The Slow Crawl of the New York Trains



Here is P.E. Gamber’s typewritten timetable. Calculate the rate and distance and it  shows Harrisburg to Hagerstown at 30 miles per hour; the same blazing speed on to Roanoke.  Research indicates that the residents along the N & W in the Shenandoah Valley named Train 1, the continuation of PRR 645. and Train 2, the connection to PRR 638, the “New York trains” because of the glamourous destination that connected to these rural towns and hamlets.

The timetable on the left is older than the one on the right.  It shows that the westbound train hauling the Roanoke Sleeper was Train 39, The Clevelander.  In June, 1961, the Cleveland cars were combined with Train 49, The General, between New York and Pittsburgh.  I’m willing to guess that this is when the Roanoke Sleeper was shifted to Train 3, The Penn Texas, but I don’t have a source to substantiate this.  Note that my Uncle Paul crossed out the 9 and left the 3 to mark this change.


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