B&O Royal Blue Steam

CB&Q Fan Oct 22, 2007

  1. CB&Q Fan

    CB&Q Fan TrainBoard Member

    My father in law was telling me about the B&O royal blue passenger train he would ride to work when he lived in the Philly area. He said the coaches were a beautiful blue with streamline steam locomotives. From the little info I can find online, it appears this train ran from Washington DC to NYC over the B&O, Reading & New York Central switching locomotives as it changed railroads. I am looking for more info on this train as I would like to make this train for his next birthday. Any help in locating more info will be appreciated.
  2. Tim Loutzenhiser

    Tim Loutzenhiser TrainBoard Supporter

    Sounds like what he described was the "Improved Royal Blue" hich began service on April 25, 1937. It was an eight car streamliner made from standard heavyweights that were reworked at the Mt. Clare shops.
    The train was made up of a baggage-coach combine, three coaches, a coach-buffet car, a diner-lunch counter car, a parlor car, and a blunt end lounge-observation car.
    The steam engine was a P-7 Pacific no. 5304 with a streamline shroud.
    Here's a website with some info:
    The Baltimore Ohio Railroad in New Jersey
  3. fitz

    fitz TrainBoard Member

  4. CB&Q Fan

    CB&Q Fan TrainBoard Member

    Here is a copy of the picture I have found of this train. The info you have added seems to pointing me in the correct direction. I wonder why this train never reached the "famous" status as others.

  5. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 HOn30 & N Scales Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

    I wish for a time machine! Just to watch this train rush past me once. Wouldn't that be something special?

    Boxcab E50
  6. skipgear

    skipgear TrainBoard Member

    I think it never made the famous status because it didn't last very long. The loco lost it's streamlining in 1940. It is a beautiful loco and train set.

    The loco was then was rebuilt in another streamline form for the Cincinnatian along with 3 other loco's in 1947. The Cincinnatian lasted from 47-50 in a DC to Cincinnati route, then was switched to Cincinnati to Detorit and was steam powered till 56-57.
  7. jnewhagen

    jnewhagen New Member

    This may not bear directly on the Royal Blue. It is also kind of a cross post to O gauge.
    Anyway, Dwight Eisenhower toured the U.S. in his 1952 campaign via train. I believe he had some close links to the B&O. Anyway, I came upon a nice Lionel set of passenger cars featuring a "campaign" observation car complete with bunting and Ike's name. The questions is, what was the power? Also, were the cars part of Royal Blue? I ran across a great picture from the presidential museum from somewhere in the midwest where they were having all sorts of trouble turning the train on the Y. It seemed to show an ALCO. I have spent more time on this than I have and I am not sure if it was steam, one of the Presidents, the streamlined version (beautiful pictures in this thread) or diesel (P-7, that strange box end job? ALCO)?
  8. NYW&B

    NYW&B Guest

    To more directly address the original post, as far as I know no HO model of the streamlined B&O Royal Blue locomotive is currently available other than in brass. For a time (maybe around 1990?) a very limited production shell or craftsman kit did appeared on the market but I don't recall it being offered for very long. American Flyer did a rough approximation of the locomotive in S scale half a century ago and even earlier Varney offered a kit for a loco resembling the Royal Blue.

  9. fitz

    fitz TrainBoard Member

    John, I can't answer your questions, but would like to welcome you to Trainboard. Someone should know the answers. :tb-biggrin:
  10. Stourbridge Lion

    Stourbridge Lion TrainBoard Supporter

    jnewhagen - Welcome to TrainBoard!!!!!!!

    :tb-biggrin: :tb-biggrin: :tb-biggrin: :tb-biggrin:
  11. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 HOn30 & N Scales Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter


    Welcome to TrainBoard!

    Boxcab E50
  12. Tim Loutzenhiser

    Tim Loutzenhiser TrainBoard Supporter

    The event where they had difficulty turning the train happened in Jackson Michigan on October 1st, 1952. Apparently because of scheduling, the Michigan Central crews only had 45 minutes to turn the train around using the wye in the yard - plus they had to service the train (cleaning, adding ice, changing crew). From pictures I remember seeing, I would bet that while Ike toured here in Michigan, the power for the train was either E7's or E8's - and I think it was a New York Central train...
  13. mmi16

    mmi16 TrainBoard Member

    As a small child I remember having an S guage Royal Blue engine produced by A C Gilbert in their Amaerican Flyer line of model trains. That was back in the early 50's.
  14. pjb

    pjb E-Mail Bounces

    AF Royal Blue and Bullet Nosed Streamlining

    You are right on. It was not a high end trainset, but
    was more faithful (as were most AF 'S' scale stuff)
    to the real thing, than LIONEL or other toy offerings
    of bullet nosed streamlined locos. LIONEL also made
    some bathtub streamlined versions of "Commodore
    Vanderbilt" in 'O' tinplate. There were early standard
    gauge tinplate streamliners, but I am not knowledgeable
    in these areas beyond remembered sightings.

    The Pennsy, ATSF, and CN in the real world, along with
    other B&O design offerings, mentioned in earlier posts,
    were the best of these - if you prefer
    clean lines and lack of clutter. The L&N, Southern, and
    some others had cluttered, downright ugly efforts to
    employ bullet nosed designs that count as failures.

    The DL&W , along with the NYC used the sheet metal
    to produce Art Deco units... which are not to everyone's
    taste, secondary to a lack of appeal by the
    mechanistic nature of these types of designs to
    people having a desire for more humane elements
    within their industrial designs.
    Interestingly, the ability of the NYC to keep their
    passenger locos clean in public, because they had so
    many (NYC ran more passenger trains than any other
    North American carrier), played a role in the public's
    admiration or acceptance of Dreyfus designs, as an
    It also worked against carriers like the the
    Lackawanna , which had a tough time in the
    cold and snowy winters across there
    territory, keeping their limited pool of streamlined
    deco locos clean of soot and water streaked dirt .

    Some designs based upon the bullet nosed approach,
    that were relatively mediocre versions, from a design
    aesthetic (since they convey uncertainty rather than
    seize a positive direction), achieved great fame by
    outlasting all the alternatives. So the last men stand-
    ing, if you will, achieved fame and became beloved icons,
    even with anachronistic spoked pilot wheels that were
    jarring notes in presenting a modern moment.
    Even then - there are curiosities, for if you encountered
    their 'K's as well as the 'Js' , it is pretty clear the former
    were a more successful packaging effort. I believe some of
    this was due to the 70inch drivers on the larger locos
    detracted from the overall effect.

    Having offended the legions of their fans, I suppose it
    is times to go.
    So I will close wishing all a merry Christmas,
    and Good-Luck in your endeavors,
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 25, 2007

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