Aug 18, 2023
Passenger Fares from New York
B&O Sentinal Service 1948
The way things were.
Neat stuff! Early in my career with a large shipper, I remember tracing cars on a desk sized Telex machine, clicking keys, extensive mechanical activity and noise with in its metal case. No video screen of course, just reams of paper. It all worked though and was kind of fun.
1948 Scheduled Trains between Baltimore and Washington
I can't read the fine print, but these would indicate about twenty-five trains each way every day. That's one every hour, all behind GG-1's.
Wow, there's a little slice of Heaven for the imagination!
This is the B&O - NO GG-1's PRR had their own passenger business that was the competition.
Not much time to run freights or have local freights service customers along the route.
15% fed tax for a train ride ?? kinda bad for them days.....
Interline sleepers to Western destination - surprisingly San Francisco is not one of them
The days before VISA and MasterCard
Displayed it the car assignments for the Westbound trains of the B&O
In reading through the trains - it is amazing the number of cars that were switched into and out of trains as they made their runs - and these only denote what is happening with passenger occupiable cars. Unstated is all the switching that was occasioned by the handling of US Mail and express - head end traffic.
I always thought it was neat that when sleepers were set out at odd hours, passengers could sometimes stay on board until morning if they wished. I've seen photos of station steam connections to such cars.
To provide that service - the company had to have both a yard crew to handle the car and a Car Inspector to handle the steam lines, disconnecting from the train and connecting to 'station' steam. Big expense for how much 'fare box' return?
My experience of this type of operation was when a D&H coach from northern New York State was transferred at Albany to a NYC train into Grand Central Terminal. The conductor directed me to the NYC transfer coach when I boarded in Eagle Bridge, NY. It was interesting feeling the car uncouple from the D&H train, route through the Albany station, then recouple to the NYC train in a different part of the station.
Needless to say when it comes to servicing customers - both freight and passenger - there have to be an organization that manages those functions.
Impressive, back when railroads acknowledged and served their customers personally. Had that culture remained railroads may have had a larger customer base today. Too soon old, too late smart.
Yes, much has been lost in the name of toll-free numbers and websites. A look back at Official Guides found dozens of on-line and off-line sales offices for many railroads as they sought traffic and favorable routings from shippers. When I began my career with a large shipper in the early 1980s, our local salesguys were our allies within their railroads that kept a close eye on our car movements and assured a good, clean car supply for loads. By the time I retired 35+ years later, we had one railroad salesguy from each road assigned to our entire company which had grown many times over.
When EHH took over CSX - the first thing to be axed was the bulk of the 'Marketing' department. Since they were all non-Contract employees, they could be let go with little to no separation compensation.
The destruction of an industry in the quest for instant gratification and profits. How sad.
Some of the railroad salesguys and managers I knew in my work had union seniority and they always kept their membership current. With this, they could roll back into train service if their office jobs were eliminated. In the end, it wasn't necessary, as most of them were at retirement age when their jobs were axed. As you wrote, the younger guys were sent home with a brief salary continuation and nothing more.