A BRIEF HISTORY OF THE "CRESCENT LIMITED.

The Southern Railway inaugurated the "Crescent Limited" an all Pullman, extra fare train from New York to New Orleans on April 26, 1925. The trains schedule was 37 hours, 50 minutes. This train was pulled by Pacific No 1372, A Southern class Ps4 built in 1924 by Alco. At this time the Ps4's were painted standard black but specially lettered for the "Crescent Limited". There is a photo of 1372 in "Steel Steam and Limiteds" page 162). Number 1373 was also specially lettered for the "Crescent Limited". Prior to the introduction of the "Crescent Limited" the train from New York to New Orleans was listed in the timetables as #37 & #38, "The New York to New Orleans Limited". These trains were all Pullman, no coaches and began operation in 1891. The cars used for these trains were all pullmans painted pullman green. There were no coaches, and no extra head end cars. 1925 "Crescent Limited" original consist Ps4 power, black w/gold lettering, all cars Pullman Green. 1-Club car 1-8s,2c,dbr 1-14s 4-10s,2dr 1-3c,2dr,obs 1-postal car 1-diner Abbreviations above are: s=section, c=compartment, dr=drawing room, dbr=double bedroom, obs=observation, lge=lounge. The engines remained black and the cars pullman green until 1926. Fairfax Harrison, President of the Southern, after returning from a vacation in England in 1925, ordered the all Ps4's painted green*. The remainder of the Ps4's were delivered from the manufacturer in green. Four engines, 1393-1396, were delivered in the green and specially lettered on the tenders "Crescent Limited". From 1926 till 1929 the train operated with green engines and pullman green cars. *The green has been described as Apple, Virginia and Sylvan green. The only reference I can find is this-DuPont Dark Sylvan Green, Code 88-5303 or 93-5800 In 1929 the pullman company delivered the two-color green cars, before this the pullmans were the standard "Pullman Green". The exteriors of the cars are painted in two shades of green. The sides of the cars up to the window sills and the panels above the windows are painted Virginia Green, the shade which Southern Railway passenger locomotives are painted. The panels between the windows are in a lighter shade. All the cars are lettered "Crescent Limited" in gold leaf in the upper panels. Southern Railway postal car is handled between Washington and Atlanta and dining car between Monroe and Atlanta, making the maximum consist ten cars between Monroe and Atlanta. The Southern Railway cars are painted just as the Pullman cars with the exception that the word "Southern" is painted at the ends of the upper panels in place of the word "Pullman." RPO painted same except lettered "Southern" in upper ends instead of Pullman. 1929 consist all pullman Ps4 power, Green w/ gold lettering all cars Two-tone green w/gold lettering. 1-Club car "William Moultrie" 1-8s,2c,dbr "William Rufus King" 1-14s "Henry W. Grundy" 4-10s,2dr "Robert F. Hoke" "Francis Xavier Martin" " " " " 1-3c,2dr, obs "L.Q.C. Lamar" 1-postal car "RPO" 1-diner "Dining Car" Abbreviations above are: s=section, c=compartment, dr=drawing room, dbr=double bedroom, obs=observation, lge=lounge. This train operated as such till 1934 when this service was dropped. The December 1933 timetable features the Crescent Limited but the timetable for May 15, 1934 lists the train as #37 & #38. The actual discontinuance was around June 1934, the timetable having been printed ahead of time. The train was renamed 37 & 38, extra fare dropped and coaches were added. In 1938 Southern renamed the train "Crescent" and operated it till 1979. Coaches were used between Atlanta and New Orleans as required. 1938 consist Need help here The "Crescent" was still pulled by the Ps4's until the Southern purchased two E6A's(2902 & 2903) and two E6B's(2952 & 2953) in 1941 to pull the "Crescent". They were painted in a two color(green-Aluminum) and lettered for the "Crescent". These were the last engines to be painted specially for the "Crescent". The train was diesel powered from Washington-Atlanta only. The Ps4's were used as protection for the Crescent and occasionally one could be seen leading a non-functioning "E" unit. The Ps4's were being scrapped beginning in 1949 and by 1953 were all gone from the roster. 1940 "Crescent" consist diesel powered,no coaches Washington-Atlanta all pullman heavyweights 1-club car 1-8s,5dbr 1-10s,c,2dbr 1-10s,2dr 1-2dr,3c,obs-lge 1-10s,dr,2dbr 1-8s,dr,3dbr 1-10s,dr,2c 1-10s,dr,2c 1-10s,dr,2c Abbreviations above are: s=section, c=compartment, dr=drawing room, dbr=double bedroom, obs=observation, lge=lounge. In 1946 Southern ordered 18 E7A's(2905-2922)which were painted in the same two color scheme as the E6's. These were used in pool service and not lettered for any particular train. 1946 "Crescent" consist diesel powered,no coaches Washington-Atlanta all pullman heavyweights 1-club car 1-8s,5dbr 1-10s,c,2dbr 1-10s,2dr 1-2dr,3c,obs-lge 1-10s,dr,2dbr 1-8s,dr,3dbr 1-10s,dr,2c 1-10s,dr,2c 1-10s,dr,2c Abbreviations above are: s=section, c=compartment, dr=drawing room, dbr=double bedroom, obs=observation, lge=lounge. In 1946 Southern ordered 88 new stainless steel streamlined cars for their passenger trains. The "Crescent" used these cars from 1948 till the end of the "Crescent". As passenger traffic dropped off in the late 40's coaches were added and the all pullman service was discontinued. By the early 50's the Crescent was operating both heavyweights and lightweights in the consist. In 1979 the Southern finally dropped all passenger service. All remaining equipment was transferred to AMTRAK. 1948 "Crescent" consist streamlined train all diesel stainless steel cars dining car 1-2dr,bft-lge 6-10 rmtte,6dbr 1-11 rmtte,6dbr Abbreviations above are: dr=drawing room, dbr=double bedroom, rmtte=roomette. The train ran with a mix, at times, of older heavyweights and the newer lightweights. 1956 "Crescent" consist streamlined train all diesel Coaches New York-Washington Reclining Seat coaches Washington-Charlotte Atlanta-New Orleans Dining Car New York-New Orleans Sleeping cars New York-New Orleans 2dr,Mr,Buffet/lounge 10rmtte,6dbr New York-Montgomery 10rmtte,6dbr Washington-New Orleans 10rmtte,6dbr New York-Atlanta 10rmtte,6dbr 11dbr Abbreviations above are: dr=drawing room, dbr=double bedroom, rmtte=roomette. 1967 "Crescent" consist streamlined train all diesel stainless steel cars Reclining Seat Coaches New York-Washington dining car New York-Atlanta dining-lounge Atlanta-New Orleans tavern-lounge Washington-Atlanta sleeping cars New York-Atlanta 10rmtte,6dbr New York-New Orleans 10rmtte,6dbr Washington-New Orleans 10rmtte,6dbr The "Crescent" was discontinued in 1979. Amtrak picked up the name and route. As can be seen the passenger traffic had diminished during the 1950-1970 period and the consists reflected this trend. Definitions of abbreviations used: Roomette - with bed folding into wall, primarily intended for one person. Single Room or Duplex Single Room - with a sofa lounge by day, that serves as a bed at night, for one person. Bedroom - with lower and upper berth, for one or two persons. Bedroom Suite - Connecting Double Bedrooms, with two lower and two upper berths, for four persons. Compartment - with lower and upper berth, for two or more persons. Drawing Room - with lower, upper berth and sofa, or two lowers and an upper berth, for three or more persons. Master Room - with sofa bed, upper berth and bed folding into wall, two easy chairs, built-in radio and shower annex, for three or more persons. All rooms have individual drinking water, lavatory and toilet facilities and afford the privacy of meal service, also day time lounging.

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Copyright 1999,2000,2001,2002 S.A. McCall