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Nostalgia & History > Maroon Monday: Those Weird Commuter Coaches


Date: 09/08/14 16:14
Maroon Monday: Those Weird Commuter Coaches
Author: MartyBernard

These were Rock Island's light weight Pullman Standard commuter coaches. The closest one in the photograph is #2709 in the no longer existing small coach yard at Joliet Union Station on Augiust 23, 1964. Looking at it you can see it is a step in the evolution of the Pullman Standard SP, CRI&P, and CNW gallery (bi-level) cars. Anyone wishing more information on Pullman Standard passenger cars may want to look at: http://www.american-rails.com/pullman-standard.html

On the adjacent track is a standard Pullman Standard coach built in the early part of the century.

Is that pipe that curves around the diaphragm a steam vent? Did the cars have air conditioning? Below the floor between the doors is enough equipment for A/C, batteries, and a generator.



There is a Rock Island herald visible,
So it is a Maroon Monday,
Enjoy these weird cars,
Marty Bernard



Edited 4 time(s). Last edit at 09/08/14 16:50 by MartyBernard.




Date: 09/08/14 16:38
Re: Maroon Monday: Those Weird Commuter Coaches
Author: wabash2800

I take it they were not double-deck?



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/08/14 19:01 by wabash2800.



Date: 09/08/14 16:40
Re: Maroon Monday: Those Weird Commuter Coaches
Author: The_Chief_Way

those cars were known as "a.c." cars because they did have a/c
no, they were not double deck
that pipe at the end of the car appears to be an exhaust for the generator



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 09/08/14 16:42 by The_Chief_Way.



Date: 09/08/14 16:53
Re: Maroon Monday: Those Weird Commuter Coaches
Author: ghemr

Are any of these in a museum?



Date: 09/08/14 16:56
Re: Maroon Monday: Those Weird Commuter Coaches
Author: Bob3985

When I worked the Rock commuter pool these cars were painted Henry Crown yellow and red and worked the Blue Island suburban line into the city. Joliet had the two track storage yard for the commuter coaches and another storage track down below the elevation. I only worked the old coaches a time or two out of there. Most of my time during my 72-76 career on the Rock was spent in the double deck air conditioned coaches.

Bob Krieger
Cheyenne, WY



Date: 09/08/14 16:56
Re: Maroon Monday: Those Weird Commuter Coaches
Author: EmpireBuilder

That pipe is the exhaust for the Generator / Ice Engine. Looks like a standard P/S coach with no end vestibule and 4 funky step units installed while maintaining a standard center sill. Remove the steps, fill the holes and it would be a standard Pullman Standard built car and you couldn't tell what it started as.

Edit - I know these were built like this, I'm commenting on the use of a standard carbody design being adapted.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/08/14 16:58 by EmpireBuilder.



Date: 09/08/14 17:10
Re: Maroon Monday: Those Weird Commuter Coaches
Author: Topfuel

It looks like these cars had Waukesha diesel generators, which were not nearly as common as the familiar Waukesha propane-fueled generators, or "Enginators".



Date: 09/08/14 18:13
Re: Maroon Monday: Those Weird Commuter Coaches
Author: wabash2800

Low platform cars?



Date: 09/08/14 18:29
Re: Maroon Monday: Those Weird Commuter Coaches
Author: czephyr17

wabash2800 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Low platform cars?

Yes, same as the double decker cars. All the commuter lines in the Chicago area had/have low platforms, except for the former IC electric district.



Date: 09/08/14 18:54
Re: Maroon Monday: Those Weird Commuter Coaches
Author: Nictd1000

CSX_ENG Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Are any of these in a museum?

Not that I'm aware of. One of these cars just appeared for sale at Ozark Mountain railcar. Would love to see it head somewhere safe.

Ryan

Posted from iPhone



Date: 09/09/14 05:52
Re: Maroon Monday: Those Weird Commuter Coaches
Author: twin_star_rocket

These cars had a lower floor height than standard. If you saw one coupled to a standard coach, you'd see the windows were much lower.

Brian Ehni



Date: 09/09/14 06:15
Re: Maroon Monday: Those Weird Commuter Coaches
Author: Englewood

I believe they were not built with air conditioning.

The Jan. 1965 "Rocket" mentions that:
"eight of the familiar low-step cars are being completely
refurbished and air conditioned. Twelve cars of the type
are already air conditioned. Interiors will get completely
new paint jobs, seats will be recovered with green vinyl
and window sills will be covered with heavy duty formica"

I may be wrong but I recall that the generators for the A/C
were "trainlined" so that if the unit on one car went down, the
others would pick up the slack.

On heavy travel days these cars would be used on the Peoria trains.

Since the Rock was part owner of LaSalle St. Station they did not
have to worry about wheelage charges. I have heard that such charges
at CUS may have influenced the Q and MILW in going to bilevel equipment
which gave shorter train consists while maintaining seat counts.

On a sad note, the only employee fatality in the Chicago area that
I remember during my time at the RI involved one of these cars.
During one of the brutal winters in the late 1970's a trainman fell
to his death while attempting to close a stuck side door on a moving
train between Gresham and Englewood. There was no vestibule so an
open door allowed outside air directly into the car interior.



Date: 09/09/14 06:22
Re: Maroon Monday: Those Weird Commuter Coaches
Author: zr190

They were also occasionally used out to
Des Moines on No 5 & 6.
zr190



Date: 09/09/14 06:49
Re: Maroon Monday: Those Weird Commuter Coaches
Author: rrhistorian

Here's a link for those of you interested in additional information on these cars, and the story of an unlikely survivor that remains endangered -

http://www.rypn.org/forums/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=36838

I did not know that these cars were used to Des Moines. Was this a seasonal assignment?



Date: 09/09/14 10:58
Re: Maroon Monday: Those Weird Commuter Coaches
Author: zr190

In the mid 60's when I often saw No. 6
at Newton, Ia I think they were probably used as
overflow cars on weekends. Usually 6 had a single coach.
zr190



Date: 09/09/14 16:32
Re: Maroon Monday: Those Weird Commuter Coaches
Author: NebraskaZephyr

Nictd1000 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> CSX_ENG Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> > Are any of these in a museum?
>
> Not that I'm aware of. One of these cars just
> appeared for sale at Ozark Mountain railcar. Would
> love to see it head somewhere safe.
>
> Ryan

I have received several off-list inquiries whether IRM is interested in this car. The flip answer is to say "sure, we're interested in anything", but times have changed and all Museums, not just IRM, must carefully weigh each new acquisition against what resources can be dedicated to it.

Right off the bat, having to BUY the car at some price that assures all involved a profit, rather than receive it as a donation, is a major obstacle. Then it must be transported by truck or flatcar, as no railroad is going to accept this car moving on its own wheels. Then there is the cost of building the required track for the car to sit on...this "track space" charge has become standard procedure at IRM and other Museums in order to properly account for the costs involved in acquiring yet another homeless train for our *no-kill shelter*.

That pretty much covers the costs of a car destined for static display, but what about returning it to operation?

I don't know if any of the interior remains in this car, I kind of doubt it, so there's more $$ that must be spent to make the car useable. Additionally, one of the reasons these cars were withdrawn from service earlier than the 2500-series "Al Capone" coaches was due to severe corrosion of the underframe. We have to figure at least some corrosion damage has occurred and must be repaired before the car can be safely operated.

Now balance all that against the fact that IRM already owns nine and operates five of the RI "Al Capone" cars, which some would argue is an adequate representation of Rock Island suburban service when weighed against the rest of the passenger car fleet.

Lastly, what else could be accomplished around the property with the money you would spend on the project?

None of this means it can't happen...many projects get done because members and friends vote with their dollars, earmarking funds for specific pieces of equipment. Vote with your wallet if you want to see this car saved:

Illinois Railway Museum
P.O. Box 427
Union, IL 60180-0427

You can specify your donation be held for the RI 2702 and if it ultimately isn't acquired you can ask for a refund or designate another project, piece of equipment or department it be redirected to.

Rest assured the board and management of IRM are indeed aware of this car. That doesn't necessarily mean they will or won't choose to save it, but I'm confident it will be given fair consideration based on the above factors.

Sorry if this sounds a bit harsh but reality can be like that sometimes.

NZ
Former IRM Board Member



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