Passenger Cars of the South Park

Coach #2 - Denver

DSP&P U.P. 1885 DL&G 1889 C&S 1899 C&S 1906
#2 Burned 1880 Gone Gone Gone
2nd #2 #55 Dropped from roster 1887 Gone Gone

We have no photo we can identify as coach #2. It is quite possible one or more of the very dark photos we identify as coach-baggage car #1 are actually of coach #2.


Two different cars bore the #2.  (See HISTORY below.)

First #2 probably looked very much like coach-baggage car #1 but without the baggage door, since it appears that coach-baggage car #1 was a coach with baggage door added.

Second #2 was a hand-me-down from the New York Elevated Railroad which arrived on the scene shortly after first #2 burned, and for some reason was slipped into the empty spot on the roster, while its five sister cars received the current numbers #11-15. No one knows for sure what these cars looked like, though there is a great deal of speculation. (See Coach(s) #11-15.)


Coach #2 was built by the Hallack & Bro. Lumber Company, to whom the South Park had let contracts for its first freight cars. The Denver Daily Times of March 18, 1874 reported the railroad had contracted with Halleck for construction of 40 freight cars, one first class passenger car, and one first class baggage car. {36}

Hallack & Brother was a lumber, millwork and hardware firm, with no experience at building anything. Why did they get the contract? Perhaps it had something to do with the brothers being major stockholders in the South Park. (Poor shows E.F. Hallack as a Director of the Corporation in 1879.[34])

But in fact, the early cars Hallack built (freight as well as passenger cars) were probably constructed from assemblies obtained from eastern car builders. Most car builders of the time built cars in pieces that could be conveniently shipped either overseas or domestically, and assembled on-site. Jackson & Sharp was one of these, and some believe they supplied the parts for the cars built by Hallack. It is also possible the assemblies were produced by Barney & Smith, as the South Park apparently turned to them for their next major order of freight and passenger cars (1878).

Coach #2 was delivered to the South Park 5 August 1874, just one month after coach-baggage #1, and was immediately put to work on the Morrison line. For the next four years the two were the only passenger cars owned by the South Park. Like coach-baggage #1, coach #2 was given a name, and what could be more fitting than the town for which the railroad was named, Denver? The two little cars were undoubtedly quite busy, running two round trips per day on the 16 mile railroad.

On 3 March 1880, Denver was destroyed by fire at Buena Vista. (Fires were an ever-present risk in these wooden cars, jolting down uneven tracks with stoves glowing red-hot. One railroad’s Master Car Builder referred to the stoves as abominations.”) Denver was immediately replaced as #2 on the roster by one of the cars newly acquired from the New York Elevated Railroad. Second #2 inherited the number, but not the name, as times had changed, and only Pullman sleepers were being named by 1880.

Second #2 was built by Gilbert, Bush & Company in 1872, and apparently ran on the New York Elevated Railroad until sold to the South Park in February 1880. When received by the South Park in May, it no doubt had to be equipped with steps for ground level loading. Second #2 was renumbered to #55 in the 1885 Union Pacific renumbering, and apparently kept that number in the Denver, Leadville & Gunnison era. It was dropped from equipment and the roster slot declared vacant December 1887, with no reason given.



We are aware of no plans for coach #2. Regarding photos and/or plans for second #2, see Coach(s) 11-15.


We have no summary data for coach #2 since it did not survive to 1885. For summary data on second #2, see Coach(s) 11-15.

08 April 2006

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