FIRST FAN TRIPS ON THE NEW HAVEN

NH746EJO
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Joined: November 24th, 2007, 7:18 pm

August 7th, 2018, 12:00 pm #1

The first fan trip in the USA operated on August 26, 1934 and ran from Boston to Wilmington, Vt. over the B&M and the Hoosac Tunnel & Wilmington, sponsored by The Railroad Enthusiasts.  In the July-August Newsletter of the B&MRRHS there is a list of all the Railroad Enthusiasts (New England Div.) fan trips from the first in 1934 to June 6, 1954, compiled by H. A. Wilder from the records of Dana D. Goodwin. 

The first fan trip on the New Haven on the list is the October 6, 1936 run between Boston and Cedar Hill on the Comet which had gone into regular service in June, only a few months before the fan trip.  (The Comet was sometimes used for special excursions on Sundays.)  In March of the previous year the Railroad Enthusiasts had sponsored a Boston-Nashua trip on the B&M's Flying Yankee which was also new, based on the Burlington's Zephyr and similar to the Comet .  Presumably, the first fan trip over the New Haven included a tour of the Cedar Hill Yard.   On three previous trips in 1935, the Railroad Enthusiasts visited the American Locomotive Works (ALCO), the NYC's enormous Selkirk Yard near Albany, and the B&A's Springfield Shops.

The next New Haven fan trip was on May 10 and 11, 1936 to Baltimore to visit the B&O's Mt. Clare shops which was building steam locomotives as well as repairing them and was the home of the Baltimore & Ohio's large collection of historic equipment.  A New Haven coach was used from Boston to NYC (presumably on a regular train) where the Enthusiasts transferred to a CNJ ferry or B&O bus to reach the B&O in Jersey City.

The third New Haven fan trip on the list was on August 8, 1937 using A-1-a class 4-4-0 number 1281.  The train visited the Readville Shops and the Boston Army Supply Base.  The 4-4-0 was one of the oldest engines on the roster having been built by Schenectady in 1896.  The 4-4-0 type was close to retirement on the New Haven but the B&M used 4-4-0s at North Station for over another decade.  The New Haven 4-4-0 was considered an antique at 41 years old but today there are many diesels operating at that age.  Below is a photo of 1281 on the August 8, 1937 fan trip while at Dry Dock Avenue on the Boston Army Supply Base.
Roundhouse 006.jpg
Last edited by NH746EJO on August 8th, 2018, 10:11 am, edited 1 time in total.
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NH746EJO
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Joined: November 24th, 2007, 7:18 pm

August 7th, 2018, 1:11 pm #2

ANOTHER EARLY FAN TRIP
IMG_0036.jpg WAS THIS NEW HAVEN FAN TRIP NUMBER THREE ??
I do not know where the fan trip shown about to depart South Station fits relative to the list of Railroad Enthusiast trips I described above.  My photo says it is by H. W. Pontin and claims to show the May 24, 1936 trip sponsored by the Railroad Enthusiasts to the Readville Shops but there is no listing for this trip in the B&MRRHS record.  It is possible that the B&MRRHS list of early fan trips is not complete.  The trip must have operated around the time stated since A-1-a 4-4-0s didn't last much longer.  If it is the May 24, 1936 trip, it would be the third New Haven fan trip and the one I described above with A-1-a 1281 to Readville Shops in 1937 must have been a repeat of the 1936 trip and the fourth Railroad Enthusiast sponsored trip.  In any case, whatever the date and occasion,  this is a great shot of an engine built in the 19th century hauling fans in the new "American Flyer" cars.   In those days fans could ride in wooden cars with open windows powered by old steamers on many  New Haven local trains any day of the week but riding in air-conditioned comfort was a relatively rare treat in 1936.
Last edited by NH746EJO on August 8th, 2018, 10:00 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Statkowski
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Joined: March 5th, 2003, 4:39 am

August 7th, 2018, 5:46 pm #3

And the fare might have been as high as $1.72 !
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NH746EJO
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Joined: November 24th, 2007, 7:18 pm

August 7th, 2018, 6:57 pm #4

But you may have worked a full day to earn the $1.72.
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Statkowski
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Joined: March 5th, 2003, 4:39 am

August 7th, 2018, 7:12 pm #5

1936?  Who worked?  It was the middle of the Great Depression.
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NH746EJO
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Joined: November 24th, 2007, 7:18 pm

August 8th, 2018, 9:59 am #6

To earn the $1.72 you stood in front of South Station and sold apples for 10-12 hours six days a week with maybe only half a day on Saturday with Sunday off to take a fan trip.
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TomCurtin
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Joined: July 13th, 2017, 10:13 am

August 11th, 2018, 3:32 pm #7

If we choose to specialize , and look at 1950's trips, we find that a large number of RDC trips were run in the 50s to every ---- and I do mean every --- remote corner of the railroad with RDCs (OK, if the trip stayed in the electric zone, they ran with MU cars!).  The very first NH RDC trip was on August 17, 1952, from New Haven to Berkshire Jct, then north to State Line MA.  See the May 2019 photo when you get your 2019 calendar; also that trip is prominently featured in our DVD New Haven Railroad in the 50s.  The RDC on that trip is so new the paint is barely dry
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