Did Pennsy make their own lightweight coach or sleeper before WWII?

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Did Pennsy make their own lightweight coach or sleeper before WWII?
Posted by Jones1945 on Thursday, February 28, 2019 9:02 AM

The following record is from the General Chronology of PRR 1937:

"Mar. 2, 1937 PRR signs Authorization for Expenditure for 21 PRR-built lightweight  and rebuilt cars for Broadway Limited, Liberty Limited, and The American at cost of $1.35 million and 51 lightweight Pullman sleepers for same service for $3.9 million. (CMP)"

I know the heavyweight P70 was an honor product of Pennsy, but I have never heard about a lightweight car built or designed by the Pennsy before WWII, did I missed something important? CoffeeBlindfold

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Posted by gmpullman on Thursday, February 28, 2019 10:20 AM

Altoona built at least seventy P85bR 44 seat coaches to "lightweight" standards through March, 1947. Their numbers were 4100 through 4169. ACF made similar cars for the Pennsy.

Altoona must not have quite mastered the welding abilities that ACF and Pullman had since these cars had noticibly wrinkled sides.

There may have been others but these were the first to come to mind. Rebuilds, on the other hand, were done by the hundreds, and many of the time-worn P70s  and diners were updated to "look" like lightweights but they still had their heavyweight "bones" under the skin.

After the War there was quite a backlog of passenger car orders, some railroads waiting two-years or more for delivery from the builders.

Thank You, Ed

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Posted by Jones1945 on Friday, March 01, 2019 4:34 AM

Thank you, Ed. Yes, I remember the P85BR coaches built for 1948 re-equipment of the TrailBlazer and Jeffersonian, IIRC the whole lot was 90 cars, first postwar order. Altoona built 70, ACF built 30. Interior was designed by Raymond Loewy, probably some of the last design jobs for Pennsy by Loewy. 

By the way, I didn't know that not all 1000 P70 was built by Pennsy shop:

I remember there is a prototype streamlined lightweight coach which looked like PRR P70kr in the 1939-40 World's Fair, it was bought by the PRR after the fair (NYC bought 25), but PSCC ceased the production line for trains equipment for military stuff. What was the relationship of the Pressed Steel Car Company and PRR? Thanks a lot! Smile

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Posted by gmpullman on Sunday, March 03, 2019 1:48 AM

Jones1945
By the way, I didn't know that not all 1000 P70 was built by Pennsy shop:

Groups of P70s were also built by Standard Steel Car and American Car & Foundry, too. Pressed Steel had a plant in McKees Rocks so PRR probably favored their on-line (or close to) builders.

There are some excellent construction photos of several PRR cars at ACF in the Barriger Library:

 9312 001 by John W. Barriger III National Railroad Library, on Flickr

 

 Lot 3204 Neg 104825-A   001 by John W. Barriger III National Railroad Library, on Flickr

You can see the Raymond Lowey influence in the interior appointments:

 Lot 3204 Neg 104825-G    007 by John W. Barriger III National Railroad Library, on Flickr

 Lot 3204 Neg 104825-K    010 by John W. Barriger III National Railroad Library, on Flickr

Here is an excellent, seldom-seen view of the emergency escape hatch. Is there any record of these actually being used to extricate people? Are they a PRR "thing" besides the two that are on the Ferdinand Magellan?

 Lot 3204 Neg 104825-BB    027 by John W. Barriger III National Railroad Library, on Flickr

Unfortunately, I have found no easy method of searching or indexing these photos in the huge ACF album.

One more question, if I may. PRR passenger designations, P70 for instance, are based on the interior length of the passenger compartment. So why are there P85 cars when, clearly, 85 is the outside length? Curious PRR fans want to know.

Cheers, Ed

 

 

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Posted by Jones1945 on Sunday, March 03, 2019 11:44 AM

Cheers/thanks a lot, Ed.

Those are some very precious photo collection from ACF and other sources. The interior of P85BR was fashionable even in today's standard. Using a lot of mirrors to make the train car doesn't look like a long tube; silver-colored strip and frame to highlight the shape of the amenities.

There must be a lot of stories about the emergency escape hatch, I wonder how many passengers knew that there is one on this lot of cars.

Anyway, the only thing I don't like P85BR was that they have no skirting like Santa Fe's Budd cars. They were probably the first lot of PRR coach painted in the postwar "single tone" Tuscan scheme. I heard many of them had a quality problem and needed to retire early in the 1960s. 

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Posted by rcdrye on Sunday, March 03, 2019 3:26 PM

gmpullman
One more question, if I may. PRR passenger designations, P70 for instance, are based on the interior length of the passenger compartment. So why are there P85 cars when, clearly, 85 is the outside length? Curious PRR fans want to know.

The length designation had to do with the way the frame was constructed. In the P70 design the vestibule was framed separately from the main carbody - a design leftover from open platform cars.  Even though the P70's platforms were the same level as the floor of the P70 carbody, the design allowed for "knees" to support the platform and specifically the step cutout.  The roof section over the vestibule was framed separately from the rest of the roof.  The bulkheads between the carbody and the vestiblue were also structural.

On the P85, the entire carbody was framed as if there were no vestibules. The bulkheads were partitions only, and could have been omitted without materially affecting the strength of the carbody.  I'm not sure how the frame for the trap was done, but it was part of the flooring frame and not hung off the carbody bulkhead.

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Posted by gmpullman on Monday, March 04, 2019 4:05 PM

rcdrye
The length designation had to do with the way the frame was constructed.

Thank You Yes

That is a very clear explanation.

Regards, Ed

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