Greenpoint, October, 2015

Monday, July 2, 2012

Diamonds on My Windshield

 (Courtesy Daily News)
Sunday morning on the 7 train. A young boy scrambles to get a window seat--meaning he kneels on the seat so he can see out the window. "Tomorrow will be the diamond train?" he asks his parents. The Diamond Train? Of course, he means the 7 express signaled by the "7" in a red parallelogram rather than the green circle of the local: Christmas colors all year round.

Black Diamond Express
We should call it the Red Diamond Train to differentiate it from the famous Black Diamond Express that ran from New York City to Buffalo on the Lehigh Valley Railroad from 1896 until service was suspended in 1959. The name "black diamond" derived from the anthracite coal that was the company's freight mainstay. Its passenger stock, sadly, rapidly diminished over time.

Revenue passenger traffic, in millions of passenger-miles*
Source:ICC annual reports (see wiki ). 

Sorry I never got to ride the Black Diamond. I did make a couple of overnight trips on the Amtrak Lakeshore Limited from New York to Chicago (I got on in Springfield, MA, and off in Elyria, OH). It did stop in Buffalo but got there via Albany rather than the more southerly Lehigh Valley route.

(*A unit of measurement of the passenger transportation performed by a railroad during a given period, usually a year, the total of which consists of the sum of the miles traversed by all the passengers on the road in the period in question.)

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