Route of the Erie Limited by Dirkes & Krause Soft Cover

Route of the Erie Limited by Dirkes & Krause Soft Cover

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Route of the Erie Limited by Dirkes & Krause Soft Cover
 
The Route of the Erie Limited by Dirkes & Krause Soft Cover.  From Chicago to Jersey City.  Copyright 1986.  Carstens Publications.  48 pages.  Map, photos, information.

The Route of the Erie Limited by Rod Dirkes and John Krause Soft Cover 1986 48 Pages
INTRODUCTION
It has seemed to be almost a tradition that the great trains of the eastern roads ran from east to mid-west, paying scant heed to the obvious fact that there were eastbounds as well. In a break from this custom the Erie's through trains are here presented as running from Chicago to the east coast. The order of stations is from west to east, although, it is true, the pictures used depict a combination of east-and west-bounds, as indeed the trains themselves cover the entire fleet of through trains that traveled the Route of The Erie Limited.
Although the Mississippi River represents to most people the line of demarkation between the east and the west - and, indeed, some of the name trains on the run operated to New Orleans or St. Louis, both located on the big river-Chicago was the principal meeting point of the eastern and western "transcontinentals." Like most of the "crack trains" between Chicago and New York, The Erie Limited had Chicago as its western terminal; the train's eastern terminal was Jersey City, just across the river from the objective of most eastbound travelers.
The trains on the roads operating between Chicago and New York offered their passengers a variety of routes, fares, and running times. Except for the premier, deluxe, extra fare "Century" and "Broadway," with truly limited stops and faster running times, the lines offered surprisingly similar services. The equipment on all was comparable (Pullmans and the best coaches available in the era), the fares were the same except for a slight differential for the lines running from Jersey rather than from New York, and the times were very close to the same.
The Erie Limited's route, 998 miles between Chicago and New York City (including the mile from the end of the line in Jersey City and the New York side of the river) was the longest in mileage of the six through car routes between the two cities. The others were the PRR's 908 miles (the shortest), the DL&W's 919 via Michigan Central after Buffalo (931 via the NYC&StL), the NYC's 961 via its own line, 971 via the Michigan Central, the B&O's 983, and the Lehigh Valley-Michigan Central's 997. In running times, again excluding the extra fare trains of the time (the Erie had imposed an extra fare on The Erie Limited for a short time-just before the Great Depression put the fate of the train itself in doubt) but using the next fastest trains of the NYC and the PRR, in 1938 the lines offered their fastest service on trains carrying Pullmans and coaches all the way in a range from the NYC's 17 hours, 25 minutes (the Commodore Vanderbilt, by far the fastest of the group) to a bunching between 19 hours, 10 minutes and the Erie's 24 hours 20 minutes.
In 1936 the Erie's secondary trains offered little through service. Eastbound, Train No. 8, the Atlantic Express carried a sleeper and a coach from Chicago but required anyone going beyond Hornell to take a short walk on the station platform to reach the parlor car or the coach which, having come from Buffalo, provided the only accommodations beyond Hornell-not really through service. Westbound, Train No. 7, the Pacific Express, did carry a through coach Jersey City to Chicago, but the only sleeper came off at Youngstown, with no first-class service beyond there.
Before the end of 1939, an additional service over the route was instituted under the name of The Midlander. These trains (Nos. 16 and 15) each carried a through sleeper and a through coach. The arrangements for Nos. 8 and 7 had also been improved by that time so that each carried a through coach each way each day. Initially The Midlander and The Lake Cities (to Cleveland) ran east separately to Salamanca where they were combined and proceeded the rest of the way to Jersey City as one train (although sometimes they were listed east of Salamanca in the Official Guide under their respective numbers in adjoining columns with, of course, the same times at each stop). Westbound they ran as one train to Salamanca where they split and ran to their respective terminals separately.
As an aid to those who may not be thoroughly conversant with all parts of the Erie's thousand-mile route, the captions of the photographs, which are arranged geographically west to east, include an indication of the mileage for the station nearest that location. Enclosed in parenthesis immediately after the location, the first figure is the constantly increasing mileage from Chicago, while the other is the constantly decreasing mileage to New York City. In each case the total of the two figures comes to 998-the length of the run (including the arbitrary one mile across the North (Hudson) River-and the miles have been rounded to the nearest whole mile.

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