Penn-Central questions

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Hotbox
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Penn-Central questions

Post by Hotbox » Wed Sep 19, 2018 5:41 pm

This board has been pretty dead the last year or so, so hopefully no one will mind if I ask a couple somewhat nonsense questions about PennCentral back in the day.

1. Back when PRR and/or Penn Central operated their legacy lines through the Fort, was there ever much (regular) traffic between Cincinnati and Chicago via the GR&I / PFW&C....similar to the way the NCD / Chicago district is currently a popular routing?

2. When Conrail was formed, part of the deal was that PennCentral employees who lost their jobs in consequence of the formation of Conrail, would receive as severance full pay until the earlier of their 65th birthday, or their taking a job elsewhere. If they took a job with another railroad, their severance allowance would be reduced by whatever the amount they were being paid by the new job, but if they took another job with a business outside the rail industry, only one half of their new pay amount would be deducted from their severance payments. The question here for any of yuou that might have ties to employees then working in Fort Wayne.....do you know of any local PRR/PC employees who received this package?


Thanks!

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Re: Penn-Central questions

Post by Notch 8 » Sat Sep 29, 2018 6:20 am

Hotbox wrote:
Wed Sep 19, 2018 5:41 pm
This board has been pretty dead the last year or so, so hopefully no one will mind if I ask a couple somewhat nonsense questions about PennCentral back in the day.

1. Back when PRR and/or Penn Central operated their legacy lines through the Fort, was there ever much (regular) traffic between Cincinnati and Chicago via the GR&I / PFW&C....similar to the way the NCD / Chicago district is currently a popular routing?
Yes this board has been dead for sometime... What would the train ID's have been that ran from Ft Wayne to Cincinnati ? A scenario to consider is what IF the PRR had survived how the railscape would be like today ?

Mike

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Re: Penn-Central questions

Post by rrnut282 » Sat Sep 29, 2018 7:31 am

1. I would assume there was some traffic as the GR&I trains passed by (through) Piqua Yard. How much would require some deep diving into company records.
2. I don't know anyone. What a severance package. No wonder they went bankrupt.
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Re: Penn-Central questions

Post by Hotbox » Sat Sep 29, 2018 4:01 pm

Thanks for both replies.

it's kind of a loaded question, because PRR also had that line up through Kokomo and Logansport that would be a much shorter routing......but somewhere along the lines, someone told me that the line through Kokomo was mostly used for passenger service...I have no way of proving this, but it's just something I recall having once read, or having once been told.
Further complicating the matter, if you look at PRR division maps from 1958 and 1964, the line from Richmond to Anoka jct (Logansport) was part of the "Buckeye" division, as was the line from Richmond down to Cincinnati, (as was the GRI south of Adams).

Not privy to how such decisions were made, but if divisional considerations were weighed when determining routing, the route through Logansport might have held preference? The Route through Logansport would have handed off to the "Chicago" division at Anoka jct, while a routing through Fort Wayne would have required handing off to the Fort Wayne division at either Decatur or Adams (depending on the time period), with a further handing off to the Chicago division near Valparaiso.

As for the severance incentive...yeah mighty nice. There was one caveat....If your job in city A was being eliminated, but the railroad had a need for people in city B, or C, or D, the railroad could insist that you relocate to one of those jobs or forfeit all rights.
I know of one guy who worked for Erie in Huntington who was required to move to Lima . "or else"

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Re: Penn-Central questions

Post by rrnut282 » Mon Oct 01, 2018 12:26 pm

The Pan-handle line thru Logansport was why I said *some* Cincy-Chicago *might* have come via Fort Wayne. I find it hard to believe there was much room for freight with 100 pax trains thru Fort Wayne. (a number I heard, can't vouch for its accuracy) As an aside: I can easily picture a yard master or dispatcher calling Cincy (and Columbus) and saying, "we're having a problem, can you route most of your traffic on the other route until Thursday?"

The panhandle split the freight/pax traffic, more or less on the two lines that came back together at Anoka. The freight line had a lot of double track, while the pax line was mostly single track, even though, to me, the pax line went through more industrial areas.
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Re: Penn-Central questions

Post by Wayne Gest » Mon Oct 01, 2018 11:56 pm

There was Chicago traffic that went up the GR&I out of Richmond toward Ridgeville and then onto the Pandhandle into Logansport. This was told to me by two different fellows who had worked that way. The route via New Castle was primarily for passenger trains at one time and the old PRR men who heard stories of what the N&W planned to run when they purchased the line all thought that they would have a lot of trouble running big freight trains via New Castle.

As for the fellow who had to go to Lima from Huntington, that was probably his only choice. Was it when he was junior in seniority, where he would get forced, forced happens when the junior available man on the roster not holding a regular position, gets assigned to a job because nobody bid to the open position.

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Re: Penn-Central questions

Post by Hotbox » Tue Oct 02, 2018 6:02 pm

Thanks for the detailed reply, Wayne. I can't say for sure about the Erie guy, I know "of him", I do not know him directly. I know that he currently is in his mid 60's, and was forced to move right after Conrail was formed...that's about as close as I can come....but yeah, his age bracket would have likely made him "junior" at that time.
So, none of the PRR guys you know of got the "golden furlough"?

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Re: Penn-Central questions

Post by Hotbox » Tue Oct 02, 2018 6:09 pm

Wayne Gest wrote:
Mon Oct 01, 2018 11:56 pm
Chicago traffic that went up the GR&I out of Richmond toward Ridgeville and then onto the Pandhandle into Logansport.
Would those road crews likely have been based in Richmond? And, if you know, freights running south from FW on the GRI, where were those crews based?

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Re: Penn-Central questions

Post by Hotbox » Tue Oct 02, 2018 6:17 pm

And of course, the next logical question: the crews operating the Panhandle between Logansport and Bradford OH, where were they based?

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Re: Penn-Central questions

Post by Wayne Gest » Tue Oct 02, 2018 10:38 pm

As far as I know, the Logansport-Richmond traffic was protected by crews that had Logansport as a home terminal. These stories were told to me by a couple of fellows I knew who'd hired out onto the PRR when they were furloughed from the NKP, this in the late 50's.

As for Bradford, Bradford was done away with as a crew change point sometime in the 1930's. Scott Trostel wrote an entire book about it, BRADFORD, THE RAILROAD TOWN. From then on, all the crews ran through to Columbus and there were crews with a home terminal in Columbus running through to Logansport. At one time there was a large railroad YMCA in Bradford, today there is a PRR caboose setting on that site but the Y is long gone.

As for the Erie man, those fellows really had a tough go of it after CR came into existence.

https://www.abebooks.com/Bradford-Railr ... 2928240/bd

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Re: Penn-Central questions

Post by Hotbox » Wed Oct 03, 2018 4:35 pm

Thanks for your thoughts. I've always found it interesting the way crew districts are apportioned ,....both "end to end" on longer routes, as well as selectively on intertwining routes.

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Re: Penn-Central questions

Post by Wayne Gest » Thu Oct 04, 2018 11:00 am

I wish I knew more to answer your questions. The fellows who became CR men in Fort Wayne had jobs and traffic for a number of years after PC disappeared, until L. Stanley Crane came along and upended the railroad map. I can say that in Fort Wayne, after the traffic disappeared post-Conrail, a lot of those fellows found themselves working in Elkhart or Toledo but there were a lot of them who gave up trying to chase their seniority and left the railroad.

I know the same thing happened in Huntington, the EL men especially got hammered. Their railroad was gone.

Speculating about what things would be if PRR were a survivor and existed today could turn into a endless discussion. Where would one start? Who would have picked the single track NKP main through Fort Wayne to be a big survivor and steady traffic today over the double track PRR?

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Re: Penn-Central questions

Post by Hotbox » Thu Oct 04, 2018 5:34 pm

Back in the day, which town do you think had more annual PRR tonnage pulled through it, Ft Wayne or Logansport ?

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Re: Penn-Central questions

Post by Wayne Gest » Fri Oct 05, 2018 6:11 pm

I would hazard a guess and say Logansport. The Panhandle was a heavy freight route to Chicago and the PRR main through Fort Wayne was known to be more of a passenger route. Both routes had a Pittsburgh connection but I've read different times that freight traffic went primarily via Columbus.

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Re: Penn-Central questions

Post by Notch 8 » Sat Oct 06, 2018 9:43 am

rrnut282 wrote:
Mon Oct 01, 2018 12:26 pm
The Pan-handle line thru Logansport was why I said *some* Cincy-Chicago *might* have come via Fort Wayne. I find it hard to believe there was much room for freight with 100 pax trains thru Fort Wayne. (a number I heard, can't vouch for its accuracy)
So how close to a 100 passenger trains passed thru FW ? and when did this happen ?

Mike

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