WWII troop trains/North Platt canteen


ed_mines
 

Last Friday night I taped a program on PBS about the canteen for
WWII soldiers in North Platt, Nebraska; the soldiers got off the
train when the locomotive took on coal and water and then reboarded
10 minutes later.

Since these trains went from railroad to railroad, frequently with
off road equipment, I hope Mike will pass this post.

There was quite a bit of train action but no memorable freight cars.

I found two things noteworthy. Jim and Mrs. Seacrist contibuted
money for the program. Anyone else have any dealing with Jim? He
advertised for old HO freight car models for years in MR's
classifieds. Then he went to O gauge.

They showed one train consisting of 2 troop sleepers, 2 conventional
passenger cars and a caboose. I wonder how the caboose fit in?

Seeing this program I was proud to be an American.

Ed


Bruce Smith
 

On Aug 21, 2006, at 10:42 AM, ed_mines wrote:

Last Friday night I taped a program on PBS about the canteen for
WWII soldiers in North Platt, Nebraska; the soldiers got off the
train when the locomotive took on coal and water and then reboarded
10 minutes later.
They showed one train consisting of 2 troop sleepers, 2 conventional
passenger cars and a caboose. I wonder how the caboose fit in?
Ed,

There are several possibilities -
1) The cars were so full of troops that the train crew needed the extra space.
2) The cars may have been destined to be dropped somewhere and the train crew needed a place to rid for the trip back.
3) The train may have been carrying additional freight cars with equipment, or due to pick up freight cars with equipment and the caboose would have carried the markers (and rear end crew) behind those cars. Note that after early 1943 this "mixed" MAIN was unusual but certainly possible.
4) It may just have been a convenient way to get a caboose where it was needed as the MAIN doesn't sound like it was even close to tonnage <G>.

Regards
Bruce

Bruce F. Smith
Auburn, AL
http://www.vetmed.auburn.edu/~smithbf/

"Some days you are the bug, some days you are the
windshield."
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Tim Gilbert <tgilbert@...>
 

ed_mines wrote:

Last Friday night I taped a program on PBS about the canteen for
WWII soldiers in North Platt, Nebraska; the soldiers got off the
train when the locomotive took on coal and water and then reboarded
10 minutes later.
In 2003, Bob Greene, a columnist for one of the Chicago papers, wrote a book about the North Platte Canteen - "Once Upon A Town - The Miracle of the North Platte Canteen." The book has no photos, and may be scarce on trains, as it is more stories about the women who served and the soldiers who passed through. The book and audio tape is available new and used after searching http://bookfinder.com/ for author "Bob Greene" and title "Once upon a Town - the Miracle of the North Platte Canteen." Prices start at just over $10.00 for a new book, but under $5.00 for both the used book or audio tape.

Tim Gilbert


ljack70117@...
 

On the UN PAC the main trains used cabooses for the train crew. The military had their people in the cars.
Thank you
Larry Jackman
Boca Raton FL
ljack70117@...

On Aug 21, 2006, at 11:42 AM, ed_mines wrote:

Last Friday night I taped a program on PBS about the canteen for
WWII soldiers in North Platt, Nebraska; the soldiers got off the
train when the locomotive took on coal and water and then reboarded
10 minutes later.

Since these trains went from railroad to railroad, frequently with
off road equipment, I hope Mike will pass this post.

There was quite a bit of train action but no memorable freight cars.

I found two things noteworthy. Jim and Mrs. Seacrist contibuted
money for the program. Anyone else have any dealing with Jim? He
advertised for old HO freight car models for years in MR's
classifieds. Then he went to O gauge.

They showed one train consisting of 2 troop sleepers, 2 conventional
passenger cars and a caboose. I wonder how the caboose fit in?

Seeing this program I was proud to be an American.

Ed






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jaley <jaley@...>
 

On Aug 21, 12:29pm, ljack70117@... wrote:
Subject: Re: [STMFC] WWII troop trains/North Platt canteen
On the UN PAC the main trains used cabooses for the train crew. The
military had their people in the cars.
Larry,

I don't know about WWII, but by the early 1950's (Korean War era)
this was no longer true. There are many MAIN trains shown (in their
entirety!) on the UP outside of Fort Riley, KS in the DVD "Union Pacific
Steam Classics Volume 1" from Greg Scholl Video Productions. None of them
had cabooses.

Regards,

-Jeff


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Larry Buell
 

Bruce Smith wrote:
Ed,
There are several possibilities -
1) The cars were so full of troops that the train crew needed the
extra space.
2) The cars may have been destined to be dropped somewhere and
the train crew needed a place to rid for the trip back.
3) The train may have been carrying additional freight cars with
equipment, or due to pick up freight cars with equipment and the
caboose would have carried the markers (and rear end crew) behind
those cars. Note that after early 1943 this "mixed" MAIN was
unusual
but certainly possible.
4) It may just have been a convenient way to get a caboose where
it
was needed as the MAIN doesn't sound like it was even close to
tonnage <G>.

Regards
Bruce

Mixed MAINS were indeed a reality. My father joined the Navy in
early 1945. He traveled to basic training in April 1945, to San
Diego from western Arkansas. He boarded a troopsleeper on a train
in Booneville, Arkansas (CRIP) and five days later arrived in San
Diego via the ATSF and who know what other railroad. At this time
the military still traveled on circuitous routes to "fool the
enemy". Their car was the only passenger car on several freight
trains and they were "set out" every night for pick-up by another
train. Not having a diner, they stopped for meals along the way.
He did not pay much attention to the types of freight cars on the
trains but did notice (smelled?) that on several occasions there
were loaded stock cars in the consist.
Larry Buell


armprem
 

I have been on a few troop trains and never on a single one that had a
caboose,but that doesn't mean it never happened.Armand Premo

----- Original Message -----
From: "labuell51" <lbuell@...>
To: <STMFC@...>
Sent: Monday, August 21, 2006 9:39 PM
Subject: [STMFC] Re: WWII troop trains/North Platt canteen


Bruce Smith wrote:
Ed,
There are several possibilities -
1) The cars were so full of troops that the train crew needed the
extra space.
2) The cars may have been destined to be dropped somewhere and
the train crew needed a place to rid for the trip back.
3) The train may have been carrying additional freight cars with
equipment, or due to pick up freight cars with equipment and the
caboose would have carried the markers (and rear end crew) behind
those cars. Note that after early 1943 this "mixed" MAIN was
unusual
but certainly possible.
4) It may just have been a convenient way to get a caboose where
it
was needed as the MAIN doesn't sound like it was even close to
tonnage <G>.

Regards
Bruce

Mixed MAINS were indeed a reality. My father joined the Navy in
early 1945. He traveled to basic training in April 1945, to San
Diego from western Arkansas. He boarded a troopsleeper on a train
in Booneville, Arkansas (CRIP) and five days later arrived in San
Diego via the ATSF and who know what other railroad. At this time
the military still traveled on circuitous routes to "fool the
enemy". Their car was the only passenger car on several freight
trains and they were "set out" every night for pick-up by another
train. Not having a diner, they stopped for meals along the way.
He did not pay much attention to the types of freight cars on the
trains but did notice (smelled?) that on several occasions there
were loaded stock cars in the consist.
Larry Buell






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Chet French <cfrench@...>
 

--- In STMFC@..., "ed_mines" <ed_mines@...> wrote:

Last Friday night I taped a program on PBS about the canteen for
WWII soldiers in North Platt, Nebraska; the soldiers got off the
train when the locomotive took on coal and water and then reboarded
10 minutes later.

Since these trains went from railroad to railroad, frequently with
off road equipment, I hope Mike will pass this post.

There was quite a bit of train action but no memorable freight
cars.

I found two things noteworthy. Jim and Mrs. Seacrist contibuted
money for the program. Anyone else have any dealing with Jim? He
advertised for old HO freight car models for years in MR's
classifieds. Then he went to O gauge.

They showed one train consisting of 2 troop sleepers, 2
conventional
passenger cars and a caboose. I wonder how the caboose fit in?

Most often freight pool crews were used and their caboose went with
them. This could be a case of coming out of the away-from-home
terminal on the troop train or going out of the home terminal with a
troop train and returning home on a freight train. On districts
where passenger service was more prevalent, a uniformed passenger
crew might be requested and there was, no doubt, a place made
available for the crew to ride.

Chet French
Dixon, IL


r_versailles
 

--- In STMFC@..., "ed_mines" <ed_mines@...> wrote:

Last Friday night I taped a program on PBS about the canteen for
WWII soldiers in North Platt, Nebraska; the soldiers got off the
train when the locomotive took on coal and water and then
reboarded
10 minutes later.

Ed
Ed,
To the best of my knowledge, troop trains were handled (by the RR's)
as freight trains, and usually as a lower priority train. Freight
trains had cabooses, it's as simple as that.
I have a freind who has talked of riding on troop trains, and once
road in the caboose with the crew. As someone else mentioned, the
military had there people on the troop cars. The Pullman Co.
operated many cars, which then included a Pullman employee who
serviced the car. I believe that a kitchen car was included for
every two troop cars.
Rudy


Dennis Storzek <dstorzek@...>
 

--- In STMFC@..., "r_versailles" <rversailles@...> wrote:

Ed,
To the best of my knowledge, troop trains were handled (by the RR's)
as freight trains, and usually as a lower priority train. Freight
trains had cabooses, it's as simple as that.
It very likely varied from road to road, and also on the same road
depending on the crew district, and also the crew.

If the train crew was called off the passenger extra board, then no
caboose would be used.

If the crew was called off the freight extra board in a district where
pool cabooses were used, likely no caboose would be used.

But, if the crew was called off the freight extra board and the
conductor had a caboose assigned, the caboose went with him, for a
number of reason; They may need it to have their rest, if the away
terminal had no hotel or other facilities for crews to rest. Even if
there was a hotel, the crew would need a caboose for whatever trip
they caught next to take them back to their home terminal. In
addition, on crew districts where assigned cabooses were used, the
conductor was very likely entitled to an "arbitrary" payment for
having to use a caboose other than the one he was assigned. So, it
made sense to just send his caboose with him.

Dennis


Bruce Smith
 

On Aug 22, 2006, at 11:23 PM, r_versailles wrote:
To the best of my knowledge, troop trains were handled (by the RR's)
as freight trains, and usually as a lower priority train.
Not exactly. MAIN trains were considered as passenger movements by many (most?) railroads, and had varying degrees of priority assigned.

Freight
trains had cabooses, it's as simple as that.
No, it is not nearly as simple as that <G>. In fact, I believe the original post asked about the caboose in the context that it was rare and unexpected. I think Dennis has nicely addressed the reasons why you might or might not see a caboose.

I have a freind who has talked of riding on troop trains, and once
road in the caboose with the crew. As someone else mentioned, the
military had there people on the troop cars. The Pullman Co.
operated many cars, which then included a Pullman employee who
serviced the car. I believe that a kitchen car was included for
every two troop cars.
Actually, kitchen cars were assigned on the basis of the number of troops. Typically, this was up to 200-250 men per kitchen car and the ratio usually ranged from 6-8 sleepers per kitchen car.

Regards
Bruce

Bruce F. Smith
Auburn, AL
http://www.vetmed.auburn.edu/~smithbf/

"Some days you are the bug, some days you are the
windshield."
__
/ &#92;
__<+--+>________________&#92;__/___ ________________________________
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Tony Thompson
 

On Aug 22, 2006, at 11:23 PM, r_versailles wrote:
> To the best of my knowledge, troop trains were handled (by the RR's)
> as freight trains, and usually as a lower priority train.
On Aug 23, 2006, at 10:56 AM, Bruce Smith wrote:
Not exactly. MAIN trains were considered as passenger movements by
many (most?) railroads, and had varying degrees of priority assigned.
I think Bruce is right. Certainly employees from the war era on the SP talk about how MUCH priority the MAIN trains got, definitely nothing like freight trains. I have looked through the few photos I have of SP MAIN trains and have not found any cabooses on them.

Tony Thompson Editor, Signature Press, Berkeley, CA
2906 Forest Ave., Berkeley, CA 94705 www.signaturepress.com
(510) 540-6538; fax, (510) 540-1937; e-mail, thompson@...
Publishers of books on railroad history


Andy Sperandeo <asperandeo@...>
 

I know of only a few photos showing MAIN trains on the Santa Fe where you
can definitely see the rear end, but none of them shows a caboose. As Tony
Thompson said of the SP, these trains were given a high priority on the
Santa Fe, and I believe they were often run as sections of first-class
schedules. They did sometimes have freight power, such as 2-10-2s equipped
with steam connections and air-signal lines, or 100-class FT diesels with a
steam-generator car. (The Santa Fe rebuilt five old tenders from Pacific
types as steam generator cars in 1943, and painted them blue and yellow to
match the freight diesels. The first Santa Fe FT set equipped at delivery
for passenger service, the 167, arrived in 1945, also in the blue-and-yellow
colors.) But this is getting pretty far afield from freight cars.

So long,

Andy

Andy Sperandeo
Executive Editor
Model Railroader magazine
asperandeo@...
262-796-8776, ext. 461
FAX 262-796-1142