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PC: MU Conversions

Rob Carlo wrote

As for the PC 1000 series MU's,  I remember visiting the scrap line at
Croton-North in the mid 70's where many of these cars sat in the weeds
for a long time before the inevitable.  I thought the condition of the cars
were certainly as good as anything running at the time (possibly better!)
and also wondered why these could not be hauled by a locomotive at
least as a back up when needed.   What a waste!

     I agree with your assessment.  I drove by the scrap line a Croton
North almost every day from 1975-1985.  The cars looked to be in good
shape externally.  Although to my knowledge the former NYC cars were
not considered for conversion to coaches, the former New Haven
"Washboard" MU's were certainly considered during the late 1970's. 
There is a picture in Rails Northeast of an S motor pulling a demonstration
train of ex-NH cars at of all places Croton North at the very end of the
third rail.  I wonder why PC / Conrail (MTA) chose the former NH cars. 
The New Haven's maintenance was probably worse than the NYC
maintenance prior to the PC merger.  Also, the NH cars were very prone
to rust because of the stainless steel fluting attached to the outside of
the car trapping moisture.  I the end, MTA (MNCR) only reactivated two
cars (under their own power) for the New Canaan-Stanford shuttle. 
     In previous posts, people commented that some of the locomotive
hauled passenger cars pictured on Jerry's website may be MU's.  I
wouldn't doubt it.  PC would do just about anything to keep the trains
rolling, even supplying cars without heat or lights.  However, it is a bit
unusual to see a former MU operating mixed with conventional equipment
outside the third rail zone.  Like the former MP54's the PC ran behind
GG1's in New Jersey, the former NYC MU's probably supplied heat and
lights through the third rail pickup but were incapable of self propulsion.  I
also do not think the MU's had steam and signal lines compatible with
conventional equipment.  
     I an aside, during the big blizzard in the northeast about three years
ago FL9's towed former NYC 1100 series MU's because the third rail
was covered over by snow.  The MU's kept their shoes down to clear
the line and pick up power for heat and lights.  In the mean time Metro
North used their steam boiler equipped GP9 (former NYC) and rigged an
attachment to direct the steam to the third rail.  It traveled about five miles
per hour melting snow between Harmon and GCT.  It was the only time in
my life I remember seeing a GP9 with an active steam boiler.

Bob Holzweiss
"Robert.Holzweiss -AT- bush.nara.gov"

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