wires) above the tracks because that part of the railroad was electrified. It's the same reason today's Amtrak trains on the Northeast Corridor are all single-level equipment, not the double-deck equipment it uses out west.

The Meteor ran with its sleepers on the head end and coaches on the rear, so its observation car (coach lounge) could run where it looked "right" and was adjacent to the passengers who used it (http://www.streamlinerschedules.com/concourse/track5/silvermeteor195811.html and http://www.streamlinerschedules.com/concourse/track5/silvermeteor197104.html).

Lounge space for sleeper passengers on both trains was in a sleeper-lounge car that was divided roughly half-and-half between sleeping accommodations and the lounge with its bar. But only the Meteor got the fancy Sun Lounge cars with the big windows in the ceiling above the lounge. They were designed that way specifically for the Seaboard, without a dome, to avoid the clearance problems on the Pennsylvania Railroad, and that allowed them to run all the way to New York.

By the way, I'm curious about the operating crew change points. I think the Seaboard engineer, fireman, conductor and trainmen that boarded the southbound passenger trains in Richmond worked all the way to Hamlet. But how far south did the crew that got on in Hamlet work? When I was a brakeman in college, I only worked freight trains and never got farther north than Raleigh or farther south than Andrews or Columbia.
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Postby Bruce Brown » Mon December 17, 2012, 9:09 pm

Jody, the crew change points were sort of screwed up for the Seaboard crews out of Hamlet. The Hamlet engineers and firemen worked a round trip between Hamlet and Raleigh and back to Columbia and back to Hamlet. And on other passenger trains it was just the opposite. The Silver Comet engine crew ran from Monroe to Raleigh and return to Monroe as their home terminal. All the engine crews went no further north than Raleigh and swapped out with the North end crews who ran only between Raleigh and Ricmond and return to Raleigh.

As for the passenger train (Star) conductors, flagmen, and baggagemasters, they went on duty at Hamlet and made a round trip from Hamlet to Richmond and back from Richmond to Columbia and then back to Hamlet. The (Meteor) crews were based out of Richmond and made a round trip from Richmond to Columbia and return to Richmond. The (Comet) conductors etc. were home terminaled out of Monroe but Hamlet crews usually worked them. Confused yet?????? LOL

The freight crews usually worked only between Hamlet and Raleigh and return to Hamlet.

I was engineer on the Star that wrecked at Skippers, VA on 7 April 1989. That was five miles south of Emporia, VA. It was quite a mess but thank God nobody was killed although 34 passengers did go to the hospital. We were taking the Amtrak train from Hamlet to Richmond that morning and the wreck was the fault of the Jax. dispatcher. Our whole crew consisted of Hamlet based men. CSX had just moved all their dispatching operations to the new center in Jacksonville and the dispatcher was found to be at fault due to not giving us notification that a switch had been thrown against our train. I found a pic of the engines on the 'railpictures' site about two years ago. I'm sending David a picture of the engines which they had posted.

I hope I explained the crew change question in an easy to understand way. I just ask that nobody ask me to explain the Duke and Duchess affilation. I'll leave that one to you.

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Postby Bruce Osburn » Mon December 17, 2012, 9:37 pm

Bruce B.
What duties did a fireman perform on the run from Hamlet to Raleigh to Columbia and back to Hamlet?
Bruce Osburn
--We live so long as we are remembered... old German adage.

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Postby Bruce Brown » Mon December 17, 2012, 10:25 pm

I've often been asked what a fireman did that was useful on diesel loco's since there was no coal to shovel. When I hired out as a fireman, the old diesel junkers were worn out and there was constant electrical problems like having to go back and reset ground relays, block in electrical relays, pump boiler water to engines running hot, blowing down boilers , and I could go on and on. Back then, the passenger cars were steam heated and depended on engine boilers located in the rear of each engine. The steam was also needed for dining car cooking. Today everything is electrical and comes from the main generators on each engine. The fireman was on the rear engine in the wreck at Skippers, VA, trying to restart an engine that was continuously shutting down due to a slipping tubocharger. That engine did a 360 degree roll at 70 mph and he was trapped inside. The hot oil and fuel caught on fire and the rescue squads had to dig him out. His injuries prevented him from ever returning to work. I've made many trips from Raleigh to Columbia working back in those hot, noisy engine rooms. I'd come out only one time and that was at Hamlet Passenger Station to get the Train Orders, which I was also required to do. I was sweating , greasy, and looking like I'd been under a lawn sprinkler for four hours. So contrary to many people's perceptions of a firemans duties, he most often had his hands full most all the time. He wasn't just setting up there featherbedding.
Last edited by Bruce Brown on Sat December 22, 2012, 1:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.

freddie hassler
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Postby freddie hassler » Wed December 19, 2012, 3:04 am

Bruce Brown, tell them what happens to a passenger train when it goes thur a 10mph cross over at 79mph

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Postby Bruce Brown » Sat December 22, 2012, 1:32 pm

Bad, Bad, wreck happen !!!!!

greg warnock
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WRECK

Postby greg warnock » Sun December 23, 2012, 11:08 am

BRUCE,WHO THREW THE SWITCH, DAVEY CROCKETT?

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Re: WRECK

Postby Bruce Brown » Sun December 23, 2012, 5:13 pm

greg warnock wrote:BRUCE,WHO THREW THE SWITCH, DAVEY CROCKETT?


That's right Greg. It was Davey Crockett(trainmaster) on authority of the dispatcher. After this incident the FRA added a new rule to the rule books of all Class A railroads in America. A rule that has undoubtly prevented other accidents of a similar nature.

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Postby greg warnock » Sun December 23, 2012, 9:22 pm

MERRY CHRISTMAS BRUCE, AND EVERYONE!!!

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Postby sigmore » Mon December 24, 2012, 10:51 am

I'll surely Concur on that one!!!! Is "surely" a word Jody???

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Postby Jody Meacham » Mon December 24, 2012, 4:15 pm

Shore is:

http://www.dictionary.reference.com/browse/surely?s=t
sure·ly
[shoo r-lee, shur-] adverb
1.
firmly; unerringly; without missing, slipping, etc.
2.
undoubtedly, assuredly, or certainly: The results are surely encouraging.
3.
(in emphatic utterances that are not necessarily sustained by fact) assuredly: Surely you are mistaken.
4.
inevitably or without fail: Slowly but surely the end approached.
5.
yes, indeed: Surely, I'll go with you!
Jody Meacham

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Postby Bruce Brown » Mon December 24, 2012, 5:48 pm

greg warnock wrote:MERRY CHRISTMAS BRUCE, AND EVERYONE!!!


Thank you Greg and I wish you and yours and everyone a very "Merry Christmas' and may all get what they had on Santa's list.

But above all, let's remember and celebrate Chritmas for it's true meaning. CHRISTmas. Our Lord and Saviour's birthday.

May God truly bless you all during the year and especially this joyous time of the year.

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Postby freddie hassler » Wed December 26, 2012, 6:26 am

Well said Tex,


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