Chicago and North Western amassed a fleet of 292 bi-level (gallery) cars, built by Pullman-Standard except for the first 16 which were built by St. Louis Car Co. 280 of these cars were used in Chicago commuter service, including one former intercity parlor car which was converted in 1965. Remarkably, all of the commuter cars survived until being sold to the Regional Transportation Authority (RTA) on 31 December 1977.
The first 48 cars were built with 7˝-KW Waukesha Enginators to provide electricity for lighting and to power two underframe-mounted Trane E-M 8-ton air conditioning units. Locomotive-supplied steam was used for heating and some of these cars were pulled by steam locomotives, which hardly fits the image of such modern cars. The first group of 16 cars was built in 1955 by St. Louis Car Co.; the remaining 32 were built the next year by Pullman-Standard. All were delivered in the early 1950s version of C&NW's yellow and green livery, using a yellow letterboard with 1" black separator stripes.
|These early cars were repainted in the late 1950s with a green letterboard and without the black separators, the livery in which all subsequent C&NW bi-levels were delivered. In 1961, they were rebuilt to use head-end power (HEP) for electrical needs and to include multiple unit (MU) cabling for push-pull operation. At some point in their career the original Venetian blinds were removed and green-tinted windows were installed.||
(Lots more to say here ...)
Visually, these cars broke down into seven distinct groups (summarized in the table below).
The first two groups are easily recognized by their window patterns. The cars built by St. Louis Car Co. had six large windows on each level on either side of the entry doors, plus a narrower square window at the ends. The 1956 Pullman-Standard cars were similar, but lacked the smaller end windows. In addition, on one side the rightmost windows were replaced by a pair of square windows on the lower level and a single square window on the upper level. (This was the location of the toilet.)
The subsequent Pullman-Standard cars have four large windows instead of six, and the air conditioning units were relocated from underfloor to the area above the entry doors, with large intakes for the condensers above the doors. The 1958 intercity cars, including 6400 which was later rebuilt into commuter coach 225, were built with three bare condenser panels next to each other, centered above the doors. On the 1960 cars (which came in both cab and coach configurations), the rightmost panel was omitted, leaving just two panels offset to the left of center. The subsequent cars were similar, but the condensers were covered with a grille that visually divided the area into quarters. Cab details also differed.
|Qty||Pct||Description||C&NW Numbers||North Side||South Side|
|16||5.7%||1955 SLC "6˝ window"||1-16|
|32||11.4%||1956 PS "6 window"||17-48|
|8||2.9%||1960 cab cars||151-158|
|56||20.0%||late cab cars||159-200, 251-264|
|139||49.6%||late coaches||77-150, 201-224,
C&NW 152 (as built)
The builder's photo of C&NW 152 (far left) shows how the first eight
cab cars (C&NW 151-158) looked when new. Note the gong bell above the
engineer's windshield, front-mounted horns like on an M.U. car, boiler tube
pilot, and lack of a gate in front of the door.
Compare this to C&NW 260, which except for the 1970s-addition of the rooftop amber warning light is how the later cab cars were delivered. Note the gong above the fireman's windshield, roof-mounted horns, solid pilot, and gate.
At the Illinois Railway Museum after restoration, C&NW 151 (far left)
illustrates the relocation of the gong and horns, which occurred soon
after delivery, plus the subsequent replacement of the pilot with the
later-style solid design. The gong location forced the number
to be offset instead of being centered as on the later cars. The gates
and amber beacons were also added, but have been removed during
restoration. The red 8700 at the top of the door is the car's RTA
RTA 8713, built as C&NW 164, again illustrates the later cab cars.
|225||7880||PS||1958||1||W6997||W53075||136||ex-6400, cvtd 1965|
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