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Double-deckers/bilevels
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   Author  Topic: Double-deckers/bilevels  (Read 834 times)
L. F. LOREE 1403
Former Member
Re: Double-deckers/bilevels
 
« Reply #80 on: Nov 9th, 2015, 3:25pm »
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Speaking of bilevels/double-deck rail cars.......
 
My latest eBay purchase just arrived earlier; this is a very rare Japanese toy tinplate MU car, obviously made to run on track.
 
It seems to date from the late 50's/early 60's, is painted orange and blue and is lettered, oddly enough, "SUNSHINE".
 
Motorman's windows and a cab area are at each end; it would have been interesting to see what this unusual tinplate rail car looked like with its complete set!
 
Interestingly, I can see some resemble (at the cab ends) to the IC "HighLiners" that debuted many years after this neat little toy was manufactured!
 
Thought it would be fun and "on topic" to post this here......
 
 
 
"L.F.L."


« Last Edit: Nov 9th, 2015, 3:26pm by CLASSB » Logged
George_Harris
Historian
Posts: 3819
Re: Double-deckers/bilevels
 
« Reply #81 on: Nov 9th, 2015, 8:56pm »
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Quote:
 Clyde said:  
Now, of course, in most of the US at least, build roads instead of (sadly)  
railroads... BUT places that haven't had rail transit for many years are restoring that mode (Dallas Area Rapid Transit, Houston Metro, others).

 
on Nov 9th, 2015, 2:27pm, L. F. LOREE 1403 wrote:       (Click here for original message)
Clyde:
 
In far too many places where proposals and studies are making the news for the revival of commuter rail service, there is no longer any place to put new rails.
 
Too, a number of formerly busy ROW's are now either hiking/biking trails, or, in many cases, totally obliterated altogether, with the building of new residential/commercial areas, and, of course, new highways.
. . . .
 
Nearly 10 years ago, revived passenger service on the former DL&W/E-L between Hoboken and Scranton was to have been up and running, serving Pocono-area commuters to New York.
 
Ten years later, outside of the usual studies, hearings, and station location surveys, nothing further has been done.
 
Once again, yet again, we are being reminded of the many drawbacks of living in a rampant "throw-away society", especially when it comes to passenger rail revival......
 
"L.F.L."

A couple of thoughts on the above:  In 1986-87 I was in Dallas working as part of the initial study for DART.  The thing was killed politically in 1987.  There were numerous reasons sufficient in nature and scope for everybody involved to have a share.  
 
But now:  Most of the lines we put on the map as desirable rail lines are now built plus some others.  There are some notable differences.  The concept in 86-87 was to be 100% grade separated.  Also, the line was to be in subway under Pacific Avenue.  One of the arguments for being at street level in it was greater visibility.  Whether it was that or cost that won the day, I have no idea.  I do know that cost was a main reason for going to grade level in much of the rest of the system, as that was already being pushed for the lesser volume roads in the 86-87 time frame.
 
As to the right of way availability getting lost:  One major factor in many railroad right of ways is that the railroad does not own the land outright.  They only have an easement to build and operate a railroad and their ownership is extinguished with the demise of the railroad.  This was an issue with one of the proposed DART routes, and maybe some of the others where the railroad was in place but out of use.  In order to keep DART from losing the ability to use these right of ways the state legislature had to pass a law stating that a rail transit system was to be construed as being a railroad for land easement purposes.  Otherwise, DART would have had to find the owners of the underlying land and buy the right of way piece by piece.
 
By the way, and Clyde should know this far better than me:  When buying land that has easements for any purpose involved, carefully watch the wording.  If it says "subject to" you should be all right, but if the wording is such that it can be taken that the land to which the easement applies is not being conveyed you can find yourself having a piece of property that you don't really own.  (As a parenthetical thought:  I know someone who bought some land from the heirs of the owner of many years standing, and rather than each of the heirs conveying "all my interest" the deed was written that each conveyed "my one-eighth interest", the catch being that one of these eight was no longer among the living so his part was not conveyed.  Since he died intestate and the remaining seven were his only heirs by law, if the deed had been written with less precision all would have ultimately been well.  Instead there is this mysterious one-eighth fraction still floating around out there.


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L. F. LOREE 1403
Former Member
Re: Double-deckers/bilevels
 
« Reply #82 on: Nov 9th, 2015, 9:42pm »
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George:
 
Allow me to thank you for an excellent, well-written "editorial", certainly more than worthy of posting in this topic!
 
Your mentioning about railroads not owning outright the land on which they operate brings to mind the sprawling freight and passenger facilities/yards operated by the E-L and the CNJ in Hoboken and Jersey City, during the 1960's.
 
Taxes indeed had to be staggering for these two financially shaky roads; the E-L had massive yards in two municipalities (Hoboken and Jersey City), and the CNJ's extensive passenger and freight facilities in Jersey City, coupled with the ever-mounting deficits related to the operations of commuter ferries and lighterage (tugs/carfloats/lighters), indeed made for less-than-rosy financial picture.
 
The E-L was then also experiencing the same debt-mounting rail/marine operations as well.
 
Much of the former CNJ main through Bayonne and into Jersey City is now utilized by the HBLR; while it might not be the once-busy, multi-track corridor where posh B&O varnish once rubbed shoulders with CNJ and RDG trains, this former Class One ROW as at least providing an important rail link through Hudson County, from Bayonne to North Bergen (the northern limits of the HBLR utilizes, in part, the old NYC West Shore line)
 
Then, as now, taxes, finances, subsidies, and ever-changing demographics play a tremendous role in passenger rail transport.
 
It will indeed be interesting to see what further developments/projects come to see the light of day in coming years....
 
"L.F.L."


« Last Edit: Nov 10th, 2015, 1:04am by CLASSB » Logged
ClydeDET
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Posts: 4793
Re: Double-deckers/bilevels
 
« Reply #83 on: Nov 10th, 2015, 10:00pm »
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on Nov 9th, 2015, 8:56pm, George_Harris wrote:       (Click here for original message)

 
A couple of thoughts on the above:  In 1986-87 I was in Dallas working as part of the initial study for DART.  The thing was killed politically in 1987.  There were numerous reasons sufficient in nature and scope for everybody involved to have a share.  
 
But now:  Most of the lines we put on the map as desirable rail lines are now built plus some others.  There are some notable differences.  The concept in 86-87 was to be 100% grade separated.  Also, the line was to be in subway under Pacific Avenue.  One of the arguments for being at street level in it was greater visibility.  Whether it was that or cost that won the day, I have no idea.  I do know that cost was a main reason for going to grade level in much of the rest of the system, as that was already being pushed for the lesser volume roads in the 86-87 time frame.
 
As to the right of way availability getting lost:  One major factor in many railroad right of ways is that the railroad does not own the land outright.  They only have an easement to build and operate a railroad and their ownership is extinguished with the demise of the railroad.  This was an issue with one of the proposed DART routes, and maybe some of the others where the railroad was in place but out of use.  In order to keep DART from losing the ability to use these right of ways the state legislature had to pass a law stating that a rail transit system was to be construed as being a railroad for land easement purposes.  Otherwise, DART would have had to find the owners of the underlying land and buy the right of way piece by piece.
 
By the way, and Clyde should know this far better than me:  When buying land that has easements for any purpose involved, carefully watch the wording.  If it says "subject to" you should be all right, but if the wording is such that it can be taken that the land to which the easement applies is not being conveyed you can find yourself having a piece of property that you don't really own.  (As a parenthetical thought:  I know someone who bought some land from the heirs of the owner of many years standing, and rather than each of the heirs conveying "all my interest" the deed was written that each conveyed "my one-eighth interest", the catch being that one of these eight was no longer among the living so his part was not conveyed.  Since he died intestate and the remaining seven were his only heirs by law, if the deed had been written with less precision all would have ultimately been well.  Instead there is this mysterious one-eighth fraction still floating around out there.

 
Easements and conditional conveyances can cause  lawyers much grief. Also purchasors, yes indeed.
 
Fort Worth had a library downtown, conveyed for that purpose with a reversion. }Panther City built a new library and built a city of county office building on the old library land (or remodeled it - no longer recall). Heirs sought reversion because the property wasn't a library any longer. Cowtown had to buy it in fee simple, at current prices. Not happy.


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George_Harris
Historian
Posts: 3819
Re: Double-deckers/bilevels
 
« Reply #84 on: Nov 11th, 2015, 12:36am »
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And to bring these land thoughts back to railroads:  A considerable mileage of the early line railroad rights of way in Tennessee are on Charter right of ways.  These are easements.  In year one of my career in railroad engineering I was a Junior Engineer with the L&N, which meant that we were essentially a survey crew that went out and did anything in the way of new track layout or work on track that could not be adequately lined out with the foreman's eye, and these guys were amazingly good with their "calibrated eyeballs"
 
On one occasion we were out doing something on the southern part of the N&D when the owner of the adjacent land came out to complain about the railroad occupying part of his land.  Now picture this:  The N&D charter went back to somewhere around 1850, and this was in 1968, so he was still eyeing land under an easement that had been granted over 100 years previously, and all parties involved had long since departed the land of the living.
 
N&D stood for Nashville and Decatur, with Decatur being Decatur, Alabama and the railroad did exactly that.  
 
The Tennessee version of the railroad charter was defined as being land necessary for construction and operation of the railroad up to 100 feet each side of the centerline of the track.  Usually the fences were much closer than 100 feet from the track center.  I was told that over the years various legal actions had resulted in the understanding that the railroad had an essentially absolute right to use of the land within 30 feet of the track centerline and permission to do work in the remaining width only as necessary for the railroad to function, with the grantor of the easement or subsequent landowners being permitted to use all that land otherwise.  As to buildings in that area, I can't say.  
 
The N&D was for the most part a fairly quiet piece of railroad as a more direct line, referred to as the Lewisburg Division had been built in the early 1900's, between Brentwood TN (just south of Nashville) and North Athens AL.  When seeing train average speeds between Nashville and Decatur AL or Nashville and Birmingham, understand that they are not quite as good as they sound as the through mileage distance given is via the N&D which is around 3 miles longer than the LD.
 
While talking about land, finding who owned what in the realm of old railroads or anything else old in many parts of Alabama could really be difficult as the Yankee rape, pillage, and burn activities as they made their way through much of the south destroyed numerous courthouses along with all records in them.


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Norm_Anderson
Historian
Posts: 1726
Re: Double-deckers/bilevels
  obsvcar517.jpg - 79870 Bytes
« Reply #85 on: Nov 17th, 2015, 1:15am »
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Since we're talking about bi-level cars, I thought I'd throw in this photo I found on the Web of an early model "bi-level" . . .
 
We all grew up hearing about Cyrus Osborn's epiphany in Glenwood Canyon, and he deserves the recognition he has received for his efforts in selling the "Vista-Dome" concept to the railroads; but forty years earlier, while Mr. Osborn was still in grade school, passengers in Canada were being treated to Vista-Dome-type views through the Canadian Rockies.  These cars (I believe there were four in all) may have served as alternates to the open gondola-type cars that ran during the summer months.  I am presuming that access to the "Domes" was probably by ladder, the way freight crews accessed the cupola in a caboose.  As someone who has had the privilege of visiting Banff and Lake Louise, I regard the development of both "domed" and open-top cars as a no-brainer.
 
Here- from about 1905 or so, is one of these wooden gems, against a backdrop of scenery that needs no words . . .
 
 
Regards,
 
Norm


http://Forums.Railfan.net/Images/RollingStock/obsvcar517.jpg
Click Image to Resize

« Last Edit: Nov 17th, 2015, 1:16am by Norm_Anderson » Logged
L. F. LOREE 1403
Former Member
Re: Double-deckers/bilevels
 
« Reply #86 on: Nov 17th, 2015, 10:19am »
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Gentlemen:
 
Please allow me at this time to say "THANK YOU" to all of you who have contributed to this thread; you have all shared so much of great interest and value, and have helped to make this discussion one that is truly fascinating and most enjoyable!
 
Thanks again!
 
"L.F.L."


« Last Edit: Nov 17th, 2015, 10:58am by CLASSB » Logged
L. F. LOREE 1403
Former Member
Re: Double-deckers/bilevels
 
« Reply #87 on: Nov 17th, 2015, 10:22am »
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"UNIQUE BUS OF FUTURE TO DUPLICATE SPEEDS OF RAILROADS"
 
This wonderful historical page will show that "bi levels" weren't ONLY confined to the rails, back in the day.....(!!)  
 
http://olyblog.net/crazy-bi-level-buses-north-coast-lines
 
(courtesy: olyblog.net)


« Last Edit: Nov 17th, 2015, 10:24am by CLASSB » Logged
L. F. LOREE 1403
Former Member
Re: Double-deckers/bilevels
 
« Reply #88 on: Nov 17th, 2015, 10:47am »
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Outside of bus historians/enthusiasts, many do not know that, many decades ago, the Santa Fe once operated buses, both in train-connection service and also (until WW2) overnight sleeper coaches.
 
On this page you will find photos and advertisements for the SF's bi-level NITE COACHES" of the 1930's; SF began overnight sleeper coach service in 1935, using the massive "PICKWICK NITE COACHES"; this unique service ended when WW2 began, and was never re-instated......
 
http://www.coachbuilt.com/bui/c/columbia_coach/columbia_coach.htm
 
(courtesy: coachbuilt)


« Last Edit: Nov 17th, 2015, 1:56pm by CLASSB » Logged
L. F. LOREE 1403
Former Member
Re: Double-deckers/bilevels
 
« Reply #89 on: Nov 17th, 2015, 10:55am »
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WW2-era SF TRAILWAYS ad:
 
"Take The Plywood Bus And Help The Boys Overseas!"
 
Built in SF's Wichita shops, this bilevel "tractor bus" (aka the "VICTORY LINER"), built mostly of plywood, seating 117 passengers, and was used to transport workers to war plants.....
 
http://blog.hemmings.com/index.php/tag/santa-fe-trailways
 
(courtesy: hemmings)


« Last Edit: Nov 17th, 2015, 12:53pm by CLASSB » Logged
L. F. LOREE 1403
Former Member
Re: Double-deckers/bilevels
 
« Reply #90 on: Nov 17th, 2015, 12:47pm »
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More rare photos of Santa Fe's unique "VICTORY LINER"......
 
http://www.thepetrolstop.com/2013/02/sante-fe-trailways-victory-liner.html
 
(courtesy: PETROL STOP)


« Last Edit: Nov 17th, 2015, 12:52pm by CLASSB » Logged
Norm_Anderson
Historian
Posts: 1726
Re: Double-deckers/bilevels
 
« Reply #91 on: Nov 21st, 2015, 11:51pm »
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LFL, even though I made a career as a bus driver, I sure don't know much about motor coach history . . .
 
I had not known, until I saw your posts, about Santa Fe's Sleeper Coach service, much less that plywood "Victory-Liner"!!
 
I do remember a 1948 AT&SF public timetable (alas, no longer in my posession) that listed the "Santa Fe Trailways" bus schedules right along with the train schedules for its lines.
 
I was intrigued by how much the cutaway of that "Nite Coach" resembled a rather more cramped version of an open-Section Sleeper.  I suspect they felt the public would be reassured by familiar visuals.  I seem to recall seeing a picture in a book (The Streamline Era, perhaps?) of a de-luxe Motor Coach that even had a miniature brass-railed platform, complete with awning, over the rear bumper!
 
When I was a teen in the '60s, I recall Continental Trailways' Golden Eagle service (New York - Los Angeles, and Los Angeles - Seattle were the routes I recall).  I never got to ride them, but I remember how I wished I could have.
 
I also never knew that double-deck intercity coaches had been around for so long-- again, until I saw your post, I had assumed that the 1954 Super Scenicruiser was a groundbreaking design.
 
I suspect the end of Santa Fe Trailways (and their air-freight venture, as well), was due to anti-trust concerns?  I'd love to hear Vern's and Clyde's thoughts on this . . .
 
Again, as always, thanks for your research and for posting what you find.
 
 
Regards,
 
Norm


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ClydeDET
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Re: Double-deckers/bilevels
 
« Reply #92 on: Jan 31st, 2016, 6:30pm »
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Yes, there were Federal objections under anti-trust laws to railroads owning and operating truck lines, bus lines and airlines. Freight-forwarding and ownership of trailers (especially for TOFC service0 seem to have been OK.

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George_Harris
Historian
Posts: 3819
Re: Double-deckers/bilevels
 
« Reply #93 on: Feb 1st, 2016, 12:50am »
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Gulf Transport!!!
 
Gulf Transport was the bus arm of the Gulf Mobile and Ohio Railroad.  They essentially paralleled all the lines of the GM&O south of St. Louis.  Where they served points also served by Greyhound they used Greyhound's stations.  At this late time, I cannot tell you a lot about them, however, they were generally good and reliable, and served many places otherwise inaccessible.  GM&O ended all their rail passenger service south of St. Louis in 1953, but from what I have heard there was not that much objections because for the most part the busses were there and as fast.  Remember, GM&O had no signals on any of its southern lines other that between Jackson TN and Corinth MS where the ICRR had rights that included operation of the City of Miami.  There the speed limit was 70P/40F where most of their southern system otherwise was 59P/40F or less.
 
I do know that the Gulf Transport operated almost everywhere the GM&O went and was still going that way as late as 1973, because at that point I was a customer.  Wife and I got married in Pensacola in February of that year.  Spent the first night there.  The next day we were along with the taking my parents and grandparents to Mobile where they caught a flight on Southern Airlines (remember the regional airline system?) back to Memphis.  Newly minted wife and I caught a Gulf Transport bus to Hattiesburg.  Spent night there.  Caught the Crescent next morning back to Washington DC where we were both working at the time.  Bedroom in sleeper of course.  If I had even suggested coach it would have been over right there.  That was beautiful.  Bedroom with lower berth under the window.  Beautiful near full moon over the hills/mountains of Western North Carolina.  Got to DC, got off and it was about 25 degrees, that after getting on the train in Mississippi with a temperature of 60 degrees in Hattiesburg.
 
Yes, we started our honeymoon trip on a bus, and I lived to tell about it.


« Last Edit: Feb 1st, 2016, 12:52am by George_Harris » Logged
ClydeDET
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Posts: 4793
Re: Double-deckers/bilevels
 
« Reply #94 on: Feb 1st, 2016, 3:17pm »
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Hah - Carlie and I were married in August, 1974, and wish we'd been able to take even a part of the honeymoon in a bedroom in a sleeper. Ah well, next year did take on to Chicago, great trip. And styed in the Drake during the week in Chicago (I was going to the Persecutor's Short Course at Northwestern, courtesy of uncle Sam).

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