1902 Encyclopedia > Railway, Railways (Railroad) > United States Cars

Railway, Railways
(Part 36)


United States Cars

The long double-bogie passenger-car universally in use in the United States, originally introduced by Ross Winans on the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, is distinguished essentially from the carriages on British railways by the longitudinal passage in the centre of the body, reaching from end to end of the car, with seats at each side, and admitting of the free passage of the conductor throughout the train. The absence of doors at the sides permits of the enlargement of the body laterally. These cars are also distinguished by the use of the two bogies or trucks of four or six wheels each, on which the body is carried, and to which it is pivoted, allowing the car to pass with facility over quick curves. There is generally but one class of travellers; yet for the long journeys Pullman and other sleeping cars have come into use, at extra fares. From the Atlantic cities to the West there is a special "immigrant" class, as also over the Pacific railroads; and between the chief Western cities and the seaboard of late years a second-class system has been begun: passengers are usually carried in smoking cars at rates but little lower than first-class fares, which on these lines are about ld. per mile. Refreshment cars are also attached to trains. Ordinary passenger cars are 9 1/2 to 10ft. wide and 44 1/2 in length of body, or 49 feet over the extreme platforms. They are about 7 1/2 feet high at the sides, inside the body, and nearly 10 feet high at the centre. The car is entered by steps at the ends. The middle passage is about 2 feet wide. On each side there are fourteen seats, placed transversely, each 38 inches wide and holding two persons. The backs of the seats, which do not rise more than 34 inches above the floor, are mounted on swivels, by which the seat is made reversible. A window is placed next each seat, having a movable glass and a Venetian blind. The cars are heated by stoves or steam heaters, burning coal, and are lighted by oil-lamps or candles, on some lines by compressed coal-gas. Each car is provided with a water-closet and a supply of iced water, and a vendor of books, papers, and cigars patrols the cars. There is a cord of communication with the engine-driver. The car, complete, weighs from 17 to 20 tons, and sleeping cars about one-half more.

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