At the end of the preceding post in this series, Part 3, I mentioned that I wanted to include in my Pullman fleet, a car or two owned by other railroads than the Southern Pacific. From 1949 onward, most railroads owned a certain number of Pullman heavyweight cars, chosen to meet their needs at the time, and SP was no exception. Most of the Pullmans SP chose to purchase were ones that had previously been built for service on SP trains, so they already were suitable for SP needs. They also purchased a number of cars that had not been built for SP service, and those received modifications by Pullman, at SP’s request, to suit SP needs. The same was true of several other railroads.
One of them was Northern Pacific, with which SP enjoyed a friendly relationship at Portland. Another was Great Northern, not a railroad with which SP was particularly friendly, but one whose passenger services dovetailed with some SP trains at Portland. An example is shown below, from the 1946 Equipment Circular 14, detailing consists of all SP passenger trains at the time. (You can click to enlarge the image if you wish.)
Circled here are the joint SP-GN provision of cars for particular service, a baggage car in the upper entry, a 10-1-2 sleeper in the lower entry. There were similar arrangements on certain trains with the NP.
Note that altogether this train, the Oregonian, carried five sleepers, two 16-section tourist sleepers, two 10-1-2 sleepers, and a 12-1. Although it is the 10-1-2 that is shown as joint SP-GN service, I decided to model a GN 12-1 for simplicity. I simply repainted and decaled a stock Rivarossi 12-1 model for Great Northern, which, not being air-conditioned, is likely a stand-in at best.
I decided that if the car was a stand-in anyway, I would not worry about a correct name chosen from actual GN names for its 12-1 Pullman cars, but would choose a name that appealed to me. In fact, using a correct name might even be worse, since the model would not match the prototype with that name. So I chose to name the car Columbia Glacier. The GN fleet did include a whole series of “Glacier” named cars, though this particular glacier is not among them (it happens to be an actual glacier in northern Washington state). I felt the name at least had a GN feel to it. Here is my model.
I might mention that although the information in Equipment Circular 14 is really excellent and quite complete, it does apply to 1946. At that time, trains were substantially more heavily patronized than in subsequent years, and moreover as streamlined lightweight cars arrived in the late 1940s and early 1950s, more and more heavyweight Pullmans were taken out of service in favor of the new equipment. It would be easy to exaggerate the use of heavyweight sleepers with these 1946 data.
Beyond the GN car, I would still like to do an NP heavyweight sleeper, though I have not yet done so. As it happens, the joint sleeper movements of SP with NP, as shown in Equipment Circular 14, were considerably more extensive than the GN example just cited, including the West Coast train, between Portland and Los Angeles. Often there was also a joint baggage car in the trains, just as in the GN example above. The NP sleeper was almost always a 10-1-2, operated to and from Seattle or, in one case, Spokane. Accordingly, it would be nice to eventually add a 10-1-2 model, lettered for NP, to my fleet.
The complication with such an NP Pullman car is that NP apparently repainted all the Pullmans it purchased in 1949 into their handsome “Pine Tree” scheme of two-tone green with yellow separation stripes. Here’s a rendition of it from a Branchline-produced 10-1-1 car (the almost-black color on the sides is actually dark green):
It’s a great color scheme but not one I am eager to reproduce myself on a heavyweight sleeper. That’s because I am not an NP modeler, and thus don’t have paint, decals, etc. on hand, nor I am really familiar with the NP prototypes. I may look for a used 10-1-2 model already painted. Or I might just choose to acquire one of the Branchline (now Atlas) 10-1-1 models, like the one shown above, even though what I really want is a 10-1-2. As with many things having to do with my layout, I would rather have a train with prototypical appearance by including an NP car, than necessarily have the NP car exhibit the exact NP floor plan that ought to be there.