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Southern Railway 1683

Southern Railway 1683: Southern’s Last Heavyweight Pullman Coach

Southern Railway 1683 is a heavyweight coach that boasts a storied history. Built in 1926 by the Pullman Company specifically for the Southern Railway, as part of their CP-100 coaches (1659-1683), it was delivered as the last heavyweight coach for the Southern Railway. Southern’s next coach would be a lightweight motor-car “trailer” car over a decade later. The 1683 originally featured 72 walkover seats, opening windows, and a clerestory roof. Internally the car featured brass dome lights and fixtures and a wood grained interior.

The car underwent significant modernization in 1948 by the Southern Railway. They added air conditioning and larger washroom lounges, reduced the seating to 48 by installing individual [reclining] coach seats, and renumbered the coach to 1058. Despite these changes, distinctive features like the clerestory roof and adjustable windows were retained, setting it apart from sister car 1000, also part of TVRM’s collection.

Southern Railway donated the car to the Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum, in 1968, as their first railcar donation, according to the brass plaques affixed to the car. In the early days the 1058 was TVRM’s main coach, where it quickly gained popularity among passengers. The adjustable windows allowed riders to enjoy a genuine experience reminiscent of the 1920s and 30s travel. In the mid-1980s the car was rebuilt, and repainted from Pullman No. 4 green to Colonial Red, and renumbered back into the original numbering series. The original wooden windows were replaced with metal windows at this point, as many of the other 1050 series coaches featured. The car continued to see regular service into the 2010s.

As of now, the 1683, still bearing its 1680 series number, is stored out of service, in original condition with 32 volt D.C. electrics, trucks, and light fixtures. Its unique features and rich history continue to make it an intriguing piece of railway heritage.


Car: Southern Railway 1683

Car Type: Coach

Operators: Southern Railway, Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum

Builder: Pullman Company

Date Built: 1926

Number of Seats: 48

Paint Scheme: Colonial Red

Lettered: Tennessee Valley

Status: Stored Out of Service