Erie Lackawanna 'erielack' E-Mail List Photo Archive

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From: "Joseph A DOT Braun" joebraun AT optonline DOT net
Date: Wed, 09 Jul 2008 15:49:18 -0400
Subject: DL&W Hoboken-Detroit sleeper service
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There have been List threads about Pullman Line #1416, the sleeper service
between Hoboken and Detroit through Buffalo. Westbound was via #5 the
"Twilight" and NYC #47 "The Detroiter." The eastbound sleeper travelled on
NYC #44 "The New York Special" and #2 the "Pocono Express."

Attached are photos taken this past weekend during a long, relaxed
meandering amidst the disintegrating remnants of the western end of this
fascinating sleeper route that used DL&W rails: Detroit's Michigan Central

The photos:

1. The front of the station where one would enter the General Waiting Room.
2. The General Waiting Room (104 ft. by 233 ft.).
3. The Waiting Room from above.
4. A sample of the Waiting Room ceiling.
5. The Ticket Lobby
6. The Concourse (78 ft. by 193 ft.) between the Ticket Lobby and the ramp
to the tracks; the Concourse also opened to trolley lines
and a carriage entrance.
7. The ramp (7% grade) leading from the passenger tunnel up to the Concourse
(photo taken from the point at which the
passenger tunnel is now blocked in). The tunnel had two flights of
stairs up to each track platform.
8. Rear of the station, showing also the 15-story office building that was
part of the complex.
9. The mouth of the tunnels, about 1/2 mile east of the station. It is at
first a bit alien to imagine "Car#440" beginning a journey
to Hoboken Terminal with a dive under the Detroit River into Windsor,
10. A southeastward view down onto the passenger track area. The tunnels are
to the left out of sight; the overpass is the same
one as in the previous photo. There were 10 through passenger tracks.
Some of the platforms were 1,400 feet long. The Bush
trainshed was 1,100 feet at its longest. (The suspension bridge is the
Ambassador Bridge to Canada.)

[Statistics are from George W. Hilton's "Passenger Terminals and Trains" -
McGraw-Hill, 1916.]

While absorbing the magnificence of this structure, whose fate is undecided
and which appears beyond repair, I thought of New York's old Penn Station,
throughout which I had wandered many times. That edifice suffered an
ignoble, premature funeral. This monument has just been laid out to rot and
crumble and be desecrated. It is hard to decide which fate is crueler to
culture and heritage.

At the same time, I had renewed gratitude for the Hoboken and Scranton
preservations and for each and every depot and service building large and
small that has been saved all along our DL&W and Erie lines.

Joe Braun


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