The quintessence of a Boston and Maine milk train: Brookside Creamery, Hood Milk, a BL2, and a surplus combine off the Long Island.
Railway Gazette reports on a British waggon works that proposes to equip coaching stock with sliding seats, so as to convert a full coach into a combination car at off hours, so as to be able to offer Fast Emergency Package Service (oh, wait, that's my South Shore upbringing) on lightly-travelled passenger trains.
According to the developer, 20 rows of seats in a typical coach could be compressed to provide a cargo space equivalent to the capacity of an articulated lorry.I suppose that's more practical than running a formation with a combination car and, at peak times, asking passengers to sit in the baggage compartment.
The seats, tables and draught screens within each section of an ‘Adaptable Carriage’ are connected and can be moved along rails fitted to the existing seat rails, with the sliding mechanisms, sensors and locking pins packaged within the void between the rails. The forward-folding seat allows any rubbish left on the seats to be tipped onto the floor for easier cleaning after the seats have been stowed. The reconfiguration process is fully automated and takes less than 3 min.
When passenger loads are heavy at the Illinois Railway Museum, these trunks provide overflow seating capacity in North Shore Line combination car 251.
North Shore Line had a similar problem with off-peak cargo loading, so much so that they removed all seats from combination car 255 (long scrapped) in order to handle sea bags for recruits and, on occasion, the instruments of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. I wonder, did that special train use the city tracks to get just across the Milwaukee River from the Pabst Theatre?