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Re: Army Hospital Train

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  • Willie
    Hello, I would have responded with an answer about these cars earlier but I was not a list member when it was first posted. I am pretty sure that the final
    Message 1 of 10 , Jul 1, 2011
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      Hello,

      I would have responded with an answer about these cars earlier but I was not a list member when it was first posted.

      I am pretty sure that the final hospital and ward cars were built by American Car and Foundry. There were a number of surplus cars that were conveyed to Amtrak to build baggage cars out of in the 1970's as they were essentially brand new despite being 20 years old.

      Other surplus cars were conveyed to the Alaska RR in the late 40's or early 50's to equip Alaska's train the "AuRoRa" when it was under federal control. The AuRoRa has been described in the railfan press as a "vest-pocket streamliner" consisting of former Army hospital cars and modified (shrouded) Alco RS-1's (rebuilt Army RSD-1's with 2 axle trucks and "streamlined" carbody) making the RS-1's look like a poor-man's "F-unit."

      Other cars continued to sit on bases in mothballs seeming "ready to go."

      I know of at least 2 other survivors:

      One is at the Utah Railway Museum @ Ogden Union Station in Ogden Utah.

      The other was located behind the engine house @ Fort Eustis, VA. The car was there in 2002 the last time I was there and I see no reason it would no longer be there as it would surely go to the Army Transportation Museum before it would be scrapped.

      As for these hospital cars, to me, there is nothing particularly special about them as far as RR cars go, they seemed to me to be conventional passenger cars of the time outfitted inside for the care and transport of injured patients, Ambulance Trains might have been a more appropriate name for them.

      The cars were operated in WW2 in both the European and Domestic Theatres. The trains (at least in the USA) were equipped with at least one car equipped as an operating room to perform any emergency surgeries that might be needed during transport. There was another car that was more like a clinic or doctors office for changing dressings.

      The whole idea of a hospital train was to provide a fully equipped hospital on wheels to take to where it was needed and to park. These were more like med-evac flights of today where a large # of patients are transported out. The operation of these trains was more or less for supervised care of patients while in transport.

      The use of a Hospital Train today for disaster relief in many ways doesn't hold up as they really aren't a hospital on wheels, they are more like a really big/long super-capable ambulance. An Army CSH (pronounced "CASH" today's decendent of a MASH unit) is much more capable and able to get to where people need them. A hospital train is dependendent on rails being intact where'as a CSH can be trucked or flown in avoiding destroyed RR tracks.

      A scenerio that could work well for a hospital-train might be to have some to evac hospitals or nursing home before a disaster avoiding the need to assemble a large convoy of ambulances.

      I would have to say the best way to get a hospital to a disaster is if near water, hospital ship (US has 2 USNS Mercy and USNS Comfort), anyplace else, Military "tent hospital" (parts are also containerized)like an Army CSH. The Army CSH can be flown in using planes that can use improvised landing strips, or they can be trucked in. An Army Cash also has field kitchen facilities capable of serving large numbers of people including staff and a full patiend load. They can also set up shop in buildings.

      Just my two cents.

      -Wilfred A. Roberge
      United States Army Reserve, 11 years strong, OIF Veteran


      --- In abandonedrailroadsoftheus@yahoogroups.com, "Jeffrey" <jeffreycaiken@...> wrote:
      >
      > Hi all! I'm still trying to innovate the use of a modern version of these as I have been advised by several DOT University Transportation Center Staff that its' development and use might have merit for disaster relief. In 1998, when I began this research, I couldn't find any. Having made progres, and for those of doing historical research on this subject...I'm answering my own question here, as I have located two hopsital train cars that have been recently refurbished and put on display of the folitowing musuems:
      >
      > One Ward Car at the US Army Fort Sam Houston Museum
      > (including a Medical Museum)
      > 1210 Stanley Road
      > San Antonio, TX 78234-7501
      > (210) 221-1886 ý
      > http://www.ameddmuseumfoundation.org/contactus.htm
      >
      > One Ward Car at the North Carolina Transportation Museum
      > 411 S. Salisbury Ave.
      > Spencer, NC 28159
      > 704-636-2889
      > Email: nctrans@...
      > http://www.nctrans.org/Exhibits/Hospital-Car.aspx
      > Their site says you can ride an Amtrak train to Salisbury Depot, then take the Salisbury Bus or Trolley to the museum.
      >
      > Frankly, if I had the funds to get there from the West to see either, consult with folk, and get back home, I sure wouldn't be driving. I'm having a love affair with trains and all things steel wheel on steel rail...my first choice would be Amtrak, then that Trolley.
      >
      > Regards,
      > Jeff
      >
      > --- In abandonedrailroadsoftheus@yahoogroups.com, "jeffreycaiken" <jeffreycaiken@> wrote:
      > >
      > > If any of you have any background on how to get old Technical Manuals
      > > from the U.S.Army, please let me know. I want the illustrated parts
      > > breakdowns, the contractors who built them, the manufacturers of the
      > > parts inside and outside, and if any of the folks who worked with
      > > these are still living. I am trying to build one, or get one out of
      > > museums to roll prior to the National World War II Memorial May 29,
      > > 2004. I see innovative use for these that currently is not available
      > > anywhere. I also see an opportunity to grow our economy and provide
      > > some new jobs.
      > >
      > > Thanks in advance for any assistance you might lend.
      > >
      > > Jeff Aiken
      > >
      >
    • Willie
      Try this link: It has many pictures and articles attached to it. -Willie
      Message 2 of 10 , Jul 1, 2011
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        Try this link:

        <http://railwaysurgery.org/>

        It has many pictures and articles attached to it.

        -Willie
      • vern2point3
        Some of the hospital cars were transferred to the Air Force and were converted to carry B-52 and KC-135 flight simulators from base to base. The cockpit cars
        Message 3 of 10 , Jul 16, 2011
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          Some of the hospital cars were transferred to the Air Force and were converted to carry B-52 and KC-135 flight simulators from base to base.

          The "cockpit cars" were modified with an expanding section around the cockpit. When the simulator was parked at a training location, the sides would be expanded out to allow technicians room to walk around the cokpit enclosure. The rest of the cockpit car was filled with analog computer (vacuum tube amplifiers, servo systems and relays) to drive the cockpit instrumentation.

          On B-52 simulators there was a second converted hospital car which housed additional analog computer equipment and a small workshop. KC-135 simulators fit completely in one hospital car and were paired with a WWII troop car for workshop and office space.

          These cars were maintained by the Army's Tooele Depot annex at Hill AFB, UT. The last rail movement of one of these simulators I know of was in the mid-1980s. As the number of bases hosting B-52s and KC-135s drew down, the need for mobile simulators to move from base to base for annual aircrew training ended, and the mobile simulators were replaced with new fixed-location devices.

          The simulator cars were retired, with some scrapped, some re-used for other programs (the MX missile train tests used a B-52 computer car), some sold-off and one destined for the Utah Railway Museum.

          Since the original hospital cars were retired so long ago, the cars' more recent re-use as simulators might provide a path to finding the information you're looking for. There should still be people at the Tooele Annex shop who remember their specfications and may even still have some of the manuals on-hand.

          Vern, retired Air Force flight simulator technician, but not on the rail-mobile ones.
        • vern2point3
          You might find some info on the cars that were re-used in a second role; as Air Force mobile flight simulators. Early B-52 and KC-135 flight simulators were
          Message 4 of 10 , Jul 18, 2011
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            You might find some info on the cars that were re-used in a second role; as Air Force mobile flight simulators. Early B-52 and KC-135 flight simulators were installed in modified hospital cars and moved from base to base to provide simulator training for aircrews.

            The cars were modified and maintained by the Army's Tooele Annex at Hill AFB. KC-135 simulators used on hospital car to house the cockpit and computer system plus a re-used troop sleeper car as a workshop and office area. B-52's used two hospital cars, one for the cockpit and part of the computer system and the second car housing the rest of the computer system, a workshop and an office.

            The last rail mobile simulators were taken out of service in the mid-1980s. Some of the cars were sold, some were scrapped and one was supposed to go to the Utah Rail Museum in Ogden. I know that one B-52 computer car was re-used for testing the MX-rail mobile launch system and it ended up in a scrapyard in southern California.

            There may be some personnel left at Tooele Annex who worked on the cars and there may be docuemtation left there as well. Hope this helps.

            Vern, retired Air Force simulator technician, but not on the choo-choo trains.
          • xocboy2001
            For many years there was a hospital car at Seal Beach NAND in So.Cal, used one year to give tours of base on national holiday. NWS now closed and disposition
            Message 5 of 10 , Aug 23, 2011
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              For many years there was a hospital car at Seal Beach NAND in So.Cal, used one year to give tours of base on national holiday. NWS now closed and disposition of car unknown.

              --- In abandonedrailroadsoftheus@yahoogroups.com, "Willie" <rocketdude1979@...> wrote:
              >
              > Hello,
              >
              > I would have responded with an answer about these cars earlier but I was not a list member when it was first posted.
              >
              > I am pretty sure that the final hospital and ward cars were built by American Car and Foundry. There were a number of surplus cars that were conveyed to Amtrak to build baggage cars out of in the 1970's as they were essentially brand new despite being 20 years old.
              >
              > Other surplus cars were conveyed to the Alaska RR in the late 40's or early 50's to equip Alaska's train the "AuRoRa" when it was under federal control. The AuRoRa has been described in the railfan press as a "vest-pocket streamliner" consisting of former Army hospital cars and modified (shrouded) Alco RS-1's (rebuilt Army RSD-1's with 2 axle trucks and "streamlined" carbody) making the RS-1's look like a poor-man's "F-unit."
              >
              > Other cars continued to sit on bases in mothballs seeming "ready to go."
              >
              > I know of at least 2 other survivors:
              >
              > One is at the Utah Railway Museum @ Ogden Union Station in Ogden Utah.
              >
              > The other was located behind the engine house @ Fort Eustis, VA. The car was there in 2002 the last time I was there and I see no reason it would no longer be there as it would surely go to the Army Transportation Museum before it would be scrapped.
              >
              > As for these hospital cars, to me, there is nothing particularly special about them as far as RR cars go, they seemed to me to be conventional passenger cars of the time outfitted inside for the care and transport of injured patients, Ambulance Trains might have been a more appropriate name for them.
              >
              > The cars were operated in WW2 in both the European and Domestic Theatres. The trains (at least in the USA) were equipped with at least one car equipped as an operating room to perform any emergency surgeries that might be needed during transport. There was another car that was more like a clinic or doctors office for changing dressings.
              >
              > The whole idea of a hospital train was to provide a fully equipped hospital on wheels to take to where it was needed and to park. These were more like med-evac flights of today where a large # of patients are transported out. The operation of these trains was more or less for supervised care of patients while in transport.
              >
              > The use of a Hospital Train today for disaster relief in many ways doesn't hold up as they really aren't a hospital on wheels, they are more like a really big/long super-capable ambulance. An Army CSH (pronounced "CASH" today's decendent of a MASH unit) is much more capable and able to get to where people need them. A hospital train is dependendent on rails being intact where'as a CSH can be trucked or flown in avoiding destroyed RR tracks.
              >
              > A scenerio that could work well for a hospital-train might be to have some to evac hospitals or nursing home before a disaster avoiding the need to assemble a large convoy of ambulances.
              >
              > I would have to say the best way to get a hospital to a disaster is if near water, hospital ship (US has 2 USNS Mercy and USNS Comfort), anyplace else, Military "tent hospital" (parts are also containerized)like an Army CSH. The Army CSH can be flown in using planes that can use improvised landing strips, or they can be trucked in. An Army Cash also has field kitchen facilities capable of serving large numbers of people including staff and a full patiend load. They can also set up shop in buildings.
              >
              > Just my two cents.
              >
              > -Wilfred A. Roberge
              > United States Army Reserve, 11 years strong, OIF Veteran
              >
              >
              > --- In abandonedrailroadsoftheus@yahoogroups.com, "Jeffrey" <jeffreycaiken@> wrote:
              > >
              > > Hi all! I'm still trying to innovate the use of a modern version of these as I have been advised by several DOT University Transportation Center Staff that its' development and use might have merit for disaster relief. In 1998, when I began this research, I couldn't find any. Having made progres, and for those of doing historical research on this subject...I'm answering my own question here, as I have located two hopsital train cars that have been recently refurbished and put on display of the folitowing musuems:
              > >
              > > One Ward Car at the US Army Fort Sam Houston Museum
              > > (including a Medical Museum)
              > > 1210 Stanley Road
              > > San Antonio, TX 78234-7501
              > > (210) 221-1886 ý
              > > http://www.ameddmuseumfoundation.org/contactus.htm
              > >
              > > One Ward Car at the North Carolina Transportation Museum
              > > 411 S. Salisbury Ave.
              > > Spencer, NC 28159
              > > 704-636-2889
              > > Email: nctrans@
              > > http://www.nctrans.org/Exhibits/Hospital-Car.aspx
              > > Their site says you can ride an Amtrak train to Salisbury Depot, then take the Salisbury Bus or Trolley to the museum.
              > >
              > > Frankly, if I had the funds to get there from the West to see either, consult with folk, and get back home, I sure wouldn't be driving. I'm having a love affair with trains and all things steel wheel on steel rail...my first choice would be Amtrak, then that Trolley.
              > >
              > > Regards,
              > > Jeff
              > >
              > > --- In abandonedrailroadsoftheus@yahoogroups.com, "jeffreycaiken" <jeffreycaiken@> wrote:
              > > >
              > > > If any of you have any background on how to get old Technical Manuals
              > > > from the U.S.Army, please let me know. I want the illustrated parts
              > > > breakdowns, the contractors who built them, the manufacturers of the
              > > > parts inside and outside, and if any of the folks who worked with
              > > > these are still living. I am trying to build one, or get one out of
              > > > museums to roll prior to the National World War II Memorial May 29,
              > > > 2004. I see innovative use for these that currently is not available
              > > > anywhere. I also see an opportunity to grow our economy and provide
              > > > some new jobs.
              > > >
              > > > Thanks in advance for any assistance you might lend.
              > > >
              > > > Jeff Aiken
              > > >
              > >
              >
            • Larry Paul
              I think that railroad cars are just too small for what is need now days. Larry. ... From: xocboy2001 Subject: [Abandoned
              Message 6 of 10 , Aug 23, 2011
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                I think that railroad cars are just too small for what is need now days.
                Larry.

                --- On Tue, 8/23/11, xocboy2001 <stevedonaldson@...> wrote:


                From: xocboy2001 <stevedonaldson@...>
                Subject: [Abandoned Railroads of the US] Re: Army Hospital Train
                To: abandonedrailroadsoftheus@yahoogroups.com
                Date: Tuesday, August 23, 2011, 2:42 PM


                 



                For many years there was a hospital car at Seal Beach NAND in So.Cal, used one year to give tours of base on national holiday. NWS now closed and disposition of car unknown.

                --- In abandonedrailroadsoftheus@yahoogroups.com, "Willie" <rocketdude1979@...> wrote:
                >
                > Hello,
                >
                > I would have responded with an answer about these cars earlier but I was not a list member when it was first posted.
                >
                > I am pretty sure that the final hospital and ward cars were built by American Car and Foundry. There were a number of surplus cars that were conveyed to Amtrak to build baggage cars out of in the 1970's as they were essentially brand new despite being 20 years old.
                >
                > Other surplus cars were conveyed to the Alaska RR in the late 40's or early 50's to equip Alaska's train the "AuRoRa" when it was under federal control. The AuRoRa has been described in the railfan press as a "vest-pocket streamliner" consisting of former Army hospital cars and modified (shrouded) Alco RS-1's (rebuilt Army RSD-1's with 2 axle trucks and "streamlined" carbody) making the RS-1's look like a poor-man's "F-unit."
                >
                > Other cars continued to sit on bases in mothballs seeming "ready to go."
                >
                > I know of at least 2 other survivors:
                >
                > One is at the Utah Railway Museum @ Ogden Union Station in Ogden Utah.
                >
                > The other was located behind the engine house @ Fort Eustis, VA. The car was there in 2002 the last time I was there and I see no reason it would no longer be there as it would surely go to the Army Transportation Museum before it would be scrapped.
                >
                > As for these hospital cars, to me, there is nothing particularly special about them as far as RR cars go, they seemed to me to be conventional passenger cars of the time outfitted inside for the care and transport of injured patients, Ambulance Trains might have been a more appropriate name for them.
                >
                > The cars were operated in WW2 in both the European and Domestic Theatres. The trains (at least in the USA) were equipped with at least one car equipped as an operating room to perform any emergency surgeries that might be needed during transport. There was another car that was more like a clinic or doctors office for changing dressings.
                >
                > The whole idea of a hospital train was to provide a fully equipped hospital on wheels to take to where it was needed and to park. These were more like med-evac flights of today where a large # of patients are transported out. The operation of these trains was more or less for supervised care of patients while in transport.
                >
                > The use of a Hospital Train today for disaster relief in many ways doesn't hold up as they really aren't a hospital on wheels, they are more like a really big/long super-capable ambulance. An Army CSH (pronounced "CASH" today's decendent of a MASH unit) is much more capable and able to get to where people need them. A hospital train is dependendent on rails being intact where'as a CSH can be trucked or flown in avoiding destroyed RR tracks.
                >
                > A scenerio that could work well for a hospital-train might be to have some to evac hospitals or nursing home before a disaster avoiding the need to assemble a large convoy of ambulances.
                >
                > I would have to say the best way to get a hospital to a disaster is if near water, hospital ship (US has 2 USNS Mercy and USNS Comfort), anyplace else, Military "tent hospital" (parts are also containerized)like an Army CSH. The Army CSH can be flown in using planes that can use improvised landing strips, or they can be trucked in. An Army Cash also has field kitchen facilities capable of serving large numbers of people including staff and a full patiend load. They can also set up shop in buildings.
                >
                > Just my two cents.
                >
                > -Wilfred A. Roberge
                > United States Army Reserve, 11 years strong, OIF Veteran
                >
                >
                > --- In abandonedrailroadsoftheus@yahoogroups.com, "Jeffrey" <jeffreycaiken@> wrote:
                > >
                > > Hi all! I'm still trying to innovate the use of a modern version of these as I have been advised by several DOT University Transportation Center Staff that its' development and use might have merit for disaster relief. In 1998, when I began this research, I couldn't find any. Having made progres, and for those of doing historical research on this subject...I'm answering my own question here, as I have located two hopsital train cars that have been recently refurbished and put on display of the folitowing musuems:
                > >
                > > One Ward Car at the US Army Fort Sam Houston Museum
                > > (including a Medical Museum)
                > > 1210 Stanley Road
                > > San Antonio, TX 78234-7501
                > > (210) 221-1886 ý
                > > http://www.ameddmuseumfoundation.org/contactus.htm
                > >
                > > One Ward Car at the North Carolina Transportation Museum
                > > 411 S. Salisbury Ave.
                > > Spencer, NC 28159
                > > 704-636-2889
                > > Email: nctrans@
                > > http://www.nctrans.org/Exhibits/Hospital-Car.aspx
                > > Their site says you can ride an Amtrak train to Salisbury Depot, then take the Salisbury Bus or Trolley to the museum.
                > >
                > > Frankly, if I had the funds to get there from the West to see either, consult with folk, and get back home, I sure wouldn't be driving. I'm having a love affair with trains and all things steel wheel on steel rail...my first choice would be Amtrak, then that Trolley.
                > >
                > > Regards,
                > > Jeff
                > >
                > > --- In abandonedrailroadsoftheus@yahoogroups.com, "jeffreycaiken" <jeffreycaiken@> wrote:
                > > >
                > > > If any of you have any background on how to get old Technical Manuals
                > > > from the U.S.Army, please let me know. I want the illustrated parts
                > > > breakdowns, the contractors who built them, the manufacturers of the
                > > > parts inside and outside, and if any of the folks who worked with
                > > > these are still living. I am trying to build one, or get one out of
                > > > museums to roll prior to the National World War II Memorial May 29,
                > > > 2004. I see innovative use for these that currently is not available
                > > > anywhere. I also see an opportunity to grow our economy and provide
                > > > some new jobs.
                > > >
                > > > Thanks in advance for any assistance you might lend.
                > > >
                > > > Jeff Aiken
                > > >
                > >
                >








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