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Nostalgia & History > lightweight slpr - bedrooms


Date: 11/21/12 19:17
lightweight slpr - bedrooms
Author: MEKoch

Since heritage (lightweight) sleeping cars basically disappeared in this past generation, we have a whole group of railfans who do not know what sleeping car bedrooms even looked like. They only know Superliners and Viewliners, unless they have been on VIA's Canadian. So I am posting a few pics of bedrooms; then roomettes, etc. Most all were taken by Amtrak in the early 70s as training pics.

Pullman bedrooms were basically two styles: bedrooms & compartments. Both rooms on Amtrak had enclosed bathrooms. The only exceptions I know about were ATSF Regal series cars where the toilet folded out from under the sink.

Bedrooms had beds which lay across the train car. Typcially the lower berth was a couch which folded down into the bed. The upper berth folded up at an angle, and was released to come down by a pullman key. The ladder was stored in the upper berth.

Compartments had beds which were parallel to the direction of the train. Like a roomette seat, the lower bed folded down over the seat. Then the upper berth was released with a pullman key to lower on tracks/cables to come down. Some compartment designs had the sink in the bedroom area.

Bedrooms and compartments were often in pairs, with a removable wall in between. A porter could fold back the wall, so that one had a bedroom suite with four beds.

Drawing rooms were rare birds. They had usually three beds, two of which were lower berths.








Date: 11/21/12 19:18
Re: lightweight slpr - bedrooms
Author: MEKoch

1-3: Pictured above are bedroom style rooms with the large couch which folds down into a bed.

4-6: Here are compartment seats and lower berths.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 11/21/12 19:24 by MEKoch.








Date: 11/21/12 19:30
Re: lightweight slpr - bedrooms
Author: MEKoch

7-9: Here are Seaboard Coast Line publicity shots of bedrooms








Date: 11/21/12 19:36
Re: lightweight slpr - bedrooms
Author: MEKoch

10: Enclosed bathroom. 11 Enclosed bathroom with sink in room. 12: Compartment








Date: 11/21/12 19:40
Re: lightweight slpr - bedrooms
Author: MEKoch

13-15: Heat & light controls








Date: 11/21/12 19:45
Re: lightweight slpr - bedrooms
Author: MEKoch

16: sleeping car attendant letting down the upper berth of a bedroom
17: room controls advice plate
18: each room had a shoe box; you placed your shoes in the box when retiring to bed; the porter shined your shoes during the night and you had spiffy shined shoes in the morning!








Date: 11/21/12 19:46
Re: lightweight slpr - bedrooms
Author: MEKoch

I will do roomettes and other rooms in future days.



Date: 11/21/12 20:09
Re: lightweight slpr - bedrooms
Author: coach

Shined shoes by morning??!

Just imagine trying to explain this level of service to today's AMTRAK sleeping car attendants. I won't even call them porters...



Date: 11/21/12 20:38
Re: lightweight slpr - bedrooms
Author: wpdude

So, just askin', but how wide are the lower beds in the current Superliners. The Mrs. has never gone overnight on a train, but she says she's up for the adventure. I'm thinking of getting a bedroom, which looks like the biggest room?



Date: 11/21/12 21:17
Re: lightweight slpr - bedrooms
Author: peddler

The Santa Fe Pine and Palm cars, both 10-6, had two styles of bedrooms.

1. The top illustration shows a bedroom which has a "sofa seat with movable
chair" while the bottom illustration shows a bedroom with a "sofa."
2. A diagram of the bedroom portion of a Pine car.

The layout of a bedroom with a "sofa seat" and a compartment were basically
the same except the compartment had more floor space.

peddler






Date: 11/21/12 22:17
Re: lightweight slpr - bedrooms
Author: knotch8

Peddler is correct. I remember many, many sleepers that had bedrooms with both the "sofa" type of seat and the smaller seat with the collapsible chair.

When Amtrak decided to convert all of its remaining Heritage fleet to head-end power, it kept the Budd-built 10-roomette/6-bedroom sleepers, and all of them had an equal mixture of sofa-style and small-seat style bedrooms. If I remember it correctly, Bedrooms A, C and E had sofa-style seating, while Bedrooms B, D and F had the smaller seat and collapsible seat. You could open the wall between Bedrooms A-B, C-D and E-F to form a "double bedroom." An easy way for Amtrak reservations agents to remember which rooms had sofa-style seating was that they were the "ACE" rooms, since most people seemed to prefer them because of their larger floor space. Also, if you were a couple, you could accommodate a small child in an "ACE" room because the sofa could seat 3 people, while the B-D-F small-seat rooms could not.

Preferring bedrooms with sofa-style seating or small-seat seating was purely personal. The sofa-style bedrooms had more floor space and could accommodate a 3rd small passenger, but I always found the sofa seat to be fairly uncomfortable, mostly because there was nothing on which to prop your feet and also because the sofa back was fixed. Your feet had to stay on the floor. In the small-seat bedroom with the collapsible chair, I always found the small seat to be much more comfortable, since many of the seats were adjustable and also since I could stretch out, lean my head against the window or wall of the enclosed toilet. But the person sitting on the collapsible seat wasn't so comfortable.

Also, there was the matter of actually sleeping. In the sofa-style rooms, the beds went across the car, positioned in a "wall-to-wall" format. In the small-seat rooms, the beds were parallel to the the carbody. Again, preference was personal. Many people preferred to sleep "across" the car, as Superliner and Viewliner bedrooms do today, but I always preferred to sleep "with" the car, in the same configuration as Roomettes, both in older "lightweight" cars and in today's Superliners and Viewliners. I liked sleeping parallel to the window, and I also found that beds that were "across" the car gave me an uncomfortable sensation when the car would rock, so that my head was higher and then my feet were higher. But, as I say, many passengers preferred sleeping "across" the car.

These are great pictures. I'm very glad that Mike posted them.



Date: 11/21/12 23:10
Re: lightweight slpr - bedrooms
Author: chakk

wpdude Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> So, just askin', but how wide are the lower beds
> in the current Superliners. The Mrs. has never
> gone overnight on a train, but she says she's up
> for the adventure. I'm thinking of getting a
> bedroom, which looks like the biggest room?


Lower bed in a Superliner bedroom is 40 inches wide. Lower bed in a Superliner roomette is 28 inches wide.
Upper bed in a Superliner bedroom is 28 inches wide. Upper bed in a Superliner roomette is 24 inches wide.



Date: 11/22/12 08:38
Re: lightweight slpr - bedrooms
Author: wpdude

Thanks guys!



Date: 11/22/12 11:37
Re: lightweight slpr - bedrooms
Author: peddler

As mentioned, when the wall between two bedrooms was folded
back, it created a "bedroom suite" as shown in the first illustration.
When I worked in the Santa Fe's passenger department as a
reservation/information clerk, most passengers preferred the
"sofa seat and movable chair" but did not like the fact that,
during the day, they would be riding backwards when sitting in
the "sofa seat."

In my opinion, the best rooms were Drawing Room D or
Compartment F in a Santa Fe Regal (4-4-2) car which was used
on both the Chief and Super Chief. Second illustration shows the
floor plan of a Regal and Pine car.

peddler






Date: 11/22/12 21:56
Re: lightweight slpr - bedrooms
Author: WP-M2051

Some of the upholstery colors shown from sleepers in the '70s are truly offal. The stick-on signs instead of the original engraved plates are a special touch.



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