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Re: (erielack) Lackawanna Passenger Trains

Two things should be remembered that first the Vanderbilt's put a member on
the LACKAWANNA's Board in the early 1900's and through this position and
ownership of "several" 1000 shares of DL stock, they mandated that no DL
train would operate between 'oboken & Buffalo faster than any NYC schedule!

Second. most trains, except #3 & 6, did heavy head end work at most
stations. I can remember at Dansville, NY, in the late 50's sticking #10 for
20-25 minutes loading Railway Express trees wrapped from Kelly Brothers
Nursery, storage mail, and then the two doors for the RPO car. With
Dansville showing no arrival time for #10 in the timetables, it only listed
its departure time, your "padding" came into play, and sometimes #10, with
Dansville as its third stop from Buffalo (B&O Junction for the LeRoy, NY
mail first, and Mt. Morris second which was a rather large regional mail
loading spot ) #10 would  arrive as much as 15-20 minutes before its
departure schedule to begin its nightly mail and express loading.

As a 16 year old I used to back down the baggage cart past the storage &
Railway Express cars to the RPO car, and then the mail & express trucks
would back up to the train and begin their loading.

A question which I have is this: at each end of the cart I had a stack of
small lite mail bags, I would knock on the first door, it would slide open
and a visor wearing-gun carrying man with an leather apron would slide open
the door & say: "what have yea got for me kid?" and the I would exchange my
bags ( from the east end of the cart) for his bags, placing them at the east
end of the cart, and then I would push the cart down to the west door of the
car and repeat the exchange of mail bags from the west end of my cart.  I
know I was handling first class mail, but why did I deliver & receive from
two different doors?

Regards David MV

- ----- Original Message -----
From: "Gary R. Kazin" <gkazin_@_yahoo.com>
To: <erielack_@_lists.railfan.net>
Sent: Monday, February 03, 2003 6:49 PM
Subject: Re: (erielack) Lackawanna Passenger Trains

> --- MONTGOMERY| ED <emontgom_@_LAN.TJHSST.EDU> wrote:
> > I was looking at my collection of Lackawanna passenger
> > timetables over the weekend and wondered how much the
> > company "padded" the timetable to keep the trains on line.
> > Looking at ETT's over the years it appears that the Lackawanna
> > could have run a train making stops at Corning, Elmira,
> > Binghamton, Scranton, Stroudsburg, and Dover in a lot faster time
> > than their best train could run.  I figured, running non-stop over the
> > Boonton Line (the real one throught Paterson) and non-stop on the
> > cut-off along with other fast running, they could cover the 396 miles
> > in maybe 5 1/2 or 6 hours rather than the 8 or so most trains ran
> > on.
> >
> > Even with all those stops, I think they could have done better but
> > probably padded the schedule to keep it on time.  I suppose in the
> > winter they could have experienced a lot of heavy snow running
> > from Buffalo to Elmira and then run fast over the Nicholson cut-off
> > and through New Jersey to catch up.
> >
> > Any thoughts on this?
> Unlike New York Central's 20th Century Limited, which in its prime ran
> non-stop from Grand Central through Albany (pausing at Croton-Harmon to
> change engines), the DLW had to make stops along the way for passengers.
> The CENTURY was a favored train for those going between New York and
> Chicago; the NYC had many other trains serving intermediate points.  The
> DLW route to Chicago, with the connection at Buffalo (even using the
> through sleeper run with the NKP) was hours slower than the NYC or PRR.
> The DLW's 'bread and butter' was service between New York/New Jersey and
> the farther reaches of its lines.  They generally didn't have the
> passenger loadings to run an express from New York that would skip its New
> Jersey market.  The name trains stopped at the bigger stations on the
> main:  Newark, Brick Church, Summit and Dover.  These stops gave access
> for the railroad's eastern branches to Montclair and Gladstone and also to
> the Boonton Line.  The Montclair Branch offered good connections to the
> through trains at Newark back then.
> Another factor in the so-called padding is that the DLW, like most
> railroads then, handled baggage, mail, express and newspapers during those
> long station stops.  Ten minutes may seem like a lot of time, but that was
> needed to man-handle things out of and into the head-end cars.  Mail was a
> big revenue source to all railroads (except maybe the Long Island after WW
> II) and the shift from rails to air and truck in the middle 1960's was the
> end of many trains.  The mail often paid more than the passengers on a
> train!  These functions were labor intensive and as wages rose they became
> =====
> Gary R. Kazin
> DL&W Milepost R35.7
> Rockaway, New Jersey
> http://www.geocities.com/gkazin/index.html
> __________________________________________________
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