This is a very exciting new series that is just now launching, and I want to tell you all about it!
After World War II in the late 1940’s, the Pullman Company was busy building new streamlined cars for America’s railroads. Their fleet of heavyweight cars were being used in secondary trains, as well as held in reserve for heavy-volume periods for charters and ‘specials’. These heavyweight cars were painted the fleet colors of the time, so when used would blend into the trains consist. The cars were very often interchanged and run in ‘specials’ creating a most interesting colorful train! I have photos of Pennsy cars in the consist of many different railroads crack passenger trains. Issues of the UPHS Streamliner show UP trains with a string of Tourist Sleepers on the end painted in the colors of L&N, ACL, and Pennsy.
It was a new era for railroads, as for the first time they had to compete for travel business. Airlines, and the automobile, were coming of age and started taking a toll on the railroad’s passenger service profit-and-bottom-line. The term ‘Tourist Sleeper’ was used to define a sort of economy version of the famous Pullman cars. Now railroads had ‘Tourist Sleepers’ to entice riders with affordable options and create the desire to visit vacation locations. National Parks were of course high on the list of places to see, and the railroads made sure that the public was well aware that they had trains to these favorite destinations. The biggest form of advertising in those days were magazines. The Saturday Evening Post and National Geographic were two of the favorites that targeted leisure, news stories, and general interest of the day. Remember that television did not become common place in homes until the 1950’s. Colorful ads graced the pages of these magazines in telling a story of the times.
My new Pullman Park Series is planned to produce cars that ran from the 1940’s to the late 1960’s. They are colorful sleepers that continued to take passengers to destinations of grandeur.
‘Tourist Sleepers to the National Parks’
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