[passconsist] Pullman roomette-rebuilds [was PRR "Buckeye" and Kentuckian]

John M. Fiscella

In 1949-1950, Pullman converted a fleet of 12s-1dr Plan 3410 cars to pool OAK-series cars (Plan 4172, Diagram 296) having 12r-1sb-4dr. This was done to capitalize on the roomette popularity. These may have been the last heavyweight rebuilds. They were used by the SP for a short period of time for service on the "Imperial" between Chicago and San Diego across the SD&AE.

John F. in California

-----Original Message-----
From: jshorvath10583 <jshorvath10583@...>
To: passconsist@...
Sent: Sun, Dec 6, 2009 2:13 pm
Subject: [passconsist] Pullman roomette-rebuilds [was PRR "Buckeye" and Kentuckian]

Don Thomas wrote:
The rebuilds were Pullman's attempt to bring its own cars in line
with current demand for modern types of accommodations.
The Pullman roomette-rebuilds are a very interesting niche topic in Pullman history. The first one was actually outshopped in early 1938, contemporaneous with the appearance of the first LW cars with roomettes. This suggests that Pullman was thinking of the successor to the classic open section in its conventional (HW) cars fairly early on. They had also tinkered with things such as the private section and single-occupancy sections by then as well. I believe it was only the war as well as the extended anti-trust litigation that ended with the well-known divestitures of 1945 and 1948 that delayed further rebuilds. Note that the postwar rebuild program was in full swing by January 1947, well before the 31 December 1948 divestiture.

A very small number of roomette-rebuilds were actually railroad-owned (B&O, C&O, Erie/EL). A fair number of roomette-rebuilds received railroad-specific paint schemes for extended assignments even though they remained Pullman-owned. All in all, an interesting series of cars that show up in many regular and extra-service assignments throughout the 1950s.

At one time in the 1950s a 6-4-4 rebuild alternated with a 6-6-4 on
the Gull between Boston and Saint John, New Brunswick...
Yes, this specific assignment was discussed in some detail a number of years ago on the B&M Yahoo forum. Apparently this alternating assignment was due to the fact that the B&M's four LW 6-6-4s were spread pretty thin in their early assignments so only one was available for service on the "Gull". The 6-4-4 would have been one of the 20 cars with FIR-prefix names and by the mid-1950s would have been painted in two-tone gray livery.

John S. Horvath


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