Today In Railroad History

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Patrick H

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I just want to say that I think this is a very nice idea for a thread. I find some of the postings to be very fascinating. For example, it never occurred to me that there was ever such a thing as a local time zone. (Except for the opening and closing of shooting hours during duck season, which are regulated by the precise time of sunrise and sunset.)
 
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I just want to say that I think this is a very nice idea for a thread. I find some of the postings to be very fascinating. For example, it never occurred to me that there was ever such a thing as a local time zone. (Except for the opening and closing of shooting hours during duck season, which are regulated by the precise time of sunrise and sunset.)
Not many folks realize that it was the railroads, not the government, who established time zones to keep better control over train schedules.

http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/railroads-create-the-first-time-zones
 

captaindrew

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All the men in my father's family for many generations were railroaders until my generation. I now have a grandson who is obsessed with trains. I prefer to think of it as blood memory. This is a picture of when life is awesome - getting a ride on a train.

View attachment 166421
Great picture! That looks like me as a young boy, well that's still me when I get to go on a train ride, particularly when there is a steam locomotive involved.
 
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Patrick H

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Mar 7, 2014
Not many folks realize that it was the railroads, not the government, who established time zones to keep better control over train schedules.

http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/railroads-create-the-first-time-zones
In a neighboring town there exists a small observatory with a couple of Jules-Verne-like telescopes. I won't be able to use the correct terminology, but one of those telescopes could be adjusted for elevation, but not from side to side. It has a vertical hair reticle in the eyepiece. I've observed various stars seeming to move across the reticle as the earth rotated. This telescope was used, among other things, to precisely set the time of day as known stars crossed the reticle at known times. I was told that this information was then telegraphed to all the railroad depots in the area so their schedules could be accurately set. I don't know if all that's true, but it seems plausible!
 

dibbern

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May 9, 2014
Location
Chicago area, IL
(This is off topic, sorry. Perhaps a new thread?)
I don't know very much at all about RR history, and so I am grateful for this forum. I do remember, though, the black steam locomotives of the Chicago & Northwestern. I live in Des Plaines, on the Northwest line, and I think we had steam until I was about 6 or 7 yrs; 1949-50. I actually rode in the cab of one for about a mile. The noise was astounding!

My question is how did railroad companies prosper from what seems like a very limited range of communities served? For instance, Jim mentions "In the state of Michigan, the Amboy, Lansing and Traverse Bay Railroad..." How on earth was it profitable to serve such small communities, and actually build a rail line with all its capital expense?

There are numerous other examples besides the one I quoted above. Shine some light on this, please.
 
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DaveBrt

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Charlotte, NC
I just want to say that I think this is a very nice idea for a thread. I find some of the postings to be very fascinating. For example, it never occurred to me that there was ever such a thing as a local time zone. (Except for the opening and closing of shooting hours during duck season, which are regulated by the precise time of sunrise and sunset.)
Southern Railroad Time in 1862

http://csa-railroads.com/Essays/Railroad_Time.htm
 
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November 19, 1855

The Grand Trunk opened through Cornwall, Ontario from Ste-Anne-de-Belleveue to Brockville in broad guage. A passenger train originating at Brockville to Montreal (Nos. 25 and 26) became known as "the Moccasin" for the Native Americans who used that train to sell their wares in the city. Cornwall had a station (situated on the north side of Ninth Sreet East where Sydney Street was extended), engine house, freight house and dining hall. Cornwall itself at one time was part of New York Central's Ottawa division.

November 19, 1873

In the state of Michigan, the Detroit Transit Railway (East Side) was opened from a connection with the Detroit & Milwaukee Road near Riopelle and orleans to a point 1.5 miles away using street running. The line followed Guion St. to Walker, across Walker to Wight and up to the Detroit Stove Works. The company became the Detroit Manufacturers Railroad on January 30, 1902. It was leased to the Michigan Central RR on April 1, 1902, because the MCRR did most of the business with the company.

November 19, 1891

Granville T. Woods receives a patent for a third rail to operate electrified railways. This black inventor from Columbus, Ohio dedicated his life to developing a variety of inventions relating to the railroad industry and held more than 60 patents.
 
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Not much to report for November 21 in railroad history, but there are Civil War goings on to report.

In 1861 Judah Benjamin is confirmed as Secretary of War in the CSA.

In 1862 James Seddon becomes the third Confederate Secretary of War, replacing George Randolph who had replaced Benjamin.
 
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November 23, 1868

In the state of Michigan, the Kalamazoo, Allegan & Grand Rapids Railroad reached Allegan from Kalamazoo.

November 23, 1898

Andrew Jackson Beard received patent #594,059 for a railway car coupler. Born a slave, Beard worked a number of occupations, including the railroad industry. This led to the improved railroad coupler, which was credited with preventing many serious injuries among railroad workers.

November 23, 1912

In Michigan, the Lake Shore placed into service the first single track automatic block signals on it's line. They were installed on the Old Road, between Elk Hart and White Pigeon, Michigan. The signals were three position, upper quadrant. Three meeting points were arranged between the two towns Morehous and Bristol, Indiana, and at Vistula, Michigan. Railroad men anticipated that this would greatly help the operation on that busy track.

November 23, 1915

In the Canadian province of Ontario, Canadian Northern Ontario Railway opened from Rideau Junction (Federal) to Pembroke.

November 23, 1968

The Denver & Rio Grande Western had operated the last passenger train between Durango and Alamosa, Colorado.
 
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November 27, 1873

The Boston & Maine Railroad made the first breakthrough in construction of it's tunnel under Hoosac Mountain in Massachussetts.


November 27, 1901

In the state of Michigan, a head-on collision on the Wabash Railroad near Seneca, in Lenawee County killed 24 people.


November 27, 1910

New York's Penn Station opened as the world's largest railway terminal.


November 27, 1954

In the Canadian province of Ontario at Hull, streetcar #918 made it's final run from Hull to Ottawa on the Hull Electric Railway.


November 27, 1957

The operation of steam power came to an end on the Pennsylvania Railroad.


November 27, 1964

The Pennsylvania Railroad ended Pittsburg commuter service.
 
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November 28, 1877

The first two foot gauge railroad in the U.S., the Bedford & Billerica Railroad, opened.

In the Civil War, on November 28, 1863, in Dalton, Ga. Braxton Bragg telegraphed his resignation as AOT commander to the War Department in Richmond. Davis replaced him with Joseph E. Johnston.
 
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November 29, 1847

In the state of Michigan, Michigan's first telegraph line was completed along the Michigan Central Railroad tracks between Detroit and Ypsilanti. The first messages sent were long and ranged from the price of wheat and putty to news of the Mexican War. Eventually the line would be extended to Chicago and be used by the Michigan Central to dispatch trains.


November 29, 1849

The Michigan Central Railroad scheduled a 2nd train between Detroit and the west side of the state.


November 29, 1870

The Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe signed contracts to build the railroad from Atchiston to Topeka, Kansas.


November 29, 1954

The first Budd dome cars entered service, connecting with the North Coast Limited on the Spokane, Portland & Seattle Railway.
 

John Hartwell

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November 27, 1873. The Boston & Maine Railroad made the first breakthrough in construction of it's tunnel under Hoosac Mountain in Massachussetts.
Boring from both sides of the mountain, 4.75 miles apart, they met in the middle:
lowellDlyCit6D73.png

[Lowell Daily Citizen, 3 Dec. 1873]
It's said to be the most haunted place in New England. [http://www.boudillion.com/hoosac/hoosac.htm]
It took 24 years to build, at a cost of $21 million, and 195 lives.
 
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November 30, 1959

Passenger service ended on the Cotton Belt (St. Louis & Southwestern Railroad).

November 30, 1968

Clinchfield's 4-4-0 #1 was restored to service.

November 30, 1985

Perre Marquette's #1225, a 2-8-4, moves under steam for the first time in 34 years.

November 30, 1990

Canadian National ceased operation of their riverfront yard in Windsor, Ontario.

November 30, 1994

The Alaska Railroad brought up a 700- foot long rail grinder to remove imperfections on the rail. The cost was $1.2 million to realize a cost savings of $5.3 million over 10 years.
 
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