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Southern Railway 1037

Southern Railway Modernized Heavyweight Coach 1037: The Oldest Active Passenger Car at TVRM

The Pullman Company built what would ultimately become 52-seat heavyweight coach 1037, in 1911, as the sleeping car HAZEN. The Hazen was a Plan 2585 sleeping car, denoting it featured 10 open sections (sofas that turned folded into an upper and lower berth, akin to bunk-beds at night, with curtains for privacy), 2 private compartments, and 1 large private drawing room (which featured a sofa, its own section, and private “toilet annex”).  The HAZEN was part of Pullman’s Lot 3952, entering service in December of 1911, as an early steel car. To put this in perspective, Pullman’s first all-steel sleeping car was only placed in service in 1907, and the first production “12-1” car in 1910.

The car was sold by Pullman to the Southern Railway in 1948 as part of the Pullman Divestiture, who then leased the car back to Pullman.

Post-war, new lightweight cars were being delivered, leading to the retirement of older section cars such as the HAZEN. It was removed from Pullman’s pool on the 29th of April 1953. Southern Railway began a program of rebuilding older heavyweight coaches at Hayne Shops (in Spartanburg, South Carolina) in 1940 (featuring the museum’s coach 1000) and expanded that rebuilding to additional coaches in 1947-48, and former Pullman Company sleeping and lounge cars in the early 1950s.

The HAZEN was rebuilt in 1954 as a 52-seat coach with all-welded sides, larger sealed windows, and a streamlined “turtleback roof” (an arched roof designed to cover up the original (and by then dated) clerestory roof). The frame and trucks/wheels remained original to Pullman service (1037’s 1911 trucks were replaced in 1943). The goal of the rebuilds was to create cars that internally offered the same service as Southern’s new lightweight cars. (One can see this when viewing 1037 and Southern Railway 832 at the museum). By the 1960s, with falling passenger numbers, 1037 (and many other 1030s were no longer required) were retired. 1037 was destined for Maintenance of Way Service, on the Chattanooga “Wreck Train”, as MofW 960418 accompanying the large steam “derrick”. The Wreck-Master in charge of the train however wanted a coach with a vestibule at either end, something 1037 did not have, one end having been sealed up, into a what is known as a blind end, in 1954.


The Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum rostered former Southern Railway partition coach 1208, which featured similar appointment to 1037, other than having a central partition and toilet, and double vestibules. A trade was arranged for the 1208 in exchange for 1037. With this, 1037 came to the museum, and 1208 entered wreck train service. Upon arrival at the museum, 1037 may have seen limited service with its original mechanical air conditioning system, and 32 volt Direct Current axle generator, but was shortly placed in storage.

As the years passed, 1037 was removed from storage and restored to operating condition in 2005, complete with Southern Railway interior and exterior, albeit with pre-1940s Roman lettering in gold, rather than block lettering. The restored car has seen operation on many of the museum’s trips, from those on the Hiwassee River Scenic Railroad out of Delano; the Missionary Ridge Local; and those over the Chatooga and Chickamauga Railway. The 1037 remains in operation as TVRM’s oldest active passenger car, even if cosmetically it appears as it did 4 decades later.


Car: Southern Railway 1037

Car Type: Coach

Operators: Southern Railway, Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum

Builder: Pullman Company

Date Built: 1911

Number of Seats: 52

Paint Scheme: Pullman Green

Lettered: Southern

Status: Operational

From $58

Chickamauga Turn

March 16, 2024 - October 27, 2024 EDT

Embark on a 6-hour train journey from Chattanooga to the historic Civil War town of Chickamauga, Georgia. Enjoy a 90-minute layover to explore attractions like Crawfish Springs and the Gordon-Lee Mansion, with lunch options available onboard.