2.2.14

A COLD WEATHER SUPER BOWL.

I believe the record for coldest game-time outdoor temperature at a Super Bowl remains with Detroit, where the Pontiac Silverdome hosted the January 18, 1982 game.

In those pre-hyper-security days, the common folk and the press alike could take a train to the game, and ferroequinologists could go to trackside and take pictures without encountering Iron Curtain America.

I did my train-spotting at Royal Oak, Michigan.


That station included a train order office.  Amtrak make do without the station building.


The concrete pad marks the site of the station.  The reservation at left is for a projected four-track, electrified commuter line as far as Birmingham, or perhaps Durand.


Amtrak passengers make do with this pathetic halt.  At least the 110 mph trains have proper stations at Niles, Dowagiac, and Kalamazoo to call at.

In 1982, though, Detroit still had commuter train service, and the opportunity to get some revenue from otherwise idle equipment appealed to the authority and the Grand Trunk Western.


The first train was available to any fan holding game tickets.  It comprises two of the usual commuter train consists.  Note at left the train order signal correctly displayed for a closed office.  By 1982, it's unlikely the day agent would be handing up many Form 19 orders any more.


There's power on both ends to facilitate train movement in and out of the spur track adjacent to the Pontiac Silverdome. I'm grateful to another ferroequinologist who suggested that I keep my camera (a relatively new Canon AE-1) inside my coat between shots in order to protect the battery.

Because it was almost as cold that day as it was the day the North Shore quit, and there was a wait of a few minutes until the second train, which was chartered by CBS Sports (what's with the ominous attack-ad music CBS use for football coverage these days?) to get its crew and distinguished guests from downtown hotels to the stadium.


Back in the consist, an Amtrak lounge-observation (number, provenance unknown) running ass-end to.


Road switchers, steam-heated rolling stock, 19 and 31 train orders, snow and ice, all we need is Eddie Sand to OS the train, and Harry Bedwell to chronicle it.  Despite the weather, the railroad always runs.

The Super Bowl?  'Niners 26, Bengals 21.  Joe Montana got away from Bart Starr, and Forrest Gregg succeeded Bart Starr.  Those steps of the giant ...

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