Thursday, January 02, 2014

Cool Chromes -- Passenger Trains Here And There

Cool Chromes is a semi-regular feature where we look at some slides that have recently come through the scanner.
Amtrak; Spuyten Duyvil, N.Y.; March 1991
In this edition of Cool Chromes we'll look at some old-ish passenger trains. Up first (above) is something you don't see anymore. A southbound Empire Service Amtrak train is swinging through the curve at Spuyten Duyvil, N.Y., on its last leg from Albany into Grand Central Terminal. On the point is a dual-mode FL9 diesel from the Electro-Motive Division of General Motors. In just a few weeks after this March 1991 scene Amtrak would pull out of Grand Central Terminal, instead heading straight south here at Spuyten Duyvil and continuing into Penn Station. All the FL9s would soon be retired, as well.

New Jersey Transit; Harrison, N.J.; December 1981
Let's go back another ten years for the next shot. We're in Harrison, N.J., and New Jersey Transit is still fairly new. Leading the train is GP40P No. 4100, built by EMD for the Central Railroad of New Jersey in 1968. Trailing the unit are former non-air conditioned coaches from the Jersey Central. The train has just discharged it passengers at Newark where they will take an electric-powered train into New York, while this train heads to the maintenance yard. No. 4100 was rebuilt in 1991 and remains on the NJT roster as No. 4106.

Chicago, South Shore & South Bend; Chicago, Ill.; May 1988
Now we're in the Windy City at Randolph Street Station on the Chicago, South Shore & South Bend in May 1988. The Nippon Sharyo electric cars are only about five years old, having replaced the classic interurban cars that served the line for over 50 years. In this scene Randolph Street Station is just beginning to be transformed into Millennium Station, a project that would eventually see these tracks and platforms covered by Millennium Park. Sharp-eyed readers will notice the train in the back carries a sign for a special National Railway Historical Society charter.

Amtrak; Duncannon, Penn.; June 1986
We'll finish off this round of Cool Chromes with what was a fairly common sight at one time -- an Amtrak long distance train pulled by a pair of F40PH locomotives from EMD. We're at Duncannon, Penn., a few miles outside of Harrisburg as the Broadway Limited heads towards Chicago. No passenger cars can be seen -- baggage and express cars are on the head end. The Broadway Limited operated from New York and Philadelphia to Chicago via Pittsburgh. Today, no through Amtrak service operates on the old Pennsylvania Railroad beyond Pittsburgh; the remnant of the Broadway, the Pennsylvanian, is the only train west of Harrisburg. Likewise, the once ubiquitous F40PH's have all been removed from Amtrak's roster, with only a few still in service as unpowered cab cars.


Anonymous said...

Is Spuyten Duyvil the spot where the recent Metro North wreck occurred?

Steve Barry said...

Yes it is. In fact, the train came to rest pretty much where this photo was taken from.

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