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Clover Colony

Clover Colony: An Emblem of Railroad History

Constructed in 1920 by the renowned Pullman Company, the Clover Colony stands as an iconic sleeping car associated with the golden era of luxurious railroad travel. Originally named the Bernadotte, this 12-1 sleeping car was designed using the classic plan 2410F, Lot 4574, and subsequently joined the Pullman Pool service.

In the 1930s, the Bernadotte was updated with a chilled brine air conditioning system, further enhancing passenger comfort. A significant transformation took place in August 1940, when the car underwent extensive renovations at Pullman’s Calumet Shops. Transitioning from a 12-1 to an 8-5 sleeping car, it was outfitted with eight open section-type sleeping arrangements and five compartment-type accommodations. Post-renovation, the car was rechristened as the Clover Colony.

In 1947, the Clover Colony was purchased by the Southern Pacific Railroad alongside 15 other 8-5 sleeping cars. This came in the wake of federal anti-trust lawsuits that led to the fragmentation of the Pullman Company’s operating division among multiple railroads. The car retained its original Pullman green until 1957, when it was repainted in Southern Pacific Railroad colors, and its name replaced with the number 8351. Further modifications were made in 1964 with the installation of a shower.

In 1968, the High Iron Company became the new owner of the Clover Colony and promptly added Timken roller bearings to its design. Ultimately, the Tennessee Valley Railroad (TVRM) acquired the car. While TVRM does not utilize the Clover Colony for overnight trips – its original purpose – the car is frequently featured on extended excursions, providing first-class seating to passengers. Adorned with 1940s décor, the car’s interior offers a time-capsule experience, transporting riders back to the Pullman Company’s heyday of offering safe and plush overnight journeys.

The Clover Colony Pullman Car is a remarkable relic of railroad history. Built in 1920, this sleeping car from the legendary Pullman Company embodies elegance and comfort. It offers all the luxuries expected in a premier sleeper car – including cozy beds, generous storage, and a private restroom. The success and popularity of the Pullman Company for several decades is evident in this beautifully preserved piece of machinery.

Railroad enthusiasts will undoubtedly appreciate the Clover Colony as a Pullman dining car. Making its way through picturesque landscapes, this magnificent machine offers a unique and opulent experience to passengers.

The Clover Colony, also known as Car 97, had a notable role in the 1959 movie, ‘Some Like It Hot‘, starring Marilyn Monroe, Tony Curtis, and Jack Lemmon.


Car: Clover Colony

Car Type: 8-5 Sleeping Car

Operators: Pullman Company, Southern Pacific Railroad, High Iron Company, Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum

Builder: Pullman Company

Date Built: 1920

Paint Scheme: Colonial Red

Lettered: Tennessee Valley

Status: Operational

From $75

The Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum Dinner Train is a unique opportunity to enjoy a railroad excursion trip and fine dining en route. The train travels through the Tennessee Valley, making this a perfect outing for anyone who loves trains and good food.