Monday, May 8, 2017

Saving a Pullman parlor car

Help the Northwest Railway Museum save a Pullman parlor car. GiveBIG today!

In the Golden Age of Rail Travel the parlor car was emblematic of luxury travel. Designed for day travel, this extra-fare car provided more room, individual seats, and often even a car attendant available at the push of a button.  

Parlor cars began to appear on American railroads in the 19th Century as an alternative to the classless coach seating of the era, which featured simpler and less comfortable seating.  And parlor cars tended to attract better-dressed and more refined individuals, and were the de facto first class seating equivalency to European railroads.  

Most Golden Age parlor cars were constructed of wood.  Many were retired and scrapped prior to World War II, and still fewer survived into the 1950s.  Yet one example was retired in 1941, purchased by a retired railroad man, and re-purposed as a seaside cottage on Whidbey Island in Washington State's Puget Sound. 

Northern Pacific Railway parlor car 1799 has been protected by a shelter and is largely intact.  Now owned by the Shaw Family, the car has been donated to the Northwest Railway Museum provided it can be removed from the island as soon as possible.

Join us in supporting acquisition of this Pullman-built parlor car with GiveBIG on May 10, 2017!  Contributions made through the Museum’s Seattle Foundation gateway between midnight and and 11:59 PM on Wednesday, May 10 will support transportation of parlor car 1799 to Snoqualmie.  As in prior years, this is an online initiative so donations are accepted only through the Museum’s Seattle Foundation gateway.   And you can schedule your donation anytime between now and May 10th!

Give Big proceeds will be used exclusively for transportation costs, which may approach $67,000 for this car that weighs more than 80,000 pounds. Once received by the Museum, the process of listing, funding, and restoring the car will begin and when completed it will be able to operate with the Museum’s former Northern Pacific Railway steam locomotive 924.  Please Give Big today!

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