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Re: PC: PC\CR frieght symbols

anderson wrote:
> >
> > Can anybody try to explain how the PC and early CR used the two letter one number symbols.
> > Seth Lakin
> > Chesterton IN
> Seth:
> Some of those old train symbols were a carry-over from NYC practice that
> dated back to World War II, but routings were changed while the two-lette
> symbol remained.  For example:
> ***In 1944, BF-9 ran from Pittsburgh to Cleveland (Rockport Yard), while
> in 1969, BF-7 was a Detroit-Toledo train.
> ***In 1944, LS-7 was a Philadelphia-Chicago train via Cleveland, while in
> 1969, LS-5 was a Toledo-Detroit symbol.
> ***NY-4 shows up in both 1944 and 1969 schedules, although in '44 it was
> a Chicago-New York freight via Cleveland, while in 1969 it shows up as an
> Elkhart-Buffalo train via Detroit (and Ontario).
> How they came up with the designations is lost to history, I guess.  Most
> of the letter symbols don't correspond with cities of origin/destination
> (with the exception of those "NY"-symboled trains).  NYC simply gave
> trains a couple of letters and a number and that was that.  In 1967, NYC
> ran an "LS"-symboled train (LS-1) from New York City to Bensenville Yard
> (Milwaukee Road) in Chicago, and another "LS" train (LS-3) from Boston to
> Streator, Illinois via Detroit.  The only thing those two trains had in
> common was re-classification in Elkhart.  So why were they both
> "LS"-symbols?  Your guess is as good as mine...
> To wrap it up, PC (and Conrail in it's very early months) simply kept
> symbols of existing trains from NYC (and maybe PRR).  They didn't have to
>  make sense to railfans, just to the railroad (and to shippers, I
> presume).
> That'll do
> Uncle E

To all:

The "LS" symbol stands for "Less-than-carload freight" I am told.  The 
trains eventually died off due to the lack of LCL freight and the 
increase of "Super Van" (SV) service as it was known on the NYC of just 
plain Trailer Train.  Your choice depending on ones preference.

One other symobl through Marion I remember quite well was the "SLX" or 
"Silex" as we called it.  I believe it ran from St. Louis to Selkirk, 
but could be wrong.

I have train sheets from the Pennsy Ft. Wayne line from PC days, but it 
will take some time to dig those out.  When I do, I'll pass along the 

Often times, BF-7 would be followed closely by a BF-7a through Findlay, 
Ohio on the T&OC.  Two other trains that ran this way were DSL-1 and 
DSL-1a (Detroit to St. Louis). DSL-1a was not a regular, but often times 
ran towards weeks end and on Saturday. Watching trains living by the 
T&OC (Toledo to Columbus Western Branch) would keep one on their toes as 
one train would be fifteen minutes behind the other when they ran.  
Although  the locals often wondered why they never ran them 12 hours 
apart in order to get all the traffic.  May explain why PC floundered.

So how many of you folks remember the remote control units on PC?  They 
ran out of the coal fields in West Virginia and up to Toledo/Detroit 
area.  Three SD-40/45's on the head end and three more in the middle on 
some huge 200+ car coal trains.  The power would stay this way all the 
way to Toledo due to the heavy grades north of Dunkirk, OH and on 
Findlay, Ohio's north side (Where I lived).  Can tell you that some days 
it worked and some days it didn't!  Have seen a train go by with the 
head end in run eight and barely moving while the mid-train power 
(unmanned) would be on idle.  Eventually, the mid-train units became 
manned, but this didn't last as it defeated the purpose of the long 
trains.  End of experiment.

Dale A. DeVene Jr.
ddevene -AT- udata.com

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