The Brake Shoes Are Smoking in Painesville

The wayback machine has landed us in Painesville sometime in 1968. A westbound Penn Central passenger train is coming led by E8A No. 4079, which still has a full New York Central livery

This unit was built for the Central in August 1953.

Look closely and you will see brake shoe smoke, which suggests the train is going to stop at the Painesville station located just behind the photographer.

This might be unnamed Train No. 63, an unnamed New York to Chicago train that until December 1967 was been No. 59, the Chicagoan.

It is scheduled to stop in Painesville on signal only to discharge passengers at 11 a.m.

As can be seen here, the consist is head end heavy. By now No. 63 as having coaches and a diner lounge car operating from Buffalo to Chicago. There were sleeping cars on 63, including a sleeper coach — the NYC’s name for a slumber coach — but those operated only as far west as Buffalo.

It wasn’t always that way. Shortly before the Central merged with the Pennsylvania Railroad in February 1968 to form Penn Central, the NYC has assigned to No. 63 a sleeper and sleeper coach that operated from New York to Cleveland.

But that was gone by the timetable change of July 15, 1968.

Train 63 would survive until the coming of Amtrak on May 1, 1971, but be discontinued. Painesville has not had intercity rail passenger service since then although Amtrak’s Lake Shore Limited charges past the former Painesville depot six days a week now.

Photograph by Robert Farkas

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