Author Topic: The late, great Pony Express  (Read 1278 times)

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Cajonpassfan

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The late, great Pony Express
« on: July 26, 2018, 07:23:39 PM »
+1
I enjoy attempting to recreate actual consists to run on my SoCal/Cajon Pass layout. Uncle Pete was early to dieselize its Southwestern District operations into LA in 1947, but the Pony Express retained steam power for a bit longer, running behind the big 3981 and 3984 Challengers. It was a night train, both in and out of LA, handling quite a bit of head end business, and photos of it are rare.

From what I can tell, it had 4-5 heavyweight headend cars including an RPO, couple of coaches, a dorm-club car, and five sleepers only one of which was lightweight (a Budd 10-6 Pacific). Unlike the more glamorous trains of the era, it had a mix of equipment in Pullman green, Olive green, Two Tone Grey, and Armour yellow, which makes it more interesting to me.

The photos below show my first attempt at the train, with some stand-ins which will need modifications to more closely resemble their prototypes. The only car I don't know anything about is the missing dormitory-club car, presumably a heavyweight as well? Advice or direction from any of you passenger or UP guys would be appreciated. Meanwhile, it's fun to run without it; let them eat cake (or more likely drink their bourbon) in their Pullmans for the time being... :P
Otto K.
« Last Edit: July 26, 2018, 07:25:42 PM by Cajonpassfan »

robert3985

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Re: The late, great Pony Express
« Reply #1 on: July 28, 2018, 12:36:38 AM »
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Otto,

Nice!  I also really like copying prototype passenger car consists, and the Pony Express...or later "Mail" were regularly pulled out of Ogden Union Station early in the morning by FEF's, particularly often by the 844 (I have photos).

These consists may be a bit early to help you out much, but I found them on Don Strack's Utah Rails website and are dated 1936, and deal with train #37, from Kansas City to Oakland between SLC and Oakland, which would be running west over Cajon Pass.  Here's the consist:

Baggage-Express to LA
2 Coaches to LA
Tourist 14 Sect. to LA
6-6-4 sleeper to LA
Diner Denver to LA
Dorm-Lounge Denver to LA
10-3 sleeper Chicago to LA
6-6-4 sleeper Chicago to LA
4-4-2 sleeper Chicago to LA
6-6-4 sleeper Minneapolis to LA
10-1-2 sleeper Butte to LA

Train #38 from Oakland to SLC had this consist on the same day in 1936:

RPO to Ogden
Storage Mail car to Omaha
Express car to Chicago
Baggage-Express. to Denver
Diner to Denver
Dorm-Lounge to Denver
6-6-4 sleeper to KC
10-3 sleeper to Chicago
6-6-4 sleeper to Chicago
4-4-2 sleeper to Chicago
6-6-4 sleeper to Minneapolis
10-1-2 sleeper to Butte

I think I've got a book on the Pony Express somewhere still packed away in a box (one day soon, I hope to fully moved into my new residence!), and I'll see if I can find it in the next day or two and get back with you if it contains later consist information closer to 1947.

In my photos of the 844 pulling the Pony Express out of Ogden Union Station, it's painted in two-tone-gray with "white" striping and lettering.

Cheerio!
Bob Gilmore

Cajonpassfan

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Re: The late, great Pony Express
« Reply #2 on: July 28, 2018, 12:37:40 PM »
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Thanks Bob, even though these are pre-war consists, they are remarkably similar to my postwar train. Headend, followed up by cheap accommodations, diner/lounge, and  Pullmans at the rear. I just don't know where you got the notion that the Pony went to Oakland over Cajon :?
Otto

Cajonpassfan

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Re: The late, great Pony Express
« Reply #3 on: July 28, 2018, 10:55:55 PM »
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As to the "missing" dorm-lounge, the M/T diner maybe a good start?

nscalbitz

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Re: The late, great Pony Express
« Reply #4 on: July 28, 2018, 11:22:54 PM »
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Otto,

Aley, Jeff  posted over on PConsists
UP Kansas Division passenger consists 7-10-1951 :
------
No 38 (the Pony Express)

NRC 454 cans Neo [??]
5628
3057
2245
523
508
SP 2021
572
3676 [may be 3576]
Pembina
Marquard
Fir Terrace
121
-----

and in 2007 Fred Frailey (ffrailey) posted and filed a bunch of UP consists docs ranging from '53- '73 inlcuding amongst other roads:
Union Pacific passenger consists November 1950.pdf

Hope this helps, davew

Cajonpassfan

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Re: The late, great Pony Express
« Reply #5 on: July 29, 2018, 11:53:34 AM »
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Thank you Dave, much appreciated your response, and Bob's.
I posted a similar question on the Classic UP Yahoo/io site and got a consist from Jeff Alley as well, unfortunately undated but likely close, and recorded at Yermo, close to Cajon. The secondary trains consists changed a lot across their runs as they dropped and picked up cars all along the way. That makes them interesting. For example, the diner in mine went only as far west as Las Vegas, to be picked up by the next eastbound in daylight, and only the Dorm-lounge stayed with the train all the way to LA. And, to make things even more interesting, there were often more than one section when traffic was heavy, and because of the east/west traffic imbalance, empty deadheading equipment would sometimes be found ahead of the headend cars, creating an odd looking consist.
All this is probably too much minutiae for most, but that's what makes this hobby great, we can all enjoy it in different ways 8)
Regards, Otto K.
 

Point353

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Re: The late, great Pony Express
« Reply #6 on: July 29, 2018, 01:38:00 PM »
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I enjoy attempting to recreate actual consists to run on my SoCal/Cajon Pass layout. Uncle Pete was early to dieselize its Southwestern District operations into LA in 1947, but the Pony Express retained steam power for a bit longer, running behind the big 3981 and 3984 Challengers. It was a night train, both in and out of LA, handling quite a bit of head end business, and photos of it are rare.

The only car I don't know anything about is the missing dormitory-club car, presumably a heavyweight as well?
If you're modeling a late 1940s era consist, this might have been the dormitory-club car:
https://www.brasstrains.com/BrassGuide/PDG/Detail/43463/HO-Passenger-The-Coach-Yard-1352-1-Union-Pacific-HW-CLUB-LOUNGE-DORMITORY

Cajonpassfan

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Re: The late, great Pony Express
« Reply #7 on: July 29, 2018, 04:28:29 PM »
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@Point353, YES! Not only is it the same class, but the link shows the actual car number (1541) from my consist with A/C but before the 1955 modernization. Thank you, a great find!
Otto K.

Cajonpassfan

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Re: The late, great Pony Express
« Reply #8 on: July 29, 2018, 07:52:33 PM »
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And, here is one in TTG, a friend found for me, at San Bernardino. I'm afraid the MT diner won't be of much use, other than as a core... sometimes ignorance is bliss :P

squirrelhunter

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Re: The late, great Pony Express
« Reply #9 on: July 30, 2018, 12:30:42 AM »
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I don't have anything to add except to say I think it's very cool you're modeling this train Cajonpassfan. I think these mail and secondary trains really get overlooked, but a lot of times they had a really had a interesting mix of equipment and power.

robert3985

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Re: The late, great Pony Express
« Reply #10 on: July 30, 2018, 01:52:11 AM »
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Thanks Bob, even though these are pre-war consists, they are remarkably similar to my postwar train. Headend, followed up by cheap accommodations, diner/lounge, and  Pullmans at the rear. I just don't know where you got the notion that the Pony went to Oakland over Cajon :?
Otto

Otto,

Haha...it was late...

Cheerio!
Bob Gilmore

Cajonpassfan

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Re: The late, great Pony Express
« Reply #11 on: July 30, 2018, 08:13:50 PM »
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Well, the "mystery car" mystery is mostly solved; turns out a good friend of mine has a Coach Yard HO model. Apparently, they came out recently, in three versions, with and without the dormitory, see pics. Now I got to figure out how to build it or bash it...it sure looks elegant in TTG!
Otto K.


superchief

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Re: The late, great Pony Express
« Reply #12 on: July 30, 2018, 10:53:53 PM »
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Otto,
    I love your Pony Express!!! I of course like the matched streamliners Super Chief, COLA, ect... but the secondary trains are just too cool. looks like someone just dug into a coach yard and grabbed stuff, nothing matches. they make some real colorful trains to be modeled.
                                                                                       Great stuff!!, Gordon

Point353

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Re: The late, great Pony Express
« Reply #13 on: July 31, 2018, 06:01:41 AM »
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Well, the "mystery car" mystery is mostly solved; turns out a good friend of mine has a Coach Yard HO model. Apparently, they came out recently, in three versions, with and without the dormitory, see pics. Now I got to figure out how to build it or bash it...it sure looks elegant in TTG!
Otto K.
For bashing a model of this car, my suggestion would be use a Rivarossi/Atlas/Con-Cor/Arnold heavyweight observation car, along with a piece cut from the end of a diner.
Remove the observation platform and replace it with an end cut off from the diner. On each side, cut out the opening for the last side window so that it is the same size as the adjacent window. Cut out the end windows.
At the opposite end, remove the vertical muntins in the two tall windows and then block off the tops of those two windows so that they are the same height as all the other windows.
Whether you want to remove the small access door is up to you.
Maybe the result would be close enough for you.
Looking at this photo of the cars might help you visualize what I'm suggesting.


nscalbitz

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Re: The late, great Pony Express
« Reply #14 on: July 31, 2018, 10:39:07 PM »
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For bashing a model of this car, my suggestion would be use a Rivarossi/Atlas/Con-Cor/Arnold heavyweight observation car, along with a piece cut from the end of a diner....

Along with weird ***** with car types and foobies/paints from manufacturers, some of us just don't have these 'model' skills...
 :RUEffinKiddingMe: sorry I'm in the wrong placce again.
d