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Passenger Trains > Jackie Gleason's special train (1960s)


Date: 04/04/13 10:22
Jackie Gleason's special train (1960s)
Author: djansson

When Jackie Gleason ("The Great One") moved his TV show from New York City to Miami Beach in the early 60's, he chartered a complete train to do so for the entire staff and show folks (the June Taylor Dancers, the band, etc..). Is there any record of the train consist? I know it had at LEAST three lounge cars (fully stocked) and was mostly (if not all) lightweight cars.



Date: 04/04/13 10:41
Re: Jackie Gleason's special train (1960s)
Author: joemvcnj

I don't know, but I remember an interview he once gave.
He was asked if the train had a bar car. His answer was the train was the bar.



Date: 04/04/13 10:59
Re: Jackie Gleason's special train (1960s)
Author: ts1457

djansson Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> When Jackie Gleason ("The Great One") moved his TV
> show from New York City to Miami Beach in the
> early 60's, he chartered a complete train to do so
> for the entire staff and show folks (the June
> Taylor Dancers, the band, etc..). Is there any
> record of the train consist? I know it had at
> LEAST three lounge cars (fully stocked) and was
> mostly (if not all) lightweight cars.

Did he have more than one train charter? Here is a column about a 10-day, cross country trip:

http://framework.latimes.com/2010/09/14/jackie-gleasons-80000-train-ride/



Date: 04/04/13 11:08
Re: Jackie Gleason's special train (1960s)
Author: rombout137

I know one of the cars was the sister to my car (Babbling Brook): Bonnie Brook. It was modified by removing one of the annex's to make Jackie more comfortable in one of the double bedrooms. Not sure what the other cars were.



Date: 04/04/13 11:29
Re: Jackie Gleason's special train (1960s)
Author: Carondelet

Humina humina humina!

rombout137 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I know one of the cars was the sister to my car
> (Babbling Brook): Bonnie Brook. It was modified by
> removing one of the annex's to make Jackie more
> comfortable in one of the double bedrooms. Not
> sure what the other cars were.

Posted from Android



Date: 04/04/13 11:53
Re: Jackie Gleason's special train (1960s)
Author: CZ10

Popular folklore in Miami has it that Gleason never flew, and always chartered a car for what was (at the time) his semiannual migration between Miami and NYC. Anecdotal information says it became harder as time went by for him to charter a car due to the fact that he and his party did a good job of "trashing" them.



Date: 04/04/13 13:13
Re: Jackie Gleason's special train (1960s)
Author: BuddPullman

I remember speaking to a regular ex Pullman Porter who worked Amtrak's National Limited back in the mid-1970s. His name was Mr. Day. He shared with me his recollection of his experience working on a Jackie Gleason special chartered train cross country. Thank you for the link to this article!



Date: 04/04/13 17:56
Re: Jackie Gleason's special train (1960s)
Author: CA_Sou_MA_Agent

Years ago I visited the Lomita, CA Railroad Museum and they had a dining car menu from the 1962 special on display.

Now THAT is a collector's item. Maybe a visit to the museum would permit someone to at least photograph it and post it here.



Date: 04/05/13 07:51
Re: Jackie Gleason's special train (1960s)
Author: aehouse

Jackie's charter trains were always called "The Great Gleason Express," and they had a reputation of providing a rolling party from start to finish. I recall reading one article mentioning that the presence of the June Taylor Dancers immeasurably added to the pleasures of the trips.

Art House
Gettysburg, Pa.



Date: 04/05/13 08:35
Re: Jackie Gleason's special train (1960s)
Author: Lackawanna484

This Pittsburgh reporter had the opportunity to document a day on the 1962 Great Gleason Express. The train stopped at various point along the way to drum up local media. Apparently, CBS which paid for the trip, was not pleased with the reports of debauchery, booze, and broads on the trip. By the time the train arrived at Iron City, Gleason was expressing that the many young women aboard were never the subject of dirty thoughts from him.

Lots of women, though. In addition to the June Taylor Dancers, his five female co-stars were also on board...


http://major-smolinski.com/NAMES/GLEASON.html



Date: 04/07/13 01:52
Re: Jackie Gleason's special train (1960s)
Author: CA_Sou_MA_Agent

Lackawanna484 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> This Pittsburgh reporter had the opportunity to
> document a day on the 1962 Great Gleason Express.
> The train stopped at various point along the way
> to drum up local media.


From the article:

GLEASON reportedly got madder and madder at this notoriety as the train went along ... to Phoenix, Colorado Springs, Denver, Kansas City, St. Louis and Chicago.

I'd be curious what the routing of this train was. I believe it was essentially organized by ATSF, with that road doing things like assembling the equipment and printing up the dining car menus. It looks like Gleason and his entourage got some "rare mileage" via Parker, AZ. It probably used ATSF from Phoenix to Colorado Springs and Denver. Then what happened? UP to Kansas City, WAB to St. Louis and PRR from there to New York? Or maybe MP from Pueblo to St. Louis?

Is Sue Ann Langdon a subscriber to Trainorders? Some members of the June Taylor dancers, perhaps? Maybe they could help unravel the mystery!



Date: 04/07/13 04:55
Re: Jackie Gleason's special train (1960s)
Author: Lackawanna484

CA_Sou_MA_Agent Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Lackawanna484 Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> > This Pittsburgh reporter had the opportunity to
> > document a day on the 1962 Great Gleason
> Express.
> > The train stopped at various point along the
> way
> > to drum up local media.
>
> From the article:
>
> GLEASON reportedly got madder and madder at this
> notoriety as the train went along ... to Phoenix,
> Colorado Springs, Denver, Kansas City, St. Louis
> and Chicago.
>
> I'd be curious what the routing of this train was.
> I believe it was essentially organized by ATSF,
> with that road doing things like assembling the
> equipment and printing up the dining car menus.
> It looks like Gleason and his entourage got some
> "rare mileage" via Parker, AZ. It probably used
> ATSF from Phoenix to Colorado Springs and Denver.
> Then what happened? UP to Kansas City, WAB to St.
> Louis and PRR from there to New York? Or maybe MP
> from Pueblo to St. Louis?
>
> Is Sue Ann Langdon a subscriber to Trainorders?
> Some members of the June Taylor dancers, perhaps?
> Maybe they could help unravel the mystery!

The special train trip was partly to drum up interest in the upcoming season's debut. Perhaps an enterprising TO subscriber could locate the stations on which CBS broadcast back then.



Date: 08/11/19 09:17
Re: Jackie Gleason's special train (1960s)
Author: Elcap1943

I found 3 photos in the Life Magazine archives. but I can't figure out how to attach them. They show that one of the lounge cars has a indian painting on the door end that I believeĀ  is ATSF #1389 which ran on the El Capitan.



Date: 08/11/19 10:55
Re: Jackie Gleason's special train (1960s)
Author: chakk

"And awaaaaay we go!"



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