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Private  Railcars  U.S.A.

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            2013 A.A.P.R.C.O. annual convention train of 24 private cars pulled by Amtrak in Oregon             short history

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“People on a jet have only been on a trip; people on a train have been on a journey.”
— Ray Bradbury [1920-2012]

“There isn't a train I wouldn't take, no matter where it's going.”
— Edna St. Vincent Millay [1892-1950]

Railroad barons and division superintendents and national business tycoons needed accomodations for themselves and for potential clients while travelling the United States, which brought into existence the private or business railcar. Since the invention of the private jet airplane, corporations (except railroads) sold off their railcars, many of which were acquired by wealthy individuals for use as pleasure or as business assets.

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G.E. Nordell's New Mexico Travel / Railroads Links Page
G.E. Nordell's Utah Travel / Railroads Links Page



               The first


Private  Railcar  Organizations

picture    The American Association of Private Railroad Car Owners, Inc. [est. 1979]
A.A.P.R.C.O. printed charter guide
A.A.P.R.C.O. annual convention [Oct 2015 = #38] was in St. Louis, Missouri
A.A.P.R.C.O. annual convention [Sept 2016 = #39] will be in Spokane, Washington
A.A.P.R.C.O. list of member private railcars available for charter

drumhead/logo for 1998 AAPRCO convention in Albuquerque, New Mexico       drumhead/logo for 1999 AAPRCO convention in Tampa, Florida       drumhead/logo for 2000 AAPRCO convention in Winnipeg, Canada       drumhead/logo for 2007 AAPRCO convention in Omaha, Nebraska       drumhead/logo for 2008 AAPRCO convention in San Pedro, California       drumhead/logo for 2009 AAPRCO convention in Savannah, Georgia
drumhead/logo for 2010 AAPRCO convention in Pueblo, Colorado       drumhead/logo for 2011 AAPRCO convention in Kansas City, Missouri       drumhead/logo for 2012 AAPRCO convention in Chattanooga, Tennessee       drumhead/logo for 2013 AAPRCO convention in Napa Valley, California       drumhead/logo for 2014 AAPRCO convention in Portland, Maine       drumhead/logo for 2015 AAPRCO convention in St. Louis, Missouri       drumhead/logo for 2016 AAPRCO convention in Spokane, Washington


Avalon Rail restoration [est. 2000] based in Milwaukee, Wisconsin          owner group Railroad Passenger Car Alliance based in Maryland


drawing of Fairmont model MT-14 railcar 'speeder'
North American Rail Car Operators Association [est. 1980] based in Ohio has over 1,800 members worldwide
This type of 'rail car' is also known as the 'speeder' – usually four-wheeled and gasoline-powered, sometimes seating as many as
twelve passengers; many of the old Fairmont units were sold off by the railroads and snatched up by hobbyists.
official NARCOA website • entry at Wikipedia

speeder (railway motor car) entry at Wikipedia
Pete Wenk's Rail Speeders website
Tuka's handcar {dot} net website

Cotton Valley Rail Trail Club [est. 1992] based in Wolfeboro, NH
Railroad Partners, Inc. - Texas affiliate of N.A.R.C.O.A. [est. 2008]
Recreational Railroad Coalition, Inc. [est. 2003] based in California


Commercial  Passenger  Railcar  Brokers

RailCharter {dot} com - listings by state & province

RailServe [est. 1996] links for private railcars & charters

Rovos Rail {luxury} Tours [est. 1988] in South Africa

The Train Source, Inc. [est. 1967 as Short Line Enterprises] - last update 2012?
Train Source list of private railroad cars


American Rail Excursions - based in Sauk Village, Illinois    American Rail Excursions is located south of Chicago, Illinois
official website • no entry at Wikipedia

American Rail Excursions operates 'nostalgic North American private rail tours', including (in 2015)
11-day Orange Blossom Special, 4-day Gateway Flyer, 10-day History Flyer, 10-day Crescent City
Limited, and 8-day American Flyer. Cars include 'City of Angels', 'Golden Shore', 'Mesa Verde',
'Pacific Union', 'Royal Street', and 'Southern Hospitality'.


crest of the American Orient Express luxury rail tours, circa 2006    American European Express [12/1989-1991]
American Orient Express™ rail tours [1994-2006]
GrandLuxe Rail Journeys [2006-2008]

AOE website says that GrandLuxe shut down in August 2008 due to bankruptcy; cars were for sale in California 12/2008; restored historical consist options included sleepers 'Bar Harbor', 'Charleston', 'Denver', 'Istanbul', 'Monte Carlo', 'Montreal', 'Paris', 'Santa Fe', 'Savannah', 'Vienna' & 'Washington', dining cars 'Chicago' & 'Zurich', club cars 'Rocky Mountain' & 'Seattle', dome cars 'Copper Canyon' & 'New Orleans', and observation car 'New York'.

GrandLuxe Express / Traveling in High Style book by Karl R. Zimmermann  "The GrandLuxe Express: Traveling In High Style" [2007]
by Karl R. Zimmermann

A history of the luxurious trainset created in 1989 to emulate Europe's Orient Express
Indiana Univ Press 11x8½ hardcover [11/2007] for $30.16


Fox River Rail Car Corp. [est. 2002] drumhead    Fox River Rail Car Corporation [est. 2002] is based in Wisconsin
official website • no entry at Wikipedia

site appears dormant (last photo 2006); offering for charter
the Pointe St. Charles 1954 Canadian National platform business car.


logo for Great Rail Journeys of U.K.    Great Rail Journeys, Ltd. based in York, U.K.
escorted tours in Europe & worldwide
official website • entry at Wikipedia

'Discover the USA by Train' Dept.
Alaska Tours Dept.
'Rail Tours in Canada' Dept.
watch 'Inspiring Adventure' promo video [2:12] at YouTube


logo for L.A. Rail Streamliners of Los Angeles    
yellow drumhead for L.A. Rail Streamliners of Los Angeles    
L.A. Rail Streamliners [est. ??] is based in Los Angeles, CA
official website • no entry at Wikipedia

L.A. Rail's streamliner rail tours scheduled for 2015 include: Los Angeles to Portland 'Wine & Roses'; Los Angeles to San Antonio, St. Louis & Kansas City 'BBQ Express; 'San Diego Weekend'; and Los Angeles to Spokane 'Wonders of Washington'; and regular daytrips along the California coast. Railcars in service include: 1949 'Overland Trail' barbershop club lounge car, 1950 'Pacific Sands' 10-6 sleeper car, 1954 'Salisbury Beach' sleeper car, 1956 'Silver Splendor' Vista Dome lounge-dining car, and 1959 'Tioga Pass' business car.


Luxury Train Club [] worldwide passenger booking agent based in U.K.    Luxury Train Club [] is connected to Train Chartering Group {below}; both are based in U.K.
The difference is that T.C.G. charters private cars and L.T.C. books individual passage on already-scheduled excursions.
official website • no entry at Wikipedia


Mid America Railcar Leasing [] private railcar leasing & charter & sales - based in Indiana    Mid America Railcar Leasing [] is based in Indiana
official website • entry at Wikipedia

private railcars leasing & charter & sales; 2014 fleet includes 7 coaches, 'Henry Hudson' buffet-diner, 'Mesa Verde'
high-level sleeper, 'Mohave' lounge car, 'Silver Quail' sleeper car, 'Swift Stream' observation car, and 'Taos' baggage car


picture     New River Train Excursions [est. 1966] is based in Huntington, WV
official website • no entry at Wikipedia

Sponsored/run by the Collis P. Huntington Railroad Historical Society [est. 1959]; rail tours scheduled for 2015 include: the 'New River Train' [est. 1960s] autumn foliage daytrips; 3-day 'Greenbrier Overnight Excursions' to luxury Greenbrier Resort; 3-day 'Weekend Getaways'; 4-day springtime 'Cherry Blossom Express' to DC; and 5-day 'Big Apple Express' and 'Holiday Big Apple Express' to NYC. Excursions usually include 1947 Budd ex-NYC tavern-lounge car #38, 1949 cafι-parlor car #5411 'Braddock Inn', and 1956 Budd coach car 'George C. Davis'; volunteers are restoring several cars at Huntington's South Yard.


Northern Sky Rail Charters - based in Arkansas    Northern Sky Rail Charters is based in Arkansas
official website • no entry at Wikipedia

1- or 2-car luxury charters available year-round to U.S & Canada
'Northern Dreams' 1955 Pullman-Standard sleeper-lounge [refurbished in 2003]
'Northern Sky' dome car with four double bedrooms


Pullman Rail Journeys    Pullman Rail Journeys is based in Chicago, Illinois
official website • no entry at Wikipedia

Pullman Rail Journeys is owned by the Passenger Division of shortline operator Iowa Pacific Holding Company [est. 2001]. Company operates the City of New Orleans train set from Chicago to New Orleans and back, a journey of 19½ hours over 934 miles. Train departs Chicago at 8pm every Thursday, arriving in New Orleans on Friday at 3:45pm. (The trips were recently set farther apart to allow for longer layovers.) The return departs New Orleans every Sunday at 1:45pm and arrives in Chicago at 9am Monday. Pullman Rail Journeys also operates the Varsity train on special occasions from Chicago to Madison, Wisconsin; restored orange & brown consist is pulled by diesel locomotive #515 and a B-unit.


Rail Europe [est. 1930s]    Rail Europe, Inc. [est. 1930s] is based in White Plains, NY
official website • entry at Wikipedia

Rail Europe bills themselves as 'the leading authority on European rail travel'.
One-stop booking service for over 50 different train companies across Europe.


Railroading Heritage of Midwest America [est. 19] based in Minnesota    Railroading Heritage of Midwest America is based in Minnesota
official website • entry at Wikipedia

2014 railcar fleet includes: 'Lamberts Point' observation car; 'Cedar Rapids' 1948 ex-Hiawatha 'skytop' observation car #200; 1952 Pullman ex-Hiawatha super dome #53; 1953 Pullman 'Minnesota River' sleeper; 1958 ex-U.S. Army 'Wisconsin Valley' lounge car; 1958 ex-U.S. Army 'St. Croix Valley' lounge car; 1958 ex-U.P. baggage car #2450; ex-U.S. Army 'Grand Canyon' tool car/dormitory car #1615; and several coaches


Rocky Mountaineer RailTours of Canada [est. 1990]    Rocky Mountaineer RailTours of Canada [est. 1990]
is based in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
official website • entry at Wikipedia

Rocky Mountaineer operates daytrip train tours April thru October from Vancouver to Lake Louise/Banff, Whistler, Jasper, and Seattle; also several Alaska cruises (boarding at Seattle or Vancouver). The various trains are made up from 35 single-deck coaches, 10 bi-level Ultra Dome coaches, and 15 single-level dome cars, pulled by E.M.D. GP40-2 locomotives.


logo for Royal Canadian Pacific luxury rail tours of Alberta, Canada    Royal Canadian Pacific [est. 2000] luxury rail tours based in Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Company manages ten restored CPR official business cars which are pulled by two restored 1950s-era diesel locomotives, plus meeting and social event facilities at Canadian Pacific Railway Pavilion in Calgary.
official website • entry at Wikipedia

Consist usually includes: 1926 CPR platform observation 'day car' #74 'Mount Stephen', 1926 CPR business car #78 'Royal Wentworth', 1926 CPR sleeper car #84 'Banffshire', 1927 CPR business car #82 'Strathcona', 1927 CPR business car #77 'Van Horne' business car, 1930 CPR sleeper car #79 'N.R. Crump', 1931 CPR dining car #85 'Craigellachie', a generator-/baggage car {for auxiliary power}, 1916 CPR business car #71 'Killarney' {staff car}, 1927 CPR business car #73 'Mount Royal' {staff car}, pulled by CPR diesel locomotives #4106 & #4107, sometimes helped by CPR diesel locomotive #3084


Society of Intl. Railway Travelers [est. 1983] in Louisville, KY    The Society of International Railway Travelers [est. 1983] is based in Louisville, KY
official website • official weblog • no entry at Wikipedia

Besides railroad journeys on six continents, I.R.T. books safaris, river & tall ship cruises, 5-star hotels, biking & hiking tours, and expeditions to the Amazon, Galapagos & Antarctica. Their annual ratings of the top 25 trains is published as International Railway Traveler Magazine.


Train Chartering Group [est. 1998] based in U.K.    Train Chartering Group [est. 1998] is based in the U.K.
official website • no entry at Wikipedia

Train Chartering Group makes arrangements for private railcar charters in the U.S. and Canada; railcars listed include: "Alder Falls" 1949 P.R.R. coach based in New Jersey; Amtrak's Conference Rail Car; Howard Vanderbilt's 1928 New York Central business car #3; "Mount Vernon" sleeper-kitchen-lounge based in New Jersey; "Northern Sky" & "Northern Dreams" in Arkansas; "Ohio River" platform observation private car based in New Jersey; "Overland Trail" Southern Pacific 39-seat club lounge car based in Los Angeles; "Pony Express" conference/party car in Winslow, Arizona; "Virginia City" based in Los Angeles; "Warren R. Henry" dome car & "Evelyn Henry" sleeper car in Houston, Texas; several cars owned by Railroading Heritage of Midwest America in Minnesota — and access to many more


Unique Rail Journeys - based in Massachusetts    Unique Rail Journeys is based in Massachusetts
official website • no entry at Wikipedia

Unique Rail Journeys operates rail vacations in Canada, Great Britain, Europe & China; company is a division of
Yankee Leisure Group [est. 1972], based in Massachusetts, with West Coast office in Laguna Hills, California.



HO-scale model of Pullman car in standard Pullman green livery         HO-scale model of C&NW Pullman car in yellow & green livery        HO-scale model of CB&Q Pullman car in maroon livery

Private  Railcars
From the first, railroad barons and division superintendents needed accomodations for themselves and for potential clients: ornate sleeping cars were built to impress and simple inspection cars provided access without relying on train schedules. Size and decor reflected the owning railroad: vintage clerestory observation cars, mid-weight and heavy Pullman cars, and lighter-weight cars as technology progressed to the streamliner. With the decline of passenger service and the corporate takeovers of American railroads, the private cars became unnecessary; nowadays, it is 'send me a fax or text mail or a tweet!' But the wealthy class is always looking for ways to show off – Thorstein B. Veblen's 'conspicuous consumption' – and many private railcars remain in service, either in regular use by their owner/s or as rentals/charters for honeymoons or ski trips or parties and such events.

stationary exhibit « » mobile exhibit « » 'Ready To Go' « » fate unknown


Private  Railcars  on  Stationary  Exhibit  or  Storage

Pullman 1923 Colorado Fuel & Iron Co. Mine Rescue Car #1 is restored & on exhibit   click here for photograph (in a new window)
at Steelworks Center of The West [est. 2000, renamed 2014] in Pueblo, Colorado
(in service to 1941; used as office; moved to museum in 2007)

historic [1910?] Grand River Valley Railway passenger car #52 recently restored for private use in Fruita, Colorado backyard

1886 F.E.C. Railway private railcar #91 [painted green] is restored/exhibited since 2003  click here for photograph (in a new window)
at Kenan Pavilion, Whitehall, Palm Beach

Chicago, Burlington & Quincy business car #96 is on display
at Colorado Railroad Museum in Golden, Colorado

Pullman 1879? Southern Railway platform office car #101
(sold in 1982 & renamed 'Desert Valley'; donated to Arizona Railway Museum in 1995)

1887 Colorado Midland RR observation car #111 is on static display
at Colorado Railroad Museum in Golden, Colorado

Pullman 1927 52-foot AT&SF superintendent's car #405
(donated in 2008 to Arizona Railway Museum)

AT&SF business car #408 is on static display
at Lehnis Railroad Museum [est. 2007] in Brownwood, TX

Barney & Smith 1887 51-foot AT&SF coach car #535 is owned by Sam Teague and Railroad Artifact Preservation
Society, Inc. in Amarillo, Texas
which seeks funding for restoration (built 1887 for AT&SF; given #66 in 1890s, #2632 circa 1900;
rebuilt circa 1910 as #535; retired 1927 to MoW bunk & boarding car #199126)

Pullman 1910 wood-steel AT&SF coach #580
(rebuilt 1917 & 1938; donated in 1997 to Arizona Railway Museum)

1906 Denver & Salt Lake Railroad coach #715 is on indoor display
at The Forney Museum of Transportation in Denver, Colorado

Pullman-Standard 1950 AT&SF Super Chief dormitory-lounge car #1344 (to Amtrak #3395 in 1971;
donated in 1999) is on display at Texas Railroading Heritage Museum

Budd C&O coach-lounge #1510 (ex-SAL #6229, ex-SCL #5132, ex-Amtrak #6012; sold 1986;
restored at Lancaster & Chester Railroad, trucked to Fort Mill, SC in 2005)

A.C.F. 1949 Union Pacific diner car #4815 (U.P. to 1971, Alaska RR to 2001; at Arizona Railway Museum)

Southern Pacific RR R.P.O. car #5217 is in storage
at Joshua Tree & Southern Railway and Museum [est. 1986?] in Joshua Tree, California

1946 Amtrak passenger coach #5410 is in use at Pueblo [CO] Railway Museum
(seats are removed; used for meetings & classes, short jaunts)

1940s Union Pacific coach #5442 is on static display
at Colorado Railroad Museum in Golden, Colorado

1894 Pullman Palace #6666 Bed & Breakfast in Fredericksburg, Texas  click here for photograph (in a new window)
(built in 1894 by Pullman for Texas cattle baron S. Burk Burnett (Four Sixes Ranch); in use as B&B
outside the Fischer & Wieser [est. 1969] factory)

Union Pacific dome lounge car #9000 is on display inside Main Street Station Hotel in Downtown Las Vegas, Nevada
(ex-U.P. #9000, ex-Auto train #900; on display circa 1981 as #300 'Rosie O'Grady' at Church Street Station in Orlando, Florida;
moved to Las Vegas as 'Orlando Dawn' in 1985; casino sold to the Boyd Gaming Corp. in 1987)

Adiel Morris Budd 1949 private car
(orig Seaboard coach #42 'West Palm Beach'; SCL #6627; Amtrak #2704; sold 1990; at Arizona Railway Museum)

D&RGW business car #B-8 is being restored (2014)
in the roundhouse at Colorado Railroad Museum in Golden, Colorado

Black Hawk Pullman 1903 business car #92 is on indoor display in Downtown Las Vegas, Nevada
(built in 1903 by Pullman for Charles Elliott Perkins, President of CB&Q RR; sold to 'Buffalo Bill' Cody as personal private car,
1906-1917; on display inside Main Street Station Hotel)

Cascade Colorado Midland private car #100 is on display inside Main Street Station Hotel in Downtown Las Vegas, Nevada
(in storage for years at Woody Creek, Colorado; sold & restored 1980s)

Castle Peak' D&RGW dining car is in storage
at Joshua Tree & Southern Railway and Museum [est. 1986?] in Joshua Tree, California

City of Sparks Southern Pacific RR business car #132 is on outdoor display at a city park in Sparks, Nevada  click here for photograph (in a new window)

Cleveland Pullman 1888 Wheeling & Lake Erie business car #3 is in storage at Indiana Transportation Museum

Denehotso Pullman 1938 AT&SF lounge-observation car #1853 (acquired by Arizona Railway Museum in 1995)

Diablo Canyon Budd 1937 AT&SF 52-seat coach #3079 (Amtrak certified, donated in 2005 to Arizona Railway Museum)

Eagle Chasm Budd 1949 Missouri Pacific Texas Eagle streamliner 10-6 sleeping car (purchased in 2005)
is on display at Texas Railroading Heritage Museum

Eugene Field Pullman 1948 Frisco RR 14-4 sleeper car #6769 (donated to Arizona Railway Museum in 2010)

Fort Lauderdale Pullman 1956 Seaboard Air Line 5-2-2 streamliner sleeper car is on display
at Texas Railroading Heritage Museum (ex-SCL, ex-Amtrak; ex-private storage at T.R.H.M.; donated 2011)

Gold Coast 1905 private railcar is now on interior display at C.S.R.M. in Sacramento.
This was the first private railcar owned & restored by Lucius Beebe [1902-66] & Charles Clegg

Good Cheer Pullman-Standard 1940 Kansas City Southern RR Southern Belle streamliner tavern-lounge-observation car
is on display at Texas Railroading Heritage Museum (built 1940 as diner-lounge; rebuilt 1949 by AC&F; donated 1968)

Great Republic 1930 Pullman parlor car is at Valley RR of Connecticut (built 1930 by Pullman as 'Yankee Clipper';
sold to NYNH&H RR #2050 in 1945; sold to Jim Bradley in 1964; sold to Valley RR circa 1993)

Imperial Manor Pullman 1939 4-4-2 drawing room car
(ex-New York Central, ex-Illinois Central, sold to Arizona Rail Car in 1980; stored at Arizona Railway Museum)

Lacombe 1921 CPR business car #83 is in storage at Ogden Yard, Calgary, Alberta
(built in 1921 for CPR as 10-room sleeper 'Glen Roy'; rebuilt in 1943 as business car & renamed; in regular use until 2003)

Lindsay 1923 CC&F Canadian National 12-1 sleeper car is at Valley RR of Connecticut
(built by CC&F in 1923 as CN #1573; rebuilt in 1947 as 8S-1DR-2C #1814; assigned to MofW as #54952 circa 1979;
owned by private parties; sold to Valley RR 9/2009)

Loretto 1902 private car is on outdoor display in North Carolina
(built in 1902 by Pullman for Charles M. Schwab, president of Bethlehem Steel and other companies; Schwab lost everything in the stock market crash of 1929, and could not sell his assets; Elliott Springs of the Lancaster & Chester RR in South Carolina purchased the car in 1939 and used it for an office; he carefully preserved the splendor of the car's Cuban mahogany paneling, crystal chandelier, velvet draperies, Italian marble bath, and gold-plated beds. On outdoor display at a transportation museum in Pennsylvania in the 1970s; currently on outdoor display at Carolina Transportation Museum in Spencer, North Carolina)

Louisa Alcott 1926 Pullman private railcar is on static display inside Main Street Station Hotel in Downtown Las Vegas, Nevada

Marcia 1909 Pullman D&NWP private car of Colorado banker & railroad tycoon David H. Moffat [1839-1911]  click here for 2014 photograph (in a new window)
- named for his daughter - is on covered outdoor display in Craig, Colorado

Navajo AT&SF streamliner sleeper-observation car is on static display
at Colorado Railroad Museum in Golden, Colorado

New Braunfels Pullman-Standard 1955 M.K.T. Texas Special all-stainless steel 'Jim Crow' chair car is on display
at Texas Railroading Heritage Museum (served to 1960s; sold to Northern Pacific #530, then BN; sold to Amtrak in 1971
as #6452; purchased at auction 1985; restoration is underway)

Plaza Taos Pullman-Standard 1950 AT&SF bar-lounge dome car is on outdoor display
at Arizona Railway Museum

Provincetown 1924 Pullman lounge-parlor car is at Valley RR of Connecticut
(built 1924 by Pullman for Merchants Limited; renumbered MofW #W-215 circa 1960, assigned to wreck train; later used
as stationary office space in Boston; sold to Valley RR circa 1986)

Quebec 1879 Canadian National RR business car #73 is restored and on exhibit  
at Rosenberg [TX] Railroad Museum [est. 1992]
(built of wood in 1879 by Northern Railway of Canada as a passenger coach; sold to the Canadian government in 1922, rebuilt with steel plating;
retired 1962, saved to North Carolina, then FL, NM & TX; purchased by RRRM in 1993, restored 2009)

'Red Oak' Pullman car is in storage
at Joshua Tree & Southern Railway and Museum [est. 1986?] in Joshua Tree, California

Regal Phoenix Budd 1946 AT&SF coach-lounge car #3166
(Amtrak #5236 1971-77; acquired by Arizona Railway Museum in 1996)

Shaughnessy 1917 CPR business car #76 is in storage at Ogden Yard, Calgary, Alberta

Silver Star Budd 1950 solarium observation car
(ex-Union Pacific 10-6 sleeper car; recently rebuilt as private car; stored at Arizona Railway Museum since 6/2013)  

St. Hyacinthe CC&FC 1929 Canadian National Railways 10-1-1 sleeping car #1683 is on display at C.S.R.M.
(built in 1929 by CCF&C at Montreal for Canadian National; A/C added 1936; retired in 1971; donated by R&LHS
in 1980; on display at C.S.R.M. with motion- and sound-effects added)

Tahoe 1949 Union Pacific streamliner dining car #4801
(built 1949; purchased by Colorado Railroad Museum in Golden, Colorado in 2013 and in use for meetings & parties)

Toreador 1913 Pullman restaurant-lounge-parlor car is at Valley RR of Connecticut
(built 1913 by Pullman as 'Navarre', rebuilt 1933; sold in 1942 to New York Central #499; sold to P&LE MofW #300601
circa 1956, assigned to wreck train; sold to Valley RR in 1988)

Verde Valley Pullman 1942 AT&SF 6-6-4 sleeper car (donated 1969) is on display at Texas Railroading Heritage Museum

Vista Canyon Pullman 1947 AT&SF observation car (sold 1994; donated to Arizona Railway Museum in 2001)

William Fletcher Pullman 1923 New York, Chicago & St. Louis ('Nickel Plate') RR business car #6 is at RailGiants Train Museum in Pomona, CA
(built as observation lounge car 'Mountain City'; rebuilt as NKP 8-section dining-solarium-lounge car 'Carleton Club' with A/C;
rebuilt in 1959 by NKP as business car #6)

Wisconsin 1905 Pullman private business car is on indoor display  click here for official photograph (in a new window)
at the John and Mable Ringling Museums in Sarasota, Florida
(originally built for John Ringling and used by his family for travel with the circus; fully restored)


Private  Railcars  on  Exhibit  at  Illinois Railway Museum
Founded in 1953, name changed in 1961; located in Union, Illinois (NW of Chicago); the largest railroad museum in the United States,
with over 450 pieces of prototype equipment • official website • entry at Wikipedia

PPCC 1889 Nevada Northern RR business car #10 'Ely'
Pullman 1910 10-section lounge-observation 'Inglehome'

Melanie 1912 Pullman parlor car (built 1912 by Pullman; sold to New York Central in 1941; sold to Canadian National
circa 1951 and rebuilt/modernized as Grand Trunk Western coach #5316; to IRM ??)

Pullman 1913 B&O 10-3 sleeper car 'Villa Falls'
Pullman 1914 DL&W commuter coaches #556 + #561 + #567
Pullman 1917 AT&SF lounge-crew dorm #1534
Pullman 1924 New York Central sleeper-buffet-lounge 'Dover Strait'
Pullman 1925 6-3 sleeper 'Glen Springs'
Pullman 1929 Great Northern 8-1-2 sleeper 'John McLoughlin'
AC&F 1930 L&N diner #2726 'Galt House'
Pullman 1935 Southern RR business car #10 'Susan Marie'
Budd 1936 CB&Q Nebraska Zephyr diner car #150 'Ceres'
Budd 1936 CB&Q Nebraska Zephyr parlor-observation car #225 'Juno'
Budd 1936 CB&Q Nebraska Zephyr power car #960 'Venus'
Budd 1936 CB&Q Nebraska Zephyr chair car #4626 'Vesta'
Budd 1936 CB&Q Nebraska Zephyr chair car #4627 'Minerva'
Pullman 1942 Illinois Central sleeper 'King Cotton'
Budd 1948 D&RGW 'Silver Pony'
AC&F 1948 Illinois Central grill coach #3345
Pullman 1950 Atlantic Coast Line diner 'Birmingham'
Budd 1950 Union Pacific 10-6 sleeper 'Pacific Peak'
Budd 1956 CB&Q 10-6 sleeper 'Silver Ridge'
Budd 1959 Northern Pacific slumbercoach 'Loch Sloy'


Private  Railcars  on  Mobile  Exhibit

J&S 1898 F.E.C. Railway private railcar #90 [painted yellow] is in regular use at Indiana Transportation Museum since 1970

Pullman 1925 Central of Georgia RR partitioned 'Jim Crow' passenger coach #906 is in use at Tennessee Valley RR Museum

AC&F 1947 Central of Georgia RR 'Jim Crow' passenger coach (partition removed) #907 is in use at Tennessee Valley RR Museum

Pullman 1922 Southern Railway passenger coaches #1000 & #1688 are in use at Tennessee Valley RR Museum

Pullman 1924 Southern Railway dining car #3158 is in use at Tennessee Valley RR Museum

Clover Colony Pullman 1920 Southern Pacific 8-5 sleeping car is in use at Tennessee Valley RR Museum

Dacosta 1927 Pullman parlor car is in use at Valley RR of Connecticut  click here for photograph (in a new window)
(built by Pullman in 1927 for NYNH&H RR; sold in 1945 to P.R.R. #7068, MofW #WX92115 (1956), later renumbered #492115;
sold to Toledo, Lake Erie & Western; sold to Valley RR in 1988, restored as 'Dacosta')

Eden Isle 1917 Pullman Baltimore & Ohio RR platform observation private car #98
is in use at Tennessee Valley Museum

1869 club car Julia Bullette is in use at N.S.R.M. and the V&T RR.
(historic coach #8 built at Virginia & Truckee RR Shops in 1869; rebuilt as work car in 1908 & 1915 & 1923; rebuilt as club car in 1945; sold to M.G.M. Studios in 1947; auctioned in 1970 & restored as coach #8 (still named Julia Bullette); acquired by Nevada State Railroad Museum in 1988; recently in use on V&T RR)

Meriden 1924 Pullman 54-seat parlor car is in use at Valley RR of Connecticut

1910 Pullman parlor car #100 Reno
(built 1910 for Bangor & Aroostook RR as parlor car 'Ardelle Mae'; acquired 2009 by Virginia & Truckee RR for restoration)

Wallingford 1927 Pullman lounge-parlor car is in use at Valley RR of Connecticut  click here for photograph (in a new window)
(built by Pullman in 1927 as 'Wayfarer' for NYNH&H RR; sold to WAB in 1945, to KCS #501 in 1952; sold to Reader RR #500 'Rambler'
circa 1960; sold to Valley RR circa 1970; rebuilt in 1991 for use on Essex Clipper Dinner Train)


Private  Railcars  -  Ready  To  Go

New York Central business car #3 1928 private car based on East Coast USA  click here for photograph (in a new window)  
[built in 1928 for Harold Sterling Vanderbilt; renumbered Penn Central #4 around 1968; sold in 1978, restored in 1998; available for charter]

1947 Budd ex-NYC tavern-lounge car #38 (ex-Penn Central #4438, ex-Amtrak #3346 1970-2001)

Abraham Lincoln 1910 Pullman railroad car  
is privately owned, fully restored, and parked at Othello, Washington

The Alder Falls 1949 P.R.R. coach based in New Jersey

Amber Trail 1950 Pullman-Standard 44-seat chair car {chartered via L.A. Rail}  
[built in 1950; ex-Union Pacific #5430; ex-Penn Central #3003; Amtrak #4403 1971-81; sold 1983]

Belle Glade F.E.C. Railway 1946 passenger coach is in regular use  
at Gold Coast Railway Museum in Florida since 1995

Braddock Inn 1949 cafι-parlor car #5411 (ex-PRR sleeper car #8246, ex-New Jersey Transit 1976-1994;  
rebuilt as cafι-parlor car by Maryland DoT & renumbered; sold in 2004 to C.P.H.-R&LHS)

The Cedar Rapids 1948 ex-Hiawatha 'skytop' observation car #186 {chartered via R.H.M.A.}

Chapel Hill 1922 platform observation car based in Cincinnati  click here for photograph (in a new window)  
[built 1922 by AC&F, private car until 1937; C&O RR Business Car #3 to 1971; private ownership since, charters available]

The City of Angels 1949 Budd bedroom/buffet/lounge car (former New York Central 'Laurel Stream')

The City of Hinton 55-foot ex-Army Hospital Kitchen Car #125
(sold by CSX in 1988 to C.P.H.-R&LHS; modified somewhat, renamed & painted as C&O #357; sat idle
for years; sold to Robert Franzen in 2006)

Colonial Crafts P.R.R. sleeper-buffet-lounge car based in Los Angeles  
[built 1949 by Pullman Standard, retired 1970 to a museum, restored 1985]

The Colorado Pine railcar is painted deep blue

Dagny Taggart round-end observation car [NM-ABQ 4/2015]
[built 1949 as observation car for New York Central; renovated in 2010]

Dearing steel office car [NM-ABQ 4/2015]
[built 1925 by Pullman as steel sleeper car for Great Northern; rebuilt in 1950s as office car; privately owned]

Dover Harbor Pullman car owned by R&LHS of Maryland   
[built 1923 by Pullman Standard, rebuilt 1934, retired 1965, Amtrak certified 1986]
configured to plan 4015 in 1934: six double BRs, buffet & lounge

Francis L. Suter P.R.R. business car #7503 is based in Strasburg, PA  

George C. Davis 1956 Budd coach car  
(built as self-propelled Rail Diesel Car in 1956 for Boston & Maine RR; rebuilt in 1980s as cafι-coach car
for Virginia Railway Express; retired 2001, sold in 2007 to C.P.H.-R&LHS)

The Golden Shore 1954 56-seat coach (ex-Southern Pacific)

The Henry Hudson 1952 Budd ex-P.R.R. buffet-lounge car {chartered via Mid America}

Hollywood Beach 1956 sleeper-sun room lounge car • video tour [1:13] • for sale by owner {2/2015}  click here for photograph (in a new window)  
[Built in 1956 by Pullman for Seaboard Air Line; transferred to Amtrak in 1971; retired & sold; Amtrak certified]

Illinois 1901 Pullman platform business car is for sale by auction {2/2015}
[built in 1901 for Elgin, Joliet & Eastern RR; rebuilt 1950s; sold to Wisconsin artist in 1970s, kept under roof at mountain residence]

J.P. Henderson sleeper-kitchen-lounge car [NM-ABQ 4/2015] • video tour [1:37]  
[built 1953 as 72-seat coach for MKT RR; rebuilt 1983 as private railcar]

The Lamberts Point ex-N&W observation car #200 {chartered via R.H.M.A.} - for sale 2014

The Louis Sockalexis 1949 Pullman Standard bedroom lounge observation car - up for sale

The Mesa Verde hi-level sleeper-coach

The Minnesota River 1953 Pullman sleeper #31 {chartered via R.H.M.A.}

The Mohave 1953 Budd ex-AT&SF lounge car #2826 {chartered via Mid America}

The Mount Vernon sleeper-kitchen-lounge based in New Jersey

Northern Dreams 1955 Pullman-Standard sleeper-lounge [refurbished in 2003]  
Northern Sky dome car with four double bedrooms  

The Ohio River platform observation private car based in New Jersey

Overland Trail 1949 Pullman-Standard Southern Pacific club lounge is based in Los Angeles  
(built 1949 as 39-seat barbershop club lounge; ex-Southern Pacific #2981; converted in 1966 for 'Reno Fun Train'; Amtrak #3500; sold 1987)

Pacific Grove 1940 Budd sleeper-lounge observation car is for sale {2/2015}
[built in 1940 for Seaboard Air Line; operated by Amtrak; sold 1980s; needs work to certify]

Pacific Sands 1950 Budd 10-6 sleeper car {chartered via L.A. Rail}  
[Union Pacific 1950-1971; Amtrak 1971-96; private owner 1996-2003]

The Pacific Union 1950 Budd 10-6 sleeper (used on Union Pacific to 1996)

Palm Point 1930 Pullman sleeper-lounge observation car is for sale {2/2015}
[built in 1930 by Pullman; sold to Northern Pacific in 1948; retired in 1953 & sold to private party; needs restoration]

The Palmetto State fully-restored 1948 Pullman private railcar = dead website

Pointe St. Charles 1954 platform business car is based in Wisconsin  
(built in 1954 by Canadian National for exclusive use of the Prime Minister; sold 1990 and renamed 'Pointe St. Charles'; acquired by Fox River in 2002)

The Pony Express conference/party car based in Winslow, Arizona

The Royal Street 1950 Pullman-Standard bedroom-buffet-lounge observation car #3301 (ex-L&N Crescent 1950-1970)

Salisbury Beach 1954 Pullman-Standard sleeper car {chartered via L.A. Rail}  
[built 1954; ex-Boston & Maine RR; ex-Canadian National Railway 1966-1982; sold 1990]

The Scottish Thistle  click here for photograph (in a new window)

Sierra Hotel domed observation car [NM-ABQ 4/2015] [built 1948 as domed 'Silver Lounge' for California Zephyr; rebuilt for private charter in 1980]

Sierra Nevada Southern Pacific business car is for sale {2/2015}
[built as 81-seat coach by Pullman in 1914 for El Paso & Southwestern RR; sold to S.P., renumbered #1053; rebuilt in 1929
as business car #143 and renamed; retired in 1970 and sold; needs repair work]

The Silver Quail 1952 Budd ex-CB&Q California Zephyr sleeper #451 {chartered via Mid America}

Silver Splendor 1956 Budd Vista Dome lounge-dining car {chartered via L.A. Rail}  
[built 1952; CB&Q #4735 'Silver Buckle' 1952-71; Amtrak 1971-80; restored 2009]

The Southern Hospitality 1955 AC&F dome lounge car (ex-Union Pacific)

The St. Croix Valley 1958 ex-U.S. Army Medical lounge car #3101 {chartered via R.H.M.A.}

The Swift Stream ex-New York Central sleeper-lounge-observation car {chartered via Mid America}

The Taos 1955 AC&F baggage car (ex-AT&SF #3680, ex-Amtrak #1256)

Tioga Pass 1959 CNR platform business car #23/93 {chartered via L.A. Rail}  
[Canadian National RR 1959-93, restored 2005]

Virginia City 1928 private railcar is based in Los Angeles  
this was the second private railcar owned & restored by Lucius Beebe [1902-66] & Charles Clegg

Warren R. Henry 1955 ex-U.P. dome car and Evelyn Henry sleeper car are based in Houston, Texas   

The Wisconsin Valley 1958 ex-U.S. Army Medical lounge car #3103 {chartered via R.H.M.A.}


Private  Railcars - Fate  Unknown

C&O coach #1505 (retired & sold 1986; later sold to an outfit in South Carolina)

1947 Budd 59-seat bar lounge observation car (ex-SAL #6602, ex-SCL #5842, ex-Amtrak #3342; retired 10/1981]  click here for photograph (in a new window)

private railcar [circa 1963] of Marcus Lummus, owner of M. Lummus & Company in Richmond, California

Hopalong Cassidy's private railcar parked in Chicago  Photo of private Pullman observation car used by actor William 'Bill' Boyd as Hopalong Cassidy; taken at the Logan Square Bridge in Chicago, Illinois on 22 April 1950. Boyd starred in numerous movies and on television, and also appeared as Hopalong Cassidy in the Cole Brothers' Circus, which was likely the occasion surrounding this photo; the ornate Pullman railing on the car dates from the 1890s.
click to enlarge photo (in new window)


The  Pullman  Companies
There are a ton of books on the subjects of George Pullman, the 1894 Pullman Strike, and anecdotes by Pullman porters; at first the plan
was to put those books on a separate page, with books about the Pullman railcars and travelling on them coded here; but the accumulated
books became too large for even that, so the whole bunch was moved over to a new George Pullman [1831-97] Page in Spring 2015.

TCM's Pullman Project railcar history site [est. 2001]

"Mr. Pullman's Elegant Palace Car: The Railway Carriage that Established a New Dimension of Luxury and Entered... " [1961]
by Lucius Beebe [1902-66]
http://www.amazon.com/Mr-Pullmans-Elegant-Palace-Car/dp/B0007DYSCG/

"History of the Pullman Car" [Oct 1974] by Joseph Husband
http://www.amazon.com/History-Pullman-Car-Joseph-Husband/dp/0912382163/

"The Story of the Pullman Car" [Jun 28, 2014] by Joseph Husband
http://www.amazon.com/Story-Pullman-Car-Joseph-Husband-ebook/dp/B00LDHC16U/

"Pullman: The Pullman Car Company, Its Services, Cars and Traditions" [Apr 28, 1983] by Julian Morel
http://www.amazon.com/Pullman-Company-Services-Cars-Traditions/dp/0715383825/

Pullman Systems In The Golden Years book by Peter T. Maiken  "Night Trains: The Pullman Systems In The Golden Years of American Rail Travel"
[1989] by Prof. Peter T. Maiken

First, a history of American railroads and the development of passenger routes; second, a detailed list of every Pullman train and its location at midnight every night.
Johns Hopkins Univ Press 11x8½ pb [10/92] out of print/40+ used
Lakme Press 11x8¾ hardcover [11/89] out of print/used

"They Built Railway Cars: The Pullman Social Experiment and the Swedish Immigration" [July 2002] by Raymond E. Johnson
http://www.amazon.com/They-Built-Railway-Cars-Immigration/dp/0788420763/

"Travel By Pullman: A Century of Service, 1865-1969" [10/2004] by Joe Welsch
http://www.amazon.com/Travel-Pullman-Century-Service-1865-1969/dp/0760318573/

"The Cars of Pullman" [2010] by Joe Welsh and Bill Howes
http://www.amazon.com/Cars-Pullman-Joe-Welsh/dp/0785832394/ 2015
http://www.amazon.com/Pullman-Welsh-Howes-published-Voyageur/dp/B00EKYLFQK/
http://www.amazon.com/Pullman-Howes-Welsh-Holland-Hardcover/dp/B00HTCKQC4/

Spirit of America Bookstore's
railroad tycoon George Pullman [1831-97] Page


Books  on  Railroad  Passenger  Cars
browse books on railroads at Amazon

Railroad Passenger Car / the First Hundred Years book by August Mencken  "The Railroad Passenger Car: An Illustrated History of The First Hundred Years, With Accounts By Contemporary Passengers" [1957]
by Prof. August Mencken, Introduction by Courtney B. Wilson

Johns Hopkins Univ Press 9½x7¼ hardcover [10/2000] out of print/many used
Johns Hopkins Univ Press 9¾x8 hardcover [11/57] out of print/used
American Railroad Passenger Car  "The American Railroad Passenger Car" [1985]
by John H. White, Jr.

Johns Hopkins Univ Press {6.25 pounds} pb [3/85] for $70.00
Vol 1: 12½x10½ pb [3/85] for $40.00
Vol 2: 12½x9½ pb [3/85] for $34.40
American Passenger Train  "The American Passenger Train" [2001]
by Mike Schafer

Motorbooks Intl. 10¼x10½ hardcover [11/2001] for $34.95
Pennsylvania Railroad Business & Special Cars book by Chuck Blardone  "The Pennsylvania Railroad Business & Special Cars: A Century of Tuscan Deluxe"
[2007] by Chuck Blardone

128 pages with 390 car diagrams and color & b&w photographs
P.R.R. Technical Historical Society 11x8½ pb [2007] out of print/scarce
Private Luxury Railcars book by Bill Hoeffer  
"Private Luxury Railcars: A Look Inside Today's Privately Owned Railcars" [2011]
by Bill Hoeffer

AuthorHouse 11x8½ pb [12/2011] for $22.46
AuthorHouse pb [12/2011] out of print/used
Complete North American Train Travel Guide book by Jim Loomis  "All Aboard: The Complete North American Train Travel Guide" [4th edition 2015]
by Jim Loomis

Kindle Edition from Chicago Review Press [1/2015] for $9.99
Chicago Review Press 4th edition 8¾x5½ pb [1/2015] for $15.34

Videos  &  Other  Media
There were virtually no videos/DVDs about private railcars on Amazon or on IMDb when this page was begun in early 2015, but I found some old movies
on Internet Archive & YouTube and then one independent DVD/video; by September, filmmaker Richard Luckin released his new DVD on the subject.

                                          

New York Central Lines Presents "The Flight of The Century!: The Most Famous Train In The World" short film [1935]
watch movie [badly framed version 17:46] online at YouTube
slightly-better version at YouTube (in two parts): watch part 1 [8:31] • watch part 2 [8:18]

1954 'The Passenger Train' educational short film  "The Passenger Train (Second Edition)" [E.B. Films 1954]
Young Bobby Watson travels alone on the Santa Fe Chief streamliner from
Kansas City to Lamy, New Mexico to spend the summer on his uncle's ranch.

Produced by Encyclopaedia Britannica Films, Milan Herzog, and Ernest Horn PhD
not listed at IMDb • watch movie [10:47] online at Internet Archive

"The Hollywood Beach Murders"  [indep 1992]
Hollywood Beach Murders  'a rambling train wreck of a story' with a lot of footage on a moving train; two cops involved in the shooting of a murder suspect are sent to bring back another suspect from the coast; also aboard their train is a crime kingpin, and one of the women in his entourage is similarly murdered . . . NOTE: Hollywood Beach is a restored 1956 sleeper-sun room lounge car under recent private ownership • Written & directed by Eric Straton; starring Frank Gorshin, David Regal, Rebecca Holden, Joe Loesch, Cosie Costa, Cecil Scaife, Gus Gillette, Randall Bentley, C.R. Bickerstaff, Arthur Cushman, Johnson West, Lisa Thornhill, Billy Ray Reynolds, Norm Hamburger, Pete Cummings, June Ormond, Cathy Martindale, Robert Ross, Sherytha Scaife, Gene Turnage • full credits at IMDb
Peter Pan Video color DVD [2/2005] out of prodn/used

Luxury on the Rails DVD from Pentrex  "Luxury On The Rails: Exploring The World of Privately-Owned Railroad Passenger Cars"
Eighteen private railroad cars met in Chicago to travel as the 'Dixie Flyer' to the 1999 American Association of Private Railroad Car Owners annual convention in Tampa, Florida and returned by a different route; filmmakers on board interviewed several owners • not listed at IMDb
62-minute Pentrex color DVD [2014] for $29.95
Pentrex color VHS [2000] out of prodn/used
Dome Car Magic History of Railroad Dome Cars  "Dome Car Magic: A History of Railroad Dome Cars" [2007]
A history of the glamorous railroad sightseeing cars, with archival film footage showing Burlington’s 1945 Silver Dome, the Empire Builder, Super Chief, North Coast Limited, Daylight, Capitol Limited, Denver Zephyr, City of Los Angeles, Canadian, & the California Zephyr - plus spectacular images of present-day dome cars on a variety of dinner and cruise trains, including the newest full-length 'bi-Level' domes operating in Alaska and Canada. • Produced by Richard Luckin; narrated by Michael Gross • not listed at IMDb
50-minute Travel Video Store color/b&w DVD [9/2015] for $19.95


Image  Gallery

night shot of observation car speeding thru the snow         placeholder #1          placeholder #2

HO-scale model of Pullman car in standard Pullman green livery         HO-scale model of C&NW Pullman car in yellow & green livery        HO-scale model of CB&Q Pullman car in maroon livery


L i n k s
The American Association of Private Railroad Car Owners, Inc. [est. 1979]
owner group Railroad Passenger Car Alliance based in Maryland
AO's 'Vacation by Rail: See America by Train' blogpost, 5/2011

McRail Insurance - a Borden Perlman Salisbury & Kelly company [est. 2000] of New Bethlehem, PA

Equipment  Sales  (sell + buy + want ads)  and  Leasing

Ozark Mountain Railcar rail equipment sales is based in Kirbyville, Missouri


here on the Private Railcars U.S.A. Page at Spirit of America Bookstore

top of page • short history • organizations • commercial railcar brokers • roster of private railcars •

Pullman • books • videos & other media • image gallery • links

Spirit of America Bookstore's American Railroads Pages

Spirit of America Bookstore's 'Railroads in Fiction' Pages
Spirit of America Bookstore's Railroads in Fiction - Books For Young Railfans Page

Spirit of America Bookstore's 'Non-Fiction Books About Railroads' Pages

Spirit of America Bookstore's Railroad Film Festival Pages

Spirit of America Bookstore's Railroad Equipment Pages

America's Shortline Railroads Page


G.E. Nordell's California Travel / Railroads Links Page
G.E. Nordell's Colorado Travel / Railroads Links Pages
G.E. Nordell's Nevada Travel / Railroads Links Page
G.E. Nordell's New Mexico Travel / Railroads Links Page
G.E. Nordell's Utah Travel / Railroads Links Page

G.E. Nordell's Travel U.S.A. / Railroad Museums Page

Online sales in association with  browse books on railroads at Amazon

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