NY to FL Locomotives on ACL

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Okay, so I've read the books and looked at the promotional material, but I still don't understand: on ACL's NY-to-FL streamliners, did they change locomotives each time the train entered a new railroad's territory? (Once you leave PRR, do you get an RF&P E-8, then an ACL E-8, then a FEC E-8...or did they stay the same for the whole trip after the train left PRR tracks?)

-- Scott Orr (orrtv@fltg.net), March 12, 1999


Mr. Morton - this is VERY interesting material. Would you be willing to expand this a bit, perhaps coupled with your other recollections of ACL passenger train operations, and let us use it as an article in Lines South? Did you take any photos back then? Thanks in advance - you can let me know off the list if you wish - Larry Goolsby

-- Larry Goolsby (LGoolsby@aphsa.org), August 03, 1999.

After making the above reply I have found hand written notes I made to myself while working for the ACL in 1965 and wish to correct the information provided in the previous reply. My notes indicate that RF&P units 1010 & 1011 had 'A' end jumper recpticle & mu hoses for service on the ACL...but NOT ATS. RF&P units 1011 -1015 had ACL Train Stop and the appliances that I described in my previous reply. The 1010 & 1011 were restricted to trailing unit service while the four equipped with Train Stop were always lead units so they could be easily removed and turned at Florence without breaking a unit out of the middle of a consist during station dwell time. Trust this corrects the inaccurate information provided above.

-- JR Morton (morton@nb.com), August 03, 1999.

It's my recollection from working on the Richmond Division in the middle 60's that the RF&P had four units (1011-1014) equipped with ACL GRS Train Stop; we had 17??? units equipped with RF&P Continuious Train Control (Cab Signals & Speed Govonor). The 4 RF&P units had nose doors, front MU, & Mars Lights for service south of Broad Street. The porportion of units mentioned above 4 : 17 was supposed to ensure equal miles for both roads units on a monthly basis with the RF&P units operating a greater distance of 297 miles to Florence while the grteater number of ACL units only went 113 miles on the RF&P thru to Ivy City. When the RF&P was in debt for miles their unit would run south of Florence. Further concerning this subject there were test loops at the departure end of the platform tracks at Broad Street & northbound trains were spotted with the lead unit over this loop to make the required test of the Continuious Train Control that involved a test of the cab signals before departure on the RF&P. Soutbound trains stopped at the same location but the test for the ATS was a mechanical bar test to ensure the receiver on the locomotive would recogonize an open wayside inductor. Actually two tests were made; one that was acknowledged by the engineman and the second was not causing a penalty brake application. Therse tests were necessary by statue to qualify the locomotive for lead unit service on its respective railroad. The Continuious Train Control equipment was swapped from time to time from one ACL unit to another by JC Rogers' shop forces at Florence as the needs of the service dictated; those craftsman pipefitters did a wonderful job of plumbing in the nose of those old E's...there was a changeover lever in the nose on the Firemans Side; one side was cast for ACL & the other for RF&P, the device being made by General Railway Signal. Trust this information is factual; its a recollection from 35 years ago.

-- JR Morton (morton@nb.com), August 03, 1999.

Interesting that this should come up right now since the old RF& P's cab signal frequency has just (as of March 1) been officially retired and converted to the same frequency as Conrail and Amtrak. Only the locomotive engineer knows the difference however: the cab signal display inside Amtrak locomotives in the lead on the former RF& P now show position light indications (vertical, horizonal, and diagonal dots that kind of resemble domino dots) instead of the color light indications of the wayside signals, which remain the same. Had this been done years ago when some ACL and SAL locomotives been equipped for RF&P cab signals and train control, they could have- -and probably would have--operated regularly north of Washington. When there was catenary interruption, (ice storm, derailment, detour, etc.) ACL, SAL, RF&P (even some SOU and C&O) diesels went as far north as Philadelphia. When they did, they had to operate according to block signal rules and at lowered speeds for lack of Pennsy cab signals and train control.

-- Doug Riddell (railroaddoug@erols.com), March 19, 1999.

In developing material for my ACL passenger service book, about all I found to add to the above is the following: In 1964 ACL concluded a pooling agreement with RF&P that allowed both roads' power to operate between Washington and Tampa, a practice that continued through the Seaboard Coast Line years.

-- Larry Goolsby (LGoolsby@aphsa.org), March 15, 1999.

"By Streamliner - New York to Florida", by Joseph M. Welsh (an excellant book, by the way) carries several photos of ACL units on the FEC and the following information regarding diesel run-throughs over the RF&P:

"Run-throughs of Coast Line and Florida East Coast motive power on the "Champions" began the day the trains were inaugurated and appear to have continued unabated until May 1945 when RF&P steam took over the reins again. When the "Florida Special" received diesel units, the roads operated these diesels through as well. In May 1946, diesel run-throughs commenced again on virtually all ACL's top trains with the exception of the "Havana Special". Thereafter, the practice continued sporatically until the arrival of RF&P's own diesels put steam permanently out to pasture."

I hope this information helps.

Bob Hanson

-- Robert H. Hanson (RHanson669@aol.com), March 14, 1999.

FEC units did in fact run north of Jacksonville. I have a somewhat fuzzy photograph of a southbound passenger train powered by FEC units pulling into the ACL's old North Charleston station. The name of the train and the date of the photograph are unknown but based on the passenger equipment the photograph is suspected to have been taken in the early to mid 40's. This photograph appeared in a late-80's issue of Lines South. Larry Goolsby is the best person to answer this question and provide the needed details on run through agreements etc.. Hope this helps. Buddy (no emails please)

-- Buddy Hill (FandR65@aol.com), March 13, 1999.

I lived near the FEC in S. Fla. as a boy. I do not remember seeing an ACL loco on a NY-Fla train. There is photographic evidence that there was some ACL run-through on the FEC but I beleive the norm was to change power in Jacksonville. I am not sure what usually happened on the RF&P - probably a combination of pooled power and outright changes at Richmond. Also, It would be interesting to know if any FEC units ever ventured north of Jacksonville. Anyone out there have the answer? After the FEC strike, ACL ran it's East Coast trains on it's line from Jacksonville to Aburndale and on the SAL from Aburndale to Miami. This was a run-through with no change to SAL power. Hope this helps on the South end of your question.

-- Jim Coviello (jcovi60516@aol.com), March 13, 1999.

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