Keys to Descriptions

Copyright 2001 – 2010 Thomas C. Madden



Record #: A sequence number for each record, for sorting the database back to its original order if necessary.

Builder: ACF, Budd, or Pullman.

Lot #: Construction lot number

Wayner/Randall Lot Seq: Order in which a car is listed in Wayner’s THE COMPLETE ROSTER OF HEAVYWEIGHT PULLMANS (heavyweights) or Randall’s early 1980’s three volume STREAMLINER CAR set (lightweights).

Names: Car name(s). Original name first, then changes and the dates they took effect.

Heritage: New, Rebuilt or (for Tourist/Troop Cars only), Converted.

Service Date: Date car entered service when new, rebuilt or converted.

Rebuilt from: Plan number and name of car prior to rebuilding or conversion.

Plans: Pullman plan number. Original plan first, then any subplan changes and the dates they took effect.

Type: P - Parlor, L - Lightweight, T - Tourist, S - Standard (i.e. all HW cars except Parlor and Tourist), D - Diner, B - Business, Pr - Private car. These are Pullman’s designations.

Sheathing: Side construction style plus changes. Earliest style (up to mid-1914) was "Gothic" (simulated wood steel sheathing, upper window sashes, ribbed roofs, narrow letterboards.) Gothic style is the number following, either 246 or 372, and refers to the style of decorative glass in the upper window sashes rather than structural differences. Transition cars (mid-1914 to early 1916) show "Steel EL" (EL = Extended [wide] Letterboard). Gothic and Transition cars were later rebuilt with riveted steel plate sheathing, "RG Steel plates". ("RG" = "rebuilt Gothic".) "Steel plates EL" is standard construction after early 1916. It is also riveted steel plate construction, but with a different rivet pattern than RG Steel plates.

Sheathing Rebuild Date: Date Gothic and Transition cars were rebuilt to RG Steel plate.

Paint: Original paint scheme plus repaintings. Post-W.W.II repaintings are typically listed by drawing number. These are shown in the Paint Text file.

Trucks: Original trucks plus any changes, with dates.

Brakes: Original brakes plus any changes, with dates. Number and size(s) of brake cylinders are shown. All Universal brake valve variations (UC, UCB, UCC, UCBC) are shown as "UC".

Battery Boxes: Number of battery boxes and number of cells per box - 1x16 or 2x8 typically. Early cars had wood battery boxes with the size shown in inches. These dimensioned entries are usually crossed out and an undated "1x16" notation added. This may be a clarification rather than a change.

Steps: 3-tread or 4-tread, with LW cars additionally showing whether folding or pivoted. This information was added during the 1930’s, and may not reflect original equipment on the older cars.

AC: Type of air conditioning plus any changes. For PMB systems (Pullman Mechanical with Brine Auxiliary Tank), "BTR" means "brine tank removed", and "BTB" means "brine tank bypassed". Dates for these changes are included. Steam Ejector (SE) installations are identified by ATSF or MILW style. Where known, York installations show whether they have cooling tower (CT) or twin underframe (TUC) condensers.

AC Date: Date AC system installed. No date is shown for LW cars, where AC was original equipment, or for rebuilt cars where AC was installed prior to rebuilding.

Disposition: Rebuilt (to a different Plan number), Converted (to a numbered Tourist car), Transferred (to NYC for scrapping), Sold, Withdrawn, Wrecked or Destroyed (Pullman’s term for in-house scrapping).

Disposition 2: Fate of the car upon leaving Pullman ownership. (LTP = "Leased to Pullman".)

Disposition Date: Date car left Pullman ownership. For post-W.W.II lightweight cars built for RR ownership, this field shows the Service Date. When only the year, or only the month of disposition is known, the entry shows 1st of the year, or month.

WFL Date: Date Withdrawn From Lease, for those cars sold to railroads and leased back to Pullman for operation.

Additional Disposition Information: Expands on car dispositions as needed. RTPL=Returned to Pullman lease; RTP=Returned to Pullman ownership.

Notes: Catch-all field for the explanation of anomalies and inconsistencies, or for recording special circumstances.



Dates associated with equipment or paint changes are, in most cases, the dates cars left the shop and returned to service, and are taken from CCRs and CSCs. The designator “DLU” next to a date indicates the date of the Descriptive List Update letter announcing the change. In these cases, the DLU letter is the only document noting the change. Such dates may be before, after, or even well after the actual change.

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Tom Madden

pullmanboss (at) yahoo (dot) com