Passenger Cars of the South Park

Officer Car #050


U.P. 1885 DL&G 1889 C&S 1899 C&S 1906
#050 #025 Rebuilt 1886 to U.P. Officers Car #06 Gone Gone
    Second #025 #B-3 #912

If you’re looking only for second #025, it has a page of its own.

These photos are positioned so that they can be viewed simultaneously. Questions: (a) Are these the same side of the same car? Or: (b) Are they opposite sides, but the locomotive is pulling one of them backward?

DSP&P Officer Car #050 at Georgetown Loop, 1884
The other side of #050

(1) Top, 29 March 1884    (2) Bottom, 18-30 months later

Photo #1 was taken 29 March 1884: the day before the line opened. Photo #2 was taken somewhere between mid-1885 and the time #050 was taken off the line in 1886. We know this because the locomotive pulling #050 has its post-1885 number painted on the tender. Both were staged by W.H. Jackson on the Georgetown Loop. Photo #1 can be found at Ferrell/C&S-27, Ferrell/SoPk-97(u), Hauck-82, Kindig-220, Mangan-134 and Wagner-12 (very small). Photo #2 can be found at Kindig-231, though it is a blow-up of a very small part of the overall photo.


“Officer” Car #050 (as it was called in the 1885 Union Pacific renumbering list) looks very much like one of the South Park's Pullman Palace sleeping cars, with its paired windows. (In fact,  Hauck {45} incorrectly identifies it as a South Park sleeper.) But all the South Park Pullman Palace sleeping cars had either a pair of windows at each end, or a single window where the pair would have been, whereas #050 has a trio. Photo #1 above is a relatively early one, as photos of South Park cars go, and shows the oval name panel very well. Just wish we could read it! (The highest resolution scan of which we are capable reveals just a blob. The smudging on the negative which appears to be the shadow of a tree doesnt help.)

Officer car #050 appears to have had slightly arched double pane windows, but the arch was purely decorative: a fascia over the window’s lintel, covering the upper corners of the flat window top, as shown in this detail of photo #4 below.

Wnidow Detail of S.P. Private Car #20

Besides the triple windows at each end, the thing that was distinctive about officer car #050 was its Baker Heater, which necessitates a circulating drum on the roof of the car. This was a reservoir for the water that circulated the heat from the cars furnace. Initially, we thought this was the boxy apparatus next to the smoke pipe in photo #1 above. So we drew the elevation below, even though that location did not agree with the location in the floor plan, which is based on the one in the 1885 renumbering list in Ehernberger/UP-55. This would place the heaters furnace smack in the middle of the washroom.

Drawing of Officer Car #050

Key to floor plan:  B = Baker Heater,  C = Closets,  I = Icebox,
K = Kitchen,  O = Office,  S = Sections,  T = Toilet,  W = Washroom.
(Click pic for enlargement.)

Discovery of photo #2 seemed to solve the problem, since the two smokestacks would be in approximately the right place for the Baker heater. Not only that, but the ventilator to their right appears to be in just about the right spot for the washroom. If we imagine we are now looking at the original side of the car, the smoke pipe would be in the corner of the office room: a very possible location for a stove. But why another stove, when the whole point of the Baker heater is to have circulating hot water heat? Then the next question, why two smokestacks, and where is the reservoir for the Baker heater? There could well be two smokestacks if one was for heating and the other for cooking, since this is, after all, the kitchen area. But then where's the reservoir for the heater?

There is a floor plan of the later car in Barger/UP, but it is too different to be of any help. So where do we go from here?


Our best explanation for the two photos on the prior page is that photo #1 represents the car as built, while photo #2 represents the car as rebuilt for service on the U.P. And that the rebuild was done not in 1886, but about the middle of 1885, so that the floor plan given in the renumbering list represents the rebuilt floor plan rather than the original floor plan. No one is quite sure of the date #050 was hijacked by the U.P.


23 August 2007

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