A Shoebox Full of Dreams

A two-car train of PCCs near North Station in Boston August 31, 1976. The nearby Boston Garden has since been torn down and rebuilt.

A two-car train of PCCs near North Station in Boston August 31, 1976. The nearby Boston Garden has since been torn down and rebuilt.

One of my brothers called me recently from a garage sale, and asked if I had any interest in a shoebox full of train pictures. The cost was just $10. I figured it would have to be worth at least that much, so I said sure.

I went through the box when I got it, and discovered most of the pictures were faded color snapshots from the 1970s, probably taken with a Kodak Instamatic camera on size 126 film. Worse yet, nearly all the pictures have a textured surface.

However, it sure seems the photographer got around. He visited train museums all over the country. He went on steam train excursions. He took pictures of streetcars.

Eventually, I figured out who he was– Marvin C. Kruse.

Although, in looking up information on Mr. Kruse, I somehow got the mistaken idea he was deceased, his son wrote to me (see the Comments section below) and informs us that he is alive and well, aged 96! In fact, he has seen this post and enjoyed it. Nothing could make me happier.

When someone dies, or has to downsize, it is often up to their loved ones to go through their things and decide what to do with them. This can be a very traumatic process, for you feel as if you are dismantling someone’s life, piece by piece. And yet that is the way of the world, for life goes on. People’s belongings are often scattered to the four winds.

I decided to give an extra special effort to restore some of Mr. Kruse’s photos for the railfan community, to honor his efforts, and the sacrifices he made. I hope you like the results. They are mementos of someone’s life, from someone who should not be so easily forgotten.

-David Sadowski

PS- By the time you read this, we will have received a substantial shipment of our new book Chicago Trolleys (see below). It should only take us a short time to mail out books to all who have pre-ordered them, plus complementary copies for important contributors. We thank you all for your support. The book was completed on time and is now available for immediate shipment.

Picture caption: "1947 snow (2 ft.). This taken off Monongahela tracks just below our house. B&O yards across river."

Picture caption: “1947 snow (2 ft.). This taken off Monongahela tracks just below our house. B&O yards across river.”

Winter 1947-48. "Same as other, only vertical. Big building, left foreground, is Interstate Construction & Engineers... build coal tipples."

Winter 1947-48. “Same as other, only vertical. Big building, left foreground, is Interstate Construction & Engineers… build coal tipples.”

Photo caption: "New Have R. R. diesel passing Providence, RI engine house 12/21/47 with New York-bound train."

Photo caption: “New Have R. R. diesel passing Providence, RI engine house 12/21/47 with New York-bound train.”

A photo stop on a steam excursion, May 1961.

A photo stop on a steam excursion, May 1961.

South Shore Line "Little Joe" 801 in October 1960.

South Shore Line “Little Joe” 801 in October 1960.

South Shore Line electric locos 703 and 704 in October 1960.

South Shore Line electric locos 703 and 704 in October 1960.

This looks like Chicago Surface Lines red Pullman 144 at the Illinois Electric Railway Museum (North Chicago) in June 1961.

This looks like Chicago Surface Lines red Pullman 144 at the Illinois Electric Railway Museum (North Chicago) in June 1961.

Another scene from IERM in July 1961. At left is Milwaukee streetcar 966, built by St. Louis Car Company in 1927. At right is ex-CTA/CSL sweeper E223, which was purchased for the museum by Dick Lukin in 1956.

Another scene from IERM in July 1961. At left is Milwaukee streetcar 966, built by St. Louis Car Company in 1927. At right is ex-CTA/CSL sweeper E223, which was purchased for the museum by Dick Lukin in 1956.

Two 900-series South Shore Line freight locos in October 1960.

Two 900-series South Shore Line freight locos in October 1960.

Always remember...never step on any rails. Right? (Photo stop bedlam, September 1958.)

Always remember…never step on any rails. Right? (Photo stop bedlam, September 1958.)

If you've ever tried taking a picture at a photo stop on a fantrip, this is what happens. Invariably, someone runs right in front of you, oblivious to the fact you are trying to take a picture.

If you’ve ever tried taking a picture at a photo stop on a fantrip, this is what happens. Invariably, someone runs right in front of you, oblivious to the fact you are trying to take a picture.

People used to climb on just about anything, in their quest to take a picture.

People used to climb on just about anything, in their quest to take a picture.

This is the view from an engine cab... which makes sense, if you think about it, as the engine in front of you is massive.

This is the view from an engine cab… which makes sense, if you think about it, as the engine in front of you is massive.

I think what we are seeing here is new commuter rail bi-levels on display, probably the Milwaukee Road, in July 1961. The sign at left says, "Entrance," implying that they wanted you to walk through the cars in one direction only. At right are some vehicles from the Railway Express Agency (REA), which delivered small packages via the railway system between 1917 and the late 1960s. It was a national monopoly formed by the federal government during the First World War.

I think what we are seeing here is new commuter rail bi-levels on display, probably the Milwaukee Road, in July 1961. The sign at left says, “Entrance,” implying that they wanted you to walk through the cars in one direction only. At right are some vehicles from the Railway Express Agency (REA), which delivered small packages via the railway system between 1917 and the late 1960s. It was a national monopoly formed by the federal government during the First World War.

A Milwaukee Road commuter train in July 1961. This is about the time the railroad began introducing bi-levels, which the Chicago & North Western had been using for some years. I'd bet this is the same scene as in the previous picture, but from the other end. The train is on display at a station.

A Milwaukee Road commuter train in July 1961. This is about the time the railroad began introducing bi-levels, which the Chicago & North Western had been using for some years. I’d bet this is the same scene as in the previous picture, but from the other end. The train is on display at a station.

There wasn't much I could do about the scratches on this picture, but how often have you witnessed a steam locomotive on a turntable? (November 1958)

There wasn’t much I could do about the scratches on this picture, but how often have you witnessed a steam locomotive on a turntable? (November 1958)

Not sure of the location, but it's June 1958, and steam is still active here.

Not sure of the location, but it’s June 1958, and steam is still active here.

Several steam locos are on this property in June 1958, wherever it was.

Several steam locos are on this property in June 1958, wherever it was.

One thing about steam... as the song goes, smoke gets in your eyes. Note the small twin-lens reflex camera this shutterbug is holding. Perhaps a grey "Baby" Rolleiflex, which took size 127 film? (On the other hand, Carl Lantz thinks thinks he's holding a movie camera.)

One thing about steam… as the song goes, smoke gets in your eyes. Note the small twin-lens reflex camera this shutterbug is holding. Perhaps a grey “Baby” Rolleiflex, which took size 127 film? (On the other hand, Carl Lantz thinks thinks he’s holding a movie camera.)

More steam fantrip action.

More steam fantrip action.

There were many such excursions in the waning days of steam (late 1950s to early 1960s).

There were many such excursions in the waning days of steam (late 1950s to early 1960s).

Evidence of a Toronto trip in June 1959. This may be part of a PCC car.

Evidence of a Toronto trip in June 1959. This may be part of a PCC car.

The Mt. Washington Cog Railway still operates.

The Mt. Washington Cog Railway still operates.

CTA 6000s in Forest Park , December 22, 1976.

CTA 6000s in Forest Park , December 22, 1976.

The CTA DesPlaines Avenue yard in Forest Park, December 22, 1976. This was the 1959 configuration that was in use until the station was rebuilt circa 1980.

The CTA DesPlaines Avenue yard in Forest Park, December 22, 1976. This was the 1959 configuration that was in use until the station was rebuilt circa 1980.

CTA 6000s interior, December 22, 1976.

CTA 6000s interior, December 22, 1976.

Central City, Colorado, August 15, 1977.

Central City, Colorado, August 15, 1977.

What was a PCC doing in Golden, Colorado on July 8, 1976.

What was a PCC doing in Golden, Colorado on July 8, 1976.

My previous post did not mention the ill-fated Boston LRVs. But here is one of their SF Muni counterparts, being tested by the DOT at Pueblo on July 7, 1976.

My previous post did not mention the ill-fated Boston LRVs. But here is one of their SF Muni counterparts, being tested by the DOT at Pueblo on July 7, 1976.

North Shore Line car 160 at the Illinois Railway Museum in the mid-1970s.

North Shore Line car 160 at the Illinois Railway Museum in the mid-1970s.

Chicago red Pullman 144 at IRM, 1970s.

Chicago red Pullman 144 at IRM, 1970s.

Chicago Aurora & Elgin 431 at IRM, August 8, 1976.

Chicago Aurora & Elgin 431 at IRM, August 8, 1976.

Chicago postwar PCC 4391 at IRM in September 1975.

Chicago postwar PCC 4391 at IRM in September 1975.

Chicago postwar PCC 4391 at IRM in September 1975.

Chicago postwar PCC 4391 at IRM in September 1975.

San Francisco cable car 16(?) on May 27, 1974.

San Francisco cable car 16(?) on May 27, 1974.

Los Angeles streetcar 665 at Perris, California.

Los Angeles streetcar 665 at Perris, California.

North Shore Line city streetcar 354 at IRM in September 1975.

North Shore Line city streetcar 354 at IRM in September 1975.

North Shore Line city streetcar 354 at IRM in September 1975.

North Shore Line city streetcar 354 at IRM in September 1975.

North Shore Line city streetcar 354 at IRM on August 8, 1976.

North Shore Line city streetcar 354 at IRM on August 8, 1976.

North Shore Line city streetcar 354 at IRM on August 8, 1976.

North Shore Line city streetcar 354 at IRM on August 8, 1976.

SF cable car 4 on May 27, 1974.

SF cable car 4 on May 27, 1974.

SF cable car 4 on May 27, 1974.

SF cable car 4 on May 27, 1974.

BART on May 27, 1974.

BART on May 27, 1974.

When did they stop letting the passengers turn cable cars around in San Francisco? They were still doing it on May 27, 1974.

When did they stop letting the passengers turn cable cars around in San Francisco? They were still doing it on May 27, 1974.

BART at Balboa Park on May 27, 1974.

BART at Balboa Park on May 27, 1974.

BART at Balboa Park on May 27, 1974.

BART at Balboa Park on May 27, 1974.

An SF Muni PCC on Market Street, May 27, 1974.

An SF Muni PCC on Market Street, May 27, 1974.

An SF Muni PCC on Market Street, May 27, 1974.

An SF Muni PCC on Market Street, May 27, 1974.

An SF Muni trolley bus on Market Street, May 27, 1974. Looks like construction may already have been underway on the Muni Metro subway.

An SF Muni trolley bus on Market Street, May 27, 1974. Looks like construction may already have been underway on the Muni Metro subway.

An SF Muni PCC on Market Street, May 27, 1974.

An SF Muni PCC on Market Street, May 27, 1974.

An SF Muni PCC on Market Street, May 27, 1974.

An SF Muni PCC on Market Street, May 27, 1974.

Don's Rail Photos: "717 was built by Brill Co in 1925. It was rebuilt in 1939 and rebuilt in 1951 as 5167. It became LAMTA 1815 in 1958, It was retired and restored as717 at OERM in March 1960." Here, we see it at Orange Empire on May 31, 1974. Was it ever used in service with this color scheme?

Don’s Rail Photos: “717 was built by Brill Co in 1925. It was rebuilt in 1939 and rebuilt in 1951 as 5167. It became LAMTA 1815 in 1958, It was retired and restored as717 at OERM in March 1960.” Here, we see it at Orange Empire on May 31, 1974. Was it ever used in service with this color scheme?

I'm wondering if the streetcar at right is Key System 987. The steam loco is Western Pacific 334, a 2-8-2 built in 1929 by American Locomotive. We see both at the Western Railway Museum on May 26, 1972.

I’m wondering if the streetcar at right is Key System 987. The steam loco is Western Pacific 334, a 2-8-2 built in 1929 by American Locomotive. We see both at the Western Railway Museum on May 26, 1972.

A Toronto Peter Witt at Trolleyville USA, Olmstead Falls, Ohio, on August 23, 1975.

A Toronto Peter Witt at Trolleyville USA, Olmstead Falls, Ohio, on August 23, 1975.

A Toronto Peter Witt at Trolleyville USA, Olmstead Falls, Ohio, on August 23, 1975.

A Toronto Peter Witt at Trolleyville USA, Olmstead Falls, Ohio, on August 23, 1975.

I assume this is probably an ex-PE car at the Orange Empire Railway Museum on May 31, 1974.

I assume this is probably an ex-PE car at the Orange Empire Railway Museum on May 31, 1974.

A Los Angeles streetcar at OERM, Perris, California on July 6, 1976.

A Los Angeles streetcar at OERM, Perris, California on July 6, 1976.

Here, we see Brooklyn car 4573 at the Branford Trolley Museum. It was built by the Laconia Car Company in 1906 and was acquired by the museum on 1947. Here is how it looked on August 31, 1976.

Here, we see Brooklyn car 4573 at the Branford Trolley Museum. It was built by the Laconia Car Company in 1906 and was acquired by the museum on 1947. Here is how it looked on August 31, 1976.

Marvin C. Kruse on the Queen Mary in Long Beach, California on May 24, 1974.

Marvin C. Kruse on the Queen Mary in Long Beach, California on May 24, 1974.

Marvin C. Kruse at the Andrews Raiders Memorial in the Chattanooga Military Cemetery on October 23, 1907. According to Find-a-Grave: :"Memorial erected by the State of Ohio to the Andrews Raiders. In early April, 1862, a band of Union soldiers lead by civilian James Andrews infiltrated south from the Union lines near Shelbyville, Tennessee and met at Big Shanty, Georgia (near Marietta). On the morning of April 12, 1862, 20 of them (2 raiders never arrived and 2 others overslept and missed the adventure) stole the passenger train "The General" during its morning breakfast stop. With the farms and factories of Georgia supplying the Confederate Army fighting further west, the Raiders' mission was to burn the railroad bridges between Atlanta and Chattanooga, thus isolating the Confederate Armies from their supply sources and enabling the Union Army to seize Chattanooga. Due primarily to the persistency of William Fuller, conductor of the stolen train, and, secondarily to the rainy weather and unlucky miscoordination with the Union Army to the west, the Raiders failed. All 22 at Big Shanty that morning were captured. Eight, including James Andrews, were tried and hanged by the Confederate Army in Atlanta. In 1866, after the war, they were reburied in a semi-circle at the Chattanooga National Cemetery. On the imposing granite monument, erected in 1891, are the names of 22 of the raiders. The memorial is topped by a bronze likeness of the "General"." This story inspired the classic 1927 Buster Keaton film The General.

Marvin C. Kruse at the Andrews Raiders Memorial in the Chattanooga Military Cemetery on October 23, 1907. According to Find-a-Grave: :”Memorial erected by the State of Ohio to the Andrews Raiders. In early April, 1862, a band of Union soldiers lead by civilian James Andrews infiltrated south from the Union lines near Shelbyville, Tennessee and met at Big Shanty, Georgia (near Marietta). On the morning of April 12, 1862, 20 of them (2 raiders never arrived and 2 others overslept and missed the adventure) stole the passenger train “The General” during its morning breakfast stop. With the farms and factories of Georgia supplying the Confederate Army fighting further west, the Raiders’ mission was to burn the railroad bridges between Atlanta and Chattanooga, thus isolating the Confederate Armies from their supply sources and enabling the Union Army to seize Chattanooga. Due primarily to the persistency of William Fuller, conductor of the stolen train, and, secondarily to the rainy weather and unlucky miscoordination with the Union Army to the west, the Raiders failed. All 22 at Big Shanty that morning were captured. Eight, including James Andrews, were tried and hanged by the Confederate Army in Atlanta. In 1866, after the war, they were reburied in a semi-circle at the Chattanooga National Cemetery. On the imposing granite monument, erected in 1891, are the names of 22 of the raiders. The memorial is topped by a bronze likeness of the “General”.” This story inspired the classic 1927 Buster Keaton film The General.

Philadelphia PCC 2278, in bicentennial garb, on Route 53, September 2, 1976.

Philadelphia PCC 2278, in bicentennial garb, on Route 53, September 2, 1976.

SEPTA Red Arrow cars at 69th Street Terminal on September 2, 1976.

SEPTA Red Arrow cars at 69th Street Terminal on September 2, 1976.

An Amtrak GG-1 in Baltimore on August 31, 1977.

An Amtrak GG-1 in Baltimore on August 31, 1977.

This is not a very good picture, but it does show a Liberty Liner (ex-North Shore Line Electroliner) on September 2, 1976.

This is not a very good picture, but it does show a Liberty Liner (ex-North Shore Line Electroliner) on September 2, 1976.

SEPTA Red Arrow car 13, built by St. Louis Car Company in 1949, as it looked on September 2, 1976.

SEPTA Red Arrow car 13, built by St. Louis Car Company in 1949, as it looked on September 2, 1976.

Red Arrow car 18, also built in 1949. These double-ended interurban cars closely resembled PCCs but did not use PCC trucks.

Red Arrow car 18, also built in 1949. These double-ended interurban cars closely resembled PCCs but did not use PCC trucks.

A Washington, D.C. subway car at the Rhode Island Avenue station on September 1, 1977.

A Washington, D.C. subway car at the Rhode Island Avenue station on September 1, 1977.

A PCC car at the Roanoke, Virginia Transportation Museum on August 27, 1975.

A PCC car at the Roanoke, Virginia Transportation Museum on August 27, 1975.

A PCC car at the Virginia Museum of Transportation in Roanoke on August 27, 1975. This is DC Transit 1470, built by St. Louis Car Company in 1945.

A PCC car at the Virginia Museum of Transportation in Roanoke on August 27, 1975. This is DC Transit 1470, built by St. Louis Car Company in 1945.

J. G. Brill built car 249 for Oporto, Portugal in 1904 and features maximum traction trucks. It was retired in 1972 and is shown at the Rockhill Trolley Museum on August 24, 1975.

J. G. Brill built car 249 for Oporto, Portugal in 1904 and features maximum traction trucks. It was retired in 1972 and is shown at the Rockhill Trolley Museum on August 24, 1975.

A Washington, D.C. subway car at the Rhode Island Avenue station on September 1, 1977.

A Washington, D.C. subway car at the Rhode Island Avenue station on September 1, 1977.

A Washington, D.C. subway car at the Rhode Island Avenue station on September 1, 1977.

A Washington, D.C. subway car at the Rhode Island Avenue station on September 1, 1977.

A PCC car at the Virginia Museum of Transportation in Roanoke on August 27, 1975. This is DC Transit 1470, built by St. Louis Car Company in 1945.

A PCC car at the Virginia Museum of Transportation in Roanoke on August 27, 1975. This is DC Transit 1470, built by St. Louis Car Company in 1945.

This is Sacramento Northern 62, a Birney car built in 1920 by American Car Company. We see it here at the Western Railway Museum on May 26, 1974.

This is Sacramento Northern 62, a Birney car built in 1920 by American Car Company. We see it here at the Western Railway Museum on May 26, 1974.

San Francisco Municipal Railway "Magic Carpet" carr 1003 was one of five experimental double-end cars built in 1939 by the St. Louis Car Company. This lone survivor is seen at the Western Railway Museum on May 26, 1974.

San Francisco Municipal Railway “Magic Carpet” carr 1003 was one of five experimental double-end cars built in 1939 by the St. Louis Car Company. This lone survivor is seen at the Western Railway Museum on May 26, 1974.

At left, we see Muni car 178, and next to it is "Magic Carpet" car 1003, at the Western Railway Museum on May 26, 1974.

At left, we see Muni car 178, and next to it is “Magic Carpet” car 1003, at the Western Railway Museum on May 26, 1974.

This open car was built by Brill in 1912 and was used in Rio De Janeiro. It's shown at the Rockhill Trolley Museum on August 24, 1975.

This open car was built by Brill in 1912 and was used in Rio De Janeiro. It’s shown at the Rockhill Trolley Museum on August 24, 1975.

This looks like a Sacramento Northern electric freight loco (Western Railway Museum, May 26, 1974).

This looks like a Sacramento Northern electric freight loco (Western Railway Museum, May 26, 1974).

This San Francisco cable car was on display at the Santa Clara County Fairgrounds on May 26, 1973. Many children played on this car over the years. It was originally a California Street car using a side grip and was not updated when Muni took over the line. I read that in 2005 it was in storage, listed as being in poor condition with a broken frame. I am not sure if it still exists.

This San Francisco cable car was on display at the Santa Clara County Fairgrounds on May 26, 1973. Many children played on this car over the years. It was originally a California Street car using a side grip and was not updated when Muni took over the line. I read that in 2005 it was in storage, listed as being in poor condition with a broken frame. I am not sure if it still exists.

This equipment is at the Travel Town Museum at Griffith Park in Los Angeles on August 26, 1977.

This equipment is at the Travel Town Museum at Griffith Park in Los Angeles on August 26, 1977.

A Los Angeles streetcar and a Pacific electric "Blimp" interurban at Griffith Park on July 5, 1977.

A Los Angeles streetcar and a Pacific electric “Blimp” interurban at Griffith Park on July 5, 1977.

In the distance, we see a pair of Key System bridge units at the Western Railway Museum on May 26, 1974. These ran in Oakland over the bay Bridge, and were retired in 1958.

In the distance, we see a pair of Key System bridge units at the Western Railway Museum on May 26, 1974. These ran in Oakland over the bay Bridge, and were retired in 1958.

Toronto PCC 4394 on October 25, 1973.

Toronto PCC 4394 on October 25, 1973.

North Shore Line car 757 at East Troy, Wisconsin on June 23, 1974. This car has since gone to the Illinois Railway Museum.

North Shore Line car 757 at East Troy, Wisconsin on June 23, 1974. This car has since gone to the Illinois Railway Museum.

The East Troy Trolley Museum, June 23, 1974.

The East Troy Trolley Museum, June 23, 1974.

A Chicago Transit Authority 4000-series "L" car in Louisville, Kentucky on June 3, 1974.

A Chicago Transit Authority 4000-series “L” car in Louisville, Kentucky on June 3, 1974.

A pair of 700-series South Shore Line freight locos at the Gary, Indiana station in 1974.

A pair of 700-series South Shore Line freight locos at the Gary, Indiana station in 1974.

Chattanooga, Tennessee on June 2, 1974.

Chattanooga, Tennessee on June 2, 1974.

A New Orleans streetcar at Union Station in Chattanooga, June 2, 1974.

A New Orleans streetcar at Union Station in Chattanooga, June 2, 1974.

A New Orleans streetcar at Union Station in Chattanooga, June 2, 1974.

A New Orleans streetcar at Union Station in Chattanooga, June 2, 1974.

A pair of 700-series South Shore Line freight locos at the Gary, Indiana station in 1974.

A pair of 700-series South Shore Line freight locos at the Gary, Indiana station in 1974.

Steam at Union, Illinois, August 8, 1976.

Steam at Union, Illinois, August 8, 1976.

The Burlington Zephyr at IRM, 1976.

The Burlington Zephyr at IRM, 1976.

IRM, August 8, 1976.

IRM, August 8, 1976.

South Shore Line cars in storage at Michigan City, Indiana on July 17, 1977.

South Shore Line cars in storage at Michigan City, Indiana on July 17, 1977.

A "Little Joe" in Michigan City, July 17, 1977.

A “Little Joe” in Michigan City, July 17, 1977.

Illinois Terminal cars at IRM, July 1977.

Illinois Terminal cars at IRM, July 1977.

IRM, June 23, 1974.

IRM, June 23, 1974.

IRM, June 23, 1974.

IRM, June 23, 1974.

Illinois Terminal cars at IRM, June 23, 1974.

Illinois Terminal cars at IRM, June 23, 1974.

IRM, August 8, 1976.

IRM, August 8, 1976.

IRM, September 1975.

IRM, September 1975.

IRM, August 8, 1976.

IRM, August 8, 1976.

IRM, August 8, 1976.

IRM, August 8, 1976.

IRM, August 8, 1976.

IRM, August 8, 1976.

IRM, September 1975.

IRM, September 1975.

Recent Finds

Boston MTA 3292, signed for Braves Field, is on a double-track loop with the ball park at the right. The Boston Braves played there last game here on September 21, 1952 (exactly 65 years ago today), after which the team was moved to Milwaukee. Following the 1965 season, they became the Atlanta Braves. A portion of Braves Field still exists as part of Boston College's Nickerson Field. We discussed streetcar service to Braves Field in our previous post More Mystery Photos (July 29, 2016).

Boston MTA 3292, signed for Braves Field, is on a double-track loop with the ball park at the right. The Boston Braves played there last game here on September 21, 1952 (exactly 65 years ago today), after which the team was moved to Milwaukee. Following the 1965 season, they became the Atlanta Braves. A portion of Braves Field still exists as part of Boston College’s Nickerson Field. We discussed streetcar service to Braves Field in our previous post More Mystery Photos (July 29, 2016).

Hammond, Whiting & East Chicago car 67 was built by American Car in 1917 and was converted to one-man operation in 1932. Streetcar service ended in 1940. Notice how similar this car is to some operated by the Chicago Surface Lines. For much of its history, the HW&EC was run by the Calumet & South Chicago Railway, which became part of CSL in 1914.

Hammond, Whiting & East Chicago car 67 was built by American Car in 1917 and was converted to one-man operation in 1932. Streetcar service ended in 1940. Notice how similar this car is to some operated by the Chicago Surface Lines. For much of its history, the HW&EC was run by the Calumet & South Chicago Railway, which became part of CSL in 1914.

Chicago Surface Lines crane X-3 at Dearborn and Washington in 1942. Tracks were being put back in the street after construction of the Dearborn Subway, which was 80% completed when work stopped due to wartime materials shortages. The subway did not open until 1951.

Chicago Surface Lines crane X-3 at Dearborn and Washington in 1942. Tracks were being put back in the street after construction of the Dearborn Subway, which was 80% completed when work stopped due to wartime materials shortages. The subway did not open until 1951.

New Castle (Pennsylvania) Electric Street Railway "Birney" car 363 at Cascade Park loop on August 24, 1941. Streetcar service was abandoned on December 11th of that year. This car was formerly Penn-Ohio Power & Light 363 and was painted orange. (John A. Clark Photo)

New Castle (Pennsylvania) Electric Street Railway “Birney” car 363 at Cascade Park loop on August 24, 1941. Streetcar service was abandoned on December 11th of that year. This car was formerly Penn-Ohio Power & Light 363 and was painted orange. (John A. Clark Photo)

New Castle (Pennsylvania) Electric Street Railway "Birney" car 359 at Cascade Park loop on August 24, 1941. This car was ex=Penn-Ohio Power and Light 359, and was painted orange and cream. (John A. Clark Photo)

New Castle (Pennsylvania) Electric Street Railway “Birney” car 359 at Cascade Park loop on August 24, 1941. This car was ex=Penn-Ohio Power and Light 359, and was painted orange and cream. (John A. Clark Photo)

This odd, boxy streetcar is Black River Traction car #1 in Watertown, New York. This was a 1906 product of the Barber Car Co. Some consider this an ugly design, but apparently these cars were well-built. Apparently this line abandoned streetcar service on August 17, 1937, but this negative is dated June 20, 1938. The sign on the side of the car doesn't really solve this mystery-- there were two championship heavyweight bouts between Joe Louis and Max Schmeling, and these took place on June 19, 1936 and June 22, 1938. For more information on the Barber Car Company, click here.

This odd, boxy streetcar is Black River Traction car #1 in Watertown, New York. This was a 1906 product of the Barber Car Co. Some consider this an ugly design, but apparently these cars were well-built. Apparently this line abandoned streetcar service on August 17, 1937, but this negative is dated June 20, 1938. The sign on the side of the car doesn’t really solve this mystery– there were two championship heavyweight bouts between Joe Louis and Max Schmeling, and these took place on June 19, 1936 and June 22, 1938. For more information on the Barber Car Company, click here.

Black River Traction car 5, with a date given of June 20, 1938. Not sure whether this car was also built by the Barber Car Company.

Black River Traction car 5, with a date given of June 20, 1938. Not sure whether this car was also built by the Barber Car Company.

Recent Correspondence

Jack Bejna writes:

I recently came across this photo, and, after looking at it awhile I realized that this is an image of the CA&E crossing the Chicago River. It appears to have been taken from Franklin Street looking generally northeast. The train appears to be an eastbound train just entering the Wells Street Terminal. Look at the two cars and you’ll see Car 436 leading trailer 603. In addition, below the El structure there is the substation that provided the power for the terminal area. The picture was taken in 1939.

Jack continues:

I enjoyed your latest post about Boston’s great trolleys. Keep up the great work.

Here is the latest stuff, the CA&E and the CNS&M woodies. As usual, some of the images aren’t the best, but it’s all I could find in my continuing search for the best of the CA&E!

Increasing suburban traffic found the CA&E short of cars. In 1936, the CNS&M came to the rescue by making some of their older wooden cars available for lease.

In 1936, cars 129, 130, 133, 134, 137 (Jewett 1907), cars 138, 139, 140, 141, 144 (American 1910) and cars 142 and 143 (Jewett 1907) were leased for suburban service and returned to the CNS&M after World War II. These cars were later purchased in 1946 and finished their long careers in suburban work on the CA&E.

I know our readers appreciate your efforts in restoring and sharing these rare pictures with us. Thanks to you, they are looking better than ever.

After CA&E service was cut back to Forest Park in 1953, these cars were no longer needed and were soon scrapped. Interestingly, these old woods were the last passenger cars bought by the Aurora & Elgin.

CA&E 129.

CA&E 129.

CA&E 130.

CA&E 130.

CA&E 133.

CA&E 133.

CA&E 134.

CA&E 134.

CA&E 137.

CA&E 137.

CA&E 138.

CA&E 138.

CA&E 139.

CA&E 139.

CA&E 140.

CA&E 140.

CA&E 141 at Batavia Junction.

CA&E 141 at Batavia Junction.

CA&E 142 at the Wheaton Shops.

CA&E 142 at the Wheaton Shops.

CA&E 143.

CA&E 143.

CA&E 144.

CA&E 144.

Our New Book Chicago Trolleys— Now In Stock!

On the Cover: Car 1747 was built between 1885 and 1893 by the Chicago City Railway, which operated lines on the South Side starting in April 1859. This is a single-truck (one set of wheels) open electric car; most likely a cable car, retrofitted with a trolley and traction motor. The man at right is conductor William Stevely Atchison (1861-1921), and this image came from his granddaughter. (Courtesy of Debbie Becker.)

On the Cover: Car 1747 was built between 1885 and 1893 by the Chicago City Railway, which operated lines on the South Side starting in April 1859. This is a single-truck (one set of wheels) open electric car; most likely a cable car, retrofitted with a trolley and traction motor. The man at right is conductor William Stevely Atchison (1861-1921), and this image came from his granddaughter. (Courtesy of Debbie Becker.)

We are pleased to report that our new book Chicago Trolleys will be released on September 25th by Arcadia Publishing. You can pre-order an autographed copy through us today (see below). Chicago Trolleys will also be available wherever Arcadia books are sold.

Overview

Chicago’s extensive transit system first started in 1859, when horsecars ran on rails in city streets. Cable cars and electric streetcars came next. Where new trolley car lines were built, people, businesses, and neighborhoods followed. Chicago quickly became a world-class city. At its peak, Chicago had over 3,000 streetcars and 1,000 miles of track—the largest such system in the world. By the 1930s, there were also streamlined trolleys and trolley buses on rubber tires. Some parts of Chicago’s famous “L” system also used trolley wire instead of a third rail. Trolley cars once took people from the Loop to such faraway places as Aurora, Elgin, Milwaukee, and South Bend. A few still run today.

The book features 226 classic black-and-white images, each with detailed captions, in 10 chapters:

1. Early Traction
2. Consolidation and Growth
3. Trolleys to the Suburbs
4. Trolleys on the “L”
5. Interurbans Under Wire
6. The Streamlined Era
7. The War Years
8. Unification and Change
9. Trolley Buses
10. Preserving History

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781467126816
Publisher: Arcadia Publishing SC
Publication date: 09/25/2017
Series: Images of Rail
Pages: 128

Meet the Author

David Sadowski has been interested in streetcars ever since his father took him for a ride on one of the last remaining lines in 1958. He grew up riding trolley buses and “L” trains all over Chicago. He coauthored Chicago Streetcar Pictorial: The PCC Car Era, 1936–1958, and runs the online Trolley Dodger blog. Come along for the ride as we travel from one side of the city to the other and see how trolley cars and buses moved Chicago’s millions of hardworking, diverse people.

Images of Rail

The Images of Rail series celebrates the history of rail, trolley, streetcar, and subway transportation across the country. Using archival photographs, each title presents the people, places, and events that helped revolutionize transportation and commerce in 19th- and 20th-century America. Arcadia is proud to play a part in the preservation of local heritage, making history available to all.

The book costs just $21.99 plus shipping.

Please note that Illinois residents must pay 10.00% sales tax on their purchases.

We appreciate your business!

For Shipping to US Addresses:

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For Shipping Elsewhere:

NEW – Chicago Trolleys Postcard Collection

We are pleased to report that selected images from our upcoming book Chicago Trolleys will be available on September 25th in a pack of 15 postcards, all for just $7.99. This is part of a series put out by Arcadia Publishing. Dimensions: 6″ wide x 4.25″ tall

The Postcards of America Series

Here in the 21st century, when everyone who’s anyone seems to do most of their communicating via Facebook and Twitter, it’s only natural to wax a little nostalgic when it comes to days gone by. What happened to more personal means of communication like hand-written letters on nice stationery? Why don’t people still send postcards when they move someplace new or go away on vacation?

If that line of thinking sounds familiar, then Arcadia Publishing’s Postcards of America was launched with you in mind. Each beautiful volume features a different collection of real vintage postcards that you can mail to your friends and family.

Pre-Order your Chicago Trolleys Postcard Pack today!

For Shipping to US Addresses:

For Shipping to Canada:

For Shipping Elsewhere:

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More Mystery Photos

Tony Manthos: "Birney 93 (very elaborate 3), destination boards read "Willard via Third." Looks like end of line loop in pretty remote spot." Frank Hicks: "This is the Jamestown Street Railway in Jamestown, NY. This exact car (this isn't actually a Birney, it's a 1926 St. Louis Car Company product*) is currently being restored by a group there." http://jamestowntrolley.org/trolrest/index.html

Tony Manthos: “Birney 93 (very elaborate 3), destination boards read “Willard via Third.” Looks like end of line loop in pretty remote spot.” Frank Hicks: “This is the Jamestown Street Railway in Jamestown, NY. This exact car (this isn’t actually a Birney, it’s a 1926 St. Louis Car Company product*) is currently being restored by a group there.” http://jamestowntrolley.org/trolrest/index.html

Recent Correspondence

Dear Sir:

I have been struggling to identify some trolley-related photos which came in mixed auction lots.

One significant score this morning was interurban 302, which I found to be Jamestown Westfield & NW. Others remain a mystery. Do you think you would have time to take a look at them?

Thanks and regards.

Tony Manthos
London UK

Thanks for sharing. We’ll see what our readers think. Likewise, I am sure they would also like to see the pictures that you have identified, including interurban 302.

If you can shed any light on these photos, you can either leave a Comment on this post, or write us directly at:

thetrolleydodger@gmail.com

Thanks!

-David Sadowski

Tony Manthos: "Here is the photo of no. 128. I am hoping that this is San Diego Elec. Ry. 128 (St. Louis Car Co. 1912). I understand the series had centre doors but they were removed in 1924. I can't read the signs on the side and front. The car on the right seems to have the same sign, but only the H of the first word is visible. The box-like appendage on the roof seems to be a feature of SD cars. The flame shaped streetlight globes are distinctive. Are they a SD feature? There are 5 trolley cars in the picture, which seems a lot for a relatively quiet street. My big question is this - No. 128 and some others were apparently sold to make private residences around1937, but the California license plate on the auto has a 1948 tag in the corner. I hope you can make sense of this. Many thanks." Don Ross: "The 128 was Municipal Ry of San Francisco." Tunnelstation writes: "The cars you think are SD cars are indeed San Francisco Municipal Railway streetcars. The location is on Duboce Street passing the “New” Mint just off of Market street. In the background is where the Sunset Tunnel (built in 1928) is located, which took the Muni cars through the hills to the Inner Sunset District on their way to the Beach and the Pacific Ocean where the “N” Judah Street line ended in a loop."

Tony Manthos: “Here is the photo of no. 128. I am hoping that this is San Diego Elec. Ry. 128 (St. Louis Car Co. 1912). I understand the series had centre doors but they were removed in 1924. I can’t read the signs on the side and front. The car on the right seems to have the same sign, but only the H of the first word is visible. The box-like appendage on the roof seems to be a feature of SD cars. The flame shaped streetlight globes are distinctive. Are they a SD feature? There are 5 trolley cars in the picture, which seems a lot for a relatively quiet street. My big question is this – No. 128 and some others were apparently sold to make private residences around1937, but the California license plate on the auto has a 1948 tag in the corner. I hope you can make sense of this. Many thanks.” Don Ross: “The 128 was Municipal Ry of San Francisco.” Tunnelstation writes: “The cars you think are SD cars are indeed San Francisco Municipal Railway streetcars. The location is on Duboce Street passing the “New” Mint just off of Market street. In the background is where the Sunset Tunnel (built in 1928) is located, which took the Muni cars through the hills to the Inner Sunset District on their way to the Beach and the Pacific Ocean where the “N” Judah Street line ended in a loop.”

James B. Holland writes:

The above is clearly San Francisco on Duboce with Market Street behind the photographer and Church Street the first intersection in the distance. Part way up the hill in the distance the tracks cross the right-sidewalk to enter the Sunset Tunnel (the picture is not clear but it does appear to show the tunnel portal outline itself!). The photographer is facing West which is Outbound. The strong cliff on the right supports the San Francisco Mint.

The Trolleys are on top of the current entrance for the “N” and “J” lines into the Market Street Subway. Indeed, the car coming toward us has “N” in the cube on the roof immediately behind the doors.

The “trestle” photo hints at West Penn but could be most any ‘smaller’ interurban line up and over a mainline RR!

Thank You! Thank You! Thank You … for these excellent emails on trolleys. A native of Pittsburgh, I lived a decade in Zion, IL, following my stint in Uncle Sam’s Canoe Club! This is the latter 1960s and early 1970s! After this I did 3.5+decades in San Francisco but am now in upstate NY!

Duboce and Market today.

Duboce and Market today.

Tony Manthos: "There is a vertical diamond lozenge logo on the cab side which looks like it might be a Ft. Dodge, Des Moines & Southern. Looks like edges to it so it could be a plate. Mighty steep grade it's on. I can't see any headlights and what's even stranger, no pole and no wire. If there was a wire would that guy be on the boxcar roof? Has it been converted to battery power or internal combustion?" Don Ross: "The loco seems to be FtDDM&S but it is a little shaky."

Tony Manthos: “There is a vertical diamond lozenge logo on the cab side which looks like it might be a Ft. Dodge, Des Moines & Southern. Looks like edges to it so it could be a plate. Mighty steep grade it’s on. I can’t see any headlights and what’s even stranger, no pole and no wire. If there was a wire would that guy be on the boxcar roof? Has it been converted to battery power or internal combustion?” Don Ross: “The loco seems to be FtDDM&S but it is a little shaky.”

Tony Manthos writes: "Apart from being No.70 with zebra stripes I have nothing else to observe. I'll rely on your expertise." Don Ross: "70 was Sand Springs." http://donsdepot.donrossgroup.net/dr2452.htm

Tony Manthos writes: “Apart from being No.70 with zebra stripes I have nothing else to observe. I’ll rely on your expertise.” Don Ross: “70 was Sand Springs.” http://donsdepot.donrossgroup.net/dr2452.htm

Unidentified by Tony Manthos. Don Ross: Don Ross: "Milwaukee Sweeper." http://donsdepot.donrossgroup.net/dr022.htm

Unidentified by Tony Manthos. Don Ross: Don Ross: “Milwaukee Sweeper.” http://donsdepot.donrossgroup.net/dr022.htm

Unidentified by Tony Manthos. Don Ross: Don Ross: "Milwaukee Sweeper." http://donsdepot.donrossgroup.net/dr022.htm

Unidentified by Tony Manthos. Don Ross: Don Ross: “Milwaukee Sweeper.” http://donsdepot.donrossgroup.net/dr022.htm

Tony Manthos: "All I can see on the sweeper is No.6 under the front middle window." Don Ross: "I think the other sweeper was Third Avenue Ry." http://donsdepot.donrossgroup.net/dr180.htm Frank Hicks: "Sweeper 6 - this is the Chicago & West Towns."

Tony Manthos: “All I can see on the sweeper is No.6 under the front middle window.” Don Ross: “I think the other sweeper was Third Avenue Ry.” http://donsdepot.donrossgroup.net/dr180.htm Frank Hicks: “Sweeper 6 – this is the Chicago & West Towns.”

Tony Manthos: "As for the trestle, it's a long shot, just in case you have encountered it before or know the site. The main line underneath is very well maintained. They obviously didn't want an interurban diamond getting in their way." Don Ross: "The trestle was Milwaukee at Grafton." http://donsdepot.donrossgroup.net/dr2672.htm On the other hand, Scott Greig says, "The Milwaukee Electric viaduct identified as Grafton is actually the viaduct near Mequon quarry. The view is looking north, from the side of Highway 57."

Tony Manthos: “As for the trestle, it’s a long shot, just in case you have encountered it before or know the site. The main line underneath is very well maintained. They obviously didn’t want an interurban diamond getting in their way.” Don Ross: “The trestle was Milwaukee at Grafton.” http://donsdepot.donrossgroup.net/dr2672.htm On the other hand, Scott Greig says, “The Milwaukee Electric viaduct identified as Grafton is actually the viaduct near Mequon quarry. The view is looking north, from the side of Highway 57.”

Other than the number (1101), Tony Manthos has no information on this car. Don Ross: "1101 was Portland, OR." http://donsdepot.donrossgroup.net/dr328.htm

Other than the number (1101), Tony Manthos has no information on this car. Don Ross: “1101 was Portland, OR.” http://donsdepot.donrossgroup.net/dr328.htm

Tony Manthos: "Interurban 818. The snow tempted me to Denver & Intermountain 818 but I believe it had a center door." Don Ross: "818 is Denver. The center door was only on one side." http://donsdepot.donrossgroup.net/dr2234.htm

Tony Manthos: “Interurban 818. The snow tempted me to Denver & Intermountain 818 but I believe it had a center door.” Don Ross: “818 is Denver. The center door was only on one side.” http://donsdepot.donrossgroup.net/dr2234.htm

Tony Manthos writes:

I am blown away by the response from your readers. Very many thanks to you and all of them.

I know where to go if I get more of the same.

I had actually already identified the little Jamestown car and have been in correspondence with the guys who are doing the restoration. They kindly sent me a photo similar to mine taken at the same spot and one of the scene today, taken from the same place on the sidewalk. It hasn’t changed much. The loop is paved and the local bus turns on it. They also sent me photos of when they rescued it – it was a fishing shack on a nearby lake and they had to haul it out of thick trees. They found a good space to work on it, in the old depot, and they are doing a first rate job.

Unfortunately a big wrench has been thrown into the works, in the shape of a theatrical company which is going to convert the depot into a theatre venue in honor of Lucille Ball, who was born in Jamestown, and they don’t feel a trolley is compatible. The restoration group is in despair because they have no place to move to and continue the work. I did suggest they spread a rumor that Lucy used to go to school in that trolley but my contact had already tried that and the committee shot it down. I wish I could do something to help them out.

Thanks again and best regards.


Another Mystery Photo

MBTA (Boston) PCC 3147 at an unidentified location in October 1966. Could this be the old Braves Field loop? Tunnelstation writes:"The Boston PCC picture is located at the end of the “C” line near the Chestnut Hill Reservoir off Beacon Street. The scene is the exit from the Reservoir Car yard out to the street which also serves as the end of the line return loop going to Downtown Boston. That is one of the oldest continuous running trolley lines in America and is still in service today using cars built in Japan." Beacon Street is the MBTA Green Line "C" branch.

MBTA (Boston) PCC 3147 at an unidentified location in October 1966. Could this be the old Braves Field loop? Tunnelstation writes:”The Boston PCC picture is located at the end of the “C” line near the Chestnut Hill Reservoir off Beacon Street. The scene is the exit from the Reservoir Car yard out to the street which also serves as the end of the line return loop going to Downtown Boston. That is one of the oldest continuous running trolley lines in America and is still in service today using cars built in Japan.” Beacon Street is the MBTA Green Line “C” branch.

The general area of the 1966 photo. That may be the same building at left, with the fire escape.

The general area of the 1966 photo. That may be the same building at left, with the fire escape.

A contemporary aerial view.

A contemporary aerial view.

Phil Bergen writes:

The second color Boston photo is indeed the same large building that trolleys loop around at the corner of Beacon Street and Chestnut Hill Avenue.

The only remaining portion of Braves Field that shows on the Sanborn map is the section marked Pavilion A. The stadium has gradually been reduced in size from its baseball configuration. It was the original home field of the AFL Boston (New England) Patriots and later became the property and home field of Boston University. After BU dropped football, it has evolved into a soccer/field hockey/intramural multipurpose field.

A map showing the Braves Field loop in 1916. A portion of this old ballpark still exists.

A map showing the Braves Field loop in 1916. A portion of this old ballpark still exists.


Steamed Up

We recently came across some interesting photos showing the last days of steam operation on the Brooklyn East District Terminal Railroad, which was a rail-marine terminal that operated until 1983. Small steam engines were used until October 25, 1963. These had been converted from coal to oil in the 1930s. A number of these locos have been preserved.

S. Berliner III writes:

The Brooklyn Eastern District Terminal Railroad was a “pocket” railroad, one with no connection to other railroads by land. It had a main pocket yard on the Brooklyn waterfront at Kent Avenue from North 4th Street (the PRR N. 4th St. yard, immediately north of the Domino Sugar plant and the Williamsburgh Bridge, in an area formerly known as Palmer’s Docks), extending north to North 10th Street and east inland only a few blocks, and a small yard directly across Newtown Creek in Queens, Pidgeon Street Terminal, and a third yard, Navy Terminal, down at the Brooklyn Navy Yard (New York Naval Shipyard), but this latter was strictly for in-yard transfer. It now (Jan 01) appears that there was a second Queens yard. All commerce by rail was via carfloats, barges with rails on them, which were moved by tugboats across or along the East, North (Hudson), and Harlem Rivers to railheads at St. George on Staten Island (B&O) or in the Bronx (EL, NYC, NH) or New Jersey (PRR, CNJ, LV) where connections to the mainland railroads were available. It is also possible that connections with the LIRR via its marine terminals in Bay Ridge or LIC might have given mainland access via the New Haven over the Hell Gate Bridge but I have never seen any indication this was so, nor is the LIRR listed on the BEDT’s Feb 1964 connections list. Historian Tom Flagg advised 19 Jan 01 that there was even a Warren St. Terminal in Jersey City which only lasted from about 1910-1915 until shortly after 1920; its track plan looked much more like a Christmas Tree layout, with a loop, than it did a real railroad. Tom suggests that perhaps that’s why it didn’t last long! Further, he advised that the BEDT became a common carrier in 1940, which certainly changes its status (source: Plowden, April 1961, article on BEDT in Railroad Magazine). Aha, interstate commerce for sure!

Several of these color images were Ektachrome slides that have faded to red over the past 50 or 60 years. Usually, red Ektachromes date to around 1956 or so– the stability of the dyes was eventually improved. The problem is not the red dye layer itself, but the greens and blues that receded, leaving practically nothing but red.

People used to think these were unsalvageable, other than to convert them to black and white. But with today’s digital technology, it is possible to restore many of these classic images to something like their original appearance. To show you what is possible, we are including the “before” versions in addition to the “after.”

-David Sadowski

PS- If you are interested in knowing what became of the BEDT property after it was abandoned in 1983, go here. There is also a very comprehensive site devoted to the BEDT here.

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BEDT 0-6-0 #16 in Brooklyn, NY on October 9, 1982.

BEDT 0-6-0 #16 in Brooklyn, NY on October 9, 1982.

The BEDT tug "Invincible" nudges a car float on the Brooklyn side of the East River in June 1956.

The BEDT tug “Invincible” nudges a car float on the Brooklyn side of the East River in June 1956.

You can hear the sounds of steam on the Brooklyn East District Terminal in our CD collection Twilight of Steam, available through our Online Store.

From The New York Times – Oct. 26, 1963:

DIESEL REPLACES LAST IRON HORSE

Buffs Sad, Engineer Happy at Brooklyn Ceremony

By John F. Callahan

The last regularly operating steam locomotive in the East died yesterday.

With a hiss of steam that roared and then faded to a gasping whisper, No. 10 ended a 44-year run in the shuttling yard of the Brooklyn East District Terminal.

Begrimed, and clouded in her own steam from the last of her banked-down boiler fires, the old black, 28-foot six-wheeler looked tired– especially alongside the bright blue, 44-foot diesel electric locomotive that has taken its place.

A few sad facial expressions were noticeable among steam locomotive buffs who were snapping pictures from all angles. But there was an absence of sadness on the part of Joseph Keane, engineer on No. 10.

Too Hot For Comfort

“There’s no use feeling badly,” he remarked. “The diesel is better in every way, and I can’t forget how hot that cab was in the winter, as well as in the sweltering summer. Just step up in there and see for yourself, and mind, the fire is about out.”

Then he was joined in the ventilated cab of the diesel locomotive, where there was an air-cooled supply of drinking water and but three main switch- and engine-throttles, compared with more than 20 knobs, handles, bars and cords, and no drinking water, in old No. 10’s cab.

The terminal is one of three in Brooklyn that transport freight cars on floats between the New Jersey side of the Hudson River and piers along the Brooklyn side of the East River, Brooklyn’s Eastern District’s No. 10 is one of four sister steam locomotives that were replaced yesterday by four diesel electric engines.

Nicholas G. Cutler, a railroad man since 1926 and vice president of operations for the terminal, said he would miss the sound of locomotive steam.

“It was an old-world sound, and it was good to hear on a bitter winter day; it seemed to warm one a bit,” he remarked, looking down into the yard from his second-floor office window at 86 Kent Avenue in the Williamsburgh section of Brooklyn.

“Actually, I think we might have kept at least one of the steam engines if we could replace parts, but no iron works make them anymore,” he said. “That factor, plus the economies of operation offered by the diesel, decided us in burying the steam engine.”

It was the same decision that influenced the major railroads to abandon the old Iron Horse beginning in 1925, when the diesel first edged its way onto the nation’s railroad tracks.

In the mid-20s there were about 65,000 steam locomotives, some with as many as 12 wheels, and many of them making, if not beating, the diesel’s speed. As long ago as 1893, old 999 ran at a top speed of 112.5 miles an hour up near Buffalo. A diesel’s maximum today is about 100 miles an hour.

The last steam engine operated by the New York Central was No. 1977. She finished her run in May, 1957, and since then her counterparts have been nostalgic conversation pieces.

Except for a few steam locomotives working in marble quarries in Vermont and on narrow-gauge tracks in outdoor railroad museums and along spurs in some southern states, the Iron Horse is dead in the eastern half of the country, and her plaintive whoooo, hoooo, whoooo has been replaced by the shrilly efficient blast of the staid diesel.

Kenneth Gear adds:

Hi David, I enjoyed the BEDT story in the latest Trolley Dodger and thought I’d share a little info about, and an few photos of 0-6-0T # 16.

Back in the early 1990’s I paid a few visits to the ex-PRR Greenville car float in Jersey City, NJ to photograph the New York Cross Harbor RR’s Alco switchers in action. The NYCH had taken over the operations of the BEDT and a few other remaining waterfront rail lines in New York, as well as the New Jersey side car float.

In 1992 and 1993 the New York Cross Harbor held “Railfan Days”. The railroad welcomed railfans onto the property for tours of the yard and photo ops of the car floats being loaded/unloaded.

I knew the NYCH used ex-BEDT Alco switcher locomotives but I was very surprised to find that 0-6-0T # 16 was still here on the property at Bush Terminal in Brooklyn. The railroad pulled the steamer out of the engine house and spotted it next to Alco S-1 switchers 22 & 25 for both day and night photos! I’ve attached a few photos of #16 that I took that day.

Happily, BEDT 16 is under going a restoration at the Railroad Museum of Long Island. http://rmli.org/RMLI/Restoration.html

BEDT 0-6-0T 16 6-5-93

BEDT 0-6-0T 16 NYCH S-1 25 Bush Term 6-5-93

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Interestingly, cross ferry car float operations continue in this area today via New York New Jersey Rail, LLC, successor to the New York Cross Harbor and earlier railroads. It is owned by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.

I asked Kenneth Gear:

The way #16 was painted in the early 1990s is different than how it looked when it last ran in 1963. That would suggest it was repainted at some later date, but by who?

Did the #16 get abandoned later on, and was it vandalized (stripped for brass) before it was saved? Or was it sent to a museum while still in good shape?

He replied:

As I remember it, BEDT sold the # 16 shortly after it was replaced with diesels in 1963 but it never left Brooklyn.

Who repainted it and why I’m not sure but there was some talk of restoration on a tourist Railroad. The New York Cross Harbor RR ceased operations very quickly and management was under suspicion of some legal wrong doing and the whole railroad was abandoned and eventually taken over by the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey. 16 was still on the property at this time and the Port Authority disposed of the locomotive and it ended up on Long Island.

I found a website with just about everything you would want to know about BEDT 16, Here is the link:
http://members.trainweb.com/bedt/bedt/BEDT16.html

Some info from that website:

BEDT documents dated June 24, 1963 request $7,000 asking price of #16.

Non-BEDT documents (5/90 issue of Semaphore) show #16 was sold to a G. Foster, then resold, then (erroneously) state it was scrapped!

In actuality, #16 had been sold to George Foster, for use in conjunction with BEDT #12 & Ron Ziel’s Sag Harbor & Scuttle Hole operation; but was never removed from the Kent Ave. property and was abandoned in place when BEDT ceased operations in 1983.

It remained there until late 1993, at which time #16 was brought to NY Cross Harbor RR for cosmetic restoration.

From the time of move from Kent Avenue and during restoration in NY Cross Harbor shops, Robert Diamond (of BHRA) claims ownership. Mr. Diamond was kind enough to send a copy of receipt from owner of Kent Avenue property authorizing #16 to be moved by Mr. Diamond and transfers ownership of #16 to Mr. Diamond. According to Mr. Diamond, sometime after restoration and “unveiling” in 1993, NYCH donated #16 without his consent.

According to sources at the Trolley Museum of New York in Kingston, they were supposed to acquire it. Unfortunately, the TMNY could not fund the rigging and move from Brooklyn to Kingston, so #16 was offered by NYCH to Friends of Locomotive 35 in Oyster Bay, which accepted it. However, it was allegedly brought to the RR Museum of Long Island in Riverhead in error, but has remained at that location as their project.

New information states #16 was NOT brought to Riverhead in error, but was sent there intentionally with the knowledge of Friends of Loco #35, as a RR Museum of LI banner was hung on 16 during its move.


A Redder Red Arrow

Here is another example of photo restoration. Fittingly, this is from the Red Arrow Lines (Philadelphia Suburban Transportation Company) in 1960 at an unidentified location. Even the Red Arrow wasn’t this red!

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Bob adds:

The photo on Red Arrow is at Drexel Hill jct the car is headed towards 69th st coming from Sharon Hill. The tracks in the foreground are the pocket tracks at the jct where they short turn cars behind the photographer are the tracks to Media. All still remains today although the 80 class car is long gone.

Fired Up

On July 24, a lightning bolt hit the long ramp leading to the Chicago Transit Authority’s Medical Center station on the Blue Line, completely destroying a long section of the original late 1950s canopy. It made for some very compelling video:

Fortunately, no one was hurt. CTA service was fully restored by the next morning, after all the debris was removed from the tracks. This station was originally called Damen-Ogden-Paulina, and it’s the Paulina entrance that remains closed.

On the Philly_Traction Yahoo discussion group, Andre Kristopans remarked:

Basically, if you see the video somebody captured from a car on the expressway, the lightning went up the ramp over about 20 seconds, totally destroying, mostly melting, all the aluminum parts of the walkway, walls, railings, with part of the roof falling onto the tracks and causing a massive arc. I have never seen anything even similar to this!


Recent Additions

These three pictures have been added to our previous post Night Beat (June 21, 2016):

The North Shore Line terminal in Milwaukee in January 1963.

The North Shore Line terminal in Milwaukee in January 1963.

A North Shore Line train stops at Edison Court in January 1963.

A North Shore Line train stops at Edison Court in January 1963.

A Toronto subway train in August 1963.

A Toronto subway train in August 1963.

This picture has been added to our post Love For Selle (June 8, 2016):

CTA 3025 is running inbound on Elston on June 30, 1949. (Bob Selle Photo) Neil Arsenty adds, "Although this is the Elston Avenue line, this is actually taken at Milwaukee and Kinzie going southeast. The building behind the streetcar still stands at the Northwest corner."

CTA 3025 is running inbound on Elston on June 30, 1949. (Bob Selle Photo) Neil Arsenty adds, “Although this is the Elston Avenue line, this is actually taken at Milwaukee and Kinzie going southeast. The building behind the streetcar still stands at the Northwest corner.”

Milwaukee and Kinzie today.

Milwaukee and Kinzie today.


NOW AVAILABLE, DIGITALLY REMASTERED ON COMPACT DISC:

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SEGT
Steam Echoes
Ghost Train
# of Discs – 1
Price: $14.95

Steam Echoes:
First published in 1959, and long out of print, Steam Echoes captures the unforgettable sound drama of steam engines in action. Like Whistles West, it features the recordings of E. P. Ripley, made in the waning days of steam during the 1950s.

The scenes were selected for listening pleasure as well as to create an historical document. They represent the everyday workings of our old steam friends, selected for the most interest, or the most beauty. The series are purposely kept short to preserve their brilliance. They show the steam engine in all four of the ways it may be heard at work– riding in it, on the train behind it, traveling along beside it, and standing at trackside while it goes by, or stops and takes off again.

Railroads featured include Southern Pacific, Union Pacific, and Canadian National.

Ghost Train:
Ghost Train, first issued in 1962 and also long unavailable, is a Hi-Fi stereo sound panorama of haunting memories, highlighting the final days of steam railroading. Railroads featured include the Grand Trunk Western, Norfolk & Western, Nickel Plate Road, Union Pacific, and the Reading Company. A particular highlight is a special whistle recording, demonstrating the famous “Doppler Effect” in true stereophonic sound.

Total time – 79:45


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