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Date: 02/06/12 17:58
Passenger car name plates
Author: ddg

I've had these in my collection of stuff longer than I can remember. Don't even know where they came from. I suspect they might be Santa Fe, but someone here will know for sure. What road owned cars with these names? Each one is brass, and have what's left of a nickel plating. They are about 9" long, and about 2" wide. I think they look like door plates.

Date: 02/06/12 18:04
Re: Passenger car name plates
Author: RNinRVR

Checking Google for Indian Drum lead me to Wikipedia for the Super Chief. An Indian Drum is listed as an 11 bedroom car. Have no idea if your plate came off this car or not. The Regal cars were 4 4 2 used on the Santa Fe.

Sharon Evans
Glen Allen, VA

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/06/12 18:06 by RNinRVR.

Date: 02/06/12 18:18
Re: Passenger car name plates
Author: MEKoch

Indian Drum ATSF #903 was built in 1947 by Pullman-Standard as a 24 duplex roomette car. Then rebuilt by ATSF at Topeka in 1964 to 11 bedrooms for Super Chief service. All Indian series cars retained their names in the rebuild program.

Regal Town (#1834) and Regal Crown built in 1948 by Pullman-Standard as 4 bedrooms, 4 compartments, and 2 drawing rooms. Amtrak bought Regal Town, but Regal Crown did not make it to Amtrak.

Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 02/06/12 18:21 by MEKoch.

Date: 02/06/12 20:32
Re: Passenger car name plates
Author: The_Chief_Way

yep, door plates
better hang on to those, Dennis

Date: 02/06/12 20:43
Re: Passenger car name plates
Author: SilverPeakRail

The Indian Drum was sold by Amtrak to Black-Wong Railcar Leasing at Los Angeles about 1981. The car moved to the Ventura County Railway at Oxnard, CA where it was used in the CBS TV Movie "Robert F. Kennedy - His Life and Times". The car's vestibule was cut by the movie company into an open platform and it brought up the rear of the three car train used for the movie. Following stripping of interior parts, the carbody was sold to a Pacific Recycling in Pt. Hueneme, CA where it was scrapped. The trucks, couplers, and many interior parts were scattered to other private car owners where they continue in use today. Generally the Indian Series cars were very poor structural condition from decay of the carbon steel frame that was under the stainless steel skin. It was interesting to note during the scrapping that the side framing for the duplex roomette window arrangement remained in place with the holes filled in, and the 11 Bedroom window pattern added. The bedroom floor plan of the Indian cars was unusual and roomy, and is generally regarded as the inspiration for the Suplerliner-I deluxe bedrooms.

Date: 02/06/12 21:46
Re: Passenger car name plates
Author: peddler

The link below provides information about the Super Chief consist in 1953.
While the "Indian" cars were not re-built until the early '60s, they are
mentioned. Also, the attached provides schematics for the Indian cars
(top) and Regal cars (bottom).



Date: 02/06/12 23:13
Re: Passenger car name plates
Author: rrhistorian

Were any photos taken of the scrapping of the Indian Drum? From what you describe, photos of the car being scrapped would illustrate well two different types of sleeping car architecture.

Date: 02/07/12 06:53
Re: Passenger car name plates
Author: Phil1

My family spent many memorable nights on the Regal Series Pullmans on the Super Chief from LAUPT to CHI in the 50s in route to Cleveland in the drawing rooms. The rooms were in the middle of the car off the wheels and were very quiet despite places where the tracks were not welded ribbon in the 1950s. From CHI to CLE we used the NYC 20th Century Limited which had a standard 16 car consist.In the busiest of the summer, the Super Chief could swell to 18 cars,but 14 was common. In June 1959 I noticed that ATSF added three chair cars, a lounge and snack bar diner to the Super out of LA and that particular train ran with 22 cars and 7 F-units pulling us.Our Pullman was second from the rear so we had a wonderful view on curves. My dad was a foamer and passed the love for trains to me as I was only 14 on this trip but will never forget a 22 car Super Chief as it was rare. Imagine them adding 3 chair cars to the Super Chief because the EL Cap and the Chief were sold out.The Chief left at 10:30 a.m. and the El Cap at 4 P.M. with its high levels and had 13 cars. Thank you dad for these memories that have not faded as I am now 67. I always asked dad in the Spring if we were going to take the yellow train (UP City of L.A)or the silver train (Chief-Super Chief)to Chicago that year. He preferred the Santa Fe because it was faster.But who was in a rush in the 1950s??

Phil Blommendahl
Getzville, NY

Date: 02/08/12 08:49
Re: Passenger car name plates
Author: SilverPeakRail

I would have to do some research, I believe I took some slides of the work. They rolled the car off the trucks onto its side, and then cut it in 2 chunks to drag it into their yard. We hauled the trucks off with a locomotive (a strange looking train), and they removed the parts we wanted back like the couplers and center plates.

An interesting side note about Santa Fe sleeping car trucks is that the Indians, some Regals, Pines, and a number of the observation cars were re-trucked with outside swing hanger trucks (Pullman class 41-CDO-11) that removed from baggage and RPO cars delivered in 1953. The inside swing hanger trucks, mostly Pullman class 41-NR-11 were put under the head end cars. So today, most of the Amtrak heritage baggage cars are riding on trucks that came to the Santa Fe 4-years before the cars did.

Date: 02/22/12 22:19
Re: Passenger car name plates
Author: SilverPeakRail

Some evidence of how structurally tired the Indians were can be seen at this TO thread:


The first car behind the hi-levels in the series of photos is the Indian Maid in 1973. You can see the camber (upward arch) of the car side has gone negative. That is a sure sign that the carbon steel structure behind the stainless is rotting away.

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