Louis T. Klauder and Associates, Northeast Corridor Demonstration Project photographs1951-1970 bulk 1957-1963
Louis T. Klauder and Associates (LTK) is a professional rail transportation engineering consulting firm. LTK were hired to work as consulting engineers for a joint project of the United States Department of Transportation and Pennsylvania Railroad called the Northeast Corridor Demonstration Project. This collection contains aerial photographs of the Northeast Corridor railroad route from New York to Boston taken between 1951 and 1965. These images were used to aid in the project. These aerial photographs make up a bulk of the collection. There are several sets of images that show train station exteriors along several routes on the Northeast Corridor. Thirty-eight photographs show the projects test track at Pueblo Army Depot in Colorado. There are four press photographs for Inflight Motion Pictures Inc. and a few renderings of proposed trains.
- bulk 1957-1963
- Louis T. Klauder and Associates (Organization)
2 Linear Feet
General Physical Description
697 photographic prints : b&w ; 10 x 10 in. 45 photographic prints : b&w ; 8 x 10 in. 1 photographic print : color ; 8 x 10 in. 152 photographic prints : b&w ; 3.5 x 5 in.
Louis T. Klauder and Associates (LTK) is a professional rail transportation engineering consulting firm. It was established in Philadelphia in 1921 by Louis Tobias Klauder (1880-1945), a former construction engineer for the Philadelphia Rapid Transit Company. After Louis Tobias Klauder’s death in 1945, the firm was converted from a full proprietorship to a partnership with his son Louis Thornton Klauder (1908-1999) as managing partner. Under his leadership, the firm became internationally known for its consulting work on rail and transit projects.
In 1964, Japan introduced it’s first "bullet trains," the New Tokaido Line between Tokyo and Osaka. This prompted an initiative to improve ground transportation in the northeast United States. In September 1965, President Johnson signed the High-Speed Ground Transportation Research and Development Act, which facilitated the development of a high-speed rail corridor from New York to Washington along the existing Northeast Corridor right-of-way. The project was called the Northeast Corridor Demonstration Project and was a joint venture between the United States Department of Transportation and the Pennsylvania Railroad. This program was active between 1966 and 1972, and marked the entry of the U. S. into the era of modern, high-speed rail passenger transportation.
LTK was hired as consulting engineers to prepare estimates, develop specifications, secure bids from contractors, and then oversee implementation of the project as intermediaries between the participating companies (the railroads and equipment manufacturers) and the government administrators. Klauder also helped the U.S. Department of Transportation develop the High Speed Ground Test Center's test track near Pueblo, Colo., on which a variety of rail or tracked vehicles could be tested.
A large portion of the Northeast Corridor was originally built between 1830 and 1917 by two different railroad companies: the Pennsylvania Railroad and the New York, New Haven and Hartford Railroad. The New Haven line was not electrified east of New Haven and had many curves as it wound along the Long Island Sound. LTK was to determine how to straighten or relocate parts of the line in order for the trains to reach the desired speed.
Longtime rival companies, the Pennsylvania Railroad and the New York Central Railroad announced merger plans in November 1957. The merger was approved by stockholders on May 8, 1962, however, the Interstate Commerce Commission (ICC) did not approve the merger until four years later. The merged company officially began on February 1, 1968, as the Penn Central (PC) Railroad. Penn Central was required to absorb the New Haven line in 1969 as a condition of the merger, which brought the entire Washington-Boston corridor under the control of a single company. Penn Central declared bankruptcy on June 21, 1970. Amtrak began operations on May 1, 1971.
During this time of railroad mergers and bankruptcies, a product of the Northeast Corridor Demonstration project was a high-speed train called the Metroliner. After several years of development and prototypes, the Metroliner entered service in 1969, but due to the unreliability of the trains and several technical problems it wanned in usage in the 1980s and did not become the high-speed train solution that it was intended to be. Throughout the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s there were numerous planning studies and government sponsored projects intended to improve railroad transportation.
LTK's involvement in the Northeast Corridor tapered off during the 1980s. Louis T. Klauder and Associates is still a partnership; in 1994 it began doing business under the name of LTK Engineering Services. The firm has relocated its headquarters from Center City Philadelphia to suburban Ambler and maintains several branch officers around the country.
Scope and Content
This collection contains aerial photographs of the Northeast Corridor railroad route from New York to Boston taken between 1951 and 1965. These images were used to aid in the Northeast Corridor Demonstration project. The aerial photographs are also valuable documentation of the area before mass redevelopment. These aerial photographs make up a bulk of the collection. There are several sets of images that show train station exteriors of several routes along the Northeast Corridor. Thirty-eight photographs show the projects test track at Pueblo Army Depot in Colorado. There are four press photographs for Inflight Motion Pictures Inc. and a few renderings of proposed trains.
This collection is arranged into four series: Series I. Aerial photographs; Series II. Penn Central Railroad stations photographs; Series III. Pueblo Army Depot, Colorado; and Series IV. Train proposal renderings and airplane press photographs. The collection remains in original order, which is organized following the Northeast Corridor route from New York to Boston.
Series I. Aerial photographs is divided into two subseries: the Northeast Corridor and Excess coverage and spares. The aerials from the Northeast Corridor subseries contain images that follow the railway from New York City through Connecticut and Rhode Island on to Boston. These photographs were not taken by LTK, but rather were supplied to the firm to assist them with their work on the Northeast Corridor Demonstration Project. Major cities and landmarks have been notated and listed for each folder, but the lists are not comprehensive as the aerial photographs cover a wide area. The photographs date from 1951 to 1964.
The Excess coverage spares are aerial photographs, which date from 1951 to 1965 and also cover New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island and Massachusetts. These aerials contain images that are off-route and cover a wider surrounding area. This subseries also contains duplicates or alternative photographs of on-route images that appear in the first subseries.
Series II.Train stations exterior photographs consists of images of railroad station exteriors along several different branches or lines of the Penn Central Railroad. The stations pictured are from the Chestnut Hill branch, Mainline to Freston, Media line and the Wilmington line. There are also images of railroad station exteriors and train tracks which were taken from onboard a train. The line is unidentified. The photographs were taken in 1965 and 1967. There are also nine rolls of negatives of station exteriors from the New York, New Haven and Hartford Railroad, New York Central, Pennsylvania Railroad, Long Island Railroad, and New Haven Railroad in Boston.
Series III. Pueblo Army Depot, Colorado are photographs from November and December of 1970 that show a test track in construction and use. These images show men working, test trains, railroad equipment and closeups of railroad tracks.
Series IV. Train proposal renderings and airplane press photographs contains three images of proposed trains exteriors and one image of a train interior, which date from 1964 and 1967. There are also four press photographs dated 1964, for Inflight Motion Pictures, these show airplane passengers watching a movie inside an airplane. In 1961, Inflight Motion Pictures, Inc. was established by David Flexer, who engineered an aircraft projection system that adapted a Kodak projection mechanism to fit it into a shallow ceiling area of an aircraft interior.
This collection is open for research.
Language of Materials
- LTK Engineering Services (Organization)
- Louis T. Klauder and Associates (Organization)
Finding Aid & Administrative Information
- Louis T. Klauder and Associates, Northeast Corridor Demonstration Project photographs
- Laurie Rizzo
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