Why heavyweight pullman cars had two vestibules, and later only one ?

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Why heavyweight pullman cars had two vestibules, and later only one ?
Posted by Hugo on Saturday, May 19, 2018 8:39 PM

All heavyweight pullman cars have vestibules on both ends, lightweight change to only one. Strange 2 vestibules since only one porter was per car. Thanks.

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Posted by MidlandMike on Sunday, May 20, 2018 9:21 PM

The Pullman conductor could man the other door.

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Posted by Deggesty on Sunday, May 20, 2018 9:50 PM

MidlandMike

The Pullman conductor could man the other door.

 

This would work well if when there was only one Pullman in the consist--but many trains had two or more Pullmans. I really have no answer but "custom"? Coaches also had doors at both ends, once the idea of using stagecoach bodies was abandoned. 

It is possible that the door of only one car was opened. Of course, a porter would want everyone in his car to leave by the same door (especially if he had carried hand baggage out to the ground).

My only experience of riding in a heavyweight Pullman in regular passenger service was when riding L&N's #5 from Nashville to Birmingham in 1964; the only passenger-carrying car was an old Pullman in coach service.

Johnny

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Posted by ATLANTIC CENTRAL on Sunday, May 20, 2018 9:56 PM

Hugo

All heavyweight pullman cars have vestibules on both ends, lightweight change to only one. Strange 2 vestibules since only one porter was per car. Thanks.

 

There were a lot of reasons:

Not every station had long platforms, more vestibules means faster boarding and disembarking.

Some cars, like diners had no vestibules at all, so the Pullman or coach at either end of a diner provided a vestiblue at that location no matter which way those cars were oriented.

A few heavyweight Pullman sleeper plans in fact only had one vestibule, but most had two.

While first class trains generally ran the same consists in the same order, secondary trains were often made up from what ever was available and needed, so again, more vestibules insured easier positioning of cars without turning them and easier exit/entry at small stations.

By  the time streamlined cars appeared, there were already fewer "secondary" trains and the new streamlined cars were built for the first class name trains. So the consists could be carefully arranged to space the vestibules evenly thoughout the length of the train.

Example - starting from the rear, since observations have their vestibule "forward", often the sleepers, positioned just ahead of them, would also be run vestibule forward, putting a single vestibule at each coupled location.

Then the diner with no vestibule, then coaches or parlor cars ahead of the diner could be positioned with their vestibules to the rear, keeping the "one vestibule per coupled location" to evenly space out exit/entrance locations along the train.

There is no question that one vestibule per car is more space effective and less expensive to construct and maintain. This too played a role in the change.

Sheldon

    

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Posted by daveklepper on Wednesday, May 23, 2018 9:56 AM

In the heavyweight Pullman days, many trains had two Pullman cars.  At major stations, the conductor would be stationed at the doors at the inner end of the Pullman portion of the train, handling two doors and their traps, and people alighting and boarding, while the porters would be at the outer ends.  For expanded Pullman consists, a porter could handle two doors and traps adjecent to each other.  But at most stops, the fewer number of people boarding and alighting meant that only half the doors and traps were used, which ones varied accordig to space assignments, local custom or whatever.

Diners and observation-lounge cars generally lacked vestibules.  Passengers were advised to return to their assigned spaces before alighting.

Then there was the time that Bill Goodman, V. P. Passenger Traffic, NYNH&H, arranged to stop the Owl at Stamford for me to board to ride to Boston, although it was not a scheduled stop.  I had spent a day at Bolt Beranek and Newman's 101 Park Avenue New York office and had a sound-system and overall acoustics meeting with a Greenwhich, CT, church in the evening.  I planned to catch a regular mu local from Greenwich back to GCT around 10pm, to board the Owl leaving at ten after midnight.  But the meeting was far more complex than expected, and lasted until it was too late.  And I did need to be in the Cambridge, MA, office the next morning.  So, at my suggestion, the church's business manager called the New Haven dispatcher, suggsting he contact the passneger VP, and the stop was arranged.  The business manager drover me to the Stamford Stationl.  Only one vestibule was opened on the all-Pullman eight-car train.

At that time the NYNH&H had two overnights, NY - Boston, the all-Pullman Owl and the all-coach Naraganset.  This was around 1959 or 1960.  The Owl was all lightweights except for "Dollar-Saver-Sleeper" heavyweight that offered sections, uppers and lowers, and low rates.  The Naraganset generally used only 8600's the post-war reclining-seat coaches.  But intertingly, these coaches did have vetibules at both ends.  And tapered-end roofs like the prewar "American Flyer" 8200s.   But straight parlors only one vestibule,  Or were combines with baggage and its doors at one end.  I think the New Haven had the only parlor-bag cars.  Anyone know of others

What the original poster stated about sleepers, was also true of coaches, two vesibules in the heavyweight era and one in the lightweight, with exceptions.

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Posted by clarkfork on Wednesday, May 23, 2018 4:38 PM

Hugo

All heavyweight pullman cars have vestibules on both ends, lightweight change to only one. Strange 2 vestibules since only one porter was per car. Thanks.

 

[quote user="Hugo"]

All heavyweight pullman cars have vestibules on both ends, lightweight change to only one. Strange 2 vestibules since only one porter was per car. Thanks.

My uneducated guess:  Before vestibules there were open platforms.  Each end of the car had an open platform.  Before  air brakes (and maybe after) the handbrakes were located and operated from the open platforms.  Perhaps car designers put vestibules on both ends because cars had always been built that way.  Later they realized at the second vestibule was wasted space and eliminated it on newer cars.

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