Prison Cars????

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Posted by Anonymous on Sunday, October 05, 2003 6:02 PM
QUOTE: Originally posted by XAXINV

I retired from the SP and never heard of them until 2 years ago. At that time I met a former baggage handler that worked for the SP for a couple of years in the early 1950's at Oakland. That was the most impressive thing he remembered from his work, prison cars coming into the SP mole (train / ferry station) at Oakland, presumably with "guests" destined for nearby Alcatraz. I think these things were pretty rare out west.


I like passenger alot but I think I would have to pass on that one. [xx(]
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Posted by Anonymous on Sunday, October 05, 2003 6:02 PM
QUOTE: Originally posted by XAXINV

I retired from the SP and never heard of them until 2 years ago. At that time I met a former baggage handler that worked for the SP for a couple of years in the early 1950's at Oakland. That was the most impressive thing he remembered from his work, prison cars coming into the SP mole (train / ferry station) at Oakland, presumably with "guests" destined for nearby Alcatraz. I think these things were pretty rare out west.


I like passenger alot but I think I would have to pass on that one. [xx(]
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Posted by Anonymous on Sunday, October 05, 2003 6:05 PM
id would try contacting the alcatraz group out there whos fixin the place up that would a good source for info
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Posted by Anonymous on Sunday, October 05, 2003 6:05 PM
id would try contacting the alcatraz group out there whos fixin the place up that would a good source for info
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Posted by Anonymous on Sunday, October 12, 2003 6:10 PM
Thanks for the input,but i don't think any prison rail coaches ever found the way to Alcatraz Island!!!!!!!!!!! Don
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Posted by Anonymous on Sunday, October 12, 2003 6:10 PM
Thanks for the input,but i don't think any prison rail coaches ever found the way to Alcatraz Island!!!!!!!!!!! Don
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Posted by jamesedwbradley on Tuesday, October 14, 2003 8:09 PM
For a photo, see page 39 of a Railroad Magazine article (I believe in 1948), "Missouri-Kansas-Texas" by Jack Russell. Car 647 was a standard clerestory-roof coach, 22 paired, barred windows plus 2 single windows @ each end of sides. The 'cons' were treated to a ride on 6-wheel trucks. Caption reads: "Katy doesn't advertise its prison cars, but it couples them into regular trains when necessary. Convicts are moved from points along the Katy route to Federal penal institution at Leavenworth, Kan. All windows have heavy steel bars; inside doors are similarly protected. Guards occupy compartments at either end."
James E. Bradley Hawk Mountain Chapter N.R.H.S.
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Posted by jamesedwbradley on Tuesday, October 14, 2003 8:09 PM
For a photo, see page 39 of a Railroad Magazine article (I believe in 1948), "Missouri-Kansas-Texas" by Jack Russell. Car 647 was a standard clerestory-roof coach, 22 paired, barred windows plus 2 single windows @ each end of sides. The 'cons' were treated to a ride on 6-wheel trucks. Caption reads: "Katy doesn't advertise its prison cars, but it couples them into regular trains when necessary. Convicts are moved from points along the Katy route to Federal penal institution at Leavenworth, Kan. All windows have heavy steel bars; inside doors are similarly protected. Guards occupy compartments at either end."
James E. Bradley Hawk Mountain Chapter N.R.H.S.
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Posted by jamesedwbradley on Wednesday, October 15, 2003 4:45 PM
Further checking in my June 1956 Passenger Equipment Register shows 17 90-seat cars in series 646 thru 662 but no mention is made of any prison cars. Perhaps they weren't carried on interchange roster but no exceptions to that number series appear. Usually the Register shows any exceptions to usual configuratons so perhaps 647 was no longer around by 1956.
James E. Bradley
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Posted by jamesedwbradley on Wednesday, October 15, 2003 4:45 PM
Further checking in my June 1956 Passenger Equipment Register shows 17 90-seat cars in series 646 thru 662 but no mention is made of any prison cars. Perhaps they weren't carried on interchange roster but no exceptions to that number series appear. Usually the Register shows any exceptions to usual configuratons so perhaps 647 was no longer around by 1956.
James E. Bradley
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Posted by Anonymous on Wednesday, October 15, 2003 4:53 PM
I think in the Museum in ST.Louis they have one
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Posted by Anonymous on Wednesday, October 15, 2003 4:53 PM
I think in the Museum in ST.Louis they have one
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Posted by Anonymous on Thursday, November 06, 2003 7:16 PM
The Denver public library has a picture of a Southern Pacific Prison car. The picture was taken by Perry Otto
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Posted by Anonymous on Thursday, November 06, 2003 7:16 PM
The Denver public library has a picture of a Southern Pacific Prison car. The picture was taken by Perry Otto
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Posted by Anonymous on Thursday, November 06, 2003 11:52 PM
and he notes -

Page 77 of "More Classic Trains" [Arthur Dubin, Kalmbach Publishing Co. ca. 1974] shows a picture of Pullman tourist car No. 3195 with barred windows. Barely visible below the windows are Rock Island's initials. The caption states that it was used for aliens and Federal prisoners in the 30's.

Interesting that the car had truss rods although it appeared to be steel construction. If anyone has a Smithsonian catalogue of the Pullman negative collection, (I can't find mine), the car might be listed, though more than likely it was modified by the Rock Island for prison service.

The movie "Prison Train", [Equity Pictures, ca. 1938], shows a group of "Government" prisoners being loaded into a real barred window car and then inside views, (which might be a Hollywood set). If the scene is accurate, the car had a heavy screened wall at one end for the guards. The train supposedly started in New York and headed for the west coast, of course with stock footage of SP and Santa Fe trains enroute - typical "B" movie fare from the 30's...
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Posted by Anonymous on Thursday, November 06, 2003 11:52 PM
and he notes -

Page 77 of "More Classic Trains" [Arthur Dubin, Kalmbach Publishing Co. ca. 1974] shows a picture of Pullman tourist car No. 3195 with barred windows. Barely visible below the windows are Rock Island's initials. The caption states that it was used for aliens and Federal prisoners in the 30's.

Interesting that the car had truss rods although it appeared to be steel construction. If anyone has a Smithsonian catalogue of the Pullman negative collection, (I can't find mine), the car might be listed, though more than likely it was modified by the Rock Island for prison service.

The movie "Prison Train", [Equity Pictures, ca. 1938], shows a group of "Government" prisoners being loaded into a real barred window car and then inside views, (which might be a Hollywood set). If the scene is accurate, the car had a heavy screened wall at one end for the guards. The train supposedly started in New York and headed for the west coast, of course with stock footage of SP and Santa Fe trains enroute - typical "B" movie fare from the 30's...
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Posted by DSchmitt on Monday, November 10, 2003 2:30 PM
I've read that some German prisoners being transfered during WW2 were simply give train tickets and directions to their destination.

I tried to sell my two cents worth, but no one would give me a plug nickel for it.

I don't have a leg to stand on.

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Posted by DSchmitt on Monday, November 10, 2003 2:30 PM
I've read that some German prisoners being transfered during WW2 were simply give train tickets and directions to their destination.

I tried to sell my two cents worth, but no one would give me a plug nickel for it.

I don't have a leg to stand on.

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Posted by Anonymous on Tuesday, November 11, 2003 3:04 PM
If I remember correctly that History channel program about POW's stated the German POW's were singing the popular WW1 song, "Pack Up Your Troubles in Your Old Kit Bag," but in German. Knowing how our government was a stickler for abiding by the Geneva Convention, I'd be willing to bet the POW's were moved in Pullman Coaches!
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Posted by Anonymous on Tuesday, November 11, 2003 3:04 PM
If I remember correctly that History channel program about POW's stated the German POW's were singing the popular WW1 song, "Pack Up Your Troubles in Your Old Kit Bag," but in German. Knowing how our government was a stickler for abiding by the Geneva Convention, I'd be willing to bet the POW's were moved in Pullman Coaches!
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Posted by Anonymous on Wednesday, November 12, 2003 9:13 AM
Sp Hist. and Tech. Society book shows 'prison cars' originally used for deportation and later used for transport of criminals. Two of these were transported by barge to Alcatraz with inmates although they were not offloaded on to the island the prisoners were from the barge.
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Posted by Anonymous on Wednesday, November 12, 2003 9:13 AM
Sp Hist. and Tech. Society book shows 'prison cars' originally used for deportation and later used for transport of criminals. Two of these were transported by barge to Alcatraz with inmates although they were not offloaded on to the island the prisoners were from the barge.
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Posted by Anonymous on Wednesday, November 12, 2003 11:18 AM
Check out www.tri-ang.co.uk/OO/battlepow.html to see an HO/OO model of a POW car. This was made by the British company in the 1960's as part of their "Battlespace" series of military trains. Of course this isn't based on a real prototype. From what I've been reading, it seems that POW's transported by rail had a lot more comfort in real life.
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Posted by Anonymous on Wednesday, November 12, 2003 11:18 AM
Check out www.tri-ang.co.uk/OO/battlepow.html to see an HO/OO model of a POW car. This was made by the British company in the 1960's as part of their "Battlespace" series of military trains. Of course this isn't based on a real prototype. From what I've been reading, it seems that POW's transported by rail had a lot more comfort in real life.
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Posted by Anonymous on Thursday, November 13, 2003 12:57 AM
Wow there is so many types of cars out there I didn't know about. I just ordered a blacksmith car and a worker sleeping car from my local shop that has a bunch of little porthole windows in it.

SOme interesting stuff.
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Posted by Anonymous on Thursday, November 13, 2003 12:57 AM
Wow there is so many types of cars out there I didn't know about. I just ordered a blacksmith car and a worker sleeping car from my local shop that has a bunch of little porthole windows in it.

SOme interesting stuff.

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