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Pullman: America's Hotel on Wheels

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Pullman: America's Hotel on Wheels
Posted by tstage on Sunday, February 7, 2021 4:13 PM

I just watched Pullman: America's Hotel on Wheels on my local PBS station this afternoon.  I really enjoyed getting a better understanding of the man, the company, the history of the passenger car, passenger service, and railroading history, in general.  I was unable to find a link to an online video of it but Kalmbach does have the DVD available for purchase from their website for anyone interested.  Thought I would pass this along in event that any of you saw this scheduled on the PBS station(s) in your area.

Tom

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Posted by mbinsewi on Thursday, February 11, 2021 11:12 AM

Guess I missed that one.  Was it on American Experience?

Mike.

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Posted by gmpullman on Thursday, February 11, 2021 1:45 PM

mbinsewi
Guess I missed that one.  Was it on American Experience?

I watched it on my PBS station Sunday night. All the other channels had some kind of football game on. The Pullman documentary was much more enjoyable for me.

I have several other DVDs and books on Pullman history. It is a fascinating story. In my youth I was involved with a railroad historical society that owned several heavyweight Pullman sleepers.

This sparked a life-long interest in everything Pullman for me. I plan to order the Kalmbach production soon. It is worth several viewings Yes

 

Another decent DVD is "Rising From The Rails". 

 Pullman_Roomette by Edmund, on Flickr

 Pullman_ad-1943-crop by Edmund, on Flickr

Cheers, Ed

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Posted by mbinsewi on Thursday, February 11, 2021 2:42 PM

Thanks Ed, I just checked our local (Milwaukee) PBS, and found nothing.  I have learned that it is a Kalmbach production,  I'll have to check out Kalmbach.

Thanks,

Mike.

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Posted by gmpullman on Thursday, February 11, 2021 2:47 PM

mbinsewi
I have learned that it is a Kalmbach production,

I had the link in my reply.

Hope that helps, Ed

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Posted by John-NYBW on Thursday, February 11, 2021 3:55 PM

I scheduled that to record but then forgot about it and also forgot to mark it as KEEP so it rolled off. I'm going to check to see if it's scheduled again. I have two different PBS stations on my Directv line up. The one out of Columbus (Ohio State) and the one out of Athens (Ohio U.). They don't always show the same programming.

I like the stories about how Pullman cars were sometimes used to create temporary hotel space when an event overwhelmed local hotels. The first one I read about was Ike's inaugural in 1953. The Pennsylvania Railroad parked seven full length Pullman trains using the steam engines as stationary boilers to heat the cars. Dining cars were used to provide meals to the guests.

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Posted by wjstix on Thursday, February 11, 2021 4:07 PM

Yes it is from Kalmbach; For several months in 2020 I received e-mail from Kalmbach about once a week urging me to pre-order the DVD - and the Classic Trains special issue/book:

 

https://ctr.trains.com/issues/2020/pullman

Unfortunately it doesn't look like it's scheduled in my area either. It appears to be a station by station decision, not something on PBS network. My local Twin Cities station (KTCA) does show several rail-related programs, so maybe in time they will show this one too. 

 

Stix
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Posted by tstage on Thursday, February 11, 2021 4:49 PM

I believe it was on the regular PBS stations - i.e. vs "Create" or "World".  It seemed like some of the personal interviews might have been dated.  It was still enjoyable and insightful, nonetheless.

Looks like Walthers has the DVD on sale today.  They'll probably gouge you on the S&H though.

Tom

[Edit: Yep - $11.95 for "Standard" shipping.  Hence why I NEVER purchase anything from Walthers except through my LHS.]

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Posted by gmpullman on Thursday, February 11, 2021 6:40 PM

John-NYBW
like the stories about how Pullman cars were sometimes used to create temporary hotel space when an event overwhelmed local hotels.

Here:

https://www.shorpy.com/node/17482

https://www.shorpy.com/node/17486

There's one more photo I recall at another D.C. area team track (D street) but I can't quite locate it at the moment. I could study these photos for hours!

Good luck, Ed

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Posted by wjstix on Friday, February 12, 2021 8:46 AM

tstage
I believe it was on the regular PBS stations - i.e. vs "Create" or "World".

What I meant was that when you watch your local PBS station some of the programs are from the network and are basically shown on all stations at the same time...like PBS' "NOVA" series for example. Other programs on the station are shown by that particular station, like locally produced shows or syndicated programs and such. For example, the station up in Duluth/Superior still shows old episodes of the BBC's Doctor Who show, where my local station quit showing them maybe 20 years ago.

If the Kalmbach DVD was played on the PBS network, all stations would have shown it. Instead, it sounds like some stations bought it and aired it, and some (at least so far) have chosen not to.

Stix
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Posted by The Milwaukee Road Warrior on Tuesday, February 23, 2021 7:17 AM

I bought the Special Edition print version of this from Classic Trains at my LHS.  Great read!  Just yesterday my dad was telling me that he caught the program on the local PBS affiliate.  He spoke highly of it.  I don't think he realized how well-rounded the operation was.  I hope it will be broadcast again.

Andy

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Milwaukee native modeling the Milwaukee Road in 1950's Milwaukee.

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Posted by John-NYBW on Tuesday, February 23, 2021 9:57 AM

The Milwaukee Road Warrior

I bought the Special Edition print version of this from Classic Trains at my LHS.  Great read!  Just yesterday my dad was telling me that he caught the program on the local PBS affiliate.  He spoke highly of it.  I don't think he realized how well-rounded the operation was.  I hope it will be broadcast again.

 

Just wait for the next pledge drive. That's usually when they air programs such as this. Maybe it's my imagination but it seems like PBS pledge drives have become more frequent. I remember them being twice a year but now it seems like they happen every three or four months. I look forward to them because they usually include musical acts, especially folk music, from the sixties.

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Posted by York1 on Tuesday, February 23, 2021 10:11 AM

John-NYBW
Just wait for the next pledge drive. That's usually when they air programs such as this. Maybe it's my imagination but it seems like PBS pledge drives have become more frequent. I remember them being twice a year but now it seems like they happen every three or four months. I look forward to them because they usually include musical acts, especially folk music, from the sixties.

 

I think that's what the stations are counting on.

Me ... I'm the opposite.

I have certain programs I watch on PBS.  Then, I tune in and the program isn't on for several weeks because of the pledge drive's special programming.  I miss my regular program, and it makes me less likely to pledge.

For me, put the pledge plug between regular programming.

York1 John       

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Posted by rrinker on Tuesday, February 23, 2021 12:00 PM

gmpullman

 

 
John-NYBW
like the stories about how Pullman cars were sometimes used to create temporary hotel space when an event overwhelmed local hotels.

 

Here:

https://www.shorpy.com/node/17482

https://www.shorpy.com/node/17486

There's one more photo I recall at another D.C. area team track (D street) but I can't quite locate it at the moment. I could study these photos for hours!

Good luck, Ed

 

 The second one was really neat - early equipment with one of the latest locos on display.

 Never ceases to amaze me how much detail you get from those old large format photos. 

                                    --Randy


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Posted by Overmod on Tuesday, February 23, 2021 12:26 PM

Note all the honey buckets... but no heat arrangement, even for Shriners.  Doubt even an EL-1 could make enough steam to heat them all... and no yard steam lines in a freight yard, let alone on all that panel track... must be hot weather, in an age before air conditioning...

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Posted by rrinker on Tuesday, February 23, 2021 12:58 PM

 Note that in June in DC they were probably already wishing someone would provide air conditioning...

                             --Randy

 


Modeling the Reading Railroad in the 1950's

 

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Posted by wjstix on Wednesday, February 24, 2021 12:41 PM

John-NYBW
Maybe it's my imagination but it seems like PBS pledge drives have become more frequent.

PBS probably peaked in the 1970's, before cable stations existed programs you now see on History Channel, Discovery, BBC American etc. were the kind of shows you'd see on PBS. In the early 1980's the US gov't cutback/eliminated PBS' subsidies. PBS had to cancel some programs for lack of funds, and ever since it seems like they've been scrounging for money just to stay afloat.

Stix
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Posted by John-NYBW on Wednesday, February 24, 2021 4:39 PM

wjstix

 

 
John-NYBW
Maybe it's my imagination but it seems like PBS pledge drives have become more frequent.

 

PBS probably peaked in the 1970's, before cable stations existed programs you now see on History Channel, Discovery, BBC American etc. were the kind of shows you'd see on PBS. In the early 1980's the US gov't cutback/eliminated PBS' subsidies. PBS had to cancel some programs for lack of funds, and ever since it seems like they've been scrounging for money just to stay afloat.

 

At the risk of starting a political discussion, it seems PBS has outlived its reason for being but continues getting the necessary subsidies which combined with pledge drives keeps them above water. Barely. There is a lot of quality programming on PBS but the really good stuff could make a go of it on commercial TV given that cable channels don't have to draw as big an audience as broadcast TV. Ken Burns has produced some of the best programming to ever appear TV, broadcast or cable. 

It seems to me PBS saves some of their best stuff for their pledge drives. I record them and that way I can skip over the appeals. I used to make a pledge but I really don't see the point anymore. I'll bet it's been at least 30 years since I last gave them anything. I don't think Congress will ever kill PBS or NPR. They have good lobbyists. 

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Posted by wjstix on Thursday, February 25, 2021 10:37 AM

Well the Corporation for Public Broadcasting is a public, non-profit organization whose board members are appointed by the President and confirmed by the Senate, so I don't know how much lobbying they really have to do?

Stix

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