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RE: [CBQ] Silk Trains

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Subject: RE: [CBQ] Silk Trains
From: "Dave Lambert" <>
Date: Wed, 31 Jan 2007 22:23:08 -0500
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Your friend must be quite elderly to (personally) remember silk trains.


Their heyday was the mid-to-late 1920s. Their demise was brought about by
more rapid transits of steamships through the Panama Canal as opposed to the
railroad landbridge.


While operating, the silk business overland was highly competitive amongst
Pacific northwest railroads-notably the GN, NP, MILW, UP (OSL) and the
Canadian Pacific. The GN prided itself on running the fastest silk trains
between Seattle and St. Paul. 


Both the GN and the NP used the CB&Q between St Paul and Chicago. This is
fairly self-evident because the GN and the NP owned the CB&Q-they were all
"Hill Roads". The competition from Chicago to the East Coast was also hot
and heavy with the usual suspects getting the lion's share. Surprisingly,
the Erie and NKP also got a noticeable amount of this traffic.


Silk traffic in passenger-equipped cars was gone by the early 1930s. I have
consists of GN "silk trains" dated 1940, but they were freight trains by
this time.


Your friend's recollection of the trains being expedited and heavily guarded
is correct. A ten-twelve car silk express train would be carrying a lading
worth several millions of dollars. Raw silk was very valuable then.


It is a very interesting subject; but prototypically modelable only if one
is modeling the 1920s.


 Best regards,


Dave Lambert



From: [] On Behalf Of Robert
Sent: Monday, January 29, 2007 5:24 PM
Subject: RE:[CBQ] Silk Trains


Group: I have a friend who remembers what he calls "Silk Trains". They ran
from the west coast to the east coast via Chicago. He remembers that they
were priority runs, were heavily guarded by guards in passenger cars, and
ran as unscheduled extras.
Does anyone have more information and did they run on the Burlington?

Robert Sorensen
rksmes@earthlink. <> net
EarthLink Revolves Around You.

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