Passenger Cars of the South Park

Coach-Baggage #26


U.P. 1885 DL&G 1889 C&S 1899 C&S 1906
#26 #705 #705 #127 #26

This may be coach #10 after conversion to a coach-baggage car
Close-up of Car Number

(1) We originally identified this car as coach #10, which was early on converted to a coach-baggage car. But the above extreme close-up of the number, located below the 6th window from the back (right) of the car certainly appears to be a 20-something, likely either 0, 6 or 8. Remember in looking at the close-up that the number slants downward to the left at the same angle as the upper photo. (The dots are from the paper on which the picture is printed.)

(2) Below is a photo of the other side of the same car, and below it are two  extreme close-ups of the number below the 6th window from the back (left) of the car. Again remember the number slants downward, this time to the right, at the same angle as the car in the full-size photo. What do you think? Is it a 20, 26 or a 28? (Hint: Both DSP&P car #20 and car #28 were coaches throughout their lifetime.

This may be coach #10 after conversion to a coach-baggage car


Ken Martin blow-up of number on car
Image of  Car Number

Photo #1 was taken by W.H. Jackson sometime in the 1880s. It can be found at Chappell-55(u), Ferrell/SoPk-277(d), Kindig-300, Speas-60 and online (Image CHS.J908, X-8327 or WHJ-823 in the Denver Public Librarys Western History Collection).

Photo #2 was taken by W.H. Jackson in the 1880s at London Junction. It can be found at Chappell-55(d), Digerness2-265, Ferrell/SoPk-277(u), Poor-272(u)(ME), Speas-61, and online (Image MCC-3235 or CHS.J910 in the Denver Public Library's Western History Collection) and online at The Narrow Gauge Circle, Ted Kierscey Collection Image 00446.


Coach-baggage #26—if indeed the car in the photographs above is #26—was originally a 40'-0" long car with 11 square, double-pane windows, two or more of which were probably in the baggage compartment. It looked rather like a 14 window coach with a baggage door replacing the 2nd and 3rd windows from one end. It appears that, like DSP&P coach-baggage #6, the single window between the baggage door and the end of the car was replaced with a solid panel.

The baggage door extended up through the narrow letterboard to the eave line. The car had end platforms at both ends, and the platform roofs had the duckbill profile of a bygone era (and appears to be the only South Park car to have had it). Each window had a separate sill; there was no hint of a beltrail. The stove in the baggage end was in the opposite corner from the one in the passenger end. There was something that looked like a battery box just ahead of the rear truck.

DLG #705 between 1889-1999 ... maybe

(3) Is this the same car? Can’t be sure of the roof contours, but the windows, door, clerestory, narrow letterboard and flat eaves sure match! J.B. Sturtevant photo at Ferrell/SoPk-229(u).


According to our best information, coach-baggage car #26 was built in 1879 by the Ohio Falls Car Company of Jeffersonville, Indiana. It appears to have been received by the South Park and entered on its roster in middle to late 1880. There are two possible explanations for this:

1.   the Ohio Falls Car Company was one of the few—if not the only—car builder that offered off-the-shelf cars. All others built cars only to order. This might explain why coach-baggage #26 had the duckbill roof that was long out of style.
2.   some authorities think this car was built for the ATSF and acquired by the South Park along with the Bowers-Dure coaches. We don’t know at this point what evidence there is for this, so we are in no position to evaluate the assertion.

Some authorities also believe that car #26 was a coach when acquired and rebuilt as a combination car before the 1885 renumbering, at which time it was given a coach-baggage number. Again we dont know at this point what evidence there is for this, so we are in no position to evaluate the argument. But an early rebuild would explain why the early photos show a car that looks like a coach-with-a-baggage-door (similar to #1 and #6). It may even be that the Ohio Falls company itself had an old coach on hand and inserted a baggage door to fill the South Park’s order for a combination car.

In any event, at the time of the 1885 Union Pacific renumbering, car #26 was a coach-baggage car, and was renumbered #705, a number it kept under the Denver Leadville and Gunnison. When received by the C&S in 1899, it was renumbered #127.

According to the passenger car diagram for C&S coach-baggage #26, it was rebuilt in 1893 by the UP. This must have been one heck of a rebuild, for a 1902 photo of C&S #127 shows a substantially different car.


08 April 2006

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