No wood cars in Penn Station?

NW Mailing List nw-mailing-list at
Mon Sep 28 17:58:25 EDT 2009

To expand what's already been contributed (just moved from NJ to MO, so
I'm depending on memory, not my library). The NYC ordnance followed a
horrendous collision in the smoke filled NYC tunnel under Park Avenue.
The further use of steam locomotives on Manhattan Island was banned.
NYC rebuilt Grand Central as it exists today - two track levels;
electric traction, etc. The ban on wooden passenger cars may also have
been based on a fatal accident on the Brooklyn elevated lines
when excessive speed on a downgrade + curve into a tunnel smashed the
wooden 'el' cars into the face of the portsl. Think it was called the
Malbone St. wreck.

Jerry Crosson

-----Original Message-----
From: NW Mailing List <nw-mailing-list at>
To: 'NW Mailing List' <nw-mailing-list at>
Sent: Sat, Sep 26, 2009 12:51 am
Subject: RE: No wood cars in Penn Station?

The Hudson River tunnel, Marty! And there was probably a New York City
ordinance regarding fire hazard. That is why New York Central and New
had to run electrics into Grand Central. Jim

-----Original Message-----
From: nw-mailing-list-bounces at
[mailto:nw-mailing-list-bounces at] On Behalf Of NW Mailing List
Sent: Friday, September 25, 2009 8:49 PM
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Subject: No wood cars in Penn Station?

Hello, Jim -

I'll play the dummy and ask how steel cars are related to Penn
Station. I'm going to -guess- that wooden cars
were prohibited because
of the fire hazard in such an enclosed space. Is this the case?

- Marty Swartz

[Jim Nichols said:]

> Supplemental information: Dad’s records show them as 1000 and 1001,

RC, and 1002-1005 as class RD, built Pullman 1910 and purchased from the
Pennsylvania. The mystery is: how long did PRR own them, since N&W
them the same year they were built? .... In any event, PRR was buying
cars because of the new Penn Station in New York, so were happy to
these almost new wood cars.      Jim Nichols
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