Category Archives: New York Central Railroad

Mark Tomlonson’s New York Central Dates In History

PenneyVanderbilt

September 16, 1956 The New York Central replaces the male secretaries on the “20th Century Limited” with “Girls of the Century” – stewardesses patterned after those on airliners.

Girl Of The Century
The Century Girl, or, if you prefer…The Girl of the CenturyJoan Jennings Scalfani

Getting ready to reprise her role as a “Century Girl” for the 20th Century Limited express passenger train brought back these memories and more for Joan Jennings Scalfani.

“It was a fabulous job because I love to talk and I love to listen,” said Scalfani, 80, recalling her days in the early 1960s as a hostess aboard the historic line. “Those were happy days.”

One Century Girl was assigned to each trip.

See a YouTube presentation featuring Joan Jennings Scalfani in Grand Central Terminal

“The train was beautiful,” she said. “In the center lounge car there were love seats. … It was a very classy-looking…

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The Cardinal Train

The Cardinal Train ran in 1926 from New York to Chicago. Pullman supplied the New York Central RR with this heavyweight consist hastily repainted a bright scarlet with gold lettering to carry the College of Cardinals to the XXVIII International Eucharistic Congress held in Chicago.

The Cardinals Train (New York City to Chicago: June 16 – 17 westbound, June 25 – 26 eastbound, 1926)
“Eagle” series hwt baggage-club (ACL service)
10 cpt hwt sleeper (NYC service)
(2) 6-3 hwt sleepers
NYC hwt diner
6-3 hwt sleeper
Private car “Superb” (gothic type)

The train departed Grand Central Terminal and had a large crowd of well wishers. Large crowds, with bands and local dignitaries, were also waiting at Albany, Syracuse, and Rochester.

At Porter, Ind. the “Red Special” (as it had been dubbed) probably left the LS&MS and operated over the MCRR to Kensington, where it would have joined the ICRR.

After the famous train had made its return journey, the cars were repainted to standard Pullman green and returned to regular service.

In 1926, the Hudson would not be available for another year, so The Cardinal’s Train was probably pulled by a Pacific. If it only had a 6-car consist, the Pacific should have been more than sufficient, even up the West Albany Hill.

Con-Cor did a “Cardinal’s Train” set, which occasionally shows up on e-Bay – tain’t cheap! Of course, it featured Rivarossi’s J-3a, which was even more out-of-date for 1926.

The Cardinal Red would certainly would make a colorful contast to the normal NY Central green in 1926 !!!

 

 

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Fort Plain versus South Fort Plain

The post card says Fort Plain, but it looks like a 4-track main line, not the 2-track West Shore that went through Fort Plain. Fort Plain, NY is directly across the Mohawk River / Barge Canal from Nelliston which is on the NY Central Main Line. Checked Form 1001 for April 30, 1950. Local service on the mainline referred to the station in Nelliston as “Fort Plain”, while just down the road, Canajoharie (on the West Shore, like Fort Plain) was served by Palatine Bridge on the main line. The West Shore timetable (no passenger by 1950, but freight through Fort Plain) neatly sidestepped the issue by calling it “South Fort Plain”. Little Falls to South Fort Plain was abandoned in 1971.

 

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1964 to 1965 World’s Fair held in New York City

These are some advertisements / features related to the 1964 to 1965 World’s Fair held in New York City (Photos clipped from an old New York Central Headlight)
New York Central’s property included the following hotels: Barclay, Biltmore, Commodore, Park Lane, Roosevelt, Waldorf-Astoria.

 

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More about Mail and Express (M&E) trains on the New York Central

The M&E trains were ordinary passenger trains in the timetable. the term “first class” was really without meaning as those trains ran only in double track territory where they were cleared by signal indication. They were just part of the flow of passenger trains and moved at the usual passenger train speeds with no special priority that wasn’t usual for any other passenger train.

The time it took them to get across the railroad was purely a matter of the horsepower per ton of the train. The reason the Century could make better time was that it had less tonnage for the horsepower. A heavy M&E train could not get across the line as fast because it took much longer to accelerate to the speed limit.

There seems to be a mystique about these trains arising from the romance of the fast mail of earlier years. On the NYC they didn’t “go like hell” any more than other passenger trains that ran nonstop between Albany and Syracuse or Buffalo and cleveland, or …etc.

A Rider Car was operated at the rear of a Mail & Express train for the benefit of the train crew. Passenger equipment was perfered or mandated for this purpose because these trains operated at passenger train speeds and a regular caboose would not be suitable for this service account its running gear (springs & journal boxes). Because all cars of a mail train may not have steam head connectors, Rider Cars assigned to this service usually had a stove/furnace in one end for crew comfort in inclement weather.

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Little Falls & Dolgeville RR

About 3 miles North of Little Falls (rt 167) there is a remnant of a fairly large Trestle. This is near a restaurant called the Half Way. What surprises me is the condition of the Trestle. The Dolgeville line closed up in 1964. It ran from the mainline to the Adirondack Bat Co. The line north of this was closed in the 30’s. Industries in Dolgeville were shoes: Daniel Green and others as well as Hal Schumacher’s Adirondack Baseball Bat factory. The first train ran 12/14/1892 and last 7/15/1964. The last train used engine 847, a 600 hp switcher. The NYC purchased the line in 1906. Business on the line consisted of coal, iron ore, piano sounding boards, milk, pulp wood, canned goods, etc.

LITTLE FALLS AND DOLGEVILLE RAILROAD COMPANY
This company was incorporated December 27, 1902, as the successor of a company of the same name, incorporated February 20, 1891, construction of whose road was completed December 31, 1893, at a cost of $575,000, to cover which $250,000 capital stock, $250,000 first mortgage bonds and $75,000 second mortgage bonds were issued. The original company went into receivership May 27, 1899, and the first mortgage was foreclosed. The property of the company was sold July 24, 1902. Reorganization was effected and $250,000 of new capital stock and $250,000 of new first mortgage bonds were issued. The holders of the original first mortgage bonds received an amount of the new issue equal to their holdings of the old bonds and capital stock equal to the amount of unpaid interest which accrued during the receivership. The balance of the capital stock was used to pay the expense of reorganization. The operation of the road under the new organization commenced on January 1, 1903. The control of the road passed to The New York Central and Hudson River Railroad Company on July 24, 1906, through its purchase of a majority of the capital stock. Consolidated April 16, 1913.

DOLGEVILLE AND SALISBURY RAILWAY COMPANY
Organized July 8, 1907, to construct a railroad from Dolgeville to the iron mines belonging to the Salisbury Steel and Iron Company at Irondale, a distance of 3.89 miles. Under the terms of a contract dated July 24, 1906, entered into between the Salisbury Steel and Iron Company and the Little Falls and Dolgeville Railroad Company, the latter named company was to operate the road on its completion. The road was reported as completed September 1, 1909. Under the conditions of the contract, the Little Falls and Dolgeville Railroad Company agreed to pay the sum of $2.00 for each car passing over the line, the amounts so paid to be considered as installments for the purchase of the capital stock of the Dolgeville and Salisbury Railway Company. When the amount of those installments should reach the sum of the cost of construction of the Dolgeville and Salisbury Railway, the entire capital stock of $150,000 would become the property of the Little Falls and Dolgeville Railroad Company. Up to the time of the consolidation of the Little Fall and Dolgeville Railroad Company into The New York Central and Hudson River Railroad Company, April 16, 1913, the Little Falls and Dolgeville Railroad Company had paid, in the manner above described, an aggregate sum of $35,724.00. The agreement was assumed by The New York Central and Hudson River Railroad Company and the payment of the installments continued, the amount reaching the total of $40,210.00 on December 31, 1913. On completion of the necessary payments the capital stock will become the property of The New York Central and Hudson River Railroad Company.

 

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Dayton Union Railway

The first train to run into Dayton occurred on Jan. 27, 1851. It ran from Springfield to Dayton over the newly constructed tracks of the Mad River & Lake Erie Railroad Co. The MR&LE RR went through a number of name changes, but eventually became the Cleveland, Cincinnati, Chicago & St. Louis Ry. (Big 4). By 1854 six railroads had made their way to Dayton, and laid the basis for the railroads that run through Dayton today. Although some of the names were different at the time of their construction, the six railroads were the CCC&St.L (NYC), PRR, CH&D (B&O), Dayton & Union (Union City, Ind. now part of the B&O), and Cincinnati, Lebanon & Northern (FRR Lytle branch).

Sometime in the early 1850’s the first of the “big time” stations was built.

The 3rd Dayton station was built, this time on the north side of the tracks across from the older station, and consisted of a considerably larger structure with a large clock tower, a covered promenade along Ludlow St., five station tracks, and three station platforms (the longest was 750 ft.). A corporation called the Dayton Union Railway Co. was formed by the CCC&St.L (NYC), CH&D (B&O), and PRR to build and operate the new station.

The next step in the evolution of Dayton Union Station came in 1924 when the City Plan Board of Dayton made a comprehensive study of the elevation of tracks through downtown Dayton. For years grade crossing elimination had been on the minds of Dayton’s citizens, and the interest intensified with the development of the automobile. In those days Dayton saw about 66 passenger trains and 100 freight trains daily. In September 1925 formal conferences started between city officials and the railroad engineers, with a general plan developed in July 1926. In November 1927 a bond issue was passed by the citizens of Dayton to cover the city’s share of the cost of the elevation project (35%). Detailed plans were completed; contracts were finalized; and right-of-way was secured before the actual work began on March 5, 1930. The first train to run over any of the elevation occurred on Dec. 15, 1930, and the first train to use the entire elevation was a PRR local from Xenia at 4:30 PM on Jan. 15, 1931. All street level operations were abandoned on Sept. 30, 1931. Along with the track elevation came major changes to the station and the operation of trains through Dayton. As for the station, the structure built in 1900 remained basically unchanged, but the platforms were obviously raised, with a new waiting area, Post Office and REA facilities, and station offices being built underneath.

With the steadily increasing interest in the automobile, and decreasing concern with the passenger train (we all know that story), the City of Dayton became interested in bettering the traffic flows in the downtown area in the early 1960’s. In doing so, the city wanted to extend 6th Street to Wilkinson Street, but Union Station sat right in the way. Since the station was deteriorating somewhat and was really larger than it needed to be, considering the steady decline in passenger trains, there was no choice but to tear it down. The City purchased the station, tore it down, and built the new street. On May 1, 1971, Amtrak took over the former Pennsylvania Railroad Columbus-Indianapolis passenger train and discontinued the other routes through Dayton. This Amtrak service lasted until October 1, 1979, when the last passenger train through Dayton was discontinued.

 

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