TT00003      Helper behind round end observation cars




1/6/03 9:38

David <>

Do any pictures exist of helpers behind round end observation cars.  Did it ever happen?  It would seem to  me it probably happened, but no photographer was around at  the time to see it. Dave 

1/6/03 9:52

John Moore

Thanks to either McGee or Nixon one does exist although right now I can't  remember which book it is in. The caption in the photo does mention the  prohibition of pusher on the round end obs but mentions that it did happen.  My old memory seems to want to credit this photo to Warren McGee.  I also have had the opportunity to witness said event happening. I believe it  was back in the mid 50s and the location was Whitehall Montana. I believe  that is where the helper was cut on at for the shove up to Butte. The NCL had  a fairly big consist and I believe it may have been around Thanksgiving. Only  three diesels on the headend. 

1/6/03 17:16

Jim Woodward

The Nixon photo mentioned below is on page 46 of the first book -  "The Northern Pacific Railway of McGee and Nixon".  Nixon's caption states: 'NP 2245 helping Train No. 2 out of Arlee,  Montana on 7-30-41. "Steamers were prohibited from pushing on the  swanky observation cars, but I caught them doing it a couple of  times."  The observation car is on loan from the Pennsylvania  Railroad and was used by the NP while theirs was in the shops.   Although this was a fairly common practice, this is the only picture  I have seen of another railroad's observation car on an NP train.'  I don't know if Dick Green planned it that way, but the opposing  page 47 has two McGee photos of Train 1 leaving Livingston on 9-21- 47.  Trailing Q-5s 2240 and 2235 are some of the new lightweight  passenger cars.  Since NP's round-end observation cars were not  delivered until the end of 1948, this train has a heavyweight obs on  the rear, with W-5 1858 pushing.    Page 13 shows Second #1 approaching Muir on 11-14-40, with W-3 1757  pushing on the observation to assist 2651 in moving the 15 car train  up the 1.5% grade. 

1/6/03 19:28

Jim Fredrickson

On the Tacoma Division the round end obs cars before 1952 ran mostly at night making photographs difficult. I was working third trick at Stampede 1949-1950 and Number 2 came by just after midnight, often with a W-3 helper on the rear. I well remember the first time Number 2 had a diesel helper (on the head end). Normal running time from Lester to Stampede had been about 32 to 35 minutes with at W-3 helper, but with a diesel Number 2 came flying by in 21 minutes. The dispatcher had issued wait orders based on the old running time and had to hurriedly take them down. It was a little exciting hooping up the staff to a train unexpectedly going that fast.