Local freight designations

PJ McArdle
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Joined: 4:40 AM - Dec 09, 2006

2:31 PM - Apr 30, 2016 #1

The New Haven designations for local freights ('Extra" trains in the '50's, I think)  were either 'PX-" or BX-" for the Providence and Boston Divisions respectively.  I have a friend who models the Boston & Maine, and when I asked him what the local freights were designated, he did not know.  Did the B & M have a prefix for local freights , similar to the New Haven? And did they also have tabulations ( 'Arranged freight Schedules" or Freight and Package car schedules" like the New Haven?
Speaking of Package cars - was that a type of baggage car?
(I hope these questions don't get me 'Banned").
Peter McArdleYork, Maine
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Statkowski
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Joined: 4:39 AM - Mar 05, 2003

3:16 PM - Apr 30, 2016 #2

"Package car" referred to express (or possibly even less-than-carload) service.
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Guest
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5:41 PM - Apr 30, 2016 #3

"Package service" usually refers to LCL service.

The B&M had freight schedules:

http://bostonandmainerailroad.redmansef ... M-FTSB.htm

Local freights are typically listed toward the back. Some locals had alphanumeric designations (usually based on where the local originated so 'B' for 'Boston') and others didn't.

John S. Horvath

 
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BX10
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BX10
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Joined: 12:40 AM - Jan 15, 2010

6:54 PM - Apr 30, 2016 #4

According to my New Haven 1968 Arranged Freight Service Symbol Book local freights in the Providence area had the "BX" designation, there was BX-27, BX-28, and BX-29. There was also a BX-32 that ran from Cedar Hill to Old Saybrook. So it looks like the cut off between the Boston and New Haven Divisions was Cedar Hill.
  Bill  
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Statkowski
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Joined: 4:39 AM - Mar 05, 2003

9:41 PM - Apr 30, 2016 #5

Actually, the division point between the New Haven Division and the Boston Division was Branford, which is a little bit east of Cedar Hill.
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Rick Abramson
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Joined: 2:00 AM - Mar 09, 2003

7:21 AM - May 01, 2016 #6

The designation "NX" was used for New Haven Div. extras such as NX-6 which operated between the Dock Yard and Harlem River.  This is a shot I took of NX-6  in 1965 with the 651.
Last edited by Rick Abramson on 7:24 AM - May 01, 2016, edited 1 time in total.
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Statkowski
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Joined: 4:39 AM - Mar 05, 2003

9:36 AM - May 01, 2016 #7

The B&M books are interesting in three ways:
First, whereas the New Haven would put the hyphen between the letters and the numbers (e.g., "GB-4"), the B&M put the hyphen between the letters (e.g., "B-M 3").
Second, whereas the later New Haven rarely assigned an official name to a symbol freight except maybe for marketing purposes in its sales publications, many of the B&M trains listed in its employee-only publication had names assigned.  For example,
  • B-M 3, The Big Chief
  • B-U 1, The North Star
  • J-B 490, The Scout
  • M 6, The Maine Bullet
  • M 7, The Maine Bullet
  • M-B 2, The Pathfinder
  • M-B 6, The Hubber
  • M-P 2, The Forest City
  • M-W 2, The Night Hawk
  • N 1, The Newsboy
  • P 2, The Dirigo
  • P-M 1, The Clipper
  • R-B 2, The New Englander
  • R-B 4, The Champion
  • U-B 2, The Coaster
  • W-M 1, The Westerner
Third, apart from Fitchburg Division locals, plus a bunch of locals originating out of Boston, there doesn't appear to be any numbering system for local freights.
In all, similar but different.
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NH746EJO
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Joined: 7:18 PM - Nov 24, 2007

11:45 AM - May 01, 2016 #8

Over the years, New Haven arranged freight service books or symbol books described local freights differently.  Following are designations from 1946, 1931 and 1914 using Providence-Willimantic as an example.FREIGHT TRAIN AND PACKAGE CAR SCHEDULES -1946:  Providence Division local freights used RUN NUMBERS as designations.  Run Number 8 left Providence at 10:00 a.m. for Willimantic.  It handled places such as Anthony, Baltic, Coventry, Greene, etc.  Run Number 9 was the eastbound counterpart which left Willimantic at 9:00 a.m. and handled more stations than westbound Run Number 8 such as Arkwright, Clyde, Oneco, etc.ARRANGED SERVICE - FREIGHT TRAINS - 1931: Providence Division local freights were listed only as EXTRA e.g. Providence - Willimantic Extra leaves Providence 11:00 a.m., except Sunday, for Willimantic and leaves Willimantic 7:15 a,m, except Sunday for Providence.SYMBOL BOOK No.9 - 1914: Local freight from Providence to Willimantic is designated NO.4353 - EX. SUN. PROVIDENCE - WILLIMANTIC WAY FREIGHT.  Leaves 7:20 a.m. and arrives 4:10 p.m. - handles cars for and from all stations...will load and unload L.C.L freight en route and will do station switching.   Delivers western cars to B-A 1 at Willimantic for movement through to Hartford.  Connects at Plainfield with H-W 2.    The eastbound counterpart was NO. 4354 - EX SUN. WILLIMANTIC - PROVIDENCE WAY FREIGHT. 1955 - By this date the local freight over this line was designated BX-25 but it went only to Moosup since the line was cut by a bridge washout on August 19, 1955.  In November 1955, DEY-3 0931 (Alco S-1) was assigned to BX-25. 
Last edited by NH746EJO on 12:16 PM - May 02, 2016, edited 2 times in total.
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Ron High
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Joined: 4:08 PM - Jun 06, 2003

11:58 AM - May 01, 2016 #9

here is a site with some early B&M Symbol books you can view.It seems a though their books had some of what the NH  Arranged Freight Train Symbol books and a bit of what the Freight and Package Schedules had. I don't find the B&M books have anywhere near as much detail about classification and blocking as the NH  Arranged Freight Train Symbol books. You can  get a much better understanding of NH freight train operations from the Arranged Freight Train Symbol books. The NH local freight listings show towns they served and any special handling of cars to be dropped at locations for other local freight to pickup or handoff. As for local freights on the B&M there is minimal information about local freight operations in their books. Basically just a number and or letter symbol with an originating location with a destination town and often a comment "and return" meaning return to originating location. Earl Tuson's site  has a number of books from the 1920s 1930s and one1950 B&M bookhttp://bostonandmainerailroad.redmansef ... M-FTSB.htm
.Tom Thompson has posted a 1963 book in the files section of the BM_RR Yahoo group I am posting the page but I am not sure it will work. You may have to join this group  to get to it .This  is a very active group on the B&M Railroad and a great source.
 https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/BM_ ... l%20Books/Ron High I do have quite few NH Arranged Freight Train Symbol books and Freight and Package Schedulesas well as some B&M and MEC Freight Train Symbol books if you have question maybe I can answer using these as a resource.
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Guest
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12:51 PM - May 01, 2016 #10

In later years (at least by 1963, perhaps earlier), the B&M changed its nomenclature. It put the hypen between the letters and number of the through freights and all locals were assigned alphanumeric designations based on the terminal where the local originated.

Also, on the Connecticut River Valley line between White River Junction and Wells River, VT, which was B&M-owned trackage but operated jointly with the CPR for through freights to/from Montreal, the designations used CPR train numbers, e.g. CP-902, etc. The CPR numbered its freight trains and they typically appeared in the ETT in at least one direction. I believe the CNR did the same. I read somewhere once the operational logic behind listing lower-class trains in ETTs in at least one direction. It had something to do about directional superiority of train rights and by listing a Second Class or lower class train it provided some operational benefit to the Dispatcher when it came to issuing train orders in single-track territory which was certainly the rule rather than the exception on both the CPR and CNR.

John S. Horvath
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