Duplex Sleeping Car Question

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Duplex Sleeping Car Question
Posted by pajrr on Monday, February 1, 2010 6:43 AM

Hi, My railroad club has a model of a sleeping car that is rather unusual. It has Duplex compartment windows and regular compartment windows only on one side. The other side looks like a regular coach or sleeping car. This would work if all the duplex rooms were on one side of the car only, with the corridor down the other side of the car (like when you walk past the kitchen in a dining car.) Were cars ever built with rooms, especially duplex rooms on only one side of the car? If so, who built them and who owned them? We are trying to figure out if our model is based on a real prototype or a fantasy piece. Thank you.

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Posted by Dixie Flyer on Monday, February 1, 2010 10:18 AM

The book "Some Classic Trains" by Arthur Dubin shows a picture on page 409 of a sixteen duplex single room car owned by the Pullman Company that was assigned to the Pennsylvania Railroad for Washington-New York service.  The rooms ran accross the car giving duplex windows on one side and a level corridor spacing on the other.

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Posted by Anonymous on Monday, February 1, 2010 7:16 PM

pajrr

Hi, My railroad club has a model of a sleeping car that is rather unusual. It has Duplex compartment windows and regular compartment windows only on one side. The other side looks like a regular coach or sleeping car. This would work if all the duplex rooms were on one side of the car only, with the corridor down the other side of the car (like when you walk past the kitchen in a dining car.) Were cars ever built with rooms, especially duplex rooms on only one side of the car? If so, who built them and who owned them? We are trying to figure out if our model is based on a real prototype or a fantasy piece. Thank you.

About 1968, if I remember correctly, whilst I was working in New York City, I took the Broadway Limited to Chicago on several occasions.  On one occasion I had a duplex room.  As I remeber it, the car had the window and corridor arrangement that you mentioned. 

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Posted by cefinkjr on Monday, February 1, 2010 10:21 PM

Your model is unfortunately accurate. I had the displeasure of traveling in duplex sleepers several times.  Why is it that passenger trains invariably stopped or proceeded slowly around super-elevated curves with the aisle side on the upper side of the curve?  ... and the pillow end of the transverse beds on the low side?  Being forced into a hand-stand in the middle of the night is a sure way to be awakened.  Of course, some bedrooms had the same problem.

Chuck
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Posted by pajrr on Tuesday, February 2, 2010 4:54 AM

Hey Everyone! Thanks for all of your answers. While I am familiar with many styles of passenger cars I have never encountered this type. The only Duplexes I was personally familiar with was Amtrak Slumbercoaches and the ones I encountered had a center corridor. Thanks again to all and as I always say "What good is kowledge if it isn't shared?"

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Posted by daveklepper on Tuesday, February 2, 2010 5:01 AM

 Cars like this were regularly assigned to the Broadway and General.   Also the Pittsburgher.  I think they were named in the Creek series on the PRR.   Rode them and liked them.

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Posted by bigduke76 on Tuesday, February 2, 2010 5:28 AM

 there was a small fleet of heavyweight single-room sleepers in service on the pennsy, but only one car was in the duplex format however; It was a trial rebuild to increase the capacity from 14 to 16 single rooms.  the AHM car is a reasonably accurate model of this one car, which was named 'Nocturne'.  it was normally restricted to the new york - washington DC run.   all the other single-room cars had singlr-level floors and windows. 

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Posted by CSSHEGEWISCH on Tuesday, February 2, 2010 6:56 AM

bigduke76

 there was a small fleet of heavyweight single-room sleepers in service on the pennsy, but only one car was in the duplex format however; It was a trial rebuild to increase the capacity from 14 to 16 single rooms.  the AHM car is a reasonably accurate model of this one car, which was named 'Nocturne'.  it was normally restricted to the new york - washington DC run.   all the other single-room cars had singlr-level floors and windows. 

There were actually two of these cars, named "Eventide" and "Nocturne".  I remember seeing a picture of one of them in TRAINS in service on a Rock Island train in Iowa, not sure which train.

The daily commute is part of everyday life but I get two rides a day out of it. Paul
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Posted by BNSFwatcher on Tuesday, February 2, 2010 2:09 PM

I rode "Slumbercoaches"/"Sleepercoaches" a number of times:  NY-FL, NY-CHI.  I loved them!  The price was right, except for getting treated as coach passengers by the crew and having to pay for your meals.  IIRC, the windows, on both sides, were in an up-down configuration.  Don't remember "duplexes".  Of course, the 'heavyweight', ice-cooled Pullman, with 6-wheel trucks, on the Soo Line, or the CNR, etc., was the ultimate! 

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Posted by schlimm on Tuesday, February 2, 2010 3:32 PM

I recall riding the "Sleepercoach" on the NYC and later the "Slumbercoach" on Amtrak on the Broadway and Lakeshore Limiteds.  All the same car, built by Budd.  No free meals in the Amtrak days, but even in NYC days you had to pay.  I think the NP and B&O (different car) used them as well.  Here's a link:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Slumbercoach

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Posted by Deggesty on Tuesday, February 2, 2010 10:41 PM

I have had the impression that the term "duplex" is applied to an arrangement whereby a part of a room on the lower level is under a part of a room on the upper level--thus we had not only duplex single rooms (with the berth transverse to the side of car), but also duplex roomettes (with the berth parallel to the side of the car). I do not recall seeing "duplex" ever applied to the slumber coaches, but it certainly described the arrangement of the single rooms. The only duplex roomettes that I know of in use today are in VIA's Chateau series of cars (shower, 3 sections, 8 duplex roomettes, 3 double bedrooms, 1 drawing room). All other cars with the duplex arrangement are no longer in scheduled service.

There was one other arrangement of duplex single rooms in cars--PRR had not only the 12 single room/4 double bedroom (Creek series), but also 12 single room/5 double bedroom (Brook series; pre-war). As well as I can tell, all these cars were built for the PRR, and seldom were operated on trains other that were PRR all the way. I did see one in Bristol, Va., one morning when the Pelican came in; apparently there was no 10-6 available for the New York-Bristol line the night before.

As to duplex roomettes, there were many different arrangements, and several roads caried them.

Johnny

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Posted by Deggesty on Tuesday, February 2, 2010 10:44 PM

Dixie Flyer

The book "Some Classic Trains" by Arthur Dubin shows a picture on page 409 of a sixteen duplex single room car owned by the Pullman Company that was assigned to the Pennsylvania Railroad for Washington-New York service.  The rooms ran accross the car giving duplex windows on one side and a level corridor spacing on the other.

The Dixie Flyer 

 

Dixie Flyer, welcome to the Forums Sign - Welcome. We hope to see more participation from you, as we all ask questions and share our information

Johnny

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Posted by Jerry Pier on Wednesday, February 3, 2010 1:14 PM

I used to ride the Pittsburgher to NYC quite frequently. Always booked a Duplex bcause they couldn't put it over a truck. This guaranteed a better ride. I believe someone later on found a way to do an "over-truck" installation but I never saw one.

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Posted by Deggesty on Thursday, February 4, 2010 11:14 AM

Two further notes about duplex single rooms.

All of the cars with this accomodation were built by Pullman-Standard.

The first car built, in 1936, with this accomodation was Advance, with 2 double bedrooms and 14 single rooms; it was articulated with Progress, which had 3 double bedrooms, 1 compartment, and a buffet-lounge-observation, the set was designated for pool service. In 1937, they were renamed Bear Flag and California Republic, and were operated in the Forty-Niner. So, CNW, UP, and SP operated one car with duplex single rooms. Robert Wayner does not say what use was made of them after the Forty-Niner was discontinued; apparently it went back to the pool, perhaps for use on the PRR. Conductor Moedinger did have this set once on an advance section of the General (Trains, October 1972, p. 40); he also had Nocturne--which developed a hotbox and had to be cut out at Fort Wayne.

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Posted by HarveyK400 on Friday, February 5, 2010 12:14 PM

Seems to me there were heavyweight precursors to streamlined duplex room cars.  The Krattville book documents the UP Treasure Island with a duplex single room heavyweight car for the World's Fair in San Francisco.  I don't remember which one; but an early Streamliner had duplex single room cars too.  Pennsy had a few streamlined duplex single room cars as well that are the prototype for the model.  As you guessed, the bed/sofa ran laterally across the car with the corridor on the opposite side.  Oddly, neither UP or PRR bought duplex roomette cars. 

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Posted by Deggesty on Friday, February 5, 2010 2:34 PM

HarveyK400

Seems to me there were heavyweight precursors to streamlined duplex room cars.  The Krattville book documents the UP Treasure Island with a duplex single room heavyweight car for the World's Fair in San Francisco.  I don't remember which one; but an early Streamliner had duplex single room cars too.  Pennsy had a few streamlined duplex single room cars as well that are the prototype for the model.  As you guessed, the bed/sofa ran laterally across the car with the corridor on the opposite side.  Oddly, neither UP or PRR bought duplex roomette cars. 

Do you have a list of the cars that were operated on the Treasure Island Special during its first season (1939)? Wayner's Car Names, Number and Consists mentions only the lightweight George M. Pullman that was operated that season. He does list the equipment used on the 1940 train, which was lightweight except for the diner and baggage-dormitory car.

Krattville's Passenger Car Catalog, p.55, shows the floor plan of Nocturne & Eventide, the two cars that were rebuilt to 16 duplex single rooms. I had not examined this plan before, and just discovered that the berths were the old lower berths, which were parallel to the outer wall, and were not transverse as the berths in the lightweight cars were. Each room also had a large baggage locker so that it was possible to carrry enough baggage for a several weeks' stay.

Johnny

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Posted by Anonymous on Monday, February 8, 2010 7:17 PM

daveklepper

Cars like this were regularly assigned to the Broadway and General.   Also the Pittsburgher.  I think they were named in the Creek series on the PRR.   Rode them and liked them. 

My 1957 PRR System Timetable has a picture diagram of a Duplex Room.  The rooms are staggered, with the effect that the passengers in the upper room are sleeping partially over the passengers in the lower room.  The illustration shows a lounge sofa that faces forward or rearward during the day, but makes up into a transverse bed at night, assuming that it is not used as a bed during the day.  A roomette, on the other hand, faces the front or the rear of the car for daytime as well as nighttime configuration.

The Broadway Limited was assigned two cars with 12 duplex rooms and 4 double bedrooms.  The General and the Admiral had one car each with the same configuration. All three trains carried the cars between Chicago and New York. 

The Golden Triangle, which ran in conjunction with the Pennsylvania Limited, had two duplex cars between Chicago and Pittsburgh except for Saturday night.  Interestingly, the car that did not run on Saturdays had 12 duplex rooms and 5 double bedrooms.

The Liberty Limited from Chicago to Washington was assigned a 12 and 4 duplex room car.  And the Red Arrow from Detroit to New York carried a 12 and 5 duplex room car between Detroit to Philadelphia.

The Indianapolis Limited to or from New York had one 12 and 5 duplex room car, except on Saturday, whilst the Spirit of St. Louis between New York and St. Louis had a 12 and 4 car.  The Cincinnati Limited got one 12 and 4 car.  Also, The Akronite was assigned a 12 and 5 car between Akron and New York.  The Ohioan carried a 12 and 5 car between Columbus and Chicago.

My schedule does not show whether The Pittsburgher/The Statesman had a duplex room car.  Nor does it indicate that duplex cars were assigned to the overnight trains between Boston and Washington. 

A roomette in 1957 between New York and Chicago cost $14.40 compared to $16.40 for a duplex room.       

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Posted by daveklepper on Tuesday, February 9, 2010 5:18 AM

The Red Arrow ran NY-Detroit in 1952, when I rode it, not calling at 30th Street, only N. Phila.

Did it call at 30th St. in 1957?   Picking up a Phila - Detroit sleeper would indicate so.   Was this a backup move or did it change ends?   Was the GG-1 to diesel swap then done at Phily instead of Harrisburg?

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Posted by Anonymous on Wednesday, February 10, 2010 9:52 PM

daveklepper

The Red Arrow ran NY-Detroit in 1952, when I rode it, not calling at 30th Street, only N. Phila.

Did it call at 30th St. in 1957?   Picking up a Phila - Detroit sleeper would indicate so.   Was this a backup move or did it change ends?   Was the GG-1 to diesel swap then done at Phily instead of Harrisburg?

According to my 1953 PRR Timetable, the Red Arrow (68 & 69) operated between Detroit and New York/Washington.  The Washington sleepers (2) were transferred to or from a Harrisburg to Washington train at Harrisburg.  It appears coach passengers were required to change cars.  The 12 & 4 duplex rooms car ran between Detroit and New York.  In 1953 the Red Arrow only called at North Philadelphia in the City of Brotherly Love. 

By 1957 the Red Arrow was shown in the September Timetable as operating between Detroit and Philadelphia's 30th Street Station.  A 12 & 5 duplex car, along with the bar lounge car and a 21 roomette car, as well as the dinner and coaches, operated between Detroit and Philadelphia.  A 10 roomettes, 5 bedrooms car ran between Detroit and Washington.  A 6 sections, 6 double bedrooms car and a 21 roomettes car operated between Detroit and New York.  They were transferred to Number 48 or from 49 (The General - The Trail Blazer) at Harrisburg.  The Red Arrow terminated or originated at 30th Street Station on the eastern end of its run.

Having grown up in Altoona, Pa, I remember vaguely the night the Red Arrow left the rails on or near the Bennington Curve - I think.  Several cars rolled at least part way down the side of the mountain.  I was about 10 at the time.  Our neighbor was a doctor.  He was called out to attend to the passengers who had been injured in the wreck.  The story in the Altoona Mirror, which can be seen at the Altoona Public Library, gives a good account of the accident.  The Railroader's Museum in Altoona also has a good write-up of the wreck, but it is not as thorough as the Mirror's stories.     

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Posted by daveklepper on Thursday, February 11, 2010 3:10 AM

Thanks for your careful reply.   Was the 1957 Washington car transferred in Phila?  Or Harrisburg?

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Posted by Anonymous on Thursday, February 11, 2010 2:48 PM

daveklepper

Thanks for your careful reply.   Was the 1957 Washington car transferred in Phila?  Or Harrisburg?

It was transferred at Harrisburg along with sleepers from The General - The Trail Blazer, Cincinnati Limited, and Indianapolis Limited.  The train departed Harrisburg at 6:15 a.m. and arrived in Washington via Baltimore at 9:15 a.m.

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Posted by Deggesty on Thursday, February 11, 2010 9:54 PM

Well, folks, after some careful reading in Car Names Numbers and Consists, I have come up with another plan with duplex single rooms. In 1954, Budd built ten cars for the North Coast Limited, each with 4 roomettes, 4 double bedrooms, and 4 duplex single rooms under the dome. So, Pullman was not the only builder of cars with duplex single rooms, nor was PRR the only road that operated them regularly. In 1957, an eleventh car was built, and in 1967, five of these cars were rebuilt as lounge cars: the seats in the dome were replaced by cocktail-lounge seating, and two of the duplex single rooms were replaced by a buffet.

I just found my copy of From Zephyr to Amtrak, and it describes the rooms as single rooms. It is difficult to see how the rooms could be staggered when they were below the dome. I remember using the dome in one when going from Birmingham to Chicago in Ocotober of '71 or February of '72, but I did not pay attention to the room arrangement. 

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Posted by HarveyK400 on Friday, February 12, 2010 2:05 AM

I thought the single rooms under the Budd NP sleeper dome were just that and not described as duplexes in the Carbuilder Cyclopedia.  It may make some sense for them to have been sold at the duplex single room rate.  I think these were basically bedrooms without the ceiling height for the upper berth.

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Posted by Deggesty on Friday, February 12, 2010 1:59 PM

HarveyK400

I thought the single rooms under the Budd NP sleeper dome were just that and not described as duplexes in the Carbuilder Cyclopedia.  It may make some sense for them to have been sold at the duplex single room rate.  I think these were basically bedrooms without the ceiling height for the upper berth.

I agree--yet NP and the Q called them "duplex single rooms."

This is akin to the B&O's calling three of the rooms beneath the dome on the Capitol Limited "drawing rooms," and stating that each of these accommodates two persons (whereas a standard drawing room has three berths). The B&O called the other room beneath the dome a "singel room."

Johnny

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