CP Executive train in Albany

CP Executive train in Albany

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Guilford Passenger Trains

Updated: 6/28/2018

1984
Eventually I want to model the Guilford Office Car Special ("OCS") train as it looked in 1984. There are several reasons why this is an interesting train. At 3-4 cars long it would fit nicely on my layout. It is a simple paint scheme (mostly just orange stripes) and wouldn't be hard to do. Motive power included high-nose Geeps in shiny paint, which would stand out from my rusty D&H engines. Also, I actually saw the modern incarnation of the train in 2007. I am still trying to collect information about suitable HO models for the passenger cars. I tried the Kalmbach Model Railroader forums and got nothing. So, I will try the blog community! 

October 1985
When it comes to modeling 1984, very few passenger trains ran on the Colonie Main. As near as I can tell, aside from an extremely rare Amtrak rerouting (which I am not sure ever occured) the only passenger cars to travel these tracks would have been inspection cars. But, the OCS train was also used for railfan specials all over the Guilford system, and it may have covered the Colonie Main line.

It was even on the cover of the June 1984 Railpace magazine as the chartered "Rumford Rocket." Over the past few years I have collected images of the OCS train that are scattered online or on slides, and I have a good grasp of what equipment was used in 1984. The best reference is a thread on railroad.net discussing the curren Pan Am's OCS train (of which some of the equipment dates back to the 1980s), though at 77 pages long it took a while to get through. Another thread about surviving MEC passenger equipment had some interesting information. However, there are still gaps when it comes to the train equipment and even a mystery passenger car, so I will need to keep digging. As I find more pictures or information about this train, I will update this page so that I can keep all of my research into one place.

October 1985
My current HO scale passenger car collection consists of various Amtrak Amfleet I and II coaches in Phase II and III paint schemes. I also have some old IHC heavyweight D&H passenger cars bought cheap for $8 each even though I knew that they weren't realistic. Walthers had announced in 2015 a short "D&H Fallen Flags" train but it was cancelled for lack of interest. I have never set out to actually acquire realistic models of D&H or Guilford passenger equipment, and don't really know where to start. Thankfully, I don't think most other people are fully knowledgable about the train either so I can get away with substitute cars until I find the right models.

Motive Power
October 1985
As for engines, pictures I have seen from 1983-1985 usually show Guilford (D&H/MEC) GP-7 #573, Guilford (MC) GP-38 #251, or Guilford (MC) GP-9 #470 pulling the train. Maybe they were equipped to provide power and heat for the coaches and/or they were the cleanest engines on the roster at the time. They always ran the train with two engines which would be entirely unnecessary from a horsepower standpoint for only a couple of coaches, and pictures show both engines either on one end or the other, not top and tail. I guess they always has passing sidings at their destinations.

September 1985
Engine #573 has a colorful past. Literally. In the early 1980s it was painted in MEC's historic green scheme with gold stripes. In July 1982 it was repainted in the maroon and yellow stripe scheme. By 1983 it was in Guilford gray and lettered Maine Central, but in early 1984 it was lettered D&H. By 1985, it was back to Maine Central lettering.

In 1996, a company called Mary Jayne's Railroad Specialties Inc. produced a post card of #573.
Here is the caption from the postcard: Maine Central GP7 Unit Number 573, still equipped with a steam boiler for Passenger Service and painted in the Guilford Transportation Industries colors, stands at the Rigby Engine Terminal in South Portland, Maine in early 1985. Eleven years later, in 1996, this Unit would be acquired by Conway Scenic Railroad and repainted in its original maroon and gold livery for service on the New Hampshire Tourist Road. 

Passenger Cars
Springfield Terminal #100 (Observation Car)
October 08, 2007
It was purchased by the D&H from the Norfolk & Western (N&W #102) in 1976. I haven't been able to find out the early history of the car, so I don't know if it was built for the N&W or another railroad. It originally had stainless steel fluting below the windows and it still had it in 1984, though it was subsequently removed.

Springfield Terminal #101 (Diner/Lounge), "North Point" 
October 08, 2007
It was built by the Pullman-Standard company for the Pere Marquette Railroad in 1946, but before it was delivered in 1950 the C&O which controlled the PM sold it to the D&RGW (D&RGW #1290). The D&RGW sold it to the D&H (D&H #43) in 1967. It also originally had stainless steel fluting below the windows and it still had it in 1984, though it also was subsequently removed.

Maine Central #390 
It was built by the Pullman-Standard company for the Pennsylvania (Pennsy #4044). It was absorbed by the Penn Central (PC #4044) and later transferred to Amtrak (Amtrak #5444). I am not sure when the Maine Central (or possibly Guilford) acquired it. A great side shot from 1978 can be found online here.

Maine Central #391 (Food service)
1985
There are conflicting references as to who built this car. One source says that it was built by Budd in 1939, but a different source says that it was built by Pullman-Standard in 1948 for NYC (NYC #3011). Regardless of who built it, it was renumbered (NYC #3211), then became PC (PC #3211), and finally was transferred to Amtrak (Amtrak #3951). I am not sure when the Maine Central (or possibly Guilford) acquired it. Side shot post Guilford at CPC RR Museum 

There are some excellent shots on rrpicturearchives of a fan special to North Conway, NH, in 1983 and Maine in 1984 that show the passenger cars even better. You will need to scroll down the links to see them.




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