Passenger Cars of the Colorado Central

Chair Cars #11 & #12

CCRR U.P. 1885 UPD&G 1890 C&S 1899 C&S 1902 C&S 1906
#11 #190 #190 #149   #61
#12 #191 #191 #150 Coach-baggage #130 #30

Colorado Central Chair Car #11

(1) Colorado Central chair car #11 above Breckenridge on the DSP&P ca. 1885. After the Union Pacific assumed control, it was not unusual for CC cars to be seen on the DSP&P and vice versa. Photo at Digerness2-124, Kindig-399(u) and Ferrell/SoPk-175.


Chair cars #11 and #12 originally had 11 widely-spaced double-pane windows on each side, with the two at the end slightly squeezed together and slightly set apart from the others (easily seen in the photo below). Below the windows was a belt-rail that ran the length of the car. They had broken duckbill platform overhangs and the flat eaves that go with them. Both originally had stoves at both ends. By the standards of the day they were fairly long at 42' over endsills.

UPD&G Coach #190 c. 1895

(2) UPD&G coach #191 at Atlantic in the late 1890s. Notice the tank beside the smokejack characteristic of the Baker heater. Photo at Digerness2-322, Ferrell/SoPk-153 and  Speas-80. A similar photo, where only the people have moved, is at Helmers-157(d), Kindig-311(u) and online (Image CHS-B117 or CHS-B273 in the Denver Public Library's Western History Collection).


Chair cars #11 and #12 were reportedly built by the Ohio Falls Car Manufacturing Company of Jeffersonville, Indiana, in 1879. They were most likely acquired by the Colorado Central sometime in 1881 or 1882, as they were numbered after coaches #8, #9 and #10, which were built by the Union Pacific in December 1880, and presumably delivered straightway to the CCRR. That this is the case is supported by the fact that Ohio Falls widely advertised the availability of ready-made cars which they kept on hand partially or completely built, awaiting only lettering for the particular road.

As far as we know, the two cars were alike when received and were still sufficiently similar to be characterized together when renumbered by the U.P. in 1885. They received the two highest numbers among coaches: #11 became chair car #190 and #12 became chair car #191. The two cars retained their U.P. numbers under Union Pacific Denver & Gulf auspices.

UPD&G #45 (left) and UPD&G #190 (right)

(3) UPD&G chair car #190 (right) on the High Bridge with UPD&G coach-baggage #45. Photo at Kindig-233(d). Kindigs caption says this is UPD&G #161, but there was no such car, and it is unmistakably one of the two former Colorado Central chair cars.

We can see from photo #2 above that #12/#191 had a baker heater by the late 1890s, which means it was probably still a chair car, because Baker heaters were a luxury generally not “wasted” on merely a first class coach. We don’t know, but we can surmise that #11was probably similarly equipped

By the time they became the possession of the Colorado & Southern in 1899, they may have had their chair car seats replaced by ordinary coach seats, as their new numbers were in the midst of other coaches. UPD&G coach #190 became #149 on the C&S roster, and #191 became #150.

C&S #149

(4) C&S coach #149, place and date unknown, but probably before the turn of the century, as the roof has not yet been rebuilt from its original broken-duckbill contour. This is the opposite side from photo #2.


29 September 2006

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