Pennsy - New York Central - Penn Central
I was fortunate to have lived not far from the Pennsylvania Railroad back in the 1950s and 60s, and able to obtain some photos of it, and, later the Penn Central in its days before Amtrak and Conrail. Though I was fortunate enough to have ridden on the New York Central, including two glorious trips on the 20th Century Limited, I was seldom in a good location to photograph it. What I remember were two world-class railroads in their last days, trying to fight the likes of Eastern Airlines, United Airlines and interstate highways, letting plant and equipment deterioriate, and slowly but surely getting into the game of permitting most, though not all, of their passenger trains, do the same. My enduring memories are of wonderful trips on the Broadway Limited and 20th Century Limited, and a ride on the last Penn Central train between New York and Buffalo that had no radio in the cab, very little food on board and no intention of arriving on time -- by this time radios, decent rolling stock, and probably place mats had been sold to Mexico. Here, with little commentary are photos and some other materials gathered along the way.
Above are two shots of Pennsy's Afternoon Keystone, one taken in Metuchen, NJ, in 1962, when it still had lightweight articulated equipment, and the other in Washington, DC., in 1966, after the experimental lightweights had been abandoned.
Above is a venerable PC Trenton Local, still in Pennsy colors, on its way though Adams Station, New Jersey, on its way to Penn Station New York, in 1968. I rode these trains often. They featured very loud motors and hard wicker seats.
Here's the all-Pullman Broadway Limited cruising through Metuchen, NJ, where I lived, in the summer of 1961. At that point the train was still in full glory. I rode it four years later. Below is the boarding gate in Chicago and my ticket. I remember a wonderful double dining car, impeccable service and pulling out of Englewood station in Chicago right alongside the 20th Century Limited. I also remember sitting in the observation car with a railroad employee who had a device to measure track smoothness. Imagine a railroad caring much about running passenger trains on smooth track today. Probably doesn't happen much -- and certainly not on ex-Pennsy lines that host Amtrak.
Below are three more shots of PC trains taken at Adams Station. On top is the Admiral, on its way to New York from Chicago, in the middle the Senator, heading from Washington to Boston (via the New Haven RR, which is well represented in the consist), and on the botton a Metroliner test run.