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Passenger Equipment

Eric Hopp

Great Northern A-11

Streamlined Business Car

Prior to about 1924, the Great Northern owned and operated its own sleeping car fleet for overnight accomodations. (On most railroads, sleeping cars were owned and staffed by the George M. Pullman company, under contract.)

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Great Northern 1084 (Twin Ports)

Streamlined Buffet-Parlor-Observation Car
The “Twin Ports” began life as Pullman pool car “Natalie”. She was outshopped in August, 1924 at Pullman’s factory near Chicago. Built to plan 3416 in lot 4801, she was a one drawing room, 28 chair parlor car. Her interior steel was painted in simulated wood-grained red mahogany. She rode on “242” clasp brake trucks with pivoted equalizers and pedestals cast integral with the frame, wheel base 11′ – 0″. Air brakes were type UC, with one body-mounted 18″ cylinder. It had type-D couplers. Air conditioning was Pullman mechanical. Heating was Vapor steam radiant. It was a classic “heavyweight” car, riveted together from mild steel, with a deep center sill and painted Pullman green. Pullman retired her from active duty in April 1938.
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Milwaukee 502

Streamlined Coach

Milwaukee Road No. 502 was built in the company shops for the post-war Hiawathas. It was one of seventeen (498-514) built outshopped between January and February of 1948 for the Twin Cities, Midwest, and Chippewa Hiawathas. It had 52 seats, men’s and women’s lounges and restrooms, and steam-ejector air conditioning. The exterior featured smooth sides (a departure from pre-war rib-sided Milwaukee practice,) the round windows typical of the Milwaukee, and welded-on grab irons. The body was orange with red bands along the windows and the letterboard. The roof was grey, and the undercarriage black. By the vestibule door was a spiffy three-dimensional aluminum “Hiawatha” logo. The lettering was gold leaf with black trim. 502’s inside was predominately blond woodwork, with polished aluminum “Hiawatha” logos on either side of the doors at the ends of the passenger compartment.

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Great Northern 265

Streamlined Baggage

GN 265’s story starts on January 28th, 1908, when Barney & Smith delivered a wooden, truss-rod dining car numbered GN 7109. It was one of 32 identical cars ordered from both Pullman and Barney & Smith, and delivered between 1905 and 1911. 7109 was 75′ 11″ long, weighed 120,000 lbs, and could serve thirty hungry passengers at a time. Had 7109 arrived on the property just two years earlier, it would have been numbered 729, following 719-724 and 726, delivered in 1905 and 1906, which had just been renumbered 7100-7106.

Northern Pacific / Chicago Burlington & Quincy 598

Northern Pacific / Chicago Burlington & Quincy 598

Streamlined Coach

CB&Q 598 is one of twelve streamlined “Day-Nite” coaches built in 1946 for the Northern Pacific’s premier Chicago-Twin Cities-Seattle “North Coast Limited.” They seated 56, and featured leg-rests and reclining seats.

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Chicago Burlington & Quincy 4709 (Silver Castle)

Streamlined Dome Coach

The “Silver Castle” is the newest member of MTM’s passenger car fleet, having arrived at the Jackson Street Roundhouse on July 1st, 2014.

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Great Northern 1096

Streamlined Coach

1096 is one of two identical Great Northern, ex-C&NW “400” streamlined coaches owned by the Minnesota Transportation Museum.

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Great Northern 1097

Streamlined Coach

1097 is one of two identical Great Northern, ex-C&NW “400” streamlined coaches owned by the Minnesota Transportation Museum.

Great Northern 1213

Great Northern 1213

Streamlined Coach

On June 11th, 1929, the Great Northern introduced a new premier train, the “Empire Builder,” connecting Chicago with Seattle, Tacoma, and Portland via the Twin Cities and Glacier National Park. It was named for James J. Hill, founder of the Great Northern. Through the great depression and the second world war, equipment was typically twelve to fourteen all-steel, all roller-bearing heavyweight cars built by Pullman, pulled by powerful 4-8-2 or 4-8-4 steam locomotives, or massive electrics in the mountain districts. One way, the trip took 62 hours.

photo by Walt Grosselfinger, URHS

Great Northern 1215

Streamlined Coach

Like GN 1213, 1215 and 1224 were built for the 1951 Mid-Century “Empire Builder.” However, they differed in several important ways. 1213 was a 60-seat coach for short-distance passengers, with two restrooms/lounges and a small office for the conductor. It was one of six (1209-1214 – one in each of the six train sets,) and was built by ACF. 1215 and 1224 were 48-seat leg-rest coaches for long-distance passengers, with two women’s rooms and a single men’s room/lounge. They were two of eighteen (1215-1232 – three in each of the six train sets,) and were built by Pullman. See 1213’s page for more about the Empire Builder train.

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Great Northern 1224

Streamlined Coach

Like GN 1213, 1215 and 1224 were built for the 1951 Mid-Century “Empire Builder.” However, they differed in several important ways. 1213 was a 60-seat coach for short-distance passengers, with two restrooms/lounges and a small office for the conductor. It was one of six (1209-1214 – one in each of the six train sets,) and was built by ACF. 1215 and 1224 were 48-seat leg-rest coaches for long-distance passengers, with two women’s rooms and a single men’s room/lounge. They were two of eighteen (1215-1232 – three in each of the six train sets,) and were built by Pullman. See 1213’s page for more about the Empire Builder train.

photo by Eric Hopp

MNTX 2232

Commuter Coach

History

Originally Erie-Lakawanna 3232, this car dates to about the 1920’s. The Minnesota Transportation Museum purchased it from the Freemont & Elkhorn Valley in 1993. The purple color is actually faded Tuscan Red. Sharp-eyed viewers from the Twin Cities area may think “The Mighty Limited” logo at the near end looks familiar. It should. This car starred in that television commercial.

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Rock Island 2529

Commuter Coach

2529 is one of three Rock Island commuter coaches owned by the Minnesota Transportation Museum. It was one of fifty built in 1925 by the Standard Steel Car Company. Numbered 2500-2549, they were known as “Capone” cars. After decades in Chicago commuter service it was acquired by MTM in 1981. It has been placed on a display track at the Jackson Street Roundhouse, where it will be a lecture and lunch area for groups visiting MTM’s new museum there. Its restoration is in progress – passers-by will notice it has a fresh coat of paint but no lettering yet. The other two, 2604 and 2608, are slightly newer and have been restored to operation and are regularly used on Osceola & St. Croix Valley passenger trains.

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Rock Island 2604

Commuter Coach

Starting in 1865, the Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific operated a commuter service on its line south out of Chicago. Service reached Joliet by 1907. Early equipment was wooden coaches pulled by Forney-type steam locomotives. In 1923, the service was upgraded with fifty steel coaches (2500-2549) built by Standard Steel Car Company. These were followed in 1927-28 by another 50 (2550-2599) from Standard Steel. These featured roller-bearing axles, which were extremely modern for their day.

Rock Island 2608

Rock Island 2608

Commuter Coach

Starting in 1865, the Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific operated a commuter service on its line south out of Chicago. Service reached Joliet by 1907. Early equipment was wooden coaches pulled by Forney-type steam locomotives. In 1923, the service was upgraded with fifty steel coaches (2500-2549) built by Standard Steel Car Company. These were followed in 1927-28 by another 50 (2550-2599) from Standard Steel. These featured roller-bearing axles, which were extremely modern for their day.

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Great Northern 1146

Streamlined Buffet-Parlor-Observation Car

Great Northern 1146 was ordered as part of the complete upgrading of the heavyweight Seattle to Vancouver ‘Puget Sounder’. This was a four-hour service operated two times a day, each way. Two complete sets of new lightweight, streamlined equipment were first ordered in 1946 and greatly anticipated. It was not delivered until June of 1950, however, because the car builders were extremely busy with a post-war business boom. To match the all-new equipment, the service was also given a new name; the ‘International’, and upgraded to three trips a day.

Great Northern 16

Great Northern 16

Heater Car

Steam Heat Car GN 16 was originally a locomotive. It was built by EMD in October, 1948 as GN 306B, builder’s number 4825 – the center unit of the only A-B-A F3 locomotive the GN owned. Power was provided by a 1500-hp 16-567-B spinning at 800 rpm at full power, a 1050kw D12 main generator, and four 284kw D17 traction motors. Intended for freight, it had no steam heat capabilities. The whole three-unit locomotive delivered 4500 horse power.

Great Northern X757

Great Northern X757

Drover’s Coach

Great Northern X-757 was originally St. Paul, Minneapolis, & Manitoba first-class vestibule coach number 26. It was outshopped by Barney & Smith on June 24, 1893, and received by the railroad five days later. The cost, including shipping, was $5,357.61.

Great Northern 480

Great Northern 480

Heavyweight Baggage Car

In July 1917, the Pullman company built a twelve-section, one drawing room sleeper named “Tasmania” for their nation-wide sleeping car service. It was part of lot 4503, built to plan 2410 F. Mechanically, it rode on cast steel, clasp brake trucks, had dual LN brake systems with 16″ cylinders, vapor heat, and type-D couplers. Inside it was painted in solid colors, rather than simulated wood. In March 1943, they rebuilt it into tourist sleeper 2549.

photo by Eric Hopp

DSS&A 101

Wooden Baggage-Mail-Express Car

When the Minnesota Transportation Museum purchased 101 in 1987, it was part of a set of wooden work train cars and numbered “SOOR 1474”. The Soo Line had inherited in when it absorbed the Duluth, South Shore, & Atlantic. In 1964 it went to the Bridge & Building department. The “R” in the road name indicates “Haul in rear of train” – probably because of its age.

photo by Eric Hopp

Chicago & North Western 8676

Baggage-Express

A good 1959 in-service picture may be found on page seven of “Chicago & North Western Passenger Train Equipment” by Patrick C. Dorin. It’s most note-worthy features are a near-featureless roof line (a smooth-welded clerestory, with no visible joints, rivets, or overhangs – only the occasional ventilator,) it’s short length (63′ 11″,) and lack of buffer plates or diaphragms.

photo from Doug Hodgedon Collection

Minneapolis, Northfield & Southern Gopher

Business Car

This business car has a fascinating history. Probably built in the 1890’s, it was the private car of a lumber company’s general manager, first in Michigan and later near Duluth, Minnesota. In 1925 it went to MN&S co-owner Win Stephens, who stretched it like a limo for entertaining Detroit automobile executives. In the 1947 photo above, it is seen on a duck hunting trip in North Dakota.

Duluth Missabe & Iron Range 30

Duluth Missabe & Iron Range 30

Heavyweight Coach

History

Duluth Missabe & Iron Range is a classic heavyweight coach from Minnesota’s iron mining country, built in 1918. When acquired by MTM in 1983, it had been been in maintenance-of-way service. (Thus the red paint, “W30” number, covered-over windows, and missing interior.)

Northern Pacific 1370

Northern Pacific 1370

Heavyweight Coach

In 1915 the Northern Pacific Railway bought 33 new First Class Coaches from the Pullman Company. These cars, Nos. 1200 through 1232, were put into service on the Northern Pacific’s top trains, the North Coast Limited and the Northern Pacific Express/Atlantic Express.

SOO 1472

SOO 1472

Heavyweight Dining Car

Little is known about the history of this car, other than it was part of a Soo Line work train picked up by MTM in 1987. Other cars in the train included baggage-RPO DSS&A 101, sleeper 693, nearly-identical sleeper 725, and coach 1476. (These numbers may be inaccurate – peeled paint is hard to read.)