Tuesday, March 14, 2023

The Illinois Central Railroad No.121 Green Diamond Streamliner Passenger Train. 1936-1968

The Illinois Central Railroad moved into streamlining with the articulated "Green Diamond" rail engine and cars in 1936. 
The Illinois Central's Chicago-St. Louis, Missouri, Green Diamond streamliner was built in 1936 by Pullman-Standard, with electrical-mechanical components by Electro-Motive. It was the last articulated trainset to be built with the integrated power unit; the locomotive carried number 121. In 1947 the IC's Paducah shops overhauled the train, then operated as the "Miss Lou" between Jackson, Mississippi and New Orleans, Louisiana. In 1950 it was retired and scrapped. 

Illinois Central proudly billed as "the first standard-size diesel-powered streamliner." 

The Illinois Central Railroad proudly billed the Green Diamond diesel engine built in 1936 by Pullman-Standard and powered by Electro-Motive Corporation.
The Engineer Cab.

Advertising for the Illinois Central began in 1936 on the system between the Midwest and Southeast that covers 7,000 miles in the process and visits such towns as Detroit, San Antonio, Oklahoma City, and Milwaukee.

The quick popularity of the early-years design of streamliners turned out to be the reason the design ended up a financial disaster. The early design did not allow the train to be lengthened or shortened, and late streamliners featured a matched but separable locomotive.
Car № 125 - 8 Seat Dining Area.

The apex for streamlined passenger trains in America was in 1956.

The purpose of trucks on train cars is to provide support at high-speed, guidance, and passenger comfort. Freight car trucks are separate units that can be removed for maintenance, repair, or replacement. Trucks are a common cause of train derailments.

Each Car Has A Specific Purpose.
Cars do not change positions or trains in the early years.

Car № 121:
The Power Car was a (Winton Engine Works) Winton-201A, 1,200 hp, sixteen-cylinder Diesel Engine. The railroad engineer's control room was, of course, at the front of this car. The auxiliary generator and heating boiler controls were here. Below the floor, the first truck was powered. The second truck, articulated with the second car, was not powered. A 725-gallon fuel tank was mounted between the trucks. 

Car № 122:
Baggage, Storage, and U.S. Mail Car. The Mail Compartment occupied near one-half of the coach. Registered Nurse/Passenger Assistant onboard each trip.

Car № 123:
56 Reclining Seats in Coach. The Conductor's Office, and Restrooms.

Car № 124:
60 Reclining Seats in Coach. 

Car № 125:
The Dining & Lounge Observation Car, aka The Parlor Car. There are 8 seats available in the dining room, 20 more in the lounge, plus standing room. The Kitchen was in the forward portion of this car with table service at the rear of the lounge. It was said to have been a spectacular view out of the back window.  

An old magazine article mentioned the spacious restrooms; for a train car, of course."The toilet is big enough for me at six foot three to comfortably change into a suit. I learned quickly that a five-hour train ride in a suit does not build self-confidence."  — Unknown

Green Diamond Information
The train is fully Air-Conditioned and Heated. There is radio communication. Within the train, private and public communication use the same system. Full-width rubber diaphragms joined the cars. All cars were articulated, sharing a truck with the neighboring car, giving extra stability and a smoother ride. 

Compiled by Dr. Neil Gale, Ph.D.

1 comment:

  1. What a great example of Art Deco on a train! Thanks Neil!


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