Passenger Cars of the South Park

The Pullman Sleeping Cars


1879 Oct -- Plan 73 South Park assigned to DSP&P (Chappell 40).
Nov -- Plan 73 Bonanza, San Juan and Leadville assigned to DSP&P (Poor 321)
1880 Jan issue of National Car Builder quoted by Poor-351 re Pullmans
Jun-Sep -- Plan 73A Advance, Argo and Rambler assigned to Utah & Northern.
Jul 21 - DSP&P schedules daily passenger service between Leadville and Denver.
1881 Mar 19 -- Gunnison Review reports train wreck involving sleeper (Poor-321).
Sep -- San Juan burns in Denver shops of DSP&P.
Sep -- Plan 73A Progress and Security assigned to Utah & Northern.
1882 Sep -- Plan 73A Hortense and Kenosha assigned to DSP&P.
Oct -- Sleeper service between Denver and Gunnison inaugurated (Poor-332)
Oct 7 -- RMN says UPRR just obtained shipment of new sleepers (Poor-321)(good quote)
Oct 22 -- Poor-321 quotes unknown newspaper re. wreck
1884 Poor 336 says "By 1884 the night train carrying the Pullman car [to Leadville] must have been dropped temporarily because the January 1885 Official Guide mentions only one daily train, operated on a daylight schedule."
May -- Association set up between UPRR & Pullman. UP got ¾ interest in 28 Pullman cars then in use on its lines (10 n.g.) thus ¾ of earnings went to RR and ¼ to Pullman.
1885 UPRR Annual Report dated 31 December 1885 noted “association” between UPRR & Pullman was established in 1884 (Poor 322)
1886 Public timetable shows Night Express, carrying sleepers for Leadville and Gunnison, leaving Denver at 8:30 p.m. Train splits at Como. Leadville section arrives Leadville at 7:15 a.m. Gunnison section arrives Gunnison 11:15 a.m. On return, Leadville section leaves Leadville 8:45 p.m. and Gunnison section leaves Gunnison 4:30 p.m. They combine at Como, arrive Denver at 7:00 a.m. (Poor 322).
1887 Jul -- Gunnison sleeper service discontinued; cut off at St. Elmo (Poor-322/332).
Nov -- CM and D&RG reach Aspen; remaining sleeper service on Gunnison Div. dropped (Poor-322).
1889 Advance and Security reassigned to D&RG service (1889-1892).
Jan -- Argo, Hortense and Kenosha withdrawn from UP Association and rebuilt for service in Mexico.
Aug - Bankrupt DSP&P reorganized as Denver, Leadville & Gunnison (still owned by U.P.).
Aug -- Employee timecard shows only one daylight run to Leadville - sleeper service apparently operated only due to seasonal demand (Poor 336).
1890 Apr - 12 other railroads owned by U.P. combined into Union Pacific, Denver & Gulf Railroad.
Proposal that the idle narrow gauge Pullmans be used on the night freight to Leadville was shelved. Used on specials, and on the Alpine excursions which involved over night travel for two nights.
1892 Mar -- Advance and Rambler sold to UPRR for service on UPD&G; reportedly "rebuilt" as coaches #174/#178, but doubtful if "rebuild" included removal of sleeping sections.
Mar -- Security, South Park, Bonanza and Leadville sold to UPRR.
Sep -- Security, South Park, Bonanza and Leadville sold to UPD&G to be used as coaches. Reassigned to #175/#176/#177/#179, but probably with little or no rebuilding of sleep sections
1893 Oct 13 - U.P. goes into receivership
Dec 12 - Trumbull is appointed receiver for UPD&G
1894 South Park rebuilt to business car #1
Aug 4 - Trumbull appointed receiver of BOTH DL&G and UPD&G
     Two operated almost as if one line from here on.
1896 Denver-Leadville sleeper service completely dropped (Poor 322/336).
Apr -- Gulf people offered to trade 3 10-sec sleepers to Pullman for 4 Tourist Sleepers.
May 22 -- Car #466 checked to see if usable (8'-2" at eaves)
May 25 -- OK'd deal for #466 at $1,250 exclusive of “equipment” became Gulf coach #193
1904 “Last two still equipped for sleeper service” (apparently Advance and Security) were placed in storage, one stripped of furnishings which were placed in the other, stored in the Golden roundhouse.
1906 Feb -- Advance and Security destroyed in fire at Denver shops
May 3 -- remaining 3 ex-Pullmans (#146 Bonanza, #147 Rambler, #148 Leadville) were delivered to Pullman shops at Denver to be rebuilt as coach-RPO
July 14 -- returned done #41-43 Costs ranged $2,285-2,402.
Aug 25 - 4th car delivered new from Pullman at $2,789 became #40
1928 Oct -- Bonanza retired
1929 Bonanza dismantled
Business car #910 (former San Juan) retired and dismantled
1939 Apr -- Leadville retired and dismantled
May -- Rambler retired and dismantled -- car body end Silica Branch (?)


The following description of the relationship between Pullman and the railroad is based on the finding of fact contained in PICKARD v. PULLMAN SOUTHERN CAR CO, 117 U.S. 34 (1886). This Supreme Court opinion can be found online.

Pullman, by contract, furnished sleeping cars to the railroad in numbers sufficient to meet the needs of its passengers. The contract was an exclusive one for a period of 15 years, and Pullman agreed to protect the railroad company against all liability for the infringement of any patent in the construction and use of the cars, and there was a provision for the termination of the contract by either party on a breach of it by the other.

Pullman performed maintenance and replacement of the cars carpets and upholstery, but all other maintenance and repairs were performed by the railroad.

The railroad hauled the Pullman cars on its passenger trains in a manner best suited to the needs of its passengers, provided fuel and material for lights, washed and cleaned the cars, and otherwise kept them in good order and repair, including replacement of worn-out parts. They were responsible for keeping them in first class condition, with the exception of the carpets, upholstery and bedding, and were to furnished room and conveniences for airing and storing bedding.

Pullman collected a fee from every person using one of their cars. This fee was collected at the railroads ticket office by its ticket agent as part of their regular duties, without charge to Pullman.

Pullman furnished employees on each car to collect fares for the accommodations furnished by the car and to wait upon passengers and provide for their comfort. These Pullman employees were governed by the rules adopted by the railroad to govern its own employees, and the railroad was liable for personal injury to, or the death of, any Pullman employee only insofar as they would have been if the Pullman employee had been their own employee. The railroad was indemnified by Pullman for all liability in excess of that amount. The railroad company carried these employees without charge, as well as any general officers of Pullman when on duty. Pullman, in turn, provided its facilities without charge to general officers of the railroad.


1865 Pullman Sleeper

The first Pullman car built as a sleeper was produced in 1865. The upper berths were slanted in toward the windows, providing more head room for daytime passengers. The upper deck on the roof was an innovation added with the design of this car; its windows provided ventilation. The Pullman Company began the practice of supplying sheets, blankets, and pillows, causing some difficulty with frequent passengers who were accustomed to sleeping in their boots and coats.

The First Pullman Car

The Chicago Historical Society says this is the first Pullman sleeping car (except that it then had four 4-wheel trucks as in the illustration above).


31 July 2006

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