Pennsylvania Interline Cars & The South Wind

Pennsylvania Interline Cars & The South Wind

The Pennsylvania Railroad was proud to say they ‘Linked the Nation Together’. The truth is, they did! You could find Pennsylvania sleeping cars on trains down the gulf coast, the east coast, the west coast, and the northwest. During rail passenger travel’s heyday, you find they assigned certain cars to certain trains.

RailSmith releases will follow this protocol, releasing sleepers that connected the Pennsylvania to the rest of the United States, on the crack trains of other railroads. In each case when possible, the assigned train will be indicated in the RailSmith release information, citing the reference where you might ‘read more about it’.

The South Wind 

The South Wind first sailed in December 1940 as the Pennsylvania Railroads train from Chicago to Miami. Noted on this nice billboard, it began as an ‘All Coach’ train. It’s main competitor was the Illinois Central’s City of Miami. According to the PRRHS and their book titled ‘From the Midwest to Florida By Rail 1875-1970 Vol.1’, the South Wind was never the famous train that the City of Miami was. In fact the Pennsy never gave it the attention needed to really be a strong competitor to the City of Miami. 

The IC insisted that the CoM was painted in their famous Panama scheme of chocolate & orange, even when cars were on loan from other lines like the NP. Those cars were repainted for the IC. But the Pennsy’s South Wind, never had that kind of continuity. In fact the South Wind was about as eclectic a train that the PRR ever ran!  Not until the late 50’s did it become a completely streamlined train. So heavyweight cars were always in their consist in the earlier years.

The South Wind left Chicago on the Pennsylvania. It transferred to the Louisville & Nashville in Louisville, to the Atlantic Coast Line in Montgomery and finally in Jacksonville it was handed off to the Florida East Coast for the final leg of its journey to Miami.

The Pennsy had a policy, that in any train it carried ACL cars, their PRR cars would share the ACL scheme with the Royal Purple letter boards. That was until 1958 when the ACL adopted a more  simplified (and affordable) scheme of plain silver letter boards with black lettering.

It is this version of the South Wind we will be building. From 1958 until 1970, in the waining years of passenger travel, it was still as eclectic as ever.

We have relied on the Pennsylvania Railroad Technical & Historical Society and their book mentioned earlier here. A very detailed account of this train and its evolution, is a fascinating read.

For those that prefer an earlier version, and still in the spirit of ‘being eclectic’, our previously produced PRR & ACL cars in purple, can be used on the South Wind prior to 1959.

Note that the consist chart here shows three L&N sleepers. While all were used on this train, all delivered in the Tuscan paint, the later version of the blue cars probably would not have all been on the same train, at the same time. But we show them as at least one would have been.

When we produce a Budd Coach, you can count on a PRR version in their recognizable Tuscan scheme! But that will be going back in time, we love to do that.

For now, you better get on board for another fun RailSmith journey!

Here is a link to purchase the Catalpa Falls, a Kato lounge sleeper we produced for the owners of the real car! A true Limited Edition: https://catalpafalls.square.site


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