8.6.11

CHANGE IS NOT NECESSARILY PROGRESS.  The Cold Spring Shops library recently added the Promontory Press edition of Lucius Beebe and Charles Clegg's The Trains We Rode.  (This is the 1993 combined volume, not the somewhat pricier original Golden West two volume set).

A passage from the introduction, intending to introduce the book's theme (that the luxury limiteds were extensions of the de luxe hotels), unwittingly anticipates all that would be lost.  "Patrons taking passage on the Broadway Limited might well be checking out of the Bellevue Stratford in Philadelphia en route to the Blackstone in Chicago."  Within two years of the 1965 publication of that passage, the Broadway would lose its sleeping cars and take the schedule of the General.  Although a train called Broadway Limited became the first Amtrak train to receive refurbished cars, that train would be gone by the coming of the 21st century, with  Philadelphia to Chicago passengers, if any, either changing to the Capitol Limited in Pittsburgh, or riding to New York to pick up the Lake Shore there.

The Bellevue Stratford is probably better known as home to the first mass outbreak of Legionnaires' disease, and the Blackstone lent its name to a Chicago street gang.

Against that, Messrs. Beebe and Clegg might enjoy more latitude with that part of their association that was not business.  As if.

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