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Pullmans to Mexico
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   Author  Topic: Pullmans to Mexico  (Read 1077 times)
HARRY FOSTER MALONE ESQ
Former Member
Pullmans to Mexico
 
« on: Nov 30th, 2012, 10:56pm »
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All:
 
In William D. Middleton's "MANHATTAN GATEWAY", there is an interesting photo from 1946 at Pennsylvania Station, showing the festivites for the inaugural run of the "SUNSHINE SPECIAL", operating via the PRR, MoPac, T&P, and National Railways of Mexico.
 
Destination board announces:
 
SUNSHINE SPECIAL: TEXAS AND MEXICO CITY
 
Text tells us that these were the first through Pullmans to operate between New York and Mexico City.
 
This rare old photo clearly reminds us of another era in railroading, when passenger trains went virtually everywhere.
 
Following are a few links of interest......
 
"H.F.M."


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HARRY FOSTER MALONE ESQ
Former Member
Re: Pullmans to Mexico
 
« Reply #1 on: Dec 1st, 2012, 12:27am »
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A detailed page with vintage photos and other historical information.....
 
http://trains-worldexpresses.com/800/822.htm


« Last Edit: Dec 1st, 2012, 12:31am by NH_FL9_2017 » Logged
HwyHaulier
Historian
Posts: 3434
Re: Pullmans to Mexico
 
« Reply #2 on: Dec 1st, 2012, 10:09am »
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on Nov 30th, 2012, 10:56pm, HARRY FOSTER MALONE ESQ wrote:       (Click here for original message)
...In William D. Middleton's "MANHATTAN GATEWAY", there is an interesting photo from 1946 at Pennsylvania Station, showing the festivites for the  
inaugural run of the "SUNSHINE SPECIAL", operating via the PRR, MoPac, T&P, and National Railways of Mexico...      

 
HFM -  
 
So, this provides a solid "time date" on service of SUNSHINE SPECIAL. Tie that to your B & O T/T query.  
Apparently, the entire MOPAC EAGLE package tied to these dates.
 
BTW. Who is the guy with the STREAMLINERS site? I know this might be "A Round Tuit" project, but have  
you sent a public "Thank You" note for the excellent work? (S/ "Miss Manners"?)
 
..........................Vern.....................


« Last Edit: Dec 1st, 2012, 10:17am by HwyHaulier » Logged

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HARRY FOSTER MALONE ESQ
Former Member
Re: Pullmans to Mexico
 
« Reply #3 on: Dec 1st, 2012, 10:39am »
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Vern:
 
Yes, this photo does indeed give us a "solid date" from which to work with; a quite from "MANHATTAN GATEWAY":
 
".......Pennsylvania Station, in the immediate postwar years, became more of a gateway to America than ever before, as new services were added. New sleeping car lines linked Penn Station with San Francisco, Los Angeles, and principal cities in Oklahoma and Texas. One Pullman route even served Mexico City......"
 
IMHO, I think that international Pullman service to Mexico is indeed one of those fascinating aspects of bygone passenger operations that still seems to be pretty much "off the beaten track", so to speak.
 
What I've managed to find and share here seems to be just about all that is out there; there doesn't seem to be all that much info available on this international operation......
 
"H.F.M."


« Last Edit: Dec 1st, 2012, 10:43am by NH_FL9_2017 » Logged
HwyHaulier
Historian
Posts: 3434
Re: Pullmans to Mexico
 
« Reply #4 on: Dec 1st, 2012, 10:46am »
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HFM -
 
Lack of data on MEXICO Cars as thru PULLMAN runs? No doubt. It didn't last all that long. Always more a curiosity in the Timetables of the era...
 
Can't imagine how it possibly had many through riders. Competing air service, between US East and Mexico City hardly novel... (BRANIFF, PANAGRA lines?)
 
.........................Vern.................


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HARRY FOSTER MALONE ESQ
Former Member
Re: Pullmans to Mexico
 
« Reply #5 on: Dec 1st, 2012, 10:51am »
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Vern:
 
Was fortunate enough to come across this; some reference to the services of the "old days"......
 
"H.F.M."
 
http://cs.trains.com/trn/f/743/t/169887.aspx


« Last Edit: Dec 1st, 2012, 10:52am by NH_FL9_2017 » Logged
jmlaboda
Historian
Posts: 389
Re: Pullmans to Mexico
 
« Reply #6 on: Dec 1st, 2012, 11:36am »
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The TexMex was the one that actually did the interchange between the MoPac and NdeM.  While none of the units used (including the shovel-nosed doodlebug the TM purchased from the B&M and cut down in length) had steam generators the connection between the two trains was able to be made fairly quickly with no problems encountered as far as passenger comfort was concerned.
 
As for the NdeM former T&P sleeper, several 100 sleeper cars were sold to the NdeM and other Mexican railways after being retired by their original owner (some sold by AMTK to NdeM) but whether or not they were actual cars that were originally used in the cross-border service is hard to say.  Most were not.


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jerry
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HwyHaulier
Historian
Posts: 3434
Re: Pullmans to Mexico
 
« Reply #7 on: Dec 1st, 2012, 11:42am »
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on Dec 1st, 2012, 10:51am, HARRY FOSTER MALONE ESQ wrote:       (Click here for original message)
Vern:
 
Was fortunate enough to come across this; some reference to the services of the "old days"......
 
"H.F.M."
 
http://cs.trains.com/trn/f/743/t/169887.aspx

HFM -
 
SIGH! Maybe best to have added explanatory note this "call" reliant on TRAINS MAGAZINE? Do the Wizards In Wisconsin  
think this a Public Domain site? I don't know! Just asking!
 
That's neither here nor there! The writer of the breathless idea, in many workplace settings, apparently a good candidate for  
use of controlled substances. A "red hot spender" in belief there is no such thing as too much "FREE" FED MONEY?... BAH!
 
........................Vern......................
 


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HARRY FOSTER MALONE ESQ
Former Member
Re: Pullmans to Mexico
 
« Reply #8 on: Dec 1st, 2012, 11:48am »
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on Dec 1st, 2012, 11:42am, HwyHaulier wrote:       (Click here for original message)

HFM -
 
SIGH! Maybe best to have added explanatory note this "call" reliant on TRAINS MAGAZINE? Do the Wizards In Wisconsin  
think this a Public Domain site? I don't know! Just asking!
 
That's neither here nor there! The writer of the breathless idea, in many workplace settings, apparently a good candidate for  
use of controlled substances. A "red hot spender" in belief there is no such thing as too much "FREE" FED MONEY?... BAH!
 
........................Vern......................
 

 
Vern:
 
I see you got the same impression here that I did!
 
In this day and age, to even TRY to imagine such an international through service operating, is indeed atkin to substance-induced visions in living Technicolor..........<G>
 
No, for the life of me, I cannot even BEGIN to understand as to why some would think that such a service could make a comeback.......
 
"H.F.M."


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HwyHaulier
Historian
Posts: 3434
Re: Pullmans to Mexico
 
« Reply #9 on: Dec 1st, 2012, 12:07pm »
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on Dec 1st, 2012, 11:48am, HARRY FOSTER MALONE ESQ wrote:       (Click here for original message)
...In this day and age, to even TRY to imagine such an international through service operating, is indeed atkin to substance-induced visions in living Technicolor..........<G>...

HFM -  
 
It is not my fault that a great deal of folks have no more imagination than what required for a PC Game, or a twitter, a tweet, or a text message!
 
The "Cross Border" went on all the time! Maybe not so much on US - MEXICO, which was something of a "promo" throwaway claim. There existed  
substantial volumes on US - CANADA routes. Look it up!
 
Jerry, agree there is little reason to think 14S/ Cars ever deployed on US - MEXICO assignments. Timetable Notes, Many Thanks to Eric Bowen,  
provide precise assignments. AFAIK, the 14S/ types simply T & P/ MOPAC EAGLE "POOL" Cars...
 
............................Vern.......................  


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HARRY FOSTER MALONE ESQ
Former Member
Re: Pullmans to Mexico
 
« Reply #10 on: Dec 1st, 2012, 12:59pm »
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Vern/Jerry/All:
 
Scroll down page to "SLEEPING CAR SERVICE ON MEXICAN RAILROADS"; some good reading here on US/Mexico Pullman operations, into the 1960's.......
 
"H.F.M."
 
http://utahrails.net/pass/mexico-ex-up.php


« Last Edit: Dec 1st, 2012, 1:01pm by NH_FL9_2017 » Logged
ClydeDET
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Posts: 4789
Re: Pullmans to Mexico
 
« Reply #11 on: Dec 1st, 2012, 3:57pm »
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on Dec 1st, 2012, 12:07pm, HwyHaulier wrote:       (Click here for original message)

HFM -  
 
It is not my fault that a great deal of folks have no more imagination than what required for a PC Game, or a twitter, a tweet, or a text message!
 
The "Cross Border" went on all the time! Maybe not so much on US - MEXICO, which was something of a "promo" throwaway claim. There existed  
substantial volumes on US - CANADA routes. Look it up!
 
Jerry, agree there is little reason to think 14S/ Cars ever deployed on US - MEXICO assignments. Timetable Notes, Many Thanks to Eric Bowen,  
provide precise assignments. AFAIK, the 14S/ types simply T & P/ MOPAC EAGLE "POOL" Cars...
 
............................Vern.......................  

 
 
Eric is a really good guy. He came up this way a year or two ago (taking nephew to ride the Texas State Railroad) and we had BBQ before they went on to Rusk. His Streamliners site is a wonderful resource.


« Last Edit: Dec 1st, 2012, 3:59pm by ClydeDET » Logged
HwyHaulier
Historian
Posts: 3434
Re: Pullmans to Mexico
 
« Reply #12 on: Dec 2nd, 2012, 7:50am »
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HFM - All -  
 
By now, of course, it is likely impossible to see the everyday documents which detailed daily PULLMAN operations. That is, the myriad,  
hand prepared Car records, which recorded daily reservations and ticket sales for each passenger.
 
In my aging bones, I have this feeling the Thru Cars, New York - Texas/ Mexico (B & O and PRR origins) were not quite what they seemed.  
The MEXICO thru runs are suspect. The arrangement may have been more ornamental, and served for good publicity values...
 
PULLMAN was very good at working to fill all space. With the "MEXICO" Cars, ex New York (PRR), what probably actually happened:  
A Bedroom booked for (ex.) New York - Indianapolis, then, Indianapolis - San Antonio, and last leg, San Antonio - Mexico. Yes, a Thru Car  
to Mexico could be advertised. It does not support there were many riders, who rode New York - Mexico City...
 
.........................Vern....................


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HARRY FOSTER MALONE ESQ
Former Member
Re: Pullmans to Mexico
 
« Reply #13 on: Dec 2nd, 2012, 10:38am »
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Vern:
 
Makes good sense to me!
 
IMHO, to be perfectly honest, I cannot see much of a market for Pullman customers heading to Mexico, most especially from the New York area.
 
Be that as it may, PULLMAN, of course, was a massive operation, back in the day.
 
When one thinks of just how much paperwork was involved, in the days before computerized reservations, etc., this was quite an undertaking!
 
One telling photo (1940's) in Middleton's "MANHATTAN GATEWAY" shows a number of well-dressed gals clustered around an intriguing Rube Goldberg-like contraption known as a "Wassell Unit".
 
This fearsome-looking machine at Penn Station consisted of a rotating reservation board with nine revolving drums, that provided nearly 44,000 peg holes into which colored markers could be inserted, to indicate the reservation status if space on many cars for the next 90 days.
 
Placard mounted above machine reads:
 
UNIT 6
----------
 
SLEEPERS TO:
 
BALTIMORE
 
WASHINGTON
 
CAPE CHARLES
 
EMPORIUM
 
OIL CITY
 
PITTSBURGH
 
This had to be something to see in action!
 
"H.F.M."


« Last Edit: Dec 2nd, 2012, 10:39am by NH_FL9_2017 » Logged
HwyHaulier
Historian
Posts: 3434
Re: Pullmans to Mexico
 
« Reply #14 on: Dec 2nd, 2012, 11:04am »
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HFM - All -  
 
"Wassell Unit"? It was all perfectly insane, yes?
 
Little wonder railroads, airlines, hotels, and so on constantly on the search for a better way to do the Reservations and Seat Assignment functions!  
The "Old Days" of hand posting these files had to need huge amounts of labor. So did Car Accounting, for that matter..
 
.........................Vern...................
 


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HARRY FOSTER MALONE ESQ
Former Member
Re: Pullmans to Mexico
 
« Reply #15 on: Dec 2nd, 2012, 11:19am »
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Vern:
 
Indeed!
 
One could easily imagine hearing the famed "Powerhouse" music heard in so many of the postwar Looney Tunes cartoons, as the gals worked at a frenzied pace, trying to tame that fearsome beast known as the "Wassell Unit"!<G>
 
Then, of course, was that hideous futuristic clamshell which took root in Penn Station in 1958 (it wouldn't have looked at all out of place in the futuristic 1962 TWA terminal out at Idlewild!<G>)
 
Turns out that, despite the PRR's optimisim, this glowing, globular facility was both a financial and aesthetic disaster.
 
It was built to speed up and steamline the process of reserving space and buying tickets(!!)
 
Yes, your humble writer well recalls this "alien invader", as a wee lad, many eons ago!
 
With a whopping 2 million pricetag, it was deemed a futuristic marvel in the pre-computer age.
 
It boasted the largest closed-circuit television system to that date (107 camera and 100 recievers), plus automatic writing machines, fascimile reproduction devices, and mechanical ticket printers.
 
Automated "rolling desks" further added to the Jetsonlike-aura, used by clerks to file space coupons.
 
Alas!
 
This didn't boost Pullman (or coach) business in the least........shudda left well enough alone......
 
"H.F.M."


« Last Edit: Dec 2nd, 2012, 11:22am by NH_FL9_2017 » Logged
HARRY FOSTER MALONE ESQ
Former Member
Re: Pullmans to Mexico
 
« Reply #16 on: Dec 2nd, 2012, 11:34am »
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Returning to the scene of the crime.....<G>
 
(Also, some OUTSTANDING historical photos here as well; yep, PULLMAN business was indeed booming, back in the day!)
 
http://archpaper.com/news/articles.asp?id=5247


« Last Edit: Dec 2nd, 2012, 11:36am by NH_FL9_2017 » Logged
HwyHaulier
Historian
Posts: 3434
Re: Pullmans to Mexico
 
« Reply #17 on: Dec 2nd, 2012, 11:40am »
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HFM - All -  
 
The PRR Station ticketing and reservations upgrade. Who to say it a "...financial... disaster"? You have sources to back that up?  
No, breathless judgments and opinions from rail fans don't get it. The "Accounting Dept." view of it likely a lot different.
 
A fair appraisal in that the installation likely saved huge sums in labor savings efficiencies. Recall, computer applications of the time  
were the classic "punch card" input files, feeding a computer. It worked, and there were very large numbers of similar technology in  
use by public utility companies. It a "retail billing" function...
 
The underlying, increasingly severe declines in ridership? Ticketing improvements could not fix it.
 
..........................Vern......................


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HARRY FOSTER MALONE ESQ
Former Member
Re: Pullmans to Mexico
 
« Reply #18 on: Dec 2nd, 2012, 11:55am »
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Vern:
 
This observation came from Middleton's "MANHATTAN GATEWAY"; actually, mentioned more than once, here.
 
The NEW YORKER's Lewis Mumford spike thusly:
 
".......a masterpiece of architectural and visual incongruity......"
 
The NEW YORK TIMES:  
 
".......a flying saucer out of control......"
 
Middleton further comments:
 
"........it blocked the principle entrance to the concourse, forcing passengers to take a more circutous route around either end of the counter. Both waiting rooms were unsurped for the ranks of reservation clerks, to be replaced with benches in the concourse. Besides that, the new facility didn't work at all very well....."
 
However, you are quite right.....even the most modern facilities were of no help to an ailing industry about to be dealt the death knell......
 
"H.F.M."
 


« Last Edit: Dec 2nd, 2012, 11:58am by NH_FL9_2017 » Logged
HwyHaulier
Historian
Posts: 3434
Re: Pullmans to Mexico
 
« Reply #19 on: Dec 2nd, 2012, 3:14pm »
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HFM - All -
 
Agreed! Let us not wander from the KEYSTONE TRAIL. Industry wide issues were not specifically that of the PENN. So far, we have  
covered particular connecting services, as part of PRR "package".
 
Now then, with Middleton, Diehl, et. al.? We see statements of perceptions, most complain the "new" Ticketing ugly. Not a word  
about how much operating expense it saved. PRR did not invest the funds, if it didn't have persuasive "ROI" (Return On Investment)  
calculus.
 
Also, well to recall the re-model contemporary with PRR interest in its Budd built KEYSTONE Train concept. Those in touch with  
the PRR folks knew the internal chatter this something of a "last stand" for any more "fresh money" into Passenger services. The  
rest is history.
 
BTW. On daily rider count thru Manhattan. Run the numbers, and the overwhelming presence that of fairly short average length of  
haul trips. This very much sensitive to automobile diversion. Also, that much business travel becoming more a suburb to suburb  
phenomena. The City Center to City Center traditional services did not fit the mix well.
 
Too, the new Ticketing arrangement also hit about coincident with introduction of Coast to Coast jet air services. Most railroaders  
likely had bad feelings about it...
 
..........................Vern.......................


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