Did You Know? (Part III)
by Jim Herron
- The Flying Yankee of Boston and Maine and Maine Central was also referred to as the “Silver Slipper.” It featured a baggage – buffet, a full coach and a coach observation car. It was fifty percent stainless steel, did 95 mph and was built by the Budd & EMB Car Company in February 1935.
- New York City has a subway museum housed in a historic subway station in Brooklyn, New York. Rolling stock dates back to 1904.
- The shops, yards and buildings of the East Broad Top Railroad in Orbisonia, Pennsylvania were already antiques when the line shut down forty-four years ago. Since then, they have stayed untouched, and today they give the best picture available anywhere of how steam railroads went about their daily schedule.
- Josiah White invented a gravity railway called the Mauch Chunk Switch Back Railroad. In May 1827, the new railroad made its first trip. It became the nations’ first exclusive passenger excursion railroad. It became the second most visited attraction at the turn of the century behind Niagra Falls.
- There is still a Truss Railroad bridge surviving in Zoarsville, Ohio. The Fink truss bridge is the rarest of all cast and wrought iron truss bridges in the United States. It dates back to 1868.
- There is an erroneous perception that the purpose of the cowcatcher was to save the cows. The primary purpose was actually to save the train and cars from derailing.
- New York City had a secret pneumatic subway called the “Pneumatic Transit.” It worked on air and when nobody wanted it, the inventor Albert Beach built it anyway, without telling anyone. It actually did run under Broadway back in 1870.
- The Pennsylvania Railroad was almost like a matron. It was the largest and richest railroad in America and one of the premier corporations. It employed 100,000 people, in a territory which stretched from New York and Chicago to St. Louis and back to Washington, D.C. serving half of the population of the United States. It accounted for twenty percent of the American railroad industry.
- Raymond Lowry was the foremost designer and train innovator in the twentieth century. His famous GGI – the S-1, and K-4S are and will always be identified with the streamlining of trains in America.
- Credit for launching the birth of modern day streamliners goes to two railroads, the Union Pacific and the Chicago, Burlington and Quincy. U.P. was the first to introduce a true streamliner, the M-10000 in February of 1934. The M-10000 could cruise at 110 mph.
- At the turn of the century in downtown lower west side of New York City, so many people got hit by morning trains that they have a cowboy on a horse waving a flag in front of moving trains in the area of 10th Avenue (hence, the name Slaughter on 10th Avenue) or Death Street as it was called.