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Nostalgia & History > Wonder what the orders really said?


Date: 03/15/19 03:25
Wonder what the orders really said?
Author: Roadjob

One of the most interesting aspects of the Western Maryland's demise, was what to do with the old carry over Alphabet Route trains that used several roads to offer competition to Conrail and Chessie in the Chicago/New York market. To be sure, as noted in other threads I have posted about N&W on Chessie, it was on borrowed time from the beginning. No doubt baby blue emerging Conrail felt the same, and I'm positive the loss of a friendly connection at Hagerston and east was no better than the run to Cumberland. Forwarding its competition was not in Chessie's operating plan, that was clear. But for the fan, it offered a breather from the ever growing fleet of Chessie GP40-2s in their Crayola gone made color scheme. N&W fought the good fight to keep the lane open, but in the end, the D&H property to the north offered a much less hostile environment to its traffic, and the Roanoke juggarnaut pulled its trains off the line for friendlier turf. This shot from late 70s shows eastbound DJ 12 getting instructions for how Chessie could delay it in Cumberland for as long as possible. Scene is at Baltimore Street. It was probably a note telling them to turn around!

Bill Rettberg
Bel Air, MD




Date: 03/15/19 05:04
Re: Wonder what the orders really said?
Author: refarkas

Handing up orders, human interest, foreign power for the line, and a signal - Excellent photo.
Bob
 



Date: 03/15/19 05:37
Re: Wonder what the orders really said?
Author: CNW8531

That's a classic shot all the way around!



Date: 03/15/19 06:24
Re: Wonder what the orders really said?
Author: bobk

Awesome shot!



Date: 03/15/19 06:30
Re: Wonder what the orders really said?
Author: CSX602

Nice photo....  but do you have any color photos of the Chessie trains that preceded and followed?

Roadjob Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> it offered a breather from the ever growing fleet of Chessie
> GP40-2s in their Crayola gone made color scheme.

The Chessie paint scheme was one of the most popular schemes ever, but I can understand how those who shot black and white film might have found it less suitable for their photographs than the colorless N&W schemes. 
 



Date: 03/15/19 07:59
Re: Wonder what the orders really said?
Author: Theowhitey

CSX602 Wrote:
> The Chessie paint scheme was one of the most
> popular schemes ever

Popular? Maybe in hindsight. But at the time...hardly...at least not in Maryland.
-Ted



Date: 03/15/19 08:23
Re: Wonder what the orders really said?
Author: photobob

A perfect grabbing orders shot. The onlookers just ad to it.

Robert Morris
Dunsmuir, CA
Robert Morris Photography



Date: 03/15/19 08:29
Re: Wonder what the orders really said?
Author: Roadjob

Every B&O fan that I came into contact with absolutely detested the Chessie paint scheme, me included, though I get it if you became a fan after the Chessie takeover. I remember exactly where I was in 1972 when I first saw the "new" scheme. I was standing at Greene Jct. on the east end of Connellsville yard.The crew coming on duty was actually boarding here rather than at the yard itself.Some fans and other railroaders had congregated at the tower to see the first eastbound with the brand new GP40-2s in the new scheme. The train was the Baltimoreon as I recall. When the train came into view, as it got closer, there was some mumbling, and as it got closer, some cursing and laughter. When it stopped, just head shaking and a general WTF opinion.One crewman remarked that he left his clown suit and horn at home. That is not where the name circus wagons orginated, but whoever coined it, it stuck with fans and employees alike.

Bill Rettberg
Bel Air, MD



Date: 03/15/19 09:57
Re: Wonder what the orders really said?
Author: RFandPFan

Bill, your photos are great.  Thank you for sharing them!



Date: 03/15/19 11:04
Re: Wonder what the orders really said?
Author: ChrisCampi

Great photo, awesome story.



Date: 03/15/19 13:34
Re: Wonder what the orders really said?
Author: perklocal

Classic shot at Baltimore Street. I always looked forward to seeing AJ-1 and DJ-12 as well as the N&W Grain Trains at this time. Thanks Bill !



Date: 03/15/19 18:29
Re: Wonder what the orders really said?
Author: chakk

With regard to the thread title and intent, maybe the train order read:

ALL WESTWARD TRAINS HAVE RIGHT OVER EXTRA NW 1779 EAST MARTINSBURG TO CUMBERLAND

DFM

<works for me  :^) >



Date: 03/15/19 18:54
Re: Wonder what the orders really said?
Author: CSX602

Roadjob Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Every B&O fan that I came into contact with
> absolutely detested the Chessie paint scheme, 

The vanquished always despise the victor...    Chessie was obviously from C&O origin, and thought to be the end of B&O.

B&O and WM fans just didn't like Chessie because it had replaced the boring B&O blue and the true "clown" scheme - WM "Circus" colors (which had replaced the WM black scheme)...
They didn't realize (or at least didn't want to admit) that the C&O had saved both the B&O and WM from bankruptcy...

From the time Chessie System was introduced to the stockholders it was pure marketing brilliance...  Bringing a bright new look to railroading, which needed it after the gloom and despair of the railroad industry of the 1960s.  Down on the C&O the scheme was very popular, as it was in model railroading where every company rushed to get fast selling Chessie System units and cars into production.

I guess those B&O fans were also ticked off that the very first Chessie unit painted was unit #1977, so numbered to honor the B&O's sesquicentennial. 



Date: 03/16/19 03:51
Re: Wonder what the orders really said?
Author: Roadjob

Bottom line is that Chessie was just a paycheck to most employees I met. Until the even worse CSX came into existance, I never once heard anyone refer to themselves as a "Chessie Man." No doubt C&O saved the B&O, but I don't need a corporate history lesson...I lived through it. This is a fan site and I am making a fan's comments. No one ever called the WM scheme circus wagons, and I was around WM people from vice president to trackman. It was certainly a better thought out scheme than throwing hyper yellow, Vermillion and blue onto the power. If you did not experience the B&O or WM as a fan, and Chessie was your first experience railfanning, ok, like I said yesterday, I get it. Because many like myself, as fans, not corporate attorneys do not like it or the way C&O management operated, is all rear view mirror stuff at this point...truth be told, I actually thought the Chessie emblem was the saving grace, and as you will see in future threads, I photographed the pussycat plenty because the only alternative in my area was the even more hated Conrail. Difference being, I got to eventually respect and even like Conrail in the early 90s. I could never say the same about the circus wagon road or its descendant.

Bill Rettberg
Bel Air, MD



Date: 03/16/19 05:50
Re: Wonder what the orders really said?
Author: warren1977

CSX602 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Roadjob Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> > Every B&O fan that I came into contact with
> > absolutely detested the Chessie paint scheme, 
>
> The vanquished always despise the victor...   
> Chessie was obviously from C&O origin, and thought
> to be the end of B&O.
>
> B&O and WM fans just didn't like Chessie because
> it had replaced the boring B&O blue and the true
> "clown" scheme - WM "Circus" colors (which had
> replaced the WM black scheme)...
> They didn't realize (or at least didn't want to
> admit) that the C&O had saved both the B&O and WM
> from bankruptcy...
>
> From the time Chessie System was introduced to the
> stockholders it was pure marketing brilliance... 
> Bringing a bright new look to railroading, which
> needed it after the gloom and despair of the
> railroad industry of the 1960s.  Down on the C&O
> the scheme was very popular, as it was in model
> railroading where every company rushed to get fast
> selling Chessie System units and cars into
> production.
>
> I guess those B&O fans were also ticked off that
> the very first Chessie unit painted was unit
> #1977, so numbered to honor the B&O's
> sesquicentennial. 

"Pure marketing brilliance" , phooey.
I detect a superior attitude from MR. CSX602.
I had just  got used to the WM R/W/B scheme when Chessie came along, and did not regard it as a "clown" scheme
At least WM maintained their engines unlike the C&O...
IIRC, it took several years for quality model RR equipment to be offered in Chessie, as I recall certain ads from Pro Custom Hobbies in RMC.



Date: 03/16/19 10:18
Re: Wonder what the orders really said?
Author: CSX602

I grew up down on C&O - watching 200+ car coal trains - and whereas I liked the C&O SD40s and GP9s the bright colorful Chessie units (and freight cars) were great...   
The drab, boring colorless stuff was over in Roanoke.

As for model trains, within a year of the first prototype Chessie units, model train manufacturers Tyco, AHM and Athearn (higher quality) all had Chessie System offerings in locos and cabooses...  Athearn had introduced the U30B in 1971 and it didn't take long for them to offer Chessie U30B and GP35s.  A few years later when Atlas introduced their GP40 the toughest to find was the Chessie.   Yes, it certainly wasn't the selection or quality as seen today, but they quickly recognized a good paint scheme that would sell.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/16/19 10:25 by CSX602.



Date: 03/16/19 11:30
Re: Wonder what the orders really said?
Author: CSX602

Roadjob Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
>  No one ever called the WM scheme circus wagons,

How then did the WM red/white scheme get the name of "Circus" scheme even among WM fans? (perhaps not employees, but certainly among railfans)

> It was certainly a better thought out scheme than
> throwing hyper yellow, Vermillion and blue onto
> the power. 

First, in case you don't understand the Chessie paint scheme, the blue tops (and blue lettering which actually wasn't painted or decaled on but was the base coat that wasn't painted in the final two stages) was the C&O enchantment blue which wasn't far from B&O blue.  It was a good color for the areas of a locomotive that with light colors would show grime (tops and bottoms) and railroads knew that.  And the reason the lettering was done as unpainted base coat (by Chessie shops, and later EMD) was so that in time the lettering wouldn't fall off (as happened later when GE tried the more traditional painting approach on the B30s).  By paint scheme design that lettering would be there even as the other paint faded away.

The yellow was federal yellow.  That was the high visibility color the US government had just selected/mandated for every school bus (plus option as OSHA safety markings).  Thus not only was it bright, colorful, and high visibility, but it was also formulated to be long lasting, was very easily available from many sources, and cheap due to the price competition (and large batches being produced for other non-railroading applications).  And the vermilion was another high visibility paint (IIRC given as a color option for OSHA safety applications - thus also cheaply available) that was found to cover rust very well so on top of giving a "sunset" appearance on bordering the yellow, could also be used for areas prone to rusting (sills, handrails, air intakes).  So if OSHA came calling, they could just point and say "we're using the safety colors you (feds) recommended:".

So the Chessie scheme was actually a well thought out use for the high visibility colors the government had mandated/recommended for visibility and safety.   Anybody thinking it was just colors thrown on a loco is mistaken.
 



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/16/19 11:34 by CSX602.



Date: 03/17/19 02:42
Re: Wonder what the orders really said?
Author: Roadjob

Bottom line on this whole debate...the paint scheme is now just another part of railroad history, and we can now all just pine for what we liked. That is why I like this section. Each is entitled to their own opinion. It becomes a moot point today anyway.

Bill Rettberg
Bel Air, MD



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