SURVIVORS FROM THE GRAND ERA OF TRAVEL
“I was treated like royalty, my every need looked after and eating sumptuous meals…all the while traveling to my destination in this grand conveyance with manufactured air!” --Anonymous traveler, 1934
At the core of the Museum’s collection are some of the finest examples of Pullman passenger cars in the nation. Most of these cars came to the Museum directly from revenue service and are now among the most intact and original in existence. The Pullman Company maintained a mechanical department at Dallas Union Terminal from the time of the station's opening in 1916 until 1967. During the mid-1960s the Dallas coach yards also served as a storage facility for retired Pullmans awaiting disposition. Through the efforts of Sterling F. Eastin, Superintendent of Pullman’s Dallas Operations, the Museum was the recipient of several significant acquisitions. This included the 1926 Pullman 12-section 1-drawing room sleeping car Goliad, along with most of Dallas' repair parts inventory. Additional cars were acquired from the Texas & Northern Railroad which operated at the Lone Star Steel Plant near Dangerfield, Texas. Sleeping cars Glengyle and McQuaig were slated for use as dormitory space for steelworkers at the plant, although there is no evidence that this took place. These cars were likely among many headed to scrap at the plant, but instead were donated to the Museum in 1964. They are now among the most pristine examples of Pullmans in the nation. A fourth sleeping car, Glen Nevis, was donated by FreightMaster Industries of Fort Worth – a division of Haliburton that designed and manufactured draft gear cushion devices. Purchased from Pullman in 1965, the car was used as a rolling test bed for these devices, providing living quarters and an instrumentation and testing laboratory while in the consist of freight trains.
The Museum also maintains an outstanding collection of Pullman-built passenger cars other than sleepers, including lounges and coaches. Each car in the collection has its original 34-volt DC electrical system and mechanical or steam air conditioning - all still functional.
Through the preservation and exhibit of these outstanding pieces, the Museum can immerse visitors in the functional, yet plush surroundings of travel by Pullman. Interpretation of these cars includes the remarkable story of George Pullman’s first palace cars and his Chicago factory & company town of 1884. Exhibits also celebrate the incomparable travel experience by millions of Americans aboard sleeping cars, as well as the legacy of Pullman Porters and their contribution to the advancement of civil rights.
We are indebted to Museum founders Everett DeGolyer, Jr. and Joseph Rucker, Jr. for their foresight and perseverance in preserving these outstanding examples of Pullman sleeping cars. Both gentlemen traveled exclusively by Pullman, and had a great understanding and appreciation of the need to preserve and interpret such an important aspect of American history.
Interior of Pullman sleeping car "McQuaig" - 12-section, 1-drawing room configuration built to Plan 3410, Lot 3867 April, 1925 Donated by Texas & Northern Railroad, 1964.
The Historic Pullman Collection includes:
Pullman General Service Cars:
7-Compartment/2- Drawing Room Sleeping Car "Glengyle," Lot 3867, Plan 2522, 1910
12-Section/1-Drawing Room Sleeping Car "McQuaig," Lot 4845, Plan 3410, 1925
6-Compartment/3-Drawing Room Sleeping Car "Glen Nevis," Lot 4922, Plan 3523A, 1925
12-Section/1-Drawing Room Sleeping Car "Goliad," Lot 4945, Plan 3410A, 1926
Pullman-Built Passenger Cars:
Fort Worth & Denver Business Car "Texland," ex-C&S Cafe Observation, 1900
Santa Fe Railway Parlor-Club Car #3231, Lot 4255, 1914
Texas & Pacific Railway RPO - Baggage Car #916, Built as Coach-Baggage, Lot 4502, 1918
Texas & Pacific Railway #1143 Coach (Modernized), Lot 4569, 1920
Santa Fe Railway Lounge - Barber Shop - Dormitory Car "San Bartolo" #1363, Lot 4807, 1926
Santa Fe Railway Lightweight Coach Observation Car #3197, Lot 6601, Plan 7428, 1940
"Glen Nevis": Life After Pullman
Perhaps one of the most interesting careers led by our Pullman cars is that of "Glen Nevis." One of the "Glen" series cars, it began life as a 6-compartment, 3-drawing room first class sleeping car used primarily on Seabord’s Orange Blossom Special between New York and Miami. Named after a celebrated architect of the time who was known for designing fine hotels, Glen Nevis offered the finest in Pullman accommodations. After a long career, the car was among many older heavyweight Pullmans sold for scrap in the mid-1960s – a victim of the decline in rail passenger service and newer, streamlined sleeping cars.
Rather than being scrapped, Glen Nevis was purchased in 1965 by FreightMaster Industries of Fort Worth, a division of Haliburton. The car was extensively rebuilt and reconfigured for use as a rolling research facility for FreightMaster's draft gear cushion devices. Sporting new reporting marks of HWCR-1 Research Car, the former Glen Nevis traveled extensively throughout the U.S. providing important data to FreightMaster’s engineers who traveled along with the car. The car’s reconfiguration included the removal of four accommodations – one drawing room and three compartments. One room was converted into a kitchen while the other three were opened up into an instrumentation room outfitted with the latest computers.
Engineers slept in the remaining accommodations and enjoyed meals prepared by an onboard cook while gathering important data for product development. The car was used through the 1980s and was finally retired by FreightMaster when computer simulation replaced field testing. It was donated to the Museum in 1997 and restored to its original 1926 appearance including the application of its original name. FreightMaster Industries was sold by Haliburton in 1989 to Progress Rail, and the Fort Worth plant closed in 2009. With its exterior restored to the original appearance, Glen Nevis remains fully serviceable and makes periodic trips outside the confines of the Museum.