Passenger Cars of the South Park

Bonanza, Leadville, San Juan - Page 2


U.P. 1885 UPD&G 1892 C&S 1899 C&S 1906
Pullman Bonanza Pullman Bonanza Coach #177 Coach #146 / Coach-RPO #116 #41
Pullman Leadville Pullman Leadville Coach #179 Coach #148 / Coach-RPO #118 #43
San Juan
Burned 1881 Gone Gone Gone

Pullman Palace sleepers converted to coaches

(2) Since the car on the left appears to be former plan 73 Pullman (now coach) South Park [note the twin “stacks”], and plan 73 Pullman San Juan had burned in 1881, the car second from left must be one of the other two plan 73 Pullmans, Bonanza or Leadville, during their short careers as coaches #177 and #179. This scene is part of a photo by H.H. Buckwalter, taken at the Atlantic Siding in 1894. It can be found at Digerness2-322, Ferrell/SoPk-153, Kindig-311(u) and Speas-80. The one in Digerness is by far the best, being a large two-page spread.

HISTORY (Continued)

By 1890 there must have been no sleeper service left, because it was proposed that the idle narrow gauge Pullmans be used on the night freight to Leadville. The idea was shelved, perhaps because of the absurdity of someone trying to sleep at the end of a train of freight cars jerked along by link-and-pin couplings. The only use of the Pullmans was on specials, and on the Alpine excursions which involved overnight travel for two nights.

In March 1892, Bonanza and Leadville, together with the remaining sleeper South Park, were sold by the Association to the Union Pacific Railroad. All three were converted to coaches, and in September of that year sold to the Union Pacific, Denver & Gulf. DSP&P Pullman Bonanza became UPD&G coach #177, while Leadville became #179.

UPD&G Coach #177 at Roscoe, 1898

(3) UPD&G coach #177 at Roscoe on the Clear Creek line in 1898. (Mangan says 1896.) Harry Buckwalter photo at Digerness3-339, Hauck-98(u), Poor-281(u)(ME) and Mangan-346.

We dont know which of the lines coaches #177 and #179 were used on. By this time, the boundaries between the DSP&P and the UPD&G had become thoroughly blurred (if, indeed, they had ever been clear since the U.P. incursion of 1884). In 1899 the Colorado & Southern renumbered #177 to #146 and #179 to #148.

In May of 1906 (apparently before the C&S renumbering), three ex-Pullmans (now UPD&G coaches) #146 (former Bonanza), #147 (former Utah & Northern Rambler) and #148 (former Leadville) were delivered to the Pullman shops at Denver to be rebuilt as combination coach-RPO cars. On July 14, they were returned as combination coach-RPO cars #116-118, and almost immediately renumbered #41-43. Cost of the conversions ranged from $2,285 to $2,402.

It was likely during this rebuild that coach-mail cars #41 and #43 were equipped with Spear Anti-Clinker Heaters. These were an arrangement somewhat like the more modern convection furnace. They were two of only five cars to have this device, the others being coach-mail cars #40 and #42, and coach #77.

These cars were probably used for RPO service only until 1912, for in that year the Post Office Department created standards for mail cars, and baggage-mail cars #10-13 were rebuilt with the new standard 15' mail compartment.

Oddly enough—not that it makes much difference—authorities disagree on just when coach-RPO car #41 (former Bonanza) was dismantled. Wagner’s roster says October 1928, and Martin, writing in Poole, follows this. Ferrell says March 1929, while Poor says May 1929. Perhaps #41 was retired October 1928 and dismantled in March or May of the following year. To add to the confusion, a photo at Kindig-264 is captioned combination car 41, standing on the ground … one-time station on this (Silica) branch, but at p. 338 it says mail-coach #42 was dismantled 1939, body sold and now (1959) at end of Silica Branch.

C&S coach-RPO #43 (former Leadville) was dismantled April 1939 and the body sold.


13 April 2006

DSP&P Home DSP&P Car Locator UP/DL&G Car Loc. C&S Car Locator Carbuilder Locator DSP Fleet Info. Car-Bldr. Dictionary C&S Bibliography C&S Links C&S Car Website CC Car Website Carbuilder Website