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Southern Railway 1000

Southern Railway 1000: Step Back in Time with a 1920s Restored Heavyweight Experience

Delve into history aboard the Southern Railway 1000, a heavyweight coach brought to life in 1925 by the renowned Pullman Company. Originally bearing the number 1653, and a part of Southern Railway’s “CP-93” coaches, this car featured 72 walkover seats (two person benches running width-wise, with a rattan upholstered back that reversed direction, or “walked over” depending on which direction the car was facing), a clerestory roof with opening ventilation windows, and open windows. These all were standard on 1910s-1920s coaches, coupled with a lack of air conditioning.

The 1930s saw the implementation of air conditioning and sealed windows in dining cars and Pullman Company sleeping cars. The Southern Railway engineered a rebuilding program to add these to a fleet of their heavyweight Pullman-built coaches, to form a new “deluxe” coach set. Coach 1653 was the first coach to be so rebuilt, being released from comprehensive rebuilding at the Southern Railway’s Hayne Shops, in Spartanburg, South Carolina in 1940. This rebuilding added steam-ejector air conditioning, replaced the walkover seats with 46 individual [reclining] coach seats with arm rests, added expansive washroom lounges, and a porter’s baggage space. Cosmetically, the clerestory roof (as seen in Southern Railway Coach 1683/1058) was hidden by an arched drop ceiling, with polished metal air conditioning vents, and other detail fixtures were also modernized, such as the replacement of the brass dome lights (as seen in the museum’s former Southern Railway coach 1683/1058 and Pullman Sleeping Car MAITLAND) with smaller nickel finished lights, the replacement of the brass luggage wracks with more modern painted ones, and a streamlined water dispenser at one end.

Externally the clerestory roof was sealed beneath an arched “turtleback roof” (also concealing the new air conditioning duct work), the opening windows were replaced with sealed outside-frame [narrow] windows, rounded “port-hole” window doors were added in the vestibules, and the car was re-numbered 1000. The original “Roman” lettering was left in place, although a striking art deco paint scheme with an aluminum-painted window band was added.

Ultimately the painted window band was dropped, as were the porthole side doors and Roman lettering (in favor of block lettering) but the 1000 served as the basis for numerous other “Hayne rebuilds”, of which around 50 were of similar style to the 1000, although some post-war examples featured smooth sides and large windows. Life Magazine staged a photographer’s session of troops and wartime travel during the Second World War, which used a heavyweight Pullman sleeping car, and coach 1000.

Southern Railway donated coach 1000 to the Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum in 1968, and the car was placed in storage. After 14 years of storage, and the coach underwent a meticulous restoration, bringing back its operable windows and de-activating the steam powered air conditioning, in 1984. Now, passengers are charmed by its breezy rides and authentic 1920s ambiance, harmonized with the rhythmic melodies of locomotives and rolling wheels.


Car: Southern Railway 1000

Car Type: Coach

Operators: Southern Railway, Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum

Builder: Pullman Company

Date Built: 1925

Number of Seats: 46

Paint Scheme: Colonial Red

Lettered: Tennessee Valley

Status: Operational