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Nostalgia & History > Early Amtrak "pool" train . . .


Date: 07/11/19 08:21
Early Amtrak "pool" train . . .
Author: 3rdswitch

.   .   .   before Amtrak, the trains running between Seattle and Portland were referred to as the "pool" trains. That's about all I know about them. Very shortly after Amtrak came into being in summer '71, a "pool" train was approaching Portland passing through North Portland Junction, which was located between Portland and Vancouver, WA. As with many places decades ago, it was a great place to railfan, out of town, multiple railroads and nobody said a thing except hello. The small yard seen on the right is the interchange yard of the small Peninsula Terminal Railway and was used by both UP and BN. Just behind me was North Portland Tower whos steps the photo was taken from, a one story structure that stood on a higher than normal foundation, and the junction switch where UP's main joined the BN for most of the journey north to Seattle.
JB



Edited 3 time(s). Last edit at 07/11/19 20:09 by 3rdswitch.




Date: 07/11/19 08:39
Re: Early Amtrak "pool" train . . .
Author: gcm

Nice one !
Gary



Date: 07/11/19 09:44
Re: Early Amtrak "pool" train . . .
Author: E25

The "pool trains" were always interesting to see, especially just after Amtrak took over their operation.  The most notable change in PNW motive power was the influx of BN / former CB&Q "E" units to the West Coast scene, as you have nicely captured.  For a while "Es" even powered the "Starlight."  Too bad a few of Espee's "Es" didn't make it into Amtrak's inventory.  That would have provided for an interesting mix. 

Greg Stadter
Phoenix, AZ



Date: 07/11/19 10:09
Re: Early Amtrak "pool" train . . .
Author: cewherry

3rdswitch Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> .   .   .   before Amtrak, the trains running
> between Seattle and Portland were referred to as
> the "pool" trains.

The "pool" that is referred to was an agreement between the NP, GN and UP to provide coordinated service between
Seattle and Portland with each party providing the equipment and crews on a rotating one year basis. Much more has 
been written about this but, post-Amtrak, that agreement went away. Your photo is, I believe, Amtrak Train No. 199 as 
shown in the July 12, 1971 nationwide schedule, in charge of a Seattle based BN operating crew. This same schedule
number, #199, was used by the BN immediately prior to the advent of Amtrak. UP crews were the 'losers' crew-wise with
the coming of Amtrak at least on the Seattle-Portland trains.

Interestingly, the "Explanation of signs" footnote in the public timetable tells us "No baggage service service on this train". Really?

Charlie

 



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/11/19 10:22 by cewherry.



Date: 07/11/19 10:15
Re: Early Amtrak "pool" train . . .
Author: MyfordBrowning

The GN, NP and UP operated coordinated passenger train service between Portland and Seattle before Amtrak, thus the name pool trains.



Date: 07/11/19 11:11
Re: Early Amtrak "pool" train . . .
Author: SCKP187

Classic setting for great photos.
Brian Stevens



Date: 07/11/19 19:59
Re: Early Amtrak "pool" train . . .
Author: Railpax71

NP, GN, and Soo also coordinated pool trains between in Minnesota to Duluth.

I would call the Amtrak version a mongrel train!  After the BN merger the BN part of the pool got all mixed up but I remember solid NP, GN, and UP trains. I'll scan some of the NP version which was very long at Thanksgiving with heavyweight coaches added.



Date: 07/12/19 08:43
Re: Early Amtrak "pool" train . . .
Author: Waybiller

cewherry Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
 UP crews were the
> 'losers' crew-wise with
> the coming of Amtrak at least on the
> Seattle-Portland trains.

I hadn't realized that, but thought the frequency stayed the same after Amtrak, so they would have added a BN train?  Prior to Amtrak NP, GN, and UP each ran one train, correct?



Date: 07/12/19 09:26
Re: Early Amtrak "pool" train . . .
Author: Railpax71

The overnight train 401/402 rotated between GN-NP-UP so at times each railroad ran two pool trains.



Date: 07/12/19 14:08
Re: Early Amtrak "pool" train . . .
Author: cewherry

Waybiller Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> cewherry Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
>  UP crews were the
> > 'losers' crew-wise with
> > the coming of Amtrak at least on the
> > Seattle-Portland trains.
>
> I hadn't realized that, but thought the frequency
> stayed the same after Amtrak, so they would have
> added a BN train?  Prior to Amtrak NP, GN, and UP
> each ran one train, correct?

Here is a portion of SP's October 20, 1970 public timetable that shows connecting train service between Portland and Seattle.
Notice that UP operated 457-458 with BN operating the other two round trips. No mention of GN or NP of course since this was issued
after the March 3, 1970 merger. Former "Pool" trains 401-402, the 'Night Trains' had been discontinued in 1962. I must conclude that UP crews
continued with their 457-458 contribution right up until the start of Amtrak and thereafter BN crews got all the passenger work.

Charlie




Date: 07/15/19 07:18
Re: Early Amtrak "pool" train . . .
Author: Waybiller

Thanks for the replies.



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