Thursday, January 5, 2023

Handout for SP passenger equipment talk

This post is a handout for a talk about Southern Pacific passenger car modeling. The talk concentrates on sleeping cars, both heavyweight and lightweight. Much of the modeling described in the talk is included in articles I wrote for Model Railroad Hobbyist (the January and October 2023 issues). 

My core idea, for this part of the SP passenger car equipment fleet, is using the sleeping car models produced by Rivarossi in Italy, and marketed in the U.S. by AHM (Associated Hobby Manufacturers). The most useful one is the “1920 Pullman” car, as AHM sold it, since it models the most common single floor plan in the original Pullman fleet: a “12-1,” as they were called, 12 sections and 1 drawing room. 

There also exists an AHM “1930 sleeper” model, which is essentially a 10-6 (10 roomettes and 6 double bedrooms), probably the most common lightweight sleeping car floor plan. It can be repainted for Lark service, as I have done, and given upgraded details. Below you see one of these cars, with an AHM heavyweight Pullman conversion right ahead of it, passing the depot in my layout town of Shumala.

The AHM heavyweight Pullman can readily be kitbashed into a number of other floor plans, as shown in a superb series of articles in Mainline Modeler, in five issues during 1981. Magazine issues can be hard to find, on-line or elsewhere, but a perhaps easier source for these articles are the verbatim reprints of all five articles, contained in the Mainline Modeler reprint book shown below.

An essential source of information and photographs, for the Southern Pacific modeler, is the five-volume series of books entitled Southern Pacific Passenger Cars and published by the SP Historical & Technical Society. For the present topic, Volume 2 on sleeping cars was vital.

In addition to the many important pieces of information about individual cars in the book shown above, there is another SPH&TS book of great importance also, the painting and lettering guide. Both can be purchased on-line and the latter from the Society at its website.

Here are references for the five most important books mentioned in the talk: 

___________, The Best of Mainline Modeler’s Passenger Cars, Volume 1, Hundman Publications, Seattle 1991.

Cauthen, Jeffrey Alan, and John R. Signor, Southern Pacific Painting and Lettering Guide (“Locomotives and passenger cars, 1913–1996”), SPH&TS, Upland, CA, 2019.

 Ryan, Dennis and Joseph Shine, Night Trains of the Coast Route, Four Ways West, La Mirada, CA, 1986.

SPH&TS, Southern Pacific Passenger Cars, Volume 2, Sleepers & Baggage-Dormitories, SPH&TS, Pasadena, 2005.

Wayner, Robert, Pullman Company Descriptive List of Cars, 1950, Wayner Publications, New York, NY, 1985.

In the talk, and in the MRH articles mentioned in the first paragraph, I showed a variety of sleeping cars  cars that I was able to build from the AHM sleeping car models. The MRH articles contain extensive bibliographies. Much if not all of the material was previously shown in my blog; links are below.

First, some links to basic passenger car modeling, the concluding posts in each series:

I have also written extensively about passenger car diaphragms, full width and otherwise:

Among the other blog posts that may be informative, here are two about the Lark: 

With these links, it should be possible to see the background modeling in more detail than was possible to present in a single talk, or for that matter, in the two MRH articles. In addition, most of the above posts that are linked contain significant prototype information too.

Tony Thompson

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