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Pullman Diners

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Pullman Diners
Posted by cefinkjr on Sunday, July 4, 2021 3:10 PM

Did the Pullman company operate any diners?  If so, were they lettered with PULLMAN in the letter board and, if they were named, what were typcial names?

Chuck
Allen, TX

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Posted by 7j43k on Sunday, July 4, 2021 4:14 PM

Pullman did own some diners.  They leased them out, and it's not obvious who actually "operated" them.

 

The cars were "No. 1" through "No. 20", "No. 188" through "No. 193", and "D-100", later named ANGEL'S CAMP.  "No. 16" was ST. MARY OF THE LAKE for awhile.  "No. 22" was later named SYMPHONY.

They were built in the mid to late twenties.  They were sold off from the late twenties to the late thirties, with exceptions.

For example, SYMPHONY was sold to ACL in 1942.

 

Finding pictures of these cars is not too easy, but here is one of SYMPHONY, on the right:

 

 

 

Ed

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Posted by gmpullman on Sunday, July 4, 2021 6:05 PM

There is a good overview here:

https://www.pullman-museum.org/pdfs/delightOfPullmanDining.pdf

Pullman primarily concentrated on their "Hotel Cars" leaving the bulk of the food service to the owning railroads but a few full diners were in operation sporadically. 

Pullman attempted full dining service in 1930 but was soon thwarted by the effects of the depression and soon after, the War years. Club service and light meals continued in their lounge cars, though.

 Pullman by Edmund, on Flickr

 https://brasstrains.sirv.com/products/050108/DSC07104-20130906113927.jpg?scale.option=fill&scale.width=1200&quality=60

 

Good Luck, Ed

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Posted by cefinkjr on Sunday, July 4, 2021 9:22 PM

Ed & Ed


Thanks for the replies, guys.  I was about to bid on a diner lettered PULLMAN with a "Lake ... " name for the 1943 troop train I'm assembling.  Glad I asked the questions (when I noticed that the Walthers box was for an unlettered car).  I don't think my Modeler's License could have stood the strain of explaining that car; it's already been stretched a lot.

Chuck
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Posted by gmpullman on Sunday, July 4, 2021 9:29 PM

You could get away with using a diner from the carrier railroad. I'm sure there were arrangements for feeding the troops before the production of the troop kitchen cars came along:

http://www.rrpicturearchives.net/showPicture.aspx?id=1746600

I usually mingle a few heavyweight standard sleepers in my troop trains for the brass to occupy.

     

Good Luck, Ed

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Posted by 7j43k on Sunday, July 4, 2021 11:16 PM

From what I've seen, troop trains got troop kitchens (as modeled by Walthers) and baggage cars temporarily converted to troop kitchens.  A DINER?  What army are YOU in?  "I'll have the Spam a l'orange, garcon."

 

Ed

 

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Posted by gmpullman on Sunday, July 4, 2021 11:57 PM

7j43k
A DINER?  What army are YOU in?

 

Sorry, I should have given that more thought before replying.


 

The Troop Kitchern cars didn't appear before October of 1943 to March of 1944.

An additional 400 were delivered in September through December, 1945.

Pretty late in the game I would say.

Yes, baggage cars were used as mobile mess facilities but there were scores of dining cars also pressed into service to feed the troop movements. There were also mess camps set up trackside and the GIs would disembark for a meal, IF time permitted.

MAINS trains were operating in the months leading up to December '41 as well.

 Diner-4-troops by Edmund, on Flickr

And the last sentence of the caption says...

 SP_Diner by Edmund, on Flickr

I was wrong and I should have just kept my mouth shut.

Sorry, Ed

 

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Posted by SeeYou190 on Monday, July 5, 2021 12:03 AM

gmpullman
An additional 400 were delivered in September through December, 1945. Pretty late in the game I would say.

Being that V.J. day was 15/AUG/1945 (or 02/SEP/1945 depending on what country you live in (or 03/SEP/1945 in China because of some weird thing with the international date line)), yes, that was pretty late in the game.

That sounds correct.

-Kevin

Wink Happily modeling my STRATTON & GILLETTE RAILROAD. A Class A line located in a personal fantasy world of semi-plausible nonsense on Tuesday, August 3rd, 1954.

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Posted by Overmod on Monday, July 5, 2021 6:39 AM

SeeYou190
Being that V.J. day was 15/AUG/1945 (or 02/SEP/1945 depending on what country you live in (or 03/SEP/1945 in China because of some weird thing with the international date line)), yes, that was pretty late in the game.

But that's not the date range that matters.  Look at the dates the orders were planned and put in.  I suspect that was still when Operation Majestic and the other elements of the anticipated invasion of the Japanese home islands were still anticipated -- and we'd be needing enough troops to take the million or more losses that were then expected.

In the event, we and the Russians convinced enough of the Japanese Empire to choose to accept peace.  But I'm not surprised to find evidence of advance planning for what would have been the alternative.

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Posted by SeeYou190 on Monday, July 5, 2021 8:18 AM

Overmod
But I'm not surprised to find evidence of advance planning for what would have been the alternative.

My response was only about the delivery dates, and had nothing to do with when they were ordered, or the circumstances around the decision to order.

The delivery of these assets was late in the game as it turned out.

I have read two very good books about the planning and preparation for the invasion of Honshu, and with the time constraints being forced by the Soviets, both authors concluded it would have been a disaster.

Enough of that... the topic of this thread is Pullman Company Diners.

-Kevin

Wink Happily modeling my STRATTON & GILLETTE RAILROAD. A Class A line located in a personal fantasy world of semi-plausible nonsense on Tuesday, August 3rd, 1954.

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Posted by 7j43k on Monday, July 5, 2021 10:54 AM

gmpullman
I was wrong and I should have just kept my mouth shut.

Sorry, Ed

 

 

 

Hmmm.  Seems like you were RIGHT.  And should NOT have kept your mouth shut. It does appear that regular diners were used, too.  A surprise to me, but "there's a war on".

I don't think the railroads pulled diners from their regular trains, which means the diners used in military service would have been "spares".

All but one of the Pullman diners I listed above were sold by Pullman before the war.  Of course, that wouldn't affect a military assignment.  It would just be done through the new owning railroad.

From some reading, it appears that food was prepared for the soldiers during rail travel by their own cooks.  I wonder how food prep was done on a diner, in someone ELSE'S kitchen.

One shouldn't forget that the Army had "kitchen" cars, not "dining" cars.  Food was not eaten in the kitchen car--it was "take out".

 

I do like that caption about the GRUB CAR:  "But more often the S.P. supplies its regular dining cars..."

That's because of the reporting mark above the door, revealing the (baggage) car in the photo is UNION Pacific.

 

Ed

 

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Posted by wjstix on Tuesday, July 6, 2021 4:26 PM

My understanding of WW2 military trains is that were made up of whatever was available - Pullman sleepers, coaches, diners, along with the 50' "boxcar" passenger cars. My father remembered going from Mineral Wells TX to Kansas City during the war on a troop train where he and many others soldiers were riding in regular boxcars.

Stix
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Posted by 7j43k on Tuesday, July 6, 2021 5:00 PM

I've got a couple of pictures of my father (and friends) riding in the baggage car of the Colorado Eagle. 

If the trip was short, there was no need to use sleepers.  Then it went to coaches.  Or whatever. 

For overnight service, from what I've found so far, most military personnel were transported in those 50' troop sleepers or 13 section Pullmans (really, 12-1 sleepers).  The diners were the 50' cars.  And then there were the hospital cars.  For special occasions.

I think when there were higher ranking officers, they got better sleeping accomodations.  If my source is correct, they got such things as 6-3's, 10-2-1's and 10-3's.

 

Ed

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Posted by wjstix on Wednesday, July 7, 2021 1:48 PM

If one is serious about modeling trains of WW2, Donald J Heimburger's "Trains to Victory: America's Railroads in World War II" is pretty much a 'must'.

If a troop train had Pullman sleepers, the highest ranking officers would have the best chance at getting a room or other accomodation. Lucky soldiers assigned to sleepers would normally be three soldiers per section, with two sleeping in the lower bed and one in the pull-down upper. However, spending an entire multi-day trip in a coach seat - or sitting on a piece of luggage in the aisle - would be quite common.

IIRC there was a limitation during the war that sleepers could only be used on trains going over a certain distance - maybe 5-600 miles? This was to make more sleepers available for troop trains.

 

Stix
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Posted by 7j43k on Wednesday, July 7, 2021 2:56 PM

Also, troop cars weren't only run in complete troop trains.

I've got plenty of examples of just a few cars at the end of a regularly scheduled train.

 

Ed

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Posted by wjstix on Wednesday, July 7, 2021 4:42 PM

Also, a troop train could also be run as a second section of a scheduled train. I know during WW2 the Empire Builder sometimes ran in 7 sections.

Stix
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Posted by cefinkjr on Friday, July 9, 2021 2:58 PM

I have a Walthers Troop Kitchen Car (and 3 Troop Sleepers) but would like to include a diner and, if I can find a photo of the exterior, a baggage car converted to a kitchen car.

The diner in the photo that you provided looks to me like a real antique (to put it kindly).  I could be mistaken but those stained-glass, arched windows with stained-glass side panes look more to me like WW I than WW II.  The GIs in the photo, though, are certainly WW II.  Bottom line of that photo is that railroads did not necessarily provide their best or newest equipment to satisfy a government requisition.  And that makes me think I could use a diner of older vintage than I had thought.  "There's a war on, doncha know?" (Back to eBay.)

gmpullman

 Diner-4-troops by Edmund, on Flickr

Chuck
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Posted by gmpullman on Friday, July 9, 2021 3:42 PM

cefinkjr
Bottom line of that photo is that railroads did not necessarily provide their best or newest equipment to satisfy a government requisition.

Dining cars were expensive and returned very little revenue, none in reality, they were provided as an incentive to get the traveling public to ride the trains.

In 1972 I rode the former GM&O's Abraham Lincoln from St. Louis to Chicago. They were still using heavyweight diners then. For years many of the Amtrak trains were using "heritage" diners that were nearing fifty-years old.

 GMnO_Diner-1075 by Edmund, on Flickr

This 1948 photo of an Erie dining car reveals its vintage even though it has been modernized a bit:

 Diner3_2_1948 Erie RR by Edmund, on Flickr

It would be quite concievable that a 20 or 30-year old diner would be pulled from a pool of secondary trains and pressed into service for troop movements.

Railroads and the Pullman Company had a reserve of equipment, albeit stretched thin during the War years, but when there were special events such as Shriner's conventions or sporting events (The Army-Navy Game for one) lots of this equipment was dusted off for use on special trains.

Many Tourist Sleepers were used in troop trains.

I would suggest one of the nice kits from Roundhouse "Palace Car" line:

https://www.ebay.com/itm/265224011214?hash=item3dc0953dce:g:Z1kAAOSw~VBg58Et

Although a steel-underframe wood car wouldn't have made it in service to WWII you could possibly upgrade it to look like a steel rebuild. Or one of the Rivarossi heavyweight diners.

Good Luck, Ed

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Posted by 7j43k on Friday, July 9, 2021 5:30 PM

cefinkjr

I have a Walthers Troop Kitchen Car (and 3 Troop Sleepers) but would like to include..., if I can find a photo of the exterior, a baggage car converted to a kitchen car.

 

You don't need that photo, because the car looked exactly the same as it did as a baggage car.

When a baggage car was used as a kitchen, there was placed in it the field kitchens that were assigned to the army unit.  When the move was completed, that unit removed their equipment, and the car was again a baggage car.

This was not the height of efficiency, so the troop kitchen cars were built, and those included the cooking equipment.  The unit then simply packed and shipped their field kitchens, as they would all their other equipment.

A troop kitchen typically fed up to 6 cars of soldiers, approximately 180-230.

 

 

As far as the diner, the best choice is undoubtedly the AHM one, because it has no exposed air conditioning ducting.  I think it's a Santa Fe car.  Various sources say 1400-1418 or 1456-1463.

So just letter it Santa Fe, and you're done.  Well, you should also take off the air-conditioning hatch on the roof.

 

Ed

 

 

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