Posts Tagged ‘Amtrak’s Broadway Limited’

Last Years of the Broadway Limited

February 1, 2021

In Amtrak’s early years, the Chicago-New York/Washington Broadway Limited was considered its premier eastern long distance train.

But by the 1990s it had become just another train, albeit still a good one with full-service dining and sleeping cars. Many of the passenger cars were from Amtrak’s Heritage Fleet.

The Broadway Limited also handled a lot of head-end business as can be seen in this image made on CSX’s New Castle Subdivision near the Ohio-Pennsylvania border.

This was once the route of Baltimore & Ohio’s best train, the Capitol Limited. Although Amtrak has a train of the same name operating between Chicago and Washington, it has never used this stretch of the former B&O.

This image was made in May 1994 and in a year and four months Nos. 40 and 41 would make their final trips operating as the Broadway Limited.

Amtrak Memories From a July 1993 East Coast Trip

September 29, 2020

In July 1993, the photographer and a friend ventured East from their homes in Northeast Ohio on a photography expedition.

Among their stops were Princeton Junction, New Jersey, on Amtrak’s Northeast Corridor. They also stopped on their way home at Horseshoe Curve and caught Amtrak’s Broadway Limited.

Much has changed with Amtrak’s motive power since then. In the early 1990s Northeast Corridor trains were still pulled by AEM-7 locomotives and long-distance trains outside the corridor were handled by F40PH locomotives.

In the top photograph the Silver Meteor comes thundering by Princeton Junction, led by a GE E60 electric engine.

Next up the Pennsylvanian makes an appearance hauling a deadheading slumbercoach.

The last image from Princeton Junction shows the Silver Star.

Photographs by Edward Ribinskas

Broadway Limited in Beaver Falls

April 7, 2020

Amtrak is hardly a fallen flag, but some of its trains and locomotive models are.

Such is the case for the Broadway Limited, a onetime Chicago-New York/Washington train that was the only intercity passenger train in Northeast Ohio after Amtrak began on May 1, 1971.

At that time the Broadway operated on the Fort Wayne Line via Alliance, Canton and Massillon.

In the photograph above, F40PH No. 361 is leading the Broadway through Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania, on April 23, 1983.

The F40 was once the standard locomotive for most of Amtrak’s long-distance but it has since been retired as a locomotive although a few F40 frames are still on the roster for cab car service.

Photograph by Robert Farkas

Westbound Broadway Limited in 1978

December 14, 2019

Although Amtrak’s Broadway Limited was assigned new SDP40F locomotives in the mid 1970s, that assignment proved to be relatively short lived.

The units became embroiled in a controversy over whether they were derailment prone after being implicated in several derailments.

Some railroads banned at least for a while the SDP40F from their tracks while others imposed speed restrictions on them on certain types of curves.

By the late 1970s Amtrak had replaced most of the SDP40Fs on its long-distance eastern trains with E units.

Later these trains began receiving F40PH locomotives although for a time there were still locomotives with steam generators in the motive power consist to provide steam for heating and cooling.

Starting in late 1979 equipment with head-end power capability came onboard, starting with the Lake Shore Limited, was permanently assigned to eastern long-distance trains and the last of the E units in revenue service with steam generators was retired from long-distance service.

But all of that was a few years down the road on June 3, 1978, when Bob Farkas caught a tardy westbound Broadway Limited in Wooster, Ohio, at Prairie Lane.

His notes from that date indicate that the third unit might have been the first unit painted for Amtrak.

Lead E8A No. 447 should feel right at home on these rails. It was built in May 1952 as Pennsylvania Railroad No. 5790A.

During the Penn Central era it carried roster number 4250 and was initially assigned Amtrak roster number 277.

It renumbered to 447 in November 1975 after being rebuilt in March 1974, which was just before the second order of SDP40Fs began rolling out of the EMD shops in LaGrange, Illinois.

Amtrak retired No. 447 in July 1981 along with several other rebuilt E units as they by then had become surplus as F40s and Heritage Fleet equipment had become the norm on eastern long-distance trains such as the Broadway Limited.

Photograph by Robert Farkas

Slower Than We’d Like

November 23, 2019

Shown is a schedule for Amtrak’s Broadway Limited from the mid 1970s. Penn Central was still the host railroad and its tracks west of Pittsburgh were not in great condition.

Therefore Amtrak placed a notice that the schedules were slower than PC was required to provide but faster scheduled were not possible at this this time.

Left unsaid was that PC was in bankruptcy proceedings and couldn’t afford to fix its tracks.

But even with these schedules Nos. 40 and 41 were still subject to delays, some of them major.

The symbol next to times at Canton and Crestline, Ohio, denoted that tickets could only be purchased for some or all trains at this station.

They were to be purchased either from the conductor or a travel agent. There was no cash penalty for buying your ticket aboard the train if no agent was on duty at train time.

The letter “e” for Canton and Johnstown, Pennsylvania, indicated that the train stopped on signal to pickup or drop off passengers.

The train would stop eastbound at Gary only to receive passengers and westbound to discharge them.

Things You Won’t See Anymore

September 20, 2019

There are three things three things in this image made in Lewistown, Pennsylvania, that are no more.

Amtrak’s material handling cars, Pennsylvania Railroad style position light signals and the Broadway Limited are all gone here.

Shown is eastbound No. 40 slowing for its station stop in July 1995.

 

Fort Wayne Group Pressing Ahead for Rail Service

May 14, 2019

The pending discontinuance of the Chicago-Indianapolis Hoosier State is not discouraging Fort Wayne, Indiana, interests seeking to revive intercity rail service.

The Northern Indiana Rail Passenger Alliance is working to establish a route between Chicago and Columbus, Ohio, that would pass through Fort Wayne.

Both Fort Wayne and Columbus previously had Amtrak service but lost it. Columbus fell off the Amtrak route map in October 1979 with the discontinuance of the National Limited while Fort Wayne lost the Broadway Limited and Capitol Limited in late 1990 when both trains were rerouted.

The Indiana General Assembly recently adopted a two-year budget that did not include continued funding for the quad-weekly Hoosier State.

But NIPRA officials say the state’s ending of Hoosier State funding won’t affect their work although it could affect it somewhat.

“It makes our job that much more difficult in getting the story out that the investment in passenger rail in our corridor will have an economic development payoff and attract young professionals to Fort Wayne and attract visitors to Fort Wayne,” said Rich Juram, NIPRA’s board president.

Nonetheless, he said “there’s not a direct relationship between that situation and the project here in northern Indiana, the line from Chicago to Fort Wayne and then continuing on from Fort Wayne to Columbus.”

Juram said his organization is sad to see the Hoosier State end, but said that service “was woefully inadequate for the market.”

Geoff Paddock, a Fort Wayne City Council member who favors the Chicago-Columbus service said losing the Hoosier State will hurt in the sense that the bigger the footprint is for passenger rail the better it is for having rail as a transportation option.

“Eliminating that funding and that investment in that line could be a detriment to our efforts to bring passenger rail back to Fort Wayne,” he said.

Paddock said one takeaway about the demise of the Hoosier State is that passenger advocates need to work with state legislators to make their case.

The Chicago-Columbus service would not be cheap to develop as it has been proposed.

It would require capital costs of $898 million to rebuilt track, signals and other infrastructure to support two daily roundtrips with a top speed of 79 mph.

The cost of four roundtrips traveling 110 mph would be $1.23 billion.

Advocates for the service say that money would largely need to come from state and federal funds.

Paddock said the Chicago-Columbus route may be in a more favorable position than was the Hoosier State because it has better tracks.

In the meantime, supporters of the route are working on an environmental impact study.

One Morning at Chicago Union Station

May 3, 2019

It is mid morning at Chicago Union Station. I’ve just stepped off the inbound Capitol Limited after boarding several hours earlier in Cleveland.

On an adjacent track is the inbound Broadway Limited. Nos. 40 and 41 are living on borrowed time and will be discontinued in just over a month.

It’s difficult to make good images of trains at CUS due to low lighting conditions not to mention the limited sight lines.

The sleepers on the rear of No. 41 caught my attention. Maybe there is just enough light to make a serviceable image on the slide film I was using.

The images turned out dark and a little blurry. But they remind me of something I can’t see anymore, which is Heritage Fleet sleepers on a train that has been gone more than a decade.

I also liked the mood of the subdued lighting, which seems well suited to portray a passenger car designed for nighttime travel.

No. 2432 in the top photograph was built by the Budd Company in 1950 as Union Pacific 1449, Pacific Waves.

Amtrak retained the name and rebuilt the car to HEP capability in June 1980. Its original Amtrak roster number was 2642.

No. 2051 in bottom image has had a more varied history. It was built by Budd in 1949 as New York Central 10360.

The Central rebuilt the all-roomette care in 1961 to a sleeper coach with a configuration of 16 single rooms and 10 double rooms.

Amtrak reapplied the name Fairport Harbor, which had been dropped by either NYC or Penn Central. At one time it carried Amtrak roster number 2001.

No. 2432 was sold in 2001 and according to the book Amtrak by the Numbers by David C. Warner and Elbert Simon No. 2051 at last report was for sale in 2011. It may have been sold or donated to a museum by now.

Two PRR Icons in Lewistown

May 2, 2019

The news that former Pennsylvania Railroad position light signals are now gone between Harrisburg and Altoona, Pennsylvania, got me digging into my archives.

I remembered having made a photograph of another Pennsy icon passing position light signals in Lewistown, Pennsylvania, on the original PRR mainline between Philadelphia and Pittsburgh.

The image above shows No. 40 arriving in Lewistown on July 2, 1995.

The eastbound Broadway Limited had the standard consist for that era of a pair of F40PH locomotives, material handling cars and a mixture of Heritage fleet and Amfleet equipment.

There remain some of the iconic PRR signals between Altoona and Pittsburgh, but the last of those is expected to come down this summer.

So there is still time to photograph Amtrak’s Pennsylvanian splitting position light signals.

This go me wondering where else Amtrak might operate where there remain position light signals.

The most obvious answer is the Northeast Corridor, but what about beyond there?

Amtrak’s Capitol Limited continues to use ex-PRR tracks between Cleveland and Pittsburgh, but as far as I know all of the position light signals either have been removed or are about to fall on that route.

Several Amtrak trains use ex-PRR tracks in Chicago and northwest Indiana and work has been underway for some time to replace the position light signals there.

There are likely to remain some secondary routes with PRR position light signals, particularly if they are operated by short line or regional railroads that do not handle passenger trains and aren’t covered by the PTC mandate.

As the adage goes, get them while you can.

Late Broadway Limited in Massillon

November 30, 2018

Amtrak F40PH No. 282 heads a late westbound Broadway Limited as it goes through Massillon, Ohio, on June 22, 1978.

At the time Conrail was doing quite a bit of track work, and that may have been the reason the Broadway Limited was late.

Photograph by Robert Farkas