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George Eichelberger


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Re: Southern Ry modernized coaches 
From: Nancy Boots
Date: Sat, 05 Jun 2021 11:15:52 PDT 

Time to add in my nickel (I expect change for my 2 cents) on the information I know on the SOUTHERN 1000 series modernized coaches.

In the days before Amtrak started the NECIP and bumped the speeds up on the Corridor, the Southnern would send the 1000 series coaches up to New York on the Crescent. Probably used them for large group travel as overflow cars. The cars came up as a head end move on trains 172 and 173, a through Boston - Washington run. 

The road crew that brought the train up would cut the Southern cars (from Birmingham or New Orleans / Los Angeles) off in Penn Station and take them to Sunnyside Yard. The New Haven crew would be ready with another engine to take the remainder of the train to New Haven for the diesel change. Usually the Southern cars would lay-over in the yard for the next day move south on 173, being a head end add-on and engine change of the arriving Boston section.

However, when we got the 1000 series (mainly 1030 and 1040 series numbers as I remember, more later) they would be brought back to Penn Station and added that night to #67 Night Owl to deadhead back to the Southern Rwy. Since the connection to the Piedmont was tight, they probably went on the Crescent that night.
One such event happened  back in 1974, I was going up to Cumberland, MD for a weekend. The only way to connect to the Blue Ridge (ex-C&O coach and coach-dinette) was to take the Owl down to Washington. I had the good luck of that being a night we had to deadhead the extra Southern Rwy cars back. I grabbed a pair of seats in one of the cars (SR 1041) and by the time we were added to 67 and started rolling, I was in a good sleep. The 6 wheel trucks made up for more than a smooth ride. 

The seats were similar to the 800 series streamline coaches, so must have been an upgrade when the cars were rebuilt. All the coaches on the Eastern railroads were NOT really overnight cars like the Western railroads had. Most all were a higher capacity usually upwards of 50 seats AND NO EASTERN RAILROAD CARS EVER HAD LEG RESTS. Overnighters on things like Florida and Chicago trains "had to make do" without or only the small "pigeon perch" foot rest bar on the seat ahead. In fact the "leg rest horror" was brought to light by the ire of railfans when Penn Central bought 6 former Union Pacific 4400 series coaches in 1970.  They were used on the Broadway Limited since PC had no good overnight type coaches after the PRR P-85B cars went to junk. Of course, PC, not knowing what "they" were, promptly REMOVED all the leg rests from under the seats, so passengers were forced to endure an uncomfortable cramped up ride instead of being able to stretch out. Of course, "some" divisions, when they changed train crews, "just happened to  be" overnight, and some of the Conductors being scummer low-life's would put ALL the coach lights on, and bounce people around to wake them and check their tickets..........Yes, PC was one of "them" who fit what one Information Booth clerk in Penn Station told a customer..."You don't like the train service, Greyhound Bus Terminal is at 8th Ave & 42nd Street"

The Southern heavyweights stopped after 1975, as most were in the Steam Excursion Program, so when extra cars were needed on the Crescent, we would see the cars of Central of Georgia (the Man O'War and some Nancy Hanks cars) that Southern had taken over from their roster. I looked at the pictures I had of the cars and all taken in the same 6 month time period...cars 1035, 1039, 1040 and 1044 all had friction bearing trucks, while my shot of 1034 is roller bearing t6rucks. There may have been others, or trucks swapped around, but these are ones I know of.


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