Light at the End of the Tunnel: A TL of the American Railroad

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: After 1900' started by Andrew Boyd, Jan 24, 2019.

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  1. Swede Tech-priest

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    Art Deco sounds like something that would be built around then.

    That made me curious about the Tribeca name, and I found:
    "The name was coined in the early 1970s and originally applied to the area bounded by Broadway and Canal, Lispenard, and Church Streets. which appears to be a triangle on city planning maps. Residents of this area formed the TriBeCa Artists' Co-op in filing legal documents connected to a 1973 zoning dispute. According to a local historian, the name was misconstrued by a newspaper reporter as applying to a much larger area, which is how it came to be the name of the current neighborhood.[3]"
    wiki
    Which is a shame. It's a good name, but doesn't look like something anyone would come up with for a station.
    Looking at a map to get a better grip of the location.... That's a significant chunk of land. Maybe name it for a Mayor or Senator to get the planning process to move faster?
     
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  2. Andrew Boyd Autistic, but Artistic

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    Well in that case, consider the station's name butterflying its origins IOTL.
     
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  3. TheMann Canuckwanker in Chief

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    Or somebody at the B&O's offices in Baltimore also came up with the district name idea :)
     
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  4. Threadmarks: Santa Fe reroutes beginning 1933

    Andrew Boyd Autistic, but Artistic

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    Over the course of 1933, the Aitchison, Topeka, and Santa Fe Railroad decided that it would try to improve several of their routes across the network.

    The first part of this plan was a fairly simple one. Santa Fe would first acquire the portion of the Toledo, Peoria, & Western from Peoria, IL to their junction with said line at Lomax, IL. Then, they extended their Pekin Branch from Pekin to Peoria in 1935. Similarly, the Santa Fe purchased the St. Louis-San Fransisco line in Kansas from Wichita to Ellsworth, which joined the mainline at Burrton.

    The biggest change however, was how the Santa Fe made plans to build a new line entirely to serve its namesake city in New Mexico. Thus would be far trickier than the other two reroutes due to not only a new line being built, but also because the route from Las Vegas to Santa Fe would encounter many troublesome grades. However, part of the solution was decided to be having two crews build from Las Vegas and Albuquerque. Working with the regional operations of the Civilian Conversation Corps, the railroad was able to get the first leg from Albuquerque to Santa Fe completed by June 1935, with the part from Las Vegas being completed in 1936.

    The following year would see the arrival of Santa Fe's newest passenger service, an upgraded version of the legendary Chicago-Los Angeles Chief, which now served Peoria, Wichita, and Santa Fe on its route. This new and improved version would be operated by Streamlined 3460 Class Hudsons that had been painted in an early version of the Warbonnet scheme.

    [​IMG]
    Above: 4-6-4 #3460 in the "Steambonnet" paint scheme. It was originally painted in two-tone blue but was repainted to haul the revised Chief in 1937.
     
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  5. Andrew Boyd Autistic, but Artistic

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    What do you guys want to see next?

    I ask because I'm not sure wether I should detail things that are different from OTL.
     
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  6. Lucas Well-Known Member

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    Well, i have a list of somethings that would like to view in this ATL
    - Steamers retired more later. Maybe some new streamliners models?
    - More rapid transit and interurban/light rail;
    - NYC Subway don´t became in a total crap system by 70s/80s;
    - Begin of HSR systems built in US, link major corridor like Midwest/L.A.-SF/NEC;
    - Would be more widespread electrification in this ATL? Milwaukee Road closing the gap and modernize the system. Some roads begin investments on electric trains on major corridors?
     
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  7. Swede Tech-priest

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    Maybe have the NYC subway instead of being turned in to a State owned agency, have it combine into a agency that covers the metropolitan counties and gets its funding from there? i.e. MTA not run by NY State but instead be actually "Metropolitan". So... subway, buses, LIRR, PATH, and commuter rail into NJ, NY and even CT run by one agency?
     
  8. Andrew Boyd Autistic, but Artistic

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    Many of these are actually planned.
     
  9. Patg_hnj Donor

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    I fancy the PRR completing it's electrification from Harrisburg to Conway Yard in Pittsburgh
     
  10. TheMann Canuckwanker in Chief

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    You'd have to rebuild the Gallitzin tunnels to make that work, as they don't have anything like the clearance needed for overhead cantenary to be strung over them.
     
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  11. Patg_hnj Donor

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    The Hudson Tunnels are only 19'6" in diameter so not impossible and if I remember correctly the PRR was thinking of taking the electrification over the mountains anyway.
     
  12. Sceonn Peace at a Bargain Price

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    Maybe something for the layman? I mean, not really into who built this line where, more on the social and economic impacts of this increase in rail traffic. How would it affect the general mobilization on WW2 that was bogged by had road conditions.
     
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  13. Threadmarks: Locomotives: Superpower of the latter-day Southern Railroad

    Andrew Boyd Autistic, but Artistic

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    When looking over what the Ripley Plan would have gotten them, the Southern decided it was a fairly sweet deal. In Florida, their reach was darmatically expanded by being able to operate the Florida East Coast. Further west, they were able to acquire a line to Nashville via the Tennessee Central railroad's eastern half, as well as a 33% stake in the Nashville, Chattanooga, & St. Louis which they bought from the Louisville & Nashville; also they purchased the Mobile & Ohio from its St. Louis-Mobile route, and the Chicago, Indianapolis, & Louisville from Chicago to Louisville via Monon, leaving the rest to the Baltimore & Ohio.

    With the dramatically expanded network, the Southern came to realize that it would need new power to handle the workloads. To that end, they began working to have a series of new steam engines constructed.

    The Ts-2/3/4 4-8-2s
    upload_2019-2-10_15-11-46.png
    Sprite art of Ts-3 #2461. Today, it is a major player in the Southern's iconic steam excursion program.

    As the Southern gained more and more stake in the line, the Florida East Coast engines began to see more use all across the Southern. Though the engines were still labeled at FEC (and the company has remained semi-independent for all this time), the three classes also had their numbers changed with a 2 in front to the numbers, thus for example, 404 became 2404, or 819 was now 2819. As the age of the Ps-4 Pacifics became more apparent, the Southern worked with ALCO Richmond to create several more of the 401 type. These engines resembled their original FEC equivalents closely. But with the addition of a Southern-style headlight and their Crescent Green livery.

    The Us-1 2-8-4 "Piedmonts"
    [​IMG]
    #2716 is seen on an excursion during her time with the Southern excursion program. She is noticeably better dressed than during revenue days.

    In the Washington-Atlanta speedway portion of the railroad, older engines were having trouble hauling the increasingly bigger freights that the economic re-growth caused. As such, the Southern opted for a 2-8-4 on the grounds of being stronger but also faster. Turning to Lima for several engines that were numbered in consistency with the former FEC Mikados. These engines were classified the Us-1 type, and would be become the primary freight hauler on lines in Eastern parts of the system. With older mikados and Santa Fes finishing their service on freight in western parts of the system.

    The Vs-1 4-8-4 "Crescents"
    upload_2019-2-10_15-27-19.png
    Sprite art of #2609. Which is now part of the Southern steam Excursion program as its main star.

    Likewise, the Southern also ordered several 4-8-4s from Lima. Very similar to the Soo Line's 5000 series, the engines were primarily mixed-traffic, but would be the last steamers to haul such iconic Southern trains as The Crescent from DC to Atlanta. These engines were the second most numerous Southern passenger engine, and were adorned in an even more gorgeous form of the Southern Green, as well as a gold shaped eagle above the smokebox. They could be seen on just about any part of the Southern's system from Washington DC to New Orleans or the interchange with the Florida East Coast in Jacksonville.

    The MMs-1 2-8-2+2-8-2 Garratt
    [​IMG]
    The South African Railways GE Garratt, on which the MMs-1 was heavily based.

    The Ratholde Division of the Southern was always a major bottleneck for its dire tunnel and curvature issues. The issue went beyond this, however, as the Southern was also limited to the size of the locomotives able to operate the line due to asphyxiation and heat problems. In most cases, only the smallest 2-8-2 Mikados in freight service and 4-6-2 Pacifics for passenger trains could be used. But things changed when in the 1930s, ALCO approached the Southern with the idea of constructing a garratt, which ALCO had the license for from Beyer-Peacock & Company, and both companies worked with the Southern to design them. Much like several Garratts built around the same time for Canadian National [1], these were mainly to see if they worked. However, the garratt worked wonders thanks to its ability to run just as well back-first, and several more were operated until diesels eventually arrived. Today, three are preserved with one, #7508, working on the famous steam program.

    [1] Ask @TheMann for details.
     
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2019
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  14. Swede Tech-priest

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    Maps, I crave maps.
     
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  15. Andrew Boyd Autistic, but Artistic

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    Well I'm afraid you'll have to wait a bit longer.
     
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  16. Andrew Boyd Autistic, but Artistic

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  17. TheMann Canuckwanker in Chief

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    It is possible but bear in mind that the Hudson River Tunnels were built with electrification in mind as there qas no way steam engines could operate in that tunnel. The Gallitzin Tunnels IOTL were rebuilt by Conrail in the 1990s for double-stack container operations (minimum height needed for double-stack containers is 20'6") and that was a big job, and building the Gallitzin Tunnels for wires would need more than that, otherwise the cars run into issues with spark zone, and if you electrify the Pennsylvania Main Line to Pittsburgh you will run into problems with larger freight cars starting in the late 1950s, which will necessitate the tunnels being rebuild a second time.
     
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  18. Republic of Michigan Member

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    Aug 8, 2017
    In my opinion, something that would help is if Eisenhower never becomes President. While it would eliminate the Federal Aid Highway Act of 1956, giving the railroads a slightly better edge as road travel would take longer, it would have several other major repercussions. Some of those are difficult to predict, but one is that the Korean War would be elongated and steam locomotives might last a bit longer.
     
  19. marathag Well-Known Member

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    Feb 2, 2013
    The first Interstate Highways studies were done in 1938, Legislation passed, but not funded in 1944.

    No Ike, and Dewey or Stevenson would be signing the 1956 Act.

    People wanted faster roads than what the existing State Highway system could provide
     
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  20. Fulton 44 Well-Known Member

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    The Staggers Act saved the private railroad industry in the US. Prior to that, price regulation at the ICC (famously called, "the great beached whale of American government") was strangling the industry. With greater flexibility the industry has moved forward and become highly profitable and functional.
     
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