This is Train Number 3, The Abraham Lincoln. According to the June 1965 edition of The Official Guide, it departed Chicago's Union Station daily at 4:50 PM (CST) and arrived in Saint Louis at 10:10 PM. Included in the consist was a Observation-Parlor Lounge Car (#30), Parlor Car with Drawing Room (#31), Cocktail-Lounge for Parlor Car and Coach passengers, a Dining Car, and Reclining Seat Coaches. Also listed is a connection at Saint Louis with unnamed MP Train Number 7 which continued on to Little Rock, Arkansas.
The trucks on the ICG's ex-GM&O GP-30's and GP-35's were from Alco FA/FB trade-in's. The Alco four-wheel swing bolster trucks with the special Alco lever pin and retainer at the pull rods were rebuilt at EMD, which also rebuilt the GE Model 752 traction motors to their (GE's) specifications. The original GE 74:18 gear ratio was retained due to the large center distance between the 752 armature shaft and axle. This gear ratio provided a maximum speed of 71 mph. All units were equipped with dynamic brakes. The GM&O obtained a total of 48 GP-35's from EMD in 1964-65.
South of Venice, Illinois, the GM&O was what might be called a 'drag railroad', with trains run at or near full tonnage. Between Venice and the Ohio River, the tonnage rating in both directions was set by a hill called Alto Pass. Although Alto Pass was not very high or long, it was steep, and included a number of curves. The railroad expected to hang everything but the kitchen sink behind the new GP-30's and GP-35's and crawl up Alto Pass. During the years 1963, 1964, and 1965, the railroad and EMD conducted many wheel slip tests in drag freight service on the hill. The somewhat different electrical characteristics of the 752 traction motor and the ride response of the AAR Type B trucks required a number of modifications to the wheel slip systems in order to obtain maximum tonnage over Alto Pass. Trotting along side of the lead GP-30 of a four unit consist climbing Alto Pass, moving under five miles per hour in 8th throttle, in order to watch the slipping lead axle is not recommended practice, but it was done in the interest of 'science'. Alto Pass has been abandon now in favor of the more gentle grades on the old passenger main line of the Illinois Central just a few miles to the east.
The GM&O's Brighton Park Yard was the smallest of the coach yards used by the railroads of CUS (Chicago Union Station). From the 1860's, until B&O control in the thirties, steam engines were also turned and serviced there. The freight yard was the C&A's (Chicago & Alton) principle Chicago yard until superceded by the larger Glenn Yard in 1914. During the years of B&O stewardship, Alton passenger trains and engines used B&O's Lincoln Street Coach Yard and Robey Street (later, Damen Avenue) Engine House. During this era, Alton trains backed out of CUS with road power through Fort Wayne Junction to Panhandle Junction. From there the train pulled north on the B&OCT to the yard. After 1942, Alton steam engines and passenger equipment returned to Brighton Park. Only a few tracks were needed to service Alton's trains. When the E7's arrived in 1945, they could often be found idling between runs at the Harrison Street Freight House. Locomotive maintenance was assigned to points at the other end of the run, the E units maintenance base was Saint Louis. In the diesel era, recently arrived and emptied GM&O trains would back to the 16th Street wye, shove up the hill, descend on the south wye and head for Brighton Park for cleaning and restocking. Equipment returning to the station would back directly from Brighton Park to the station track. While the PRR and CB&Q had some fast turns, the GM&O had its own turnaround champ. The Chicago-bound Abraham Lincoln, Train No. 2, was scheduled to arrive daily at 2:08 PM. The southbound Abe, with the same equipment, was scheduled to depart two hours and forty two minutes later at 4:50 PM. This train was a favorite for patrons of Springfield, Illinois and Saint Louis, Missouri. Often and particularly on Friday evenings, 800 passengers would be waiting as the Abe was hurriedly shoved northward toward the CUS platforms with the goal of a rapid boarding and an on-time departure.
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