Locked Re: Reply to Mark Demaline re: Southern Crescent photo - April 1, 1978

Jason Greene

When did the kids in Atlanta make the trip to DC every year? These would have been the patrol students form the metro area school around Atlanta. 

Jason Greene 

On Jul 6, 2020, at 8:40 AM, Bill Schafer <bill4501@...> wrote:

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From: Linda and Bill Schafer <bill4501@...>
Subject: Re: [SouthernRailway] Message Approval Needed - conductor7@... posted to main@SouthernRailway.groups.io
Date: July 6, 2020 at 08:13:47 EDT

Very interesting picture, Mark,

It raises a number of questions with those Amtrak cars on the rear. Thank goodness you recorded the exact day you took the photo - it might help with some speculative answers.

* April 1, 1978 was a Saturday. The trains 1 and 2 that operated to/from Atlanta on Saturdays terminated/originated there. Neither train went to/from New Orleans, so the ultimate destination of the equipment in your photo was Pegram Shop and North Avenue Coach Yard.

* April was the off season, so a train originating/terminating Atlanta in those days would be small - 7 or 8 cars. There appear to be deadheading cars in the consist of the train you photographed (or a special party).

* If I had to guess I’d say the first 7 or 8 cars were in revenue service, and everything behind them was either deadheading or a special party. 

* I don’t recall Amtrak cars in 1-2’s consist on days the train originated/terminated Atlanta. Normally, if you saw an Amtrak car in the consist, the train was going to/coming from New Orleans, IIRC.

* In your picture, the cars are, in order: baggage-dorm, two coaches, sleeper-tavern car (Crescent-series), dining car, three sleepers. One of those sleepers was an extra - not unusual if a bunch of deadheading employees were on the train. Behind the third sleeper appears to be another Crescent-series tavern car, then the Amtrak cars. It could be deadheading back to North Avenue from Hayne Shop, but I would think it would be on the rear if that was the case. 

* I can’t see enough of the first Amtrak car to tell what kind of car it is - looks like a coach, but can’t be sure. Wonder what the car behind it looked like. 

* We may never know why the second Crescent-series car was in the consist or what those Amtrak cars were doing on the rear, but it’s fun to speculate. Thanks for the photo.


PS: Attached is another consist from 1976. It shows the consist of 2nd no. 1 from Greensboro to Atlanta. When the train was split (i.e., ran in two sections), it was a New Orleans day. The first section would handle the thru cars - New York/Washington-New Orleans and would nominally only carry passengers getting on north of Washington or getting off south of Atlanta. The second section would carry local passengers (i.e., those getting on and getting off between Washington-Atlanta). It was always desirable to ride the second section if possible - it was less crowded and carried the tavern car. The first section could be a zoo. The dining car would be slammed and if there was a lounge car, it would likely be a coach lounge. 

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Subject: Re: [SouthernRailway] Southern Crescent Consists

Looked thru a few of my slides to locate one showing most or all of the consist, and here is one of  #1, at Duluth GA, on April 1, 1978.
There are 9 Southern cars, with what looks like at least 2 Amtrak cars on the rear.
I had also photographed #1 here two days before, on March 30th, and that train had a total of 9 cars, all of them Southern, no Amtrak.
And on one of my trips to the D.C area in -- I believe -- also 1978, there was a transit strike, and at Alexandria, a good number of peopleboarded #2 there, for the trip into D.C.  One of the classiest "commuter" trains there was, to ride into work that day!

 ~ Mark D

-----Original Message-----
From: Bill Schafer <bill4501@...>

Because there has been some recent interest in actual consists of the Southern Crescent in its glory days (1972-1979), I have consulted some of my old pocket notebooks and transcribed the consists of all the trains I rode in 1976. Turns out I made at least 30 trips on trains 1-2 that year, mostly on business. Attached is one of those consists. If there is sufficient interest, I will post more. 
On March 12-13, my wife and I rode train 2 from Atlanta to Alexandria, probably to visit my family over the weekend near Baltimore. We often boarded and detrained at Alexandria because it was near I-495, and if we could persuade someone to pick us up when #2 arrived, we would be at the family homestead before Amtrak 172, the connection to New York, left Washington. The logic was similar for catching #2 for the return to Atlanta. The consist would always be sizable leaving Atlanta on a Friday night because the northbound train was running through from New Orleans. Our return consist on Sunday night was often smaller because the train terminated in Atlanta. 
I know the attachment is hard to read. It is a PDF, so to make it more legible, click on it, open it, and enlarge it. 
—Bill Schafer

<SOU.wb Crescent.6916+3.Duluth GA.04.01.78.Mark Demalien photo.copyrt 2020.jpg>

<1976 - Aug 1-2 SOU 2nd 1 Greensboro-Atlanta.pdf>

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