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 Post subject: FDR's (not really) Grand Central train car
PostPosted: Sun Sep 27, 2020 9:36 am 

Joined: Mon Oct 03, 2011 5:44 pm
Posts: 49
Probably the least researched article ever;

https://www.6sqft.com/theres-a-secret-t ... -263071429

Or the truth;

https://untappedcities.com/2019/12/12/s ... never-his/


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 Post subject: Re: FDR's (not really) Grand Central train car
PostPosted: Sun Sep 27, 2020 11:24 am 

Joined: Fri Dec 22, 2017 6:47 pm
Posts: 569
Location: Philadelphia, PA
FDR was sensitive about being seen using the wheelchair.

In Washington, he often boarded his assigned Pullman car on an indoor siding at the Bureau of Engraving. This was an extremely secure location as the Bureau of Engraving printed money. It was convenient because the siding, floor level for freight cars, gave him roll-on, roll-off access to the Pullman.

Phil Mulligan


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 Post subject: Re: FDR's (not really) Grand Central train car
PostPosted: Sun Sep 27, 2020 11:20 pm 

Joined: Fri Dec 22, 2017 6:47 pm
Posts: 569
Location: Philadelphia, PA
I question whether FDR travelled by rail to Grand Central Terminal that often. It's difficult to get there from Washington. It involves crossing the Hell Gate Bridge from Penn Station to Oak Point in the Bronx, then a pull backward along the Harlem River to the NYC. From his house in Hyde Park to NY City was usually by automobile.

FDR did not generally ride in a baggage car. For POTUS service, Pullman usually assigned one of its private cars built in 1927 and 1929 and named for explorers. Prior to WWII his usual car was 1929 Pullman Roald Amundsen but in 1941-1942 Pullman rebuilt sister car Ferdinand Magellan with armor and bulletproof glass and that became the POTUS car.

Phil Mulligan


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 Post subject: Re: FDR's (not really) Grand Central train car
PostPosted: Mon Sep 28, 2020 10:31 am 

Joined: Sun Oct 10, 2004 3:45 pm
Posts: 174
Location: Hudson Valley, NY
For a definitive discussion of FDR's travels by train, peruse Bob Wither's "The President Travels by Train: Politics and Pullmans":
https://www.bookfinder.com/book/9781883089177/

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 Post subject: Re: FDR's (not really) Grand Central train car
PostPosted: Mon Sep 28, 2020 11:55 am 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 7:25 pm
Posts: 1953
Quote:
From his house in Hyde Park to NY City was usually by automobile.


FDR often boarded the Magellan from a siding along the Hudson River at the edge of his Hyde Park property.

Wesley


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 Post subject: Re: FDR's (not really) Grand Central train car
PostPosted: Mon Sep 28, 2020 9:10 pm 

Joined: Fri Aug 20, 2010 8:25 pm
Posts: 366
Well, that story about FDR's "train car" being hidden in GCT all these years has been debunked several times. The NYCRR did have other classes of baggage cars with end doors and wider side doors that could be used to load/unload a big car if necessary. They actually had a few baggage cars with very wide doors designed to handle the large theatrical sets used on Broadway, etc.

Seems that the car on "track 61" was just a garden variety NYCRR baggage car that was parked there sometime in the 50's, 60's or maybe the 70's and just sat there because the traffic demand in GCT allowed NYCRR/PC/MN to just leave it there. And then it simply became a convenient MOW storage facility inside GCT. And who does not need more storage space ?

In a related story, my Dad (NYCRR fireman/engineer class of 1941) was called to be a fireman in 1942 to fire a steam engine departing Buffalo Central Terminal with NO passenger cars attached. They ran light with no stops to pickup cars or to help a train in distress until they got to Syracuse where they handed the engine over to the next crew (Syracuse was a division point at that time).

At that time the RR did do "power balancing" to move locomotives from where there were too many to where there were too few. But that was usually done by tacking an extra engine or two onto a train that did not really need the extra horsepower.

Afterwards he inquired "what was that all about ?", they informed him he was a "pilot loco" that was designated to run just in front of the POTUS train and would hopefully "take the bullet" in case someone nefarious decided to blow up the tracks or sabotage a bridge just before POTUS came through.

That was a standard operating practice (SOP) on the RR's during WWII when transporting the POTUS.

So I can boast that my Dad "Saved the POTUS", but of course there were no nefarious characters during that trip... BUT THERE COULD HAVE BEEN, you never know, maybe the mere sight of Dad scared them away from the tracks...

Dad went on to complete 50 combat missions with the Mighty 8th US Army Air-Force flying a P-51 out of England escorting bombers over occupied Europe.


Last edited by NYCRRson on Mon Sep 28, 2020 9:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: FDR's (not really) Grand Central train car
PostPosted: Mon Sep 28, 2020 9:41 pm 

Joined: Fri Dec 22, 2017 6:47 pm
Posts: 569
Location: Philadelphia, PA
FDR's car, the Ferdinand Magellan, is at the Gold Coast Railroad Museum in Miami FL.

FDR's prior car, the Roald Amundsen, is in the McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park in Scottsdale AZ.

Phil Mulligan


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 Post subject: Re: FDR's (not really) Grand Central train car
PostPosted: Mon Sep 28, 2020 10:15 pm 

Joined: Fri Aug 20, 2010 8:25 pm
Posts: 366
Quote:
FDR's car, the Ferdinand Magellan, is at the Gold Coast Railroad Museum in Miami FL.


Well, the US Government's Railroad Car "Ferdinand Magellan" which was assigned to the POTUS is indeed at the Gold Coast Museum. Some folks around there took shelter in that car during Hurricane Andrew. Ironically enough the car is located at a very old Navy Airship base that was destroyed in a hurricane in the 1930's.

It has a bunch of railroad rails embedded in the floor covered in concrete. It is the champion of "Heavyweight" railroad cars weighing in at a whopping 142,000 tons, the heaviest "heavyweight" railroad car ever on US rails.

One Anecdote tells that President Harry S. Truman "give em hell Harry" was traveling across the US Midwest in the Ferdinand Magellan when he personally instructed the Conductor to tell the engineer to "Slow This Train Down" as Harry was concerned that the Ferdinand Magellan would crush all the cars in front of it if they made an emergency stop.


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 Post subject: Re: FDR's (not really) Grand Central train car
PostPosted: Mon Sep 28, 2020 11:59 pm 

Joined: Thu May 24, 2012 1:37 pm
Posts: 1390
Quote:
"It [the Ferdinand Magellan] is the champion of "Heavyweight" railroad cars weighing in at a whopping 142,000 tons, the heaviest "heavyweight" railroad car ever on US rails ... one Anecdote tells that President Harry S. Truman "give em hell Harry" was traveling across the US Midwest in the Ferdinand Magellan when he personally instructed the Conductor to tell the engineer to "Slow This Train Down" as Harry was concerned that the Ferdinand Magellan would crush all the cars in front of it if they made an emergency stop."

With that kind of mass I'd be concerned too -- that's several aircraft carriers worth! How did they accommodate the weight of a large 4-8-4 on each contact patch in those pre-head-hardened bainite days? And lubricating the bearings must have been both technically and operationally interesting...

Seriously, some of the operations regarding FDR and automobiles can be recognized in the 'visit' he made to Lucy Mercer Rutherfurd in Allamuchy. The automobile was stowed in an appropriately 'featured' baggage car; however it was 'hostled' off, FDR got in and drove it where he was going. As I heard the story, he was not 'chauffeured'; the car was equipped for him to drive himself. Whether that was a special case of relaxed security for 'privacy' in that particular case I don't know, but he did successfully avoid most of the attention from the considerable press presence on the train both going and returning.

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 Post subject: Re: FDR's (not really) Grand Central train car
PostPosted: Tue Sep 29, 2020 8:04 am 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 11:26 am
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Location: Maine
Recently read an "authoritative report", Roosevelt Scottie dog, Fala, apparently haunts the GCT platform where the baggage car sits. You can't make this stuff up!

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 Post subject: Re: FDR's (not really) Grand Central train car
PostPosted: Tue Sep 29, 2020 10:21 am 

Joined: Fri Aug 27, 2004 4:02 pm
Posts: 1371
Location: Back in NE Ohio
Somewhere in there explorer series Pullman Marco Polo was also used by FDR. Last I knew it was siting in Washington Union Station somewhere. It was next to the transportation building under the parking deck on Track 7, semi-permanently hooked to ground utilities and owned by NS as a VIP reception venue. I don't know if that is still true.


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 Post subject: Re: FDR's (not really) Grand Central train car
PostPosted: Tue Sep 29, 2020 10:39 am 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 1:18 am
Posts: 132
Location: B'more MD
The Marco Polo was indeed located at Washington Union Terminal for decades. Back in the late 70's, I believe it was assigned to the Southern RR's Governmental Relations Vice President. It was hard wired and hard piped, and eventually a heavyweight dining car was moved in to accompany it. As construction has ramped up at WUT, the car was evicted. Not sure where it ended up, I just know I haven't seen it for roughly the last year or so. Others may know where it landed...

G.F.Payne
B'more, MD

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 Post subject: Re: FDR's (not really) Grand Central train car
PostPosted: Tue Sep 29, 2020 3:55 pm 

Joined: Fri Dec 22, 2017 6:47 pm
Posts: 569
Location: Philadelphia, PA
The anecdote of President Truman having his train slow down is in the Bob Withers book The Presidernt Travels by Train. Pages 203-204.

Margaret Truman, Harry Truman's daughter, tells the story. They were rolling from Kansas City to Denver behind UP 4-8-4 835 when she noticed her father staring at the wall over her head. It was a speedometer and it read 105 mph. Truman was afraid if the train were to stop suddenly the heavy Magellan would overwhelm the 16 standard cars ahead and cause a wreck. He suggested 80 mph and once told, the engineer complied.

Phil Mulligan


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 Post subject: Re: FDR's (not really) Grand Central train car
PostPosted: Fri Oct 02, 2020 11:49 am 

Joined: Tue Oct 09, 2018 4:36 pm
Posts: 27
NYCRRson wrote:
Quote:
It has a bunch of railroad rails embedded in the floor covered in concrete. It is the champion of "Heavyweight" railroad cars weighing in at a whopping 142,000 tons, the heaviest "heavyweight" railroad car ever on US rails.


142.5 tons according to GCRM. 142,000 would be quite interesting. I don’t think that entire loaded freight trains amount to that much, even today’s 250 car PSR giants.


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 Post subject: Re: FDR's (not really) Grand Central train car
PostPosted: Fri Oct 02, 2020 9:37 pm 

Joined: Fri Dec 22, 2017 6:47 pm
Posts: 569
Location: Philadelphia, PA
142,000 tons is a lot. WWII USS Enterprise (CV-6) displaced 25,500 tons full load.

By contrast PRR 120, a Z74d Office Car, weighed 182,260 lbs versus 285,000 lbs for the armored Magellan.

Phil Mulligan


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