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Southern Railway’s trains 47/48, the Southerner
, became trains 1/2, the Southern Crescent
, in the February 1970 timetable. In October 1970, you were riding the Southern Crescent
I think that October 1970 was not pre-Southern Crescent, was it? I am positive that the train went through Birmingham at that time. I remember looking at the hat checks above peoples seats and trying to figure out the abbreviations.
Having just arrived from the Maritime provinces in Canada I didn’t know the country as well as I wanted to. I thought that this train terminated in Atlanta but I could see that it was not going to do so.
I remember figuring out the Birmingham abbreviation whatever it was, and then being perplexed over the “NO” written on the hat checks. There seemed to be a lot of those. Then I realized where it was, and I was wishing that I had bought a ticket there instead! I wanted to go farther.
In the pre-Southern Crescent
days, when the Crescent
(Nos. 37-38) ran via Montgomery and Mobile, the Southern's dining car crews were based in Atlanta, the West Point Route crews were based in Montgomery, and the L&N crews were based in Mobile.
I got this information from a file that I photocopied in the NS archives a number of years ago.
From: Bill Schafer <bill4501@...
Sent: Tue, Mar 16, 2021 10:46 am
Subject: [SouthernRailway] Dining Car Crew Cycles
This is in reply to Steve Ellis's follow-up question about dining car crew bases other than Atlanta. I'm starting a new thread.
The November 20, 1970 timetable is the first that shows the Southern Crescent cut back to tri-weekly between Birmingham and New Orleans, so your trip on a daily Southern Crescent to New Orleans would have been one of the last (as opposed to a tri-weekly Southern Crescent). The daily service Atlanta-Bham continued into the Amtrak era, when it went to tri-weekly effective with the June 1, 1975 timetable. In the post-Amtrak period, the dining car didn’t operate beyond Atlanta; in fact, there was no food service Atlanta-Bham until May 1974, when SOU started offering food/beverage service in a “bar food car”, which photographic evidence suggests was one of the Crescent series sleeper-tavern-lounges.
At one time, maybe as late as the 1960s, Southern dining car crews were based in Cincinnati, Chattanooga, and Washington (and maybe some other places, like Asheville) in addition to Atlanta. I don’t know what their work cycles were; that info is probably in the SRHA archives somewhere. I’m not aware that any full crews were based in New Orleans, at least by the 1950s or 1960s.
During the post-Amtrak Southern Crescent era, I know of at least one steward, Steve Cosmos, who lived in Birmingham, but his crew base was Atlanta. He worked on one of the three long crews and had to deadhead or drive Birmingham-Atlanta to go on or off duty. Pre-Amtrak, Steve had been furloughed for years, but with the clustered retirements in the early-1970s, he was called back to work. I’m sure there were others like him who lived away from Atlanta but had to report there for duty.