Saturday, July 26, 2014

Northern Pacific Railway, USA

well, one more card for today...I introduced you this train series last time, so here comes one more, this time from the US state of Montana...


the text is from the back of the card (though I sometimes wish all this was available online so I could just do the copy-paste...yeah, I can get a bit lazy sometimes :))

The NORTH COAST LIMITED, whose title dated back to a summertime operation in 1900, was unquestionably of first-class caliber, with equippage equal to the best in the nation. Its companion was the PACIFIC and TWIN CITIES EXPRESS, both making the 2053 mile trip between St. Paul, Minnesota and Portland, Oregon. In those years electric lights, steam heat and on-board barber and bath were symbols of luxury. Big 4-6-0's were considered adequate motive power then, but all-steel sleeping cars and coaches required 4-6-2's, the last 20 of which, built in 1923, were among the heaviest of that type.

By the end of the 1920's, the NP's two main line passenger trains had outgrown their motive power, a situation which brought the nation's first 4-8-4's into being. Between 1926 and 1943, NP's fleet of these locomotives increased to a total of 49, most of them unsurpassed in total weight at time of delivery. During those years, the NORTH COAST remained the premier consist, its assistant having been THE ALASKAN (3 and 4).

Four years after the last 4-8-4 arrived, seven 3-unit GM-EMD F3-model diesel-electric locomotives took over the NORTH COAST. Then, during the period between April 1949 and early 1950, seven others of the F7-model gradually eliminated steam from NP's main line passenger duties. They were numbered 6507-6513, and on arrival were modified to meet adverse conditions on the NP, as were the earlier F3 units. This included completion of the unit realignment program from cab-booster-booster to cab-booster-cab configuration. The 6507, pictured here, was assigned F3-model booster 1st 6501C, which had originally entered service in January 1947.

When GM's Electro-Motive Division built the passenger units, they were given a paint scheme similar to those in freight service since 1944, differing mainly by the addition of a yellow-bordered green band corresponding with the window placement of the cars. (Most passenger rolling-stock, including the ALASKAN's heavyweight consist, eventually received the new streamlined paint scheme.) Locomotive cab units bore the legend "Main Street of the Northwest" along with the road number, while the boosters carried "Northern Pacific." The two-tone green with yellow (imitation gold) color scheme lasted until mid-1953, following NP's rearrangement of passenger operations the previous year. A year long transition period was then required to change the postwar external decor to a lighter and more simplistic two-tone green with white stripe scheme.

Following WWII, the ALASKAN's schedule and service were gradually cut back from Seattle to operation between Spokane, Washington and St. Paul. By mid-century, the name ALASKAN seemed to have little in association with the NP's passenger business. Hence, when the NORTH COAST received a new faster schedule and train numbers (25 and 26) in November 1952, the transcontinental ALASKAN was renamed THE MAINSTREETER in accordance with the railroad's own motto. The new secondary consist was then assigned the NORTH COAST LIMITED's former schedule (slower due to many station stops), and train numbers (1 and 2).

In this scene, about 35 miles east of the Idaho border at Trout Creek, Montana, westbound No.3 has made a mid-afternoon flag stop. Behind the brand new 6507 is the ALASKAN's composition of RPO, mail-storage and express cars ahead of the coaches, cafe car and Pullman-Standard sleeping car.


....I dont know about you, but I got somewhat lost in all these numbers.....



and here come two more songbird stamps (if you recall, there were two other on the previous train card), and you can also see the Navajo Jersey stamp issued in 2007...and two great stamps one doesn't often see on the US mail.
The first one shows Sidney Lanier, who was an American musician, poet and author. The stamp was issued in 1972.
The other one shows Lyndon Baines Johnson, who was the 36th President of the United States, from 1963 till 1969.

and need I mention who sent this card? or you probably can guess already? :D

Have a great weekend everyone!! till next time!!

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