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MR 1875 Pullman Cars

  • PULLMAN CARS (1875)

     In the year 1859 Mr. Pullman constructed the first of the cars which have since made the name of Pullman world-famed, and this car was placed in service on the Chicago and Alton Railway, a line extending from Chicago to St. Louis, some 280 miles in length.

    Previous to this time sleeping cars had been in use, to a limited extent, upon several American railways, but they were for the most part crude in their arrangements, and ill adapted for meeting the requirements of fatiguing journeys. The introduction of the new carriage, so superior in all its arrangements to anything previously in use, met with much favour from the railway public, and was followed almost immediately by the construction of others embodying still greater attractions, and in 1864 so general had become their popularity that the present Pullman Palace Car Company was organised.

    This company has since prosecuted the business of providing sleeping, drawing-room, and dining cars with such success that at this time their cars are in general use upon every important line in America, the company’s contracts embracing over 30,000 miles of railway, and necessitating the use of over 800 cars.

    The great advantages which these cars and their system of operation afforded to travellers had, in very many instances, attracted the favourable attention of English tourists in America, but it was not until 1873 that any effort was made towards their introduction upon European lines.

    Just previously to that time, however, Mr. James Allport, the able general manager of the Midland Company, having had occasion during a visit to the United States to perform a journey of some 6000 miles in a Pullman car, was so favourably impressed with the merits of the system that he determined upon introducing the cars upon the Midland Company’s lines. The first train has now been in operation upon that railway about ten months, and the cars composing it form the subject of the illustrations we this week publish. Following the example of the Midland, the Alta Italia and other companies forming the railway system of Italy, have contracted with the Pullman Company for the immediate introduction of the cars there.

    When rather more than a year ago we gave (vide page 162 of our seventeenth volume) a general account of the Pullman cars then just placed upon the Midland Railway, the regular running of these cars had not even commenced, and varied opinions were held as to the manner in which these vehicles were likely to be regarded by the travelling public. A train made up wholly of carriages constructed on the double-bogie system, and including Pullman drawing-room and sleeping cars, has now, however, as we have said, been running regularly between London and Bradford for ten months, and the results have been so satisfactory that the Midland Company are now largely extending their stock of double bogie carriages, and on the 1st a service of such carriages was commenced between London and Liverpool.

    Altogether the Midland Company have now 68 double-bogie carriages either on their line or in course of construction, and of these 36 are real Pullman cars, 25 being drawing-room cars and 11 sleeping cars. The remainder of the double-bogie stock includes first and third class carriages. It is not our intention in the present article to enter into any discussion of the relative advantages and disadvantages of rolling stock constructed on the ordinary and the double-bogie or American system; but we propose to describe in some detail two pf the principal types of Pullman car introduced upon the Midland Railway, namely, a drawing-room car specially intended for day service, and a sleeping car.

    Of each of these cars we this week give a two-page engraving, while we also give on pages 264 and 265, views of various constructive details. In external dimensions and general construction the two cars illustrated are identical, the difference consisting in the internal arrangements. Each car is 58 ft. long over end platforms, or 51 ft. 6 in. long over the body, while the width is 9 ft. over mouldings, or 8 ft. 9 in. outside the body proper, the width inside being 8 ft. 2 in., and the height inside at the centre 8 ft. 6 in. The width of the cars on the Midland Railway is, we may mention, considerably less than that of the Pullman cars in use in the United States, on lines of the same gauge. Each car is mounted on two four-wheeled trucks placed at a distance of 39 ft. apart from centre to centre, and each having a wheel base of 6 ft.


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