Sunday, September 11, 2016

CF&E: Chicago, Fort Wayne & Eastern

(Update: CFE is a Genesee & Wyoming railroad.)

The Pennsylvania Railroad supported the construction of the Pittsburgh, Fort Wayne & Chicago Railway so that it could gain access to  Chicago by the late 1850s. The straight and level route west of Fort Wayne was one of the highest speed passenger routes in the USA.

Fort Wayne Railroad Historical Society posted
High speed rail? We had it 75 years ago. Here's Pennsylvania Railroad no. 6100 rocketing between Fort Wayne and Warsaw, Indiana on April 19th, 1941. This route regularly saw passenger trains trucking along at over 100MPH, though some reports indicate 6100 once reached 150MPH on the Fort Wayne Division. The enormous S1-class was a one-of-a-kind steam locomotive which owed its streamlined looks to designer Raymond Loewy and its reputation as a "slippery" engine to an experimental design.
Fort Wayne Railroad Historical Society We find 110-120 to be the more acceptable average.
Josef Kleffman I would think 75-80 would be more of the average speed.
Dylan Mullins Not by far. 120 was regular on the ft Wayne district.
Steve Corbin The S1 was the fore runner of the T1 steam locomotive,,the PRR had Ramond Lowey redesigned a shorter more efficient steam locomotive to pull passenger trains,,the T1 had all roller bearings instead of the babbit bearings The T1's were built by Baldwin Locomotive Works and the PRR Altoona Railroad Shops
But the Pennsylvania management in the 1950s and 60s were accountants and lawyers instead of railroad men, and they plowed the railroad's earnings into real estate instead of track and signal upgrades. In contrast, NYC was managed by railroad men, and they continued to upgrade their mainline across Indiana. So Conrail decided to run traffic from Pittsburgh to Chicago up to Cleveland from Alliance, OH to use the NYC mainline. This further reduced the amount of maintenance done on the PFW&C route. [The Men Who Loved Trains by Rush Loving Jr.] Conrail single-tracked the former PRR route in 1983. [] Amtrak discontinued the Broadway Limited route in 1995. [NYtimes] When CSX got the Crestline, OH to Chicago segment when NS and CSX split up Conrail in 1997, CSX quickly dumped it on a new operator: Chicago, Fort Wayne & Eastern (CFE). But NS must have obtained trackage rights as part of the Conrail split because I read that it is helping CFE to improve the track. A Fort Wayne newspaper indicates the entire stretch has now been upgraded to 40 mph, and NS will run non-speed sensitive trains such as oil and grain on it. [JournalGazett] Furthermore, NS is rebuilding an abandoned stretch of the PRR route from Tollestone Junction to the northwest to reconnect with their former-NYC route.

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