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

Detroit Car Company

The Detroit Car CompanyŚnot to be confused with the Detroit Car & Manufacturing CompanyŚhad its beginnings sometime before 1872, as in that year it erected an extensive plant on Adair Street.

The Detroit city directory for 1873-4 lists the Detroit Car Works at the corner of Wight and Adair Streets, with E.C. Walker, President, Geo. H. Russel, Secretary & Treasurer, and David Sutherland, Manager. [255]

[This means it was probably related to the Russel Wheel & Foundry Company, as George Howard Russel was one of the founders of that company. It was apparently also related to the Hamtramck Iron Works, as it shares the advertisement page with the car works, and Walker and Russel are noted for the corresponding officerships.]

One authority [149] says it specialized in passenger cars.

Two of its earliest passenger cars were built for the famed Virginia & Truckee Railroad. In 1874, Detroit built combination cars #15 and #16 for caboose service on that line. At that time, cabooses were used for third class passengers as well as crew. Combination car #15 is presently at the Nevada State Railroad Museum. You can read more about it at their website. Combination car #16 is presently at the California Railroad Museum. You can read more about it at their website. White/Passenger-465 has a scale drawing of these cars.

As far as we know at the time this is written, it appears this company was out of business by 1876.

09 April 2006

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