Saturday, July 31, 2010

How'd they do that?

Tacoma, Washington, July 4, 1960. It’s mid-afternoon as the Olympian Hiawatha readies to shove off from Tacoma to Seattle with Train 16, and onward to Chicago. On the point, FP-7A 96A.

Train 15 westbound and Train 16 eastbound daily, featured Pullman sleeping cars; 10 roomettes and 6 double bedrooms, Pullman Touralux sleeping cars; 14 sections, Dining car, Super Dome car with Café Lounge beverage service, Reclining Seat Lounge Coaches with leg rests, and included the “perfect ending for a train,” the Milwaukee Road's signature "Skytop" solarium observation car.

The schedule states that the Super Dome cars are open to all passengers steerage and 1st class, at no additional charge!

The condensed schedule shows, for example, a Sunday 1 PM departure from Chicago, with a 9 AM arrival in Tacoma on Tuesday morning; 43 hours 30 minutes.

So. Here we see a shot taken May 29, 1969 of the Olympian Hiawatha, ready to depart Tacoma for Seattle, thence to Chicago. But wait a minute! The Hiawatha observation car, the end of the train, is just behind the power pack, running from Tacoma to Seattle. Okay. Okay, that works! Because then the observation car will be on the end of the train, where it is supposed to be, when the eastbound Hiawatha leaves Seattle. So far so good!

But what about the west bound movement. When the train arrived in Seattle from Chicago, the observation car would be pointed south toward Tacoma. It would have to run backward, southbound to Tacoma, indeed, as I captured at Van Asselt, August 13, 1960, with FP-7A, 99A:

So. The observation car will end up pointing opposite to what we see here!

How’d they do that? Obviously I wasn’t paying that much attention back then!

Railroad stuff: MILW 96A, FP-7A, 1500 hp, built 1950, sn 10361, road class 15-EP, retired May, 1980.
Takes on a new life!

MILW 99A, FP-7A, 1500 hp, built 11/51, sn 15229, road class 15-EP, retired May 1980.

2 Comments - Click here:

LinesWest said...

Hi Robert, thanks for the Milwaukee pictures as always. The pairing of the F unit and E unit is a nice lashup (and most certainly not a Toaster). I wonder why the Milwaukee used its e-units out along the transcon whereas railroads like GN opted for 4 axles. Perhaps someone out there has some idea?


Robert in Port Townsend said...

During the 1960's the Milwaukee Road was in need of additional HEP equipped locomotives. The Milwaukee already had the six 1961 built EMD E9A's numbered 36A,C through 38A,C. These E9's have the distinction of being the ONLY EMD E's BUILT with HEP Cummins diesel Gensets and a carbody louver.

Milwaukee began converting a number FP7A's to Chicago commuter locomotives by removing the steam generators and installing Cummins diesel-generator sets and installing new rear coupler draft gear for push-pull service. Milwaukee Road also converted four EMD F9A's from freight to commuter engines with the installation of Cummins diesel gen sets. The F9A's were numbered 93A,C through 94A,C.

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