The New Haven RR’s 1947 IBM Car Processing And Forwarding System

In 1947 the New Haven RR installed a mechanized IBM car forwarding and processing system that used teletype technology.  The railroad was apparently very proud of their new system and published a small booklet about it.  I found a copy and scanned because it’s an interesting look of how technologies changed business operations and the evolution toward data processing and technologies.  It’s also a good look at how the railroads conducted their business in the transition era.  It seems that the motive power transition was not the only one happening on the rails, just one of the most visible.

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Rethinking Transit

A bus that I would WANT to ride in.

This is more of a limo service than public transit.  That’s OK. I think that such options should be available for people who can afford them and don’t want to drive themselves and don’t want to be crammed into the typical transit bus.  The fact is that when transit systems were run privately such options were available, at an extra cost to rider.  On most of the NYC railroads to the suburbs, for instance, groups would lease “club cars” for their members morning and evening commutes into and out of the city.  these cars were usually old parlor cars from mainline trains and had a clubby atmosphere, with many commuters not only taking the same train, but the same seat every day.  Here’s the most  famous of the cars, the V:XI GBC, which stood for 5:11. which was the train it was on Gentleman’s Bar Club.

The club cars disappeared in the early 1970’s when they were retired and replaced with far more pedestrian M2 bar cars which lost the atmosphere of the old clubs because they were run by the state supported railroad and not as clubs.  Not to mention that the bar cars where on the toilet ends of the M2s and they never managed to remove the smell of the toilets from the trains for the entire lives of the M2.  That, and the fixed seats sort of killed the clubby atmosphere of the evening commute.

By making transit more egalitarian, maybe we’ve lost something.  When there are no aspirations for better service, the service runs down.  I wouldn’t want to repeat the bad old days of the 1970’s and we need to consider that unless, like these busses, good and comfortable transit options are not available people who can afford to drive won’t use them.  Which draws the transit down  to the lowest common denominator and loses it’s ability to improve the traffic situation and have people actually use to it’s maximum possibilities.

Two Old New Haven RR Videos

From a stock footage outfit.

This one says it’s from 1928.

I’m going to say that it’s more than likely from earlier than that because the train uses paired EP1s rather than an EP2 which was normal for longer trains after EP2s entered the roster.

This one is from 1937 or 1938 during the fiftieth anniversary of the New Britain and Nantesket Beach electrifications.


Elegant Travel In a Different Time

A while back I bought little travel book put together by the New Haven RR’s marketing dept. for their First Class train, The Yankee Clipper.  While there are no views of the outside of the train, we can see the elegant trimmings of the Parlor and Lounge cars that made up the Yankee Clipper consist.

The gate at Grand Central



Boarding the train


The Parlor Seating


In the Lounge


Working on the train.


The staff provide excellent service.


The Dining car. Where the galley is as clean as the tablecloths


The Solarium Observation


The smoking lounge. Yes you could smoke on the train


Elegant travel for a different time.