- Oct 13, 2021
- Buffalo, NY
The "Golden Age" is quite subjective. Some might say it ended, when automobiles started proliferating with the Ford Model 'T" in the early 20th century...others might say when the airliner's carried more passenger's around the early sixties or so...
But some railroads maintained quality service right up to the end, such as the Santa Fe, and a few others, that were still investing in new rolling stock as late as 1965, and new locomotives even later. Even the much maligned Penn Central introduced Metroliner's and Turbo Trains...
Rising from the Rails. A story of the Pullman and the history of the black men that worked on the railroad sleeping cars is on PBS KCET Television Saturday eve in Los Angeles. I'm looking forward to it. My first trip on a train was in 1942. Sacramento to Seattle. I was 4 1/2 I don't remember a lot, I do remember the porters
Just as well give a shout out to those United D.C. 7s I worked for United back in those days and that was the first plane I ever flew in. A short hop from Burbank to LAX, short but exciting for me.
Cool photo but it looks staged IMO which is probably why people look relatively dressed up.I found this amazing photo, it must be in 1970s. But look how people are dressed up, even for a train ride. Professional.
View attachment 25533
Yeah, it's some kind of advertising promo.Cool photo but it looks staged IMO which is probably why people look relatively dressed up.
If you run across them at a book sale, Professor Al Runte has written well about railroads and the national parks.I'd note that passenger operations probably lost money overall for the major railroads, but it was still a prestige operation. And of course they were obligated to provide passenger rail in exchange for a lot of the benefits they got - especially the power of eminent domain.
The major railroads were crucial in developing our national parks. Union Pacific had the Utah Parks Company division that built lodging at Bryce Canyon, Zion, Grand Canyon, and Cedar Breaks NM.
Railroads and Southern Utah’s National ParksLong before vacationers rode Union Pacific trains to Sun Valley, visitors to America’s scenic wonders had discovered the convenience of trains for destination travel. From the very earliest days of train travel, railroads marketed America’s scenic beauty as reason enough to take a trip.In 1903,www.nationalparks.org
The Old Faithful Inn was built by the Yellowstone Park Company, that was part of the Northern Pacific Railway. ATSF bought the Grand Canyon Railway and finished the line to the South Rim of the Grand Canyon. BNSF even has a page on this since they absorbed the NP and ATSF
Going west: How BNSF predecessors helped shape America’s national parks
As I've bragged shamelessly about before, my first "real" train ride -- excluding streetcars and interurbans -- was on the Union Pacific pool trains on a round-trip between Portland and Seattle in 1952 or 1953 with my family. It was raining. Lunch northbound and dinner southbound in the Astra-Dome diner. Permission to have a peak in the galley, where some of my schoolmates' fathers worked culinary miracles. From the family car we had watched Train 457 departing Portland (via the Steel Bridge and Albina Yards in those days) after dropping off my dad for his monthly business trip to Seattle. It was a thrill to finally be on that train and notice how the crew greeted him by name and with respect (probably treated all their regulars with respect, but as a little kid I focused on small things).The first train trip I remember is the time my Dad took me from Glasgow MT to Seattle on the Builder in 1973 or 1974. It was an Amtrak train but it still kind of felt like a GN one. I think there were still mountain goats on the inside some of cars.
My Dad was a Burlington Northern brakeman and the Builder crew treated him like a VIP, which this kid was impressed with. And the porter was a very cool, very service oriented black gentleman. My Dad was a UTU member and possibly a shop steward by that time and he told me I was to call the porter Mr. “Smith”. I think this might have been shortly after the black porters union joined the white union but I am not sure.
And the dining car food was delicious!
It was simply a phenomenal trip!
I did a $4 CND (or was it less!?) hotel stay in Vancouver in the mid-70s, and lots of trips were cash on hand into the '80s or later.It seems amazing now that you could budget $10 for a night at a hotel and $6 for an entire day's meals.
Not if you followed the advice in this book:It seems amazing now that you could budget $10 for a night at a hotel and $6 for an entire day's meals.
I used to use those books when I traveled all over Latin America and Asia!Not if you followed the advice in this book:
Europe on 5 Dollars a Day (Reproduction of Original Printing): Arthur Frommer: 9780470165645: Amazon.com: Books
OK, by the 1970s, I think the book was titled, 'Europe on $10 a day," but you get the idea. Even in 1980 I was staying in motels that were less than $20 a night, admittedly more or less 1-star places, but they were clean and the heat and plumbing worked fine.
I hope you didn't use "Europe on $5 a day" when you were in Latin America or Asia.I used to use those books when I traveled all over Latin America and Asia!
I read those Europe books and day dreamed of doing Europe on the Cheap,but by the time I could go it had had become Expensive and I had grown too old to back pack it and hitch hike!I hope you didn't use "Europe on $5 a day" when you were in Latin America or Asia.
My first trip to Europe was in a C-141 Starlifter flown by New Jersey air reservists. You can't get much cheaper than that 10-abreast seating.I read those Europe books and day dreamed of doing Europe on the Cheap,but by the time I could go it had had become Expensive and I had grown too old to back pack it and hitch hike!
Except for Ireland,France,the British Isles and and Italy, I have no desire to visit Europe!
Does the present SWC go from CHI-LA in 40 hours?
While the SSL cars are great for viewing both sides of the tracks, I do miss the forward views described here. On a trip on the Canadian a few years ago I spent too much time in the dome watching the signals change and meeting other trains. Even at night it was mesmerizing to see the headlight piercing the darkness and small towns coming into view.I do remember sitting in the front of the dome car and watching the trees roll by and spotting one slightly startled moose look up at the locomotive and slowly trot off into the woods.
As I've mentioned, I'm old enough to have enjoyed numerous dome rides (UP, SP&S, NP, GN, CP) but the most memorable was from Staples to Minneapolis on the North Coast Limited. I had awoken to watch the connecting RDC for Duluth and decided to stay awake on the run into the Twin Cities. We had been half an hour late at Jamestown as farewells were said for the last RPO run eastbound. Now we were on double track with CTC making up time.While the SSL cars are great for viewing both sides of the tracks, I do miss the forward views described here. On a trip on the Canadian a few years ago I spent too much time in the dome watching the signals change and meeting other trains. Even at night it was mesmerizing to see the headlight piercing the darkness and small towns coming into view.
Perhaps if Amtrak orders new sleepers using the single level Siemens design, they’ll make a few ‘real’ dome cars too, at least for the scenic western routes. Although I suspect ADA rules would make it difficult.
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