Baggage-Parlor-Buf Lounge-DR-DayRmtte Car Usage

Joined: June 13th, 2003, 4:27 pm

January 31st, 2018, 1:25 pm #1

I have a question, the answer to which may have been lost to the winds of time.

The above-captioned cars were multi-purpose, what with 14 parlor chairs, a drawing room, 2 day roomettes and 11 lounge seats, with buffet, as well as a badge section. I can understand the rationale for  having the lounge seats in consists with regular parlor cars as well as the combines. But I have noted a number of consists in which these cars were the sole parlour conveyance. Of what possible use would those 11 lounge seats serve? One would hardly expect any of the 14 parlor car patrons to walk a few feet to sit in the lounge chairs. And those in the private accommodations chose privacy for a reason. Were the lounge seats sold as parlor chairs? Or were coach passengers permitted to enter into the exalted sanctum for a cold one?

My curiosity has been piqued. Responses welcomed and appreciated.


Derek Thompson
Toronto, Ontario 

NHRHTA # 0668
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TomCurtin
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Joined: July 13th, 2017, 10:13 am

January 31st, 2018, 1:41 pm #2

Although the ratio of parlor to lounge seats in thos3 cars was, well ---- illogical, the lounge seats were there for the same reason as in the 26 chair-14 lounge parlor cars: smoking!
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Joined: June 13th, 2003, 4:27 pm

January 31st, 2018, 4:14 pm #3

Thanks, Tom. It is illogical, if you think about it. And surprising too, considering the effort the New Haven put into determining the exact interior arrangements in its passenger equipment. This might explain why five of the cars were listed as spares in the 1955 consist book I possess. 

Thanks again.

Derek Thompson
Toronto, Ontario

NHRHTA # 0668
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NewHavenGeek
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Joined: November 1st, 2017, 7:52 pm

February 1st, 2018, 7:17 am #4

Derek Thompson wrote: I have a question, the answer to which may have been lost to the winds of time.

The above-captioned cars were multi-purpose, what with 14 parlor chairs, a drawing room, 2 day roomettes and 11 lounge seats, with buffet, as well as a badge section. I can understand the rationale for  having the lounge seats in consists with regular parlor cars as well as the combines. But I have noted a number of consists in which these cars were the sole parlour conveyance. Of what possible use would those 11 lounge seats serve? One would hardly expect any of the 14 parlor car patrons to walk a few feet to sit in the lounge chairs. And those in the private accommodations chose privacy for a reason. Were the lounge seats sold as parlor chairs? Or were coach passengers permitted to enter into the exalted sanctum for a cold one?

My curiosity has been piqued. Responses welcomed and appreciated.


Derek Thompson
Toronto, Ontario 

NHRHTA # 0668
I believe that in addition to the normal services, they were partially used as club cars. Also they were normally only on the long range/name trains the NH ran. if the car you speak of is the only "parlor" on the train, then you should not be running the lightweight. I'd recommend either running a straight baggage in it's place or a heavyweight combine.
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Bill Sample
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Joined: June 21st, 2003, 4:26 am

February 1st, 2018, 1:56 pm #5

Toward the end of the New Haven, I remember one being on a Springfield Line train.  Some friends pooled our resources and rode in the drawing room - our final ride on the New Haven was First Class.
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Joined: June 13th, 2003, 4:27 pm

February 1st, 2018, 3:55 pm #6

They appear to have been used  frequently on the Springfield line, Bill. That sounds like it would have been a neat trip.


Derek Thompson
Toronto, Ontario

NHRHTA # 0668
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TomCurtin
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Joined: July 13th, 2017, 10:13 am

February 2nd, 2018, 1:51 pm #7

NewHavenGeek wrote:

I believe that in addition to the normal services, they were partially used as club cars. Also they were normally only on the long range/name trains the NH ran. if the car you speak of is the only "parlor" on the train, then you should not be running the lightweight. I'd recommend either running a straight baggage in it's place or a heavyweight combine.
What exactly do you mean by "Club cars?"  I ask because this term had multiple meanings in passenget trains
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nhrr246512
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Joined: December 16th, 2005, 3:16 am

February 3rd, 2018, 6:55 am #8

Another use of the Buffet Parlor Lounge lounge seats was occupancy by senior NHRR officials travelling for business or pleasure on NHRR trains and having the right to do so as indicated by the stamps on their white passes. Rather than stand in line at the ticket office for a designated numbered parlor car chair and risking the loss of revenue by a paying parlor car passenger, it was my observation most such officials merely showed their pass to the Conductor and Porter and took a seat in the lounge for the trip. I'm aware of a couple of instances when a friendly Conductor allowed the unoccupied private rooms on these cars to be used en route thusly as well. Those senior NHRR officials lasting into Penn Central not only had their passes stamped "Including ROOMETTE in Local Sleeping Cars and Seat in Parlor Cars" but also had added  "Good on freight trains, engines, rear platforms, milk, mail and express trains". Only restriction - "Not Good on Metroliners". To my knowledge the NHRR did not sell the lounge chairs in such cars as parlor car space, and in my travels on the NHRR I never saw coach passengers utilizing parlor car lounge facilities, including my three trips in 1963, 1965  and 1968 in these type of cars, my personal favorite of NHRR postwar passenger equipment.
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NewHavenGeek
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Joined: November 1st, 2017, 7:52 pm

February 3rd, 2018, 7:48 pm #9

TomCurtin wrote:
NewHavenGeek wrote:

I believe that in addition to the normal services, they were partially used as club cars. Also they were normally only on the long range/name trains the NH ran. if the car you speak of is the only "parlor" on the train, then you should not be running the lightweight. I'd recommend either running a straight baggage in it's place or a heavyweight combine.
What exactly do you mean by "Club cars?"  I ask because this term had multiple meanings in passenget trains
on the NEW HAVEN they were kinds like toned down parlor cars, but you paid a monthly fee (usually $10) to use the car in addition to a slightly reduced ticket price. But apart from that they were just another first class car.
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Joined: September 26th, 2006, 9:59 pm

February 9th, 2018, 10:57 am #10

nhrr246512 wrote: Another use of the Buffet Parlor Lounge lounge seats was occupancy by senior NHRR officials travelling for business or pleasure on NHRR trains and having the right to do so as indicated by the stamps on their white passes. Rather than stand in line at the ticket office for a designated numbered parlor car chair and risking the loss of revenue by a paying parlor car passenger, it was my observation most such officials merely showed their pass to the Conductor and Porter and took a seat in the lounge for the trip. I'm aware of a couple of instances when a friendly Conductor allowed the unoccupied private rooms on these cars to be used en route thusly as well. Those senior NHRR officials lasting into Penn Central not only had their passes stamped "Including ROOMETTE in Local Sleeping Cars and Seat in Parlor Cars" but also had added  "Good on freight trains, engines, rear platforms, milk, mail and express trains". Only restriction - "Not Good on Metroliners". To my knowledge the NHRR did not sell the lounge chairs in such cars as parlor car space, and in my travels on the NHRR I never saw coach passengers utilizing parlor car lounge facilities, including my three trips in 1963, 1965  and 1968 in these type of cars, my personal favorite of NHRR postwar passenger equipment.
I was one of those so-called "senior officials" even when I was an operating department trainee.  This had nothing to do with the rank of the passholder.  It was that those of us who might have a business necessity to ride on a locomotive, freight train, mail train or rear platform.  The roomette stamp was normal for those employees who might have to travel overnight on business.  On the NYC, marketing analysts and managers who should be familiar with how the railroad operates had the locomotive and freight train stamp. In contrast on the Milwaukee Road, anyone outside the operating department had to go through the general manager's office to get permission to ride a freight train.

The railroad didn't mind employees using lounge seats as long as they were not depriving revenue passengers of a seat.  We were warned that these privileges should be restricted to space available after revenue passengers were accomodated.  Most employees observed those rules.  The general culture of the times on the railroad was that you didn't abuse that priviege.

I had a friend who lived near Harmon who sit in he observation car of the Century from GCT to Harmon on a low traffic evening.  Going to Syracuse (5 hours) on business, I sometimes used the Century, which was limited to overnight passengers by sitting in the lounge and eating in the diner  or using and empty roomette, with the conductor's permission.  Looking at that from the railroad's perspective there was an increase in dining and club car revenue at no cost.

BTW, I was from the NYC, but the practices I'm talking about were found on many railroads, although some were less liberal about who got those endorsements on their passes.

Malcolm Laughlin
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