locked Re: Lcal passenger trains on the Southern 7-8-1941

George Eichelberger

The Florida Sunbeam, and all other “seasonal and excursion” trains were prohibited by the Office of Defense Transportation (ODT) about the time of the memos. As an upcoming TIES article on the Sunbeam mentions, the first postwar Sunbeam was Dec 7th, 1946. The Southern marketing people wanted to get the train back in operation because the IC, C&EI and PRR announced they would restore the seasonal “Sunchaser”, “Jacksonian” and “Dixieland” to Florida for the ’46 season.

There are quite a few “ODT” files in the SRHA and National archives. The subject certainly warrants some serious research and publication.

The reduction in Florida services came at the same time many new Army bases and Naval Air stations were being built there to take advantage of the weather. Virtually all of the major airports in Florida today began as WWII training or anti-submarine bases. Many much smaller towns have airport facilities today built at that time. The race track at Sebring and the runways in my home town of Venice, Fla were built as bomber (usually B-25s) training bases.



On Feb 3, 2020, at 12:02 PM, Bill Schafer <bill4501@...> wrote:

Interesting reading. If anybody doubted that the U.S. was gearing up for war before Pearl Harbor, this memo should put those doubts to rest. 

The memo came from “H A D”, Harry A. DeButts, at the time VP-Operations; he was writing to S. R. Prince, SOU’s General Counsel and the guy in charge of filing for discontinuance of passenger trains across the system. The “Copy to Mr. Norris” was of course to Ernest E. Norris, SOU’s President.

Attached, for contrast, are two pages from the January 1941 Official Guide. One lists all the U.S. military posts and bases served by Southern Railway System; the other is a “business as usual” ad for the seasonal Florida Sunbeam, 1940-41 season version.


On Feb 3, 2020, at 9:51 AM, George Eichelberger <geichelberger@...> wrote:

From the SRHA archives.....probably not seen since 1941....

Two addl items....

The next SRHA work session will be Friday and Saturday, Feb 14 & 15. There are several projects underway and some new ones we can begin if we have help.

Norfolk Southern official car 8 arrived in Chattanooga, was set on trucks and moved to Soule Shop at E. Chattanooga. The car is is remarkably good condition, TVRM may be able to have it in service late this year. As always, donors and volunteers are needed to complete the work. We'll stop by the car on one of our lunch breaks.

<1941-7-8 Disc local pass trains Pg 1.jpg><1941-7-8 Pg 2.jpg><1941-7-8 Pg 3.jpg><1941-7-8 Pg 4.jpg>

<List of U.S. Military Posts on SOU System - from Jan 1941 Official Guide.pdf><Ad for SOU Florida Sunbeam in Jan 1941 Official Guide.pdf>

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