Midwest and Western Railroads
This section is a potpourri of documents from (mostly) extinct midwest and western railroads. Many of the companies were merged into much larger systems, and a few of the lines may still be important segments of one of the major systems still in operation today. With a few exceptions, information posted here is from years before 1970. For the Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific, for example, the 1970 threshold was breached to provide the last system timetable from 1979. Several other files from long ago "fallen flags" or merged railroads are from the 1970s, also. Many of the miscellaneous other timetables were received from friendly dispatchers and railroad tower operators over the years. Before all the recent concern about security, such employees were generally open and friendly with visitors and happy to share their information and expertise about the operation of their railroads. As additional materials are discovered from other railroads, no matter how large or small, they will be posted in this section. Canadian Pacific is included here for convenience, since it is a true transcontinental railroad.
Denver Union Terminal Railway
Gulf, Mobile & Ohio
Train Orders from: SP, UP, WP, MP, MKT, ICG, BN (CS)
From the "received" stamp on this CP Rail 1973 Freight Schedules, I can tell that I acquired this document while working as a junior staff member in the Rio Grande traffic office in Chicago. These schedules were of minor interest to the Rio Grande, and I suspect my rather tolerant boss said - "sure take that home and look it over if you like, and don't bother to bring it back...." At any rate, this was Canadian Pacific way before the modern era and "Precision Railroading" and all those fine things, so perhaps a CP aficionado might be interested in the company's promotional materials from an earlier time. I wish I had more freight information from the Canadian roads, but we had very few or no dealings with them on freight marketing at the DRGW. Both major Canadian roads had fine passenger schedule documents in the late 1960s that are found in the passenger section.
Denver Union Terminal Railway Company
Like many major cities, Denver had a joint ownership terminal company that was the station used by nearly all the railroads in the city. By the time this six page rule book was in effect in 1978, this operation had shrunk to a shadow of its former self, with one daily Amtrak train in each direction, and the tri-weekly Rio Grande Zephyr (until DRGW joined Amtrak in 1983). Today, an employee from the post Word War Two era would hardly recognize both the station platform area and the immediate surrounding development that has grown up around the transportation center now managed by the local transit agency, RTD.
Work In Progress
Gulf, Mobile & Ohio
The GM&O was our home town railroad when growing up in Springfield, Illinois. We rode it to visit relatives, or on trips to Chicago and so forth. The service (Chicago to St. Louis) was maintained into the Amtrak era, and the route is still an active Amtrak route as part of the large Union Pacific system. The GM&O lost its identity shortly after these timetables through merger into the larger Illinois Central System in 1972. That merged system proceeded to divest many of the GM&O routes because of parallel lines available on the IC. These divisions are relatively small, and the Eastern Division which covers Chicago to St. Louis, does not include the lines west toward Kansas City, for example. At any rate, this is a small salute to a long gone fallen flag.
Work in Progress
The items posted under the Milwaukee Road are provided courtesy of Pat Heinan, a former Denver Rio Grande locomotive engineer who also transferred to Amtrak with the crew takeover in the 1980s. In his earlier career, Pat had followed his father and was employed by the Milwaukee Railroad at their Chicago headquarters. In that position he had access to many files and documents that were being discarded by the carrier. He was able to rescue some items of interest that will be posted here when acquired. The 1917 magazine below is interesting because of its age and the discussion of the company's status as World War I was underway. The 1926 and 1928 issues have several feature articles about localities served by the Milwaukee, a great deal of local coverage of employee groups, and articles about operating challenges of the era. The 1973 magazine has a very thorough article about the Milwaukee's electrification project on the western lines. Lastly is a brief history of the Milwaukee road from 1847 to 1944 which charts the expansion of the railroad from its earliest lines. The "Old Depot" is a humorous depiction of an agency from the early 1900s. This drawing was found in an agency of the Milwaukee Road that was being closed in the later days of the company and was given to Pat by his father.
The Milwaukee Road has a very active historical association with many links to resources about the carrier if it is of particular interest to you (www.mrha.com).
The lone document I have from this classic Indiana railroad (the Hoosier Line) is the System Timetable 18 from 1969. This may have been the last issued before its purchase by the L&N. When I was attending college in Crawfordsville, Ames tower was an open operator's position around the clock and delivered the occasional train order to both P&E (Penn Central subsidiary) and Monon trains. One operating feature that I recall from listening to the Monon dispatcher at the Ames office (yes, wasting time rather than studying) was that when no meet order was issued - the second class trains 70 and 71 were making a scheduled meet at a nearby siding Linden, Indiana (eleven miles north of Ames). The Monon actually operated by the schedule in the timetable and/or train order (the line was protected by automatic block signals, as well). That was a novel concept to someone having worked on B&O branch lines, usually as extra movements, where I recall an engineer telling me: "Son, on the B&O you really don't need an accurate watch, you just need a calendar....".
George Hilton's 1978 book, "Monon Route", relates the developmental history of the railroad, and he emphasizes the difficult territory that it traversed particularly south of Bainbridge, Indiana (about 21 miles south of Crawfordsville). With all the line consolidations of the late twentieth century, it is no surprise that much of the Monon has been abandoned and in some cases turned into bicycle paths. A football rivalry between Wabash College in Crawfordsville and DePauw University in Greencastle is known as the "Monon Bell" game - supposedly the oldest continuous football rivalry west of the Allegheny mountains....
Work in Progress
Penn Central (and Pennsylvania and New York Central)
The Penn Central operated from 1968 to 1976. My source for these documents was a tower operator in Indianapolis, IN (his original railroad was New York Central). At various times he also worked in Ohio and Illinois as an operator, and a short period as a dispatcher in the Indianapolis office. His tenure with Conrail (1976-1999) was the longest of his four railroad employers (all the changes due to mergers). His shortest company affiliation was a few years after Conrail when CSX controlled the Indianapolis area lines, immediately before his retirement. When I received most of these materials, Penn Central was struggling in bankruptcy, and I didn't particularly admire or have much interest in the company. Unfortunately, I have nothing from his Conrail or CSX years, as I was working in the western United States and we didn't get together very often. With hindsight, I wish I had pestered him for more Penn Central items, and then Conrail and CSX in later years. Because of his working location, these materials are from the western regions of the Penn Central, and do not include any of the extensive eastern operations. The Indianapolis Union material is included here because it was part of the various merged systems after 1968 (jointly owned prior to that era).
Additional note on PRR materials: The Western Region General Orders cover the period from just before and after the merger with New York Central into the combined Penn Central in early 1968. One of them formally renames the company by General Order. The Rules Revisions for the 1956 book are from 1957 through 1960 and show various changes that were occurring in the industry that required rule updates. Both series of revisions were small loose leaf inserts that were never posted in the books being modified. Perhaps they were spare copies in a PRR tower somewhere in Indianapolis that my contact took home after they were out of date. They provide a small snap shot of an era when a lot of changes were taking place on this important major railroad.
On several different times in the 1970s, I visited Union Pacifc locations and obtained division timetables from nearby locations. I was assigned in Utah for a few months, and obtained the Utah and Idaho divisions at that time. The Wyoming, Nebraska, and Kansas materials were obtained when working in the traffic department in Colorado. The Eastern Region timetable from 1976 was perhaps the beginning of the consolidation into "System Timetables" which came about later. While I have many of these later voluminous system documents, I consider them too recent to be posted here. The examples here show the UP in the good old days, before all the recent mergers (takeovers). I can't recall where I obtained the perishable schedules from 1970, but they are of some interest as a snapshot of schedule performance from that era.
One of the fine senior engineers at Grand Junction, Colorado was Arthur Schwab. Art helped me a lot as a new engineer, and we shared a mid-western heritage, since Art hailed from Moberly, Missouri. His first railroad was the Wabash, and he also put some time in with the Rock Island. When he passed away a number of years ago, his family generously gave me a couple of his railroad items, including this Q & A from the Wabash Railroad. It appears to be an extensive review of air brake and mechanical questions for engineers on the Wabash, preparatory to their promotion from the fireman's ranks. The portion of the NW where B&O crews worked a few miles in Decatur, Illinois (noted above) was part of the former Wabash main line. I believe Art and I discussed that coincidence when we first met in Grand Junction, since he had worked into Decatur from Moberly in his Wabash career. I wish I had more items from Art, and especially about the Wabash, as it has been a "fallen flag" since its 1964 absorption into the NW system. Naturally, he has a "Follow the Flag" Wabash hat on in the photo below. An argument could be made for putting the Wabash in the "Eastern" category also, but it primarily spanned the midwest and was headquartered in Saint Louis, Missouri.
Train Orders found on locomotives
Because of various run through power arrangements in freight service, and Amtrak engines running through from California to Chicago (after 1983 on DRGW), train orders with clearances were frequently left on the engines. Over the years I saved a few of these sets of orders that are linked below. I was able to get a small glimpse of what was occurring on some adjoining carriers. Sometimes there were many speed restrictions in effect or other operating circumstances that are revealed in a few of the orders. Gradually most carriers transitioned to Track Warrant documents for issuing authority (when not operating in controlled territory) and the listing of track bulletins containing restrictions. Perhaps because of the type of documents involved, these warrants were more likely thrown into the trash when engines were cleaned, unlike many of the older orders which were often found jammed into some corner of the engine and overlooked when the engine was serviced.
Several Orders from UP and SP districts west of Salt Lake City
For the orders on Amtrak engines and freight engines west of Salt Lake City or Ogden, the clearance forms reflect the operation of the current of traffic paired lines west of Alazon to Weso, Nevada (just east of Winnemucca). During normal operations, all westbound trains used the former Southern Pacific, and eastbound trains used the former Western Pacific between these points. For several years after the Union Pacific takeover in 1982, Western Pacific clearances and blank order forms were still being used as illustrated in the links below. Amtrak and some of the long-haul freight crews in these districts were required to receive a clearance from each railroad to be properly informed of the various restrictions and maintenance of way work groups for their work assignments. Operating authority for trains was conveyed by current of traffic rules (old General Code Rule 251, later Rule 9.14) for this territory, so very few orders contain any specific operating authority information. The timetable pages for the carriers (SP or UP/WP) are shown at the end of the file for each set of orders to indicate the stations and milepost markers for the area.
The next file contains orders from Union Pacific engines that we received as run through power on coal trains originating at Carbondale, Colorado. This load out facility served Mid-Continent Coal and Coke but the actual mine was near Redstone, Colorado. The mine suffered a tragic fire when fifteen miners lost their lives and was closed in 1990. The load out facility at Carbondale was the slowest load out on our division at Grand Junction, taking three or four hours to load trains containing from 60 to 84 cars. The UP run through power travelled through to a Kaiser Steel plant in Fontana, CA and thus led to the acquisition of sets of orders found here in 1979 and 1980. The loaded trains travelled on the Lynndyl Subdivision of the UP west of Provo, Utah and joined the Salt Lake City to Los Angeles main line at Lynndyl. Three out of four clearances in the file deal with authority and movements on the Lynndyl Subdivision. Copies of subdivision pages from the 1973 Union Pacific Utah Division timetable are found at the end of the file.
Missouri Pacific, Missouri Kansas Texas, Illinois Central Gulf
Several sets of orders are from the Missouri Pacific and its later (1988) merger partner, the Missouri Kansas Texas (Katy) Railroad. Both railroads were thus included in the overall Union Pacific system. At the time of these documents (1984 and 1986), Missouri Pacific was owned and controlled by the Union Pacific and handled DRGW trackage rights trains between Pueblo, Colorado and Kansas City, Missouri. For that reason, it wasn’t unusual to see MP train orders left on our engines from those movements. However, the Katy clearance addressed to MP 6014 North at Parsons, Kansas was a bit rare – which is probably the reason I saved it. This MP engine must have travelled through to Grand Junction, perhaps on a set of coal empties unloaded at a MP utility customer.
Almost certainly connected by routing to the Missouri Pacific is a set of orders from Gwin, Mississippi on the Illinois Central Gulf. For a few years in the early 1980s, the DRGW originated a coal train at Cameo, Colorado which was routed DRGW-MP-ICG to a utility in Pascagoula, Mississippi. I recall that it was one of the longer western coal movements at the time. It ceased production before I transferred to Amtrak in 1988, due to changing coal markets. The current public policy against coal usage had not yet started, the markets and prices just shifted against this movement of western coal. There is a small note on the clearance form at Gwin: “Coal Mty”. In the orders, train 74 is identified as having engine MP 6073, so my guess is that this engine ended up in Grand Junction on these empties to reload at nearby Cameo. I found pages in the October 1947 Official Guide that show the stations near Gwin as part of tables 43 and 46. Then I recalled that I had a recent Canadian National timetable of the area from 2007. Those two sources are included after the orders. Additionally, a map of the MP from System Timetable Number 8 in 1977 is included at the end of the file for these ICG orders. It shows a bold line on the route from Coffeeville, Kansas to North Little Rock. From there, I believe the coal moved to Memphis, Tennessee to interchange with the ICG for the final leg of its journey to the utility.
Burlington Northern (Colorado and Southern)
The final group of train orders is from the Burlington Northern (former Colorado and Southern). This group contains numerous clearances and orders for the territory where DRGW trains operated over trackage rights between Pueblo, Walsenburg, and Trinidad. Most orders found here are routine. Some orders contain operating authority. A message from DRGW Trainmaster Pennington requests some assistance with information about train locations to assist dispatchers – something that would probably not be found in the current highly automated and computerized dispatching environments. One interesting detail about these BN orders is that they are all composed of original thin (nickname “flimsies”) train order paper – none are photocopies. Either BN had a policy against photocopies, or they were too cost conscious to equip every station with a copy machine, or the BN employees copying these orders were traditionalists that kept using the old methods until forced to discard them. At the end of the group are two pages from the 1983 BN Denver Region timetable, and a DRGW system map and instructions regarding the joint line operations from the 1980 DRGW System Timetable.