Disposition of ACL Pullman Standard Stainless Coaches

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After Amtrak, were any ACL Pullman Standard stainless steel sheathed coaches sold to the Algoma Central? I recently rode an excursion utilizing a couple of ex-Algoma Central coaches which had interiors strikingly similar to ACL stainless cars I rode on the Pennsy's South Wind. These prewar cars had fluorescent aisle lights but incandescent luggage rack reading lights featuring a peculiar lens looking like a double yolk egg, supposedly to focus beams on each seat. Unlike ex-CP smooth side cars which had no drip line at the edge of the roof, these cars did. Since these cars were prone to severe corrosion under the sheathing, they weren't very desirable in the second hand market. I'm thinking Algoma Central stripped off the stainless sheathing to make them smooth side cars.

-- Russ Isbrandt (rrisbrandt-wblmn@worldnet.att.net), October 01, 2000


Several readers have correctly pointed out that the two P-S flat sided cars owned by FEC were the SEBASTIAN and the Canal Point, not the Salerno as I had put in my answers. I apologize for the error. It probably is one of those over 50 experiences. I knew Sebastian, my brain said Sebastian but my fingers typed Salerno. Go figure. Thanks for the correction!!!

-- Michael W. Savchak (Savchak @MNR.org), October 16, 2000.

To conclude this thread, Michael Savchak confirmed the identity of the car as ex- Central of Georgia from a photo I e-mailed him.

-- Russ Isbrandt (rrisbrandt-wblmn@worldnet.att.net), October 05, 2000.

Just a footnote correction on the PRR/SR pool car that has the sheathing cut away. The car is the Birch River a 10/6 Sleeper built for PRR/SR pool service. It is indeed a clasic example of what problems are encountered with SS sheathed cor-ten construction cars. Regards,

-- Clifford P. Kendall (cpkendall@aol.com), October 04, 2000.

Bingo! I'll bet the Alcoma Central cars are ex-Central of Georgia cars. The aisle fluorescent lights were present as single fixtures not a continuous strip. I did a walk thru with the camcorder, but didn't take any slides. The cars had five narrow windows at the non- vestibule end before 6 or 7 wide windows. I couldn't tell if there had been mid car dividers. The luggage racks had narrow 1 or 2in openings about 1 - 2in apart curving up into the vertical part of the rack and not penetrating the bottom of the rack by more than an inch. I have a vague recollection that the ex-Nancy Hanks car used on many Southern and NS steam excursions many have had similar features. BTW, one of the PS Nickel Plate coaches you referred to was featured as an open window car on the same train as well as ex-ACL 250, now under private ownership, painted C&NW green and yellow, named Illinois, fitted as a full length lounge and used as a first class car in Milwaukee Road 261 steam trips. I did see the ex-SP coaches you referred to up in Sault St. Marie many years ago. An excellant example of the corrosion the PS stainless steel sheathed cars suffered can be seen at the Railroader's Memorial Museum in Altoona, PA in the form of a Pennsy-Southern pool Crescent Lt lounge on which part of the sheathing has been cut away. Thanks much for your enlightening response.

-- Russ Isbrandt (rrisbrandt-wbl-mn@worldnet.att.net), October 02, 2000.

BTW-for those interested, the Pullman Standard cars built for ACL were part of a 25 car order shared between ACL, PRR and RF&P. They were built by Pullman Standard under Lot 6808, Plan 7593, between November 1949 and January 1950. The ACL cars were numbered 228-247, PRR cars were numbered 4043-4044, and the RF&P cars were numbered 810- 812. All of these cars, with the exception of ACL 244, made it to AMTRAK. The interiors featured 54 reclining seats, with a continous center fluorescent lighting strip, and flourescent baggage rack lights, which ran parallel to the car, instead of the more typical right angle lights. In 1954, ACL ordered three coach car bodies from P-S, along with car bodies for a diner(eventually Naples), baggage car 152 and apparently, a shell for a baggage dormitory car to be numbered 100!

These cars were built as replacement cars for the wrecks at Dillon SC and a wreck somewhere on the L&N where the dining car Cordele was destroyed.

Two of the coach shells were built to replace cars 202 and 205 destroyed at Dillon. The replacement cars were numbered 249 and 250 and were built with stainless steel sheathing. Car 250 was the second car bearing this number as the original car 250 was an observation tavern car built for the first Champion and destroyed at Milan NC in July 1943. A third car was built as a replacement for a heavyweight coach numbered 1032. It was built as a flat sided car and was eventually numbered 248 and was painted in IC orange/chocolate for service on the City of Miami. Car 247 of the original order was also built as a flat sided car for the City of Miami.

FEC had five coaches built at the same time by P-S. These cars were similar to the ACL cars, but there were differences. The Five FEC cars were built to Lot 6808, Plan 7593A. The primary interior differences were the addition of 2 seats, making these 56 seat cars as oposed to the 54 seat capacity of the ACL/RF&P/PRR cars. They also had a center fluorescent ceiling strip, but had open baggage racks with fluorescent lights at a 90 degree angle from the center strip. three of these cars, Hypoluxo, Salerno, and Lantana, were built as stainless steel sheathed cars, while the remaining two, Canal Point and Salerno, were built as flat sided cars and were painted chocolate and orange for use on the City of Miami. All of these cars were sold to the SAL in November 1965. Sebastian became 6266, Canal Point became 6267, Salerno became 6268, Lantana became 6269, and Hypoluxo became 6270. All made it to AMTRAK, excepting 6267. The IC cars remained in IC colors after they were purchased by Seaboard!

In 1954, FEC purchased four 56 Seat cars from P-S. These cars were ostensibly for the New Dixieland, but they also served to replace some FEC cars destroyed at the Dillon wreck on the ACL in 1953. FEC lost coaches Hollywood and Cocoa-Rockledge and coach lounge Port Everglades in this wreck. The replacement cars were named Cocoa-Rockledge,Hollywood,Miami and St.Augustine. they were built to lot 6950 Plan 7593C on December 1954. Their interior was almost identical to the 1950 cars, excepting the seats were of a more modern design and these cars also had outside swing hanger trucks, along with all of the other 1954 built cars.

All four cars were sold to seaboard in November 1965 and St. Augustine became 6271, Miami became 6272, Hollywood became 6273 and Cocoa-Rockledge became 6274. All made it to AMTRAK.


-- Michael W. Savchak (Savchak@MNR.org), October 02, 2000.

Well,I got home and using my wife's computer, I am able to answer the question with my reference materials. Based upon the Dale Wilson/Gordon Jomini book "Tracks of the Black Bear in Colour", dated Sept 1990, the Algoma Central had 18 ex Canadian Pacific coaches built between 1947-1950, numbered 415-432. It had two twin unit ex Southern Pacific 1937 vintage coaches(these were articulated units). It had one 1941 vintage SP articulated coach. And, finally, the algoma Central had four ex Central of Georgia 1947 ACF coaches originally numbered 663,540,541,542. Car 663 was a 56 seat chair car, while the remaining cars were originally 68 seat divided coaches. these cars were painted in IC orange and chocolate and were once used on the City of Miami. So, there is a link with the ACL/SCL!

These cars were always built as flat sided cars and never were stainless steel sheathed.

Not being sure if the cars you saw were sheathed or not, I must assume that if the cars were not articulated, and if they did not have curved sides as did the ex Canadian Pacific cars, then they may well have been the ex-C of G cars. There is one other possibility, however. In 1958, Pullman Standar constructed five stainless steel sheathed cars under order Lot W6991 Plan W52838 for the Southern Railway. these were built by Worcester as car shells only, and were finished by Southern.They were numbered 841-846 and were delivered between September and december 1958. It is very possible that these cars had more of a stainless steel body than previous cars as by this time P-S had finally mastered the art of working stainless steel without infringing on the Budd patents.

These cars were sold off to the Quebec North Shore and Laborador RR and these may, and I emphasize MAY, have ended up with the Algoma Central after 1990. So, if the cars were stainless steel sheathed, and had two very small( both width wise and depth wise) windows at each end, with six large windows and one small window in the coach area, then the cars may have been ex Southern cars.

As for the drip edge, the ex C of G cars did have a drip edge over the doorway area, but it did not extend the length of the car. If you have a photograph of the cars, then please send it to me and I will try to give you a positive identification.

-- Michael W. Savchak (Savchak@MNR.org), October 02, 2000.

Unfortunately, the cars you describe were not ex ACL cars. I have the Algoma Central roster at home and I will confirm, but I believe they may have been SP.

The ACL Pullman Standard cars were constructed of cor-ten steel with a stainless steel sheathing. The presence of the sheathing led to severe corrosion problems of the car body. This corrosion was exascerbated by the presence of acids in the car washing solutions used by ACL.

The interior lighting of the ACL's Pullman cars was primarily fluorescent, for both baggage rack and center aisle lights. ACL's pre war Budd cars originally had only incandescent lighting, as did the 1946 Budd cars, which were a pre-war design. The type of baggage rack fixture you describe was used originally on the pre-war cars.. Post war, the ACL rebuilt most of its pre-war coaches with flourescent lights, both for the aisle and the baggage racks. The baggage rack lights were continuous horizontal strips.

The only post war cars with incandescent baggage rack lights were the ex Chessie cars in the 270 series, which had fluorescent aisle lights but incandescent bulls eye lights in the baggage racks, and the four ex NKP coaches in the 260 series which had incandescent baggage rack and aisle lights.

The SP had a large number of pre war P-S cars with incandescent baggage rack and fluorescent aisle lights. These cars were delivered starting in 1939. The flourescent lights were in a continuous strip down the aisle. Fluorescent lights were introduced in 1938, and the first railroad application was right after that, on a New York Central 6 double bedroom lounge car in the "Falls" series in early 1939. Because of the greater cost of fluorescent lighting systems, most pre war equipment featured it in the so called feature cars, such as diners and lounges, while coaches made do with incandescent lighting.

The first Silver Meteor set of 1939 did not have fluorescent lighting in any of its cars, which was an easy way of determining that the diner, tavern coach and observation coach were the original cars. Of course, after the 1943 Kittrell wreck, the 6400 coach observation was rebuilt as a flat end car and did get fluorescent lighting in its observation section.

The late 1939 cars of the Silver Meteor and the ACL/FEC Champions/Henry M. Flagler did have fluorescent lighting in their feature cars, i.e. diners and observation taverns. The 1940 City of Miami was similar.

-- Michael W. Savchak (Savchak @MNR.org), October 02, 2000.

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