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Pullman co. Passenger Cars

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  • Member since
    September 2003
  • 21,121 posts
Posted by Overmod on Friday, February 17, 2023 4:26 PM

Autonerd
I thought walkovers were the seats with a backrest that could be easily flipped from one side to the other

The Mason Rocker that was illustrated is a true 'walkover' -- the reversal involves the seat back being flipped up and over (if you look carefully you can see that it is symmetrical) so what was the 'bottom' of the seat back is now at the top.  The kind of seats you remember have hinged backs that are pulled to one side or the other and are 'upholstered' (or caned, or plasticked, or whatever you want to call them) so that the 'back' now becomes the 'front'.

Ed will have lavish details of different approaches to car chairs that were developed in the 'golden age' of streamliners -- the Sleepy Hollow seat being one of the more famous makes.  Some of these were arranged so they 'pivoted' on a turntable arrangement, and were 'walked around' rather than walked-over to reverse their direction -- usually in pairs.  Some of these designs had fairly complex articulated leg supports that hinged out quite delightfully so that when you reclined the seat back you could get the next best thing to a sleeper... 

I believe most chair cars were railroad-owned, an 'upgrade' for coach passengers that didn't want to have to pay a Pullman accommodation charge.  

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Posted by Autonerd on Sunday, February 12, 2023 9:38 PM

gmpullman
You sometimes hear the term "walkover" seat meaning one that can be easily and quickly flipped for a return trip.

I thought walkovers were the seats with a backrest that could be easily flipped from one side to the other (as still used on NJ Transit coaches today) -- as opposed to seats that had a more elaborate reversal process. Am I wrong? (Entirely possible, as I'm not sure where my notion of walkovers came from.)

Aaron

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Posted by Autonerd on Sunday, February 12, 2023 9:36 PM

Ezrails
1.  Would an open ended observation car be labeled as a Pullman?

Interesting question. A lot of the heavyweight observation cars included sleeping accomodations. As far as I can tell, they were owned by Pullman until the whole anti-trust thing put a stop to Pullman ownership.

Explaining the "as far as I can tell part" -- First I checked the Canada Southern roster of heavyweight (New York Central) cars:

https://www.canadasouthern.com/caso/NYC-MODELS-PASS-PULLMAN.htm

It lists several models of observation cars under a heading that indicates they were owned by Pullman until the sale in 1948.

I also double-checked some of the observation car plan numbers against the Pullman project database:

http://www.pullmanproject.com/Database.htm

It indicates some of these plans in standard Pullman paint. So from this, I think the evidence points to these being Pullman cars.

Interestingly, the CS NYC list also includes some cars that did not have sleeping accomodations -- for example, Plan 3961A & B cars, outfitted as parlor/buffet/lounge/obs. If I am reading CS and the Pullman Project database correctly, these floor plans started out as Pullman-owned cars.

Interestingly, the CS lists shows several (obs and non-obs) cars with only one sleeping accomodation (for example, Plan 3416, 28 parlor chairs and one drawing room) as being sold to NYC in 1942, indicating a) Pullman ownership and b) transfer to the railroads before 1942.

Ezrails
2.  Is a Pullman 14 section car a sleeper or a coach?

Ed addressed this, and I would add that, from what I have read, I believe these 14-section cars (and perhaps 12-1 cars) could be operated as day coaches when need be, but they were indeed sleeping cars.

HTH

Aaron

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  • From: Collinwood, Ohio, USA
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Posted by gmpullman on Thursday, February 2, 2023 7:23 PM

Ezrails
1.  Would an open ended observation car be labeled as a Pullman?

Sometimes. Some roads had parlor cars and even coaches that were not owned or operated by Pullman but had open end platforms.

Ezrails
2.  Is a Pullman 14 section car a sleeper or a coach?

A section was the most economical "space" sold by Pullman. It is considered a sleeper. The lower was higher than an upper and you could pay a little extra for "single occupancy" and be the sole occupant. The upper berth wouldn't be made up and you had both seats to yourself during daytime.

 Pullman_0001 by Edmund, on Flickr

In the late '30s the roomette was developed and quickly became popular which hastened the demise of the open section although some sections were run right up to Amtrak in '71 and even later in Canada and Mexico.

 Pullman_Roomette by Edmund, on Flickr

Ezrails
3.  Recently saw an add for an ATSF heavyweight car labeled a "chair car."  Is this a coach or a differenr type of "Pullman" car?

Chair Car seemed to be adopted more by the western roads probably due to the longer distances traveled and "selling" the idea of greater comfort. There were "day coaches" that had somewhat rigid, higher density seating. You sometimes hear the term "walkover" seat meaning one that can be easily and quickly flipped for a return trip.

 walkover_0002 by Edmund, on Flickr

To attract passengers railroads began to promote "leg rest" seating with less density (say a 44 passenger capacity compared to a 60) and reclining "Sleepy Hollow" seating (a trade name of Haywood-Wakefield a coach seat manufacturer).

Parlor cars were sold at an even higher fare than coach due to even less "cramped" space with an individual swivel seat and an attendant to tend to your needs. To complicate matters, Pullman operated some parlor cars and often a parlor car would have a drawing room which would be used by a family or business people prefering some privacy. Beds weren't made up, these were "day rooms".

Pullman-Standard, Inc. was the car building business and The Pullman Co. was the sleeping car operator. After a 1948 divestiture plan Pullman had to sell off its sleeping car operations. It sold the cars to the operating railroads, they in turn sometimes leased the cars back to Pullman for operation and this scheme lasted into the late 1960s.

This is why you might see PULLMAN in the main letterboard on a Pullman owned and operated car with the operating railroad in smaller lettering toward the ends. Vice-versa for a car owned by the railroad and leased back to Pullman for operation.

There is a good timeline here:

https://utahrails.net/pass/pass-pullman.php

Good Luck, Ed

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Posted by davidmurray on Thursday, February 2, 2023 5:05 PM

A pullman car was a car built by the Pullman Company.  So forquestion one: maybe

David Murray from Oshawa, Ontario Canada
  • Member since
    January 2023
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Pullman co. Passenger Cars
Posted by Ezrails on Thursday, February 2, 2023 2:02 PM

Several questions about Pullman cars.

1.  Would an open ended observation car be labeled as a Pullman?

2.  Is a Pullman 14 section car a sleeper or a coach?

3.  Recently saw an add for an ATSF heavyweight car labeled a "chair car."  Is this a coach or a differenr type of "Pullman" car?

RicZ

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