locked Southern Passenger Train Discontinuances - 1966


George Eichelberger
 

During the mid 1960s, the Southern made a concerted effort to eliminate as many passenger trains as possible.

While many people would assume it was mostly the work of D.W. Brosnan, his “man behind the scene” was (maybe surprisingly to some) VP Graham Claytor. Here is a two-page “personal” memo to “DWB” from “WGC”.

As with many subjects, the SRHA archives include internal correspondence, public comments and PUC correspomdemce and ruling on many passenger trains.

We look forward to organizing a three-day archives work session in August. If everyone can stay safe and well and check the SRHA web site, we look forward to getting back to work.

Ike



C J Wyatt
 

I don't have the exact date, but sometime around the time of this memo, Southern helped to finish off No. 35 from Chattanooga to Memphis, by scheduling No. 17 to arrive Chattanooga ten minutes after no. 35 departed.

Jack Wyatt

On Wednesday, June 24, 2020, 04:58:00 PM EDT, George Eichelberger <geichelberger@...> wrote:


During the mid 1960s, the Southern made a concerted effort to eliminate as many passenger trains as possible.

While many people would assume it was mostly the work of D.W. Brosnan, his “man behind the scene” was (maybe surprisingly to some) VP Graham Claytor. Here is a two-page “personal” memo to “DWB” from “WGC”.

As with many subjects, the SRHA archives include internal correspondence, public comments and PUC correspomdemce and ruling on many passenger trains.

We look forward to organizing a three-day archives work session in August. If everyone can stay safe and well and check the SRHA web site, we look forward to getting back to work.

Ike



Marv Clemons
 

A facinating, behind-the-scenes look at Graham Claytor's rationale and tactics for the wholesale removal of remnant passenger trains in the mid-60s.  Those were indeed miserable times for both train crews and the handful of passengers who still rode the trains, and spelled the end for Southern's major stations in places like Birmingham, Atlanta and Knoxville.

Marv Clemons


Robert Hanson
 

Marv,

If you've read Fred Frailey's book, Twilight of the Great Trains, you know that some of the trains Brosnan was in such a sweat to get rid of were actually profitable.  Some maybe only marginally so, but profitable nonetheless.

Seems that Brosnan read a piece in the Wall Street Journal (I think) about the Penn Central's major passenger woes and it gave him a fixation on getting rid of Southern's passenger trains, even though Southern virtually had no passenger problem compared to that of the PC.

And he gave Claytor his marching orders - "Get rid of the trains!"

And the rest is history.

Read it, if you haven't already.  It is an eye-opening read.

Bob Hanson


-----Original Message-----
From: Marv Clemons <mclemonsjr@...>
To: main@SouthernRailway.groups.io
Sent: Thu, Jun 25, 2020 9:41 am
Subject: Re: [SouthernRailway] Southern Passenger Train Discontinuances - 1966

A facinating, behind-the-scenes look at Graham Claytor's rationale and tactics for the wholesale removal of remnant passenger trains in the mid-60s.  Those were indeed miserable times for both train crews and the handful of passengers who still rode the trains, and spelled the end for Southern's major stations in places like Birmingham, Atlanta and Knoxville.

Marv Clemons


John Stewart
 

HI folks

 

Interesting story and documentation, albeit sad if you love passenger trains

 

John

 

John R Stewart

www.bhamrails.info

205-901-3790

 

image004

 


Stephen Warner
 

Interesting to see the plans.  While I was in Trans. at UT I saw the break in the Chatt. Connection with 17, but did not understand the reason.  Going through the details of the ICC hearings, I believe that you may see my testimony at the joint 1/2, 27/28 discontinuance hearings in Knoxville in ‘66.  Surprised that SR hired me after that.


Marv Clemons
 

Revealing also that the main concern expressed in Claytor's memo is regarding the movement of mail, not passengers, which along with REA were the only viable revenue streams. 

Ironically, with fewer remaining trains to carry the mail, the following year USPS switched from rail to trucks, which finished off what little service still remained.

Marv