Builders of Wooden Railway Cars ... and some of other stuff

J. G. Brill & Company - Page 2

A Gallery of Brill’s Most Notable Cars


Brill Convertible Car

Brill Convertible Advertisement

Brill called this their “non-hibernating” car. They apparently thought of it as an open car that could be closed in winter. Others may have judged it a closed car that could be opened up for summer use by means of removable side panels — primitive air-conditioning. (100 Years of Railroad Cars)


Brill Semi-Convertible Car

Brill Semi-Convertible Car

Introduced in 1902, the "semi-convertible" was used in all parts of the country. Both upper and lower window sash raised up into the roof to give better air flow in summer, making removable side panels unnecessary. (100 Years of Railroad Cars) Patent drawing below shows window pockets.

Cross Section Drawing of Semi-Convertible Car


Brill “Narragansett” Car

Brill Naragansett Car

Open-sided cars were a summer-time favorite in the days before air-conditioning (and still are, as any trolley museum volunteer can tell you). But they typically required a long step-up to the running board. Brills answer was a patented two-step arrangement that made life easier for women in tight skirts and safer for children. (Above, 1911 Electric Railway Dictionary — below, Trolley Car Treasury)

Narragansett cars that once ran in Brazil are on display at the Electric City Trolley Museum in Scranton, Pennsylvania, and the Midwest Electric Railway Association at Mt. Pleasant, Iowa. The City of New Orleans reportedly owns one of these Brazilian cars, which it planned to restore, but the report is several years old.


Brill Snowbrooms

Brill 1907 snowbroom

Brill constructed about 360 snowbroom cars. While other companies favored a single rotating brush (or two parallel segments) under only the front or the middle of the car, Brill preferred to have a broom at each end covering only one rail and half the track, with both brooms operating at the same time. This is a 1907 model. (Pedro Milheiro collection)


Brill High-speed Articulated Cars

Brill High-speed Articulated Car

In 1926, Brill built ten of these heavy and fast articulated trains for the Washington, Baltimore & Annapolis Electric Railroad. They were 97'-4" long, weighed 116,770 lbs., and seated 94 passengers. (100 Years of Railroad Cars)


Brill High-speed Bullet Car

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The Brilliner 

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09 April 2006

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