Piedmont heavyweight cars of the early 1950s

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I'm interested in modeling the Piedmont as it ran during the early to mid 1950s. Regarding the 10 section-lounge car, was it a Southern or L&N car? And was the lounge an open end observation type or a solarium type? Timetables also list an 8 section 5 double bedroom car and a 6 section 6 doublebedroom car as part of the Piedmont consist. What was the railroad ownership of those two types of sleepers? Thanks!

-- Michael B. Welborn (mwelborn@comcast.net), May 03, 2003


Michael, you have a good beginning point with the schedules. What information I can pass along may give you a general idea. Specifics might be harder to find.

By 1950 the operating roads owned the former Pullman Company sleeping cars and leased them back to Pullman for operation and maintenance. These roads would pool their equipment for specific trains such as the Piedmont Limited. The operating roads were PRR, SOU, West Point Route and L&N.

The 10-sec-lounge by this time would almost certainly not have had an open platform. Some roads plated over the solarium windows of the solarium lounge cars. And in many cases they were never solarium cars in the first place, but rather were 10-sec-lounge cars suitable for use anywhere in the consist.

According to "Night Trains" by Peter Maiken, the through cars were as follows:

New York to Mobile 10-sec-2c-dr New York to New Orleans 8-sec-5dbr and 10-sec-2c-dr

(These were likely PRR cars)

Other cars included:

Washington to New Orleans 10-sec-lounge Atlanta to New Orleans 12-sec-dr

(These were likely SOU cars)

The Piedmont cars were operated by the PRR in train #141 southbound and #108 northbound along with whatever other equipment operated in those PRR trains.

Dining cars operated over all segments between Monroe, VA and New Orleans southbound, and between New Orleans and Monroe, VA northbound. That would be SOU, WPR and L&N southbound and L&N, WPR and SOU northbound. Others more knowledgable than I would know if these diners were run through, or if each road operated its own diner over its segment. Food service was pretty jealously guarded, but there were instances of cooperation, I understand.

I hope this isn't too general to be useful. Good luck.

-- Ray Brown (bbrown21@columbus.rr.com), June 20, 2003.

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