and 5-47, The Sportsman,
made its inaugural trip
on March 30,
on a somewhat different
route for the Chesapeake and Ohio.
It ran primarily
Newport News and Detroit,
but with a good connection to Washington,
Its equipment included a
combination baggage and smoking car, imperial salon coaches,
a standard dining
car (east of Ashland),
a club dining car (west of Ashland),
sleepers and an observation/lounge car.
The club diners,
numbered 90 and 91
and lettered Hocking Valley,
had a section for dining that seated 24 and a lounge section that
The dining room chairs
were designed after those in New York's
The exposed woodwork on the chairs was finished in gold with
black striping, and the leather upholstery was either red,
gold or blue with eight of each. When distributed randomly in the
they produced an effect of
richness. The imperial salon coaches had a single row of seats on one
side and a double row of seats on the other side of the car.
sold at the same prices as standard coach rates, but rivaled parlor seats in comfort and room.
car had a radio installation
a first on the C&O.
original locomotives for the train consisted of five heavy Pacifies,
and numbered 490-494.
They had been built by Richmond in 1926.
For inauguration of
the locomotives were
shopped and given polished cylinder and valve head covers,
polished air pump jackets and embossed eagles on the feedwater
The F-19 Pacifies were used
to inaugurate The
Over the years,
the Pacifies used to
included most of the
classes of that type of locomotive owned by the C&O in the 1930's and 1940's.
The Pullman-Standard order
for lightweight passenger equipment that arrived in 1950 became the
backbone of the C&O passenger fleet until the Amtrak takeover on May 1,
While some cars were sold
before delivery, the C&O kept 59 coaches,
buffet-lounge-observation cars (one was converted into office car 29),
43 10-6 sleepers and five double bedroom sleepers. The coaches seated
52 with a center divider.
buffet-lounge-observation cars became diner-dormitory cars.
The 10-6 sleepers had the bedrooms in the middle and the roomettes at
diners were retained,
many trains carried
Dieselization of the C&O's
passenger service occurred as 27 EMD E-8's were delivered between August 1951,
and January 1952. The use of steam locomotives in passenger
service essentially ended during 1952.
E-8's arrived in May 1953.
Union Station in Columbus
was on the Pennsylvania Railroad, but not on the C&O.
In order for C&O trains to reach
it, if a train was coming from the east (south),
the operator at
Tower would head it into Yard A and a switchtender would let it onto the
PRR. On leaving
a C&O train heading
west (north) would back out of Union Station,
through Yard A and
onto the C&O main. Trains backing out expected a passable signal at the
lead to the PRR transfer located immediately south of LM Tower on No. 2
For an eastbound train such as
46 the whole process was reversed.
train stopped when clear of the lead to Yard A,
backed into Union Station.
At some point in
the C&O decided to cut off the switchtender's position and have Nos. 46 and 47 use the PRR transfer to get to
Union Station. Therefore, the whole process was reversed.
No. 47 would come up No.2 track and head into the PRR transfer
using 88 or 90 track as lined by the operator at LM. The operator would
reverse a crossover,
and No. 47 would back into Union Station.
did the same thing,
but with the train
One evening in about 1968
or 1969, the operator (Pat Rose) at LM came on the dispatcher's
line and in as calm a voice as possible announced
Sport is on the ground." It
had derailed something while in 88 or 90 track.
Action to rerail
whatever was off the track came swiftly.
It was the
only known derailment of the Sportsman on the former Hocking Valley.
April 29, 1962
was discontinued east of
Ashland and consolidated with
Fast Flying Virginian in that territory,
but the schedule was better since No.
47 left Columbus around 7:30
made its last run on May 11,
1968, The Sportsman was
consolidated with The George
Washington. The Sportsman was
cut back to just three days per week (Friday,
Saturday and Sunday)
effective August 2,
By this time, it was running as an
a food bar coach,
and a P-S deluxe
It made its last run on April 30, 1971.
Click on photos to enlarge.
F-16 #464 leads The Sportsman at
Columbus Union Station ca 1935. Photo courtesy of Chesapeake and
Ohio Historical Society.
F-19 #492 at Huntington, WV March, 1930, during The Sportsman's
pre-inaugural tour. Photo courtesy of Chesapeake and Ohio Historical Society.
Train 46, The Sportsman at Ivy, VA,
September 1958, with E-8 #4003. Photo by Gene Huddleston,
courtesy of Chesapeake and Ohio Historical Society.
In the last months of The Sportsman, money was saved by laying off the switchtender on the west end of Columbus Union Station. The
Sportsman backed past CUS and entered the station from the east.
Photo by Dave Bunge