- This article is about railroad equipment. For
other cars, see Automobile and wiktionary definition of passenger car.
passenger car (known as a coach
or carriage in the UK) is a piece of railway
rolling stock that is designed to
Italian passenger car.
The term passenger car
be associated with a sleeping car
19th century: First passenger cars and early development
Up until about the end of the 19th century, most passenger cars
were constructed of wood. The first passenger trains did not travel
very far, but they were able to haul many more passengers for a
longer distance than any wagons
railways were first constructed in England, so too were
the first passenger cars.
One of the early coach designs was
the "Stanhope". It featured a roof and small holes in the floor for
drainage when it rained, and had separate compartments for
different classes of travel. The only problem with this design is
that the passengers were expected to stand for their entire trip.
passenger cars in the United States highly resembled stagecoaches.
They were short, often less
than 10 ft (3 m) long and rode on a single pair of axles.
British railways had a little bit of a head start on American railroads,
with the first "bed-carriage" (an early sleeping car) being built there as early as
1838 for use on the London
and Birmingham Railway and the Grand Junction Railway.
Britain's early sleepers, when made up for sleeping, extended the
foot of the bed into a boot section at the end of the carriage. The
cars were still too short to allow more than two or three beds to
be positioned end to end.
Britain's Royal Mail
built the first Travelling Post
cars in the late 1840s as well. These cars resembled
in their short wheelbase and
exterior design, but were equipped with nets on the sides of the
cars to catch mail bags while the train was in motion. American
, first appearing in the
1860s, also featured equipment to catch mail bags at speed, but the
American design more closely resembled a large hook that would
catch the mailbag in its crook. When not in use, the hook would
swivel down on the side of the car to prevent it from catching on
any close clearances.
As locomotive technology progressed in the mid-19th century, trains
grew in length and weight. Passenger cars, particularly in America,
grew along with them, first getting longer with the addition of a
(one at each end), and wider as
their suspensions improved. Cars built for European use featured
side door compartments, while American car design favored what was
called a "coach", a single long cabin with rows of seats, with
doors located at the ends of the car. Early American sleeping cars
were not compartmented, but by the end of the 19th century they
were. The compartments in the later sleepers were accessed from a
side hall running the length of the cars, similar to the design of
European cars well into the 20th century.
Many American passenger trains, particularly the long distance
ones, included a car at the end of the train called an observation
car. Until about the 1930s, these had an open-air platform at the
rear, the "observation platform". These gave way to a closed end
car, usually with a rounded end which was nonetheless still
referred to as an "observation car". The interiors of observation
cars varied. Many had special chairs and tables.
The end platforms of all passenger cars changed around the turn of
the 19th century. Older cars had open platforms between cars.
Passengers would enter and leave a car through a door at the end of
the car which led to a narrow platform. Steps on either side of the
platform were used for getting on or off the train, and one might
hop from one car platform to another. Later cars had enclosed
platforms called vestibules
allowed passengers not only to enter and exit the train protected
from the elements, but also to move more easily between cars with
the same protection.
Dining cars first appeared in the late 1870s and into the 1880s.
Until this time, the common practice was to stop for meals at
restaurants along the way (which led to the rise of Fred Harvey
's chain of Harvey House
restaurants in America). At first,
the dining car was simply a place to serve meals that were picked
up en route, but they soon evolved to include galleys in which the
meals were prepared. The introduction of vestibuled cars
, which for the first time
allowed easy movement from car to car, aided the adoption of dining
cars, lounge cars, and other specialized cars.
1900-1950: Lighter materials, new car types
By the 1920s, passenger cars on the larger standard gauge
railroads were normally
between and long. The cars of this time were still quite ornate,
many of them being built by experienced coach makers and skilled
With the 1930s came the widespread use of stainless steel
for carbodies. The typical
passenger car was now much lighter than its "heavyweight" wood
cousins of old. The new "lightweight" and streamlined
cars carried passengers in speed and
comfort to an extent that had not been experienced to date.
and Cor-Ten steel
were also used in lightweight
car construction, but stainless steel was the preferred material
for carbodies. It isn't the lightest of materials, nor is it the
least expensive, but stainless steel cars could be, and often were,
left unpainted except for the car's reporting marks
that were required by
By the end of the 1930s, railroads and carbuilders were debuting
carbody and interior styles that could only be dreamed of before.
In 1937, the Pullman Company delivered the first cars equipped with
– that is, the car's interior was
sectioned off into compartments, much like the coaches that were
still in widespread use across Europe. Pullman's roomettes,
however, were designed with the single traveler in mind. The
roomette featured a large picture window, a privacy door, a single
fold-away bed, a sink and small toilet. The roomette's floor space
was barely larger than the space taken up by the bed, but it
allowed the traveler to ride in luxury compared to the multilevel
semiprivate berths of old.
Now that passenger cars were lighter, they were able to carry
heavier loads, but the size of the average passenger that rode in
them didn't increase to match the cars' new capacities. The average
passenger car couldn't get any wider or longer due to side
clearances along the railroad lines, but they generally could get
taller because they were still shorter than many freight cars and
locomotives. So the railroads soon began building and buying
cars to carry more
1950-present: High-technology advancements
Starting in the 1950s, the passenger travel market declined in
North America, though there was growth in commuter rail
. Private intercity passenger
service in the U.S. ended with the creation of Amtrak
in 1971. Amtrak
over equipment and stations from all the railroads in the U.S. with
The higher clearances in North America enabled a major advancement
in passenger car design, bi-level (double-decker) commuter coaches
that could hold more passengers. These cars started to become
common in the United States in the 1960s, and were adopted by
for the Superliner
design as well as by many
other railroads and manufacturers. By the year 2000 double-deckers
rivaled single level cars in use around the world.
While intercity passenger rail travel declined in America,
ridership continued to increase in other parts of the world. With
the increase came an increased use of newer technology on existing
and new equipment. The Spanish company
Talgo began experimenting in the 1940s with
technology that would enable the axles to steer into a curve,
allowing the train to move around the curve at a higher
The steering axles evolved into mechanisms that would
also tilt the passenger car as it entered a curve to counter the
the train, further increasing speeds on existing track.
Talgo trains are used in many places in Europe and they have also
found a home in North America on some short and medium distance
routes such as Eugene,
Oregon, to Vancouver, British
Another type of tilting train
seeing widespread use across Europe
. These trains, built by Fiat Ferroviaria (now owned by Alstom), are in regular service in Italy, Portugal, Slovenia, Finland, Czech Republic and now the United Kingdom.
Using tilting trains, railroads are able to
run passenger trains over the same tracks
at higher speeds than would otherwise be
continued to push the development of
U.S.-designed passenger equipment even when the market demand
didn't support it, ordering a number of new passenger locomotive
and car types in the 1980s and 1990s. However, by the year 2000
Amtrak went to European manufacturers for the Amtrak Cascades
and Acela Express
premier services. These trains use new designs and are made to
operate as coherent "trainsets".
are made up of
cars from a single manufacturer and usually of a uniform design
(although the dining car
on the ICE
has a dome). In the 1960s and 1970s
countries around the world started to develop trains capable of
traveling in the 150-200mph range, to rival air travel.
One of the
first was France's TGV which entered service in 1981. By the year 2000,
Western Europe's major cities (London, Paris, Brussels, Amsterdam, Geneva, Berlin, Rome, etc.) were
connected by high-speed rail service.
Often tilting and high-speed cars are left in "trainsets"
throughout their service. For example, articulated cars
cannot be uncoupled without
special equipment because the individual cars share trucks. This
gives modern trains a smooth, coherent appearance because all the
cars and often the engines share a similar design and paint
Heavyweight vs. lightweight
A heavyweight car is one that is physically heavier than a
lightweight car due to its construction. While early cars used wood
construction, Pullman switched to heavyweight riveted steel
construction in 1910, more or less at the same time as other rail
car manufacturers. Heavyweights are said to offer a more luxurious
ride due to their added mass (from the plate steel construction and
concrete floor) and, usually, six-wheeled trucks (bogies). The
stepped roof line of early heavyweights usually consisted of a
center sill section (the clerestory) that ran the length of the car
and extended above the roof sides by as much as a foot. This
section of the roof usually had windows or shutters that could be
opened for ventilation while the train was in motion. However,
railroad crews and passengers quickly discovered that when these
windows were opened on a passenger train pulled by one or more
, smoke and soot
from the locomotives tended to drift in through the windows,
especially when the train went through a tunnel.
In the early 20th century, air conditioning was added to
heavyweight cars for the first time. An air conditioned heavyweight
car could be spotted easily since the area where the roof vent
windows existed was now covered, either partially or in full, by
the AC duct. As lightweight cars were introduced, many heavyweight
cars were repurposed into maintenance
service by the railroads that owned them.
Lightweight passenger cars required developments in steel
processing that weren't available until the 1920s and 1930s. By
building passenger cars out of steel instead of wood, the
manufacturers were able to build lighter weight cars with smooth or
fluted sides and smooth roof lines.
Steel cars were ushered in at the beginning of the streamline era
of the 1930s (although not all lightweight cars were streamlined)
and steel has continued in use ever since then. With the use of
steel for the car sides, railroads were able to offer more
innovative passenger car types. It wasn't until after the first
lightweight cars were introduced that railroads began building and
using dome cars because the sides of heavyweight cars weren't
strong enough to support the weight of the dome and its passengers.
Lightweight cars also enabled the railroads to operate longer
passenger trains; the reduced car weight meant that more passengers
could be carried in a greater number of cars with the same
locomotives. The cost savings in hauling capacity coupled with the
increased car type options led to the quick replacement of
heavyweight cars with lightweight cars.
Traditionally the passenger car can be split into a number of
The most basic division is between cars which do carry passengers
and "head end" equipment. The latter are run as part of passenger
trains, but do not themselves carry passengers. Traditionally they
were put between the locomotive and the passenger-carrying cars in
, hence the name.
Some specialized types are variants of or combine elements of the
most basic types.
Also the basic design of passenger cars is evolving, with
articulated units that have shared trucks, with double-decker
designs, and with the "low floor" design where the loading area is
very close to the ground and slung between the trucks.
The coach is the most basic type of passenger car, also sometimes
referred to as 'chair cars'.
Two main variants exist: 'Open', with a centre corridor; the car's
interior is often filled with row upon row of seats like that in a
arrangements of the 'open' type are also found, including seats
around tables, seats facing windows (often found on mass transit
trains since there is increase standing room for rush hours), as
well as variations of all three. Seating arrangement is typically
[2+2]. The seating arrangements and density, as well as the absence
or presence of other facilities depends on the intended use - from
mass transit systems to long distance luxury trains.
The interior of a compartment car,
viewed from the connecting side corridor
The other variant is the 'Compartment car', in which a side
corridor connects individual compartments along the body of the
train, each with two rows of seats facing each other.
In both arrangements carry-on baggage is stowed on a shelf above
the passenger seating area. The opening into the cars is usually
located at both ends of the carriage, often into a small hallway -
which in railway parlance is termed a vestibule
In India normal carriages often have double height seating, with
benches (berths), so that people can sit above on another (not
unlike a bunk bed), in other countries true double decker carriages
are becoming more common.
The seats in most coaches until the middle of the 20th century,
were usually bench seats; the backs of these seats could be
adjusted, often with one hand, to face in either direction so the
car would not have to be turned for a return trip. The conductor
would simply walk down the aisle in the car, reversing the seat
backs to prepare for the return trip. This arrangement is still
used in some modern trains.
A dining car (or diner) is used to serve meals to the passengers.
Its interior is split with a portion of the interior partitioned
off for a galley
, which is
off-limits to passengers. A narrow hallway is left between the
galley and one side wall of the car for passengers to use. The
remainder of the interior is laid out with tables and chairs to
look like a long, narrow restaurant
dining room. There is special personnel to perform waitstaff and
Lounge cars carry a bar and public seating. They usually have
benches or large swivelling chairs along the sides of the car. Some
lounge cars include small pianos and are staffed by contracted
musicians to entertain the passengers.
These cars are often pulled in addition to the dining car
, and on very long trains in addition
to one or more snack or cafe cars.
Lounge cars are an important part of the appeal of passenger trains
when compared to aircraft, buses and cars; there is more space to
move around, socialize, eat and drink, and a good view.
A heavyweight observation car.
The observation car almost always operated as the last car in a
passenger train. Its interior could include features of a coach,
lounge, diner, or sleeper. The main spotting feature was at the
tail end of the car - the walls of the car usually were curved
together to form a large U shape, and larger windows were installed
all around the end of the car. Before these cars were built with
steel walls, the observation end of heavyweight cars resembled a
roofed porch area; larger windows were installed at the observation
end on these cars as well. At this end of the car, there was almost
always a lounge where passengers could enjoy the view as they watch
the track rapidly recede into the distance.
Often called "sleepers" or "Pullman cars" (after the main American
operator), these cars provide sleeping arrangements for passengers
travelling at night. Early models were divided into sections, where
coach seating converted at night into semi-private berths. More
modern interiors are normally partitioned into separate bedroom
compartments for passengers. The beds are designed in such a way
that they either roll or fold out of the way or convert into seats
for daytime use. Compartments vary in size; some are only large
enough for a bed, while others resemble efficiency apartments
A baggage car
- Main articles: Baggage car (US)
and Brake van (UK)
Although passengers generally were not allowed access to the
baggage car, they were included in a great number of passenger
trains as regular equipment. The baggage car is a car that was
normally placed between the train's motive power and the remainder
of the passenger train. The car's interior is normally wide open
and is used to carry passengers' checked baggage. Baggage cars were
also sometimes commissioned by freight companies to haul
less-than-carload (lcl) shipments along passenger routes (Railway Express Agency
was one such
freight company). Some baggage cars included restroom facilities
for the train crew, so many baggage cars had doors to access them
just like any other passenger car. Baggage cars could be designed
to look like the rest of a passenger train's cars, or they could be
repurposed box car
equipped with high-speed
trucks and passenger train steam and air connections.
Express cars carried high value freight in passenger consists.
These cars resembled baggage cars, though in some cases specially
equipped box cars
or refrigerator cars
Specialized stock cars
were used to
transport horses and other high value livestock as part of
passenger consists. Similar equipment is used in circus trains to
transport their animals.
In some countries, convicts are transported from court to prison or
from prison to another by railway. In such transportation a
specific type of coach, prisoner car, is used. It contains several
cell comepartments with minimal interior and commodities, and a
separate guard compartment. Usually the windows are of
nontransparent opaque glass to prevent prisoners from seeing
outside and determine where they are, and windows usually also have
bars to prevent escapes. Unlike other passenger cars, prisoner cars
do not have doors at the ends of the wagon.
Railway post office
- Main articles: Railway post
office (US) and Travelling
post office (UK)
Like baggage cars, railway post office (RPO) cars were not
accessible to paying passengers. These cars' interiors were
designed with sorting facilities that were often seen and used in
conventional post offices around the world. The RPO is where mail
was sorted while the train was en route. Because these cars carried
mail, which often included valuables or quantities of cash and
checks, the RPO staff (who were employed by the postal service and
not the railroad) were the only train crews allowed to carry guns.
The RPO cars were normally placed in a passenger train between the
train's motive power and baggage cars, further inhibiting their
access by passengers.
A coach-baggage combine
A combine is a car that combines features of a head-end and a
regular passenger car. The most common combination is that of a
and a baggage car
, but the combination of coach and
was also common.
Combines were used most frequently on branch
and short line
there wasn't necessarily enough traffic to economically justify
single-purpose cars. As lightweight cars began to appear on
railroads, passenger cars more frequently combined features of two
or more car types on one car, and the classic heavyweight combine
fell out of use.
Control car (Cab)
A control car
(also known as a 'Driving
Trailer' in Europe and the UK) is a passenger car which lets the
train be run in reverse with the locomotive at the back. It is
common on commuter trains in the US and Europe. This can be
important for serving small towns without extensive switching
facilities, dead-end lines, and having a fast turn around when
changing directions in commuter service.
A dome car can include features of a lounge car, dining car and an
observation. A portion of the car, usually in the center of the
car, is split between two levels, with stairs leading both up and
down from the train's regular passenger car floor level. The lower
level of the dome usually consisted of a small lounge area, while
the upper portion was usually coach or lounge seating within a
"bubble" of glass on the car's roof. Passengers in the upper
portion of the dome were able to see in all directions from a
vantage point above the train's roofline. On some dome cars, the
lower portion was built as a galley, where car attendants used
to transfer items between the
galley and a dining area in the dome portion of the car.
Some dome cars were built with the dome extending the entire length
of the car, while others had only a small observation bubble. There
were also combination dome-observation cars built which were meant
to be the last car on the train, with both rear observation and the
dome up top.
Double-decker or Bilevel
As passenger car construction improved to the point where dome cars
were introduced, some passenger car manufacturers began building
double decker passenger train
cars for use in areas that are more heavily populated or to carry
more passengers over a long distance while using fewer cars (such
cars). Cars used on
long-distance passenger trains could combine features of any of the
basic car types, while cars used in local commuter service are
often strictly coach types on both levels.
Double decker coaches were tried in the UK (SR Class 4DD
) but the experiment was
unsuccessful because the restricted British loading gauge
resulted in cramped
A heavyweight Pullman "business
Many cars built by Pullman and other companies were either
originally built or later converted for use as business and private
cars which served as the "private jet" of the early to mid 1900s.
They were used by railroad officials and dignitaries as business
cars, and wealthy individuals for travel and entertainment. There
are various configurations, but the cars generally have an
observation platform and include a full kitchen, dining room, state
rooms, secretary's room, an observation room, and often servant's
quarters. A number of these private cars have survived the decades
and some are used for tour rides, leasing for private events, etc.
A small number of private cars (along with other types of passenger
cars), have been upgraded to meet current Amtrak regulations, and
may be chartered by their owners for private travel attached to
The only current example in Britain is the British Royal Train
Drovers' cars were used on long distance livestock
trains in the western United States. The
purpose of a drovers' car was to accommodate the livestock's
handlers on the journey between the ranch
processing plant. They were usually shorter, older cars, and
equipped with stove heaters, as no trainline steam heating was
A "troop sleeper" was a railroad passenger car which had been
constructed to serve as something of a mobile barracks
(essentially, a sleeping car) for transporting troops over
distances sufficient to require overnight accommodations. This
method allowed part of the trip to be made overnight, reducing the
amount of transit time required and increasing travel efficiency.
, rolling galleys, also joined the
consists in order to provide meal service en route (the troops took
their meals in their seats or bunks). Troop
cars, also based on the troop sleeper carbody,
transported wounded servicemen and typically travelled in solid
strings on special trains averaging fifteen cars each.
A variety of hospital trains
around the world, employing specialist carriages equipped as
hospital wards, treatment rooms, and full-scale operating
Passenger cars are as almost as old as railroading itself, and
their development paralleled that of freight cars. Early two axle
cars gave way to conventional two truck construction with the floor
of the car riding above the wheels; link and pin couplers gave way
to automatic types.
Several construction details characterized passenger equipment.
Passenger trains were expected to run at higher speeds than freight
service, and therefore passenger trucks evolved to allow superior
ride and better tracking at those speeds. In the United States (and
often in other countries) provision was made for passengers and
train staff to move from car to car; therefore platforms and later
were used to bridge the
In later years a number of changes to this basic form were
introduced to allow for improvements in speed, comfort, and
Articulated passenger cars are becoming increasingly common in
Europe and the US. This means that the passenger cars share trucks
and that the passageways between them are more or less permanently
attached. The cars are kept in "trainsets" and not split up during
Articulated cars have a number of advantages. They save on the
total number of wheels and trucks, reducing costs and maintenance
expenses. Further, movement between cars is safer and easier than
with traditional designs. Finally, it is possible to implement
tilting schemes such as the Talgo
allow the train to lean into curves. The chief disadvantage is that
failure of a single car disables the entire set, since individual
cars cannot be readily switched in and out of the consist.
Low-floor cars have their main passenger and loading floor directly
on level with the loading platform, instead of having a step up to
the passenger compartment as was traditional until around the
1970s. This is achieved by having a low-slung chassis with the "low
floor" resting between
the trucks, rather than resting
completely on top with a simpler straight chassis design. This
improved design is seen in many passenger cars today, especially
double decker cars. The low floor enables access for bicycles,
strollers, wheelchairs and those with disabilities, which is
otherwise not always convenient or even possible with the
traditional passenger car design.
Self-propelled passenger equipment
These vehicles usually carry motive power in each individual unit.
, Light Rail
widely constructed in urban areas throughout the world since the
late 1800s. By the year 1900, electric-powered passenger cars were
ubiquitous in the developed world, but they fell into decline after
World War II, especially in the U.S. By the year 2000 they had
regained popularity and modern lines were being rebuilt where they
had been torn up only 40 years earlier to make way for
On lighter-trafficked rural railways, powered diesel cars
(such as the Budd Rail Diesel Car
) continue to be
popular. In Germany the new Talent
design shows that the diesel-powered passenger car is still a
viable part of rail service. In the UK, locomotive-hauled passenger
trains have largely been replaced by diesel multiple units
, such as the
Bombardier Voyager family
even on express services.
These cars are able to tilt to counter the effects of inertia when
turning, making the ride more comfortable for the passengers.
Amtrak has adopted Talgo
trainsets for its
service in the
Pacific Northwest. Other manufacturers have also implemented
tilting designs. The British Rail
is a tilting train operating in the UK.
Passenger car manufacturers
While some railroads, like the Milwaukee
, preferred to build their own passenger cars, several
railcar manufacturers built the majority of passenger cars in
revenue service. Most of these companies produced both passenger
and freight equipment for the railroads. This is by no means a
comprehensive list of all passenger car builders (see List of rolling stock
for a more complete list). Quite a large number
of firms built passenger cars over the years, but the majority of
cars in the 20th century were built by these companies.
American Car and Foundry
American Car and Foundry
was formed in 1899 through the merger of 13 smaller railroad car
manufacturing companies (in much the same way as the American Locomotive Company
formed from the merger of 8 smaller locomotive manufacturers two
years later in 1901). ACF built the first all-steel
passenger car in the world for Interborough Rapid Transit
1904, and then built the first steel cars used on the London Underground
in the following year.
The company continued to manufacture passenger equipment until
1959. ACF still manufactures freight
Bombardier is the largest manufacturer of passenger cars in the
world. This company started in Canada and has become
multi-national, making everything from passenger cars to commuter
aircraft in factories around the world.
The Budd Company
got its start in the
early 1930s when Edward G. Budd
developed a way to build carbodies out
of stainless steel. In 1932 he completed his first railcar, dubbed
the Green Goose
. It used rubber tires and a stainless
steel body, and was powered by the engine out of Budd's own
sold a few of these early powered cars to the Reading Railroad
, Pennsylvania Railroad
and the Texas and Pacific Railroad
next year, Ralph Budd
, only a very
distant relation, but president of the Chicago, Burlington and
at the time, came to Budd to build the
Budd was soon called on by another railroad president before the
end of the decade. Samuel T.
asked Budd to build the
new lightweight cars for the Santa Fe
Budd continued building lightweight powered and unpowered cars
through the 20th century for nearly every major railroad in North
The most famous of all the car manufacturers was Pullman, which
began as the Pullman Palace Car Company
in 1867. The Pullman
Palace Car Company manufactured railroad cars in the mid to late
1800s through the early decades of the 20th century during the boom
of railroads in the United States.
Pullman developed the sleeping car which carried his name into the
In 1900, the Pullman Palace Car Company was reorganized as The
In 1924, Pullman Car & Manufacturing Co.
from the previous Pullman manufacturing department to consolidate
the car building interests of The Pullman Co.
In 1934, Pullman Car & Manufacturing merged with Standard Steel
Car Co. to form the Pullman-Standard Car Manufacturing
, which remained in the car manufacturing business
until 1982. Pullman manufactured its last cars for Amtrak in 1981.
The last car built and delivered at the end of July 1981 was named
George Mortimer Pullman
in honor of the company's
Siemens was founded in 1847 in Berlin, Germany building Conglomerates, Electric and Industry
products, Healthcare Radioative systems, rolling stock,etc. The
Siemens "Viaggio" passenger car models are to all purposes in the
European railways: Viaggio Twin: double-deck coaches used on
CityNightLine and ÖBB CityShuttle regional trains; Viaggio Classic:
Original Siemens passenger cars, similar to Eurofima UIC cars, used
in Germany, Greece, Czech
Republic and Austria; Viaggio
Light: new low-floor regional passenger coaches now used in
Israel and Viaggio
Comfort: New luxury articulated coaches used on ÖBB's railjet and Siemens
Coach 2000 prototype lounge car.
St. Louis Car Company
Founded in April 1887, in its namesake city, St. Louis Car Company
railroad cars for streetcar
passenger railways) and steam railroads. The company made brief
forays into building automobiles
, but they are best known as the
manufacturers of Birney
streetcars which have seen worldwide use.
St. Louis Car Company closed in 1973.
Lighting, heating, air-conditioning
The earliest form of train lighting was provided by Colza oil
lamps. The next stage was gas lighting
, using compressed gas stored in
cylinders under the coaches. Finally, electric lighting
Early railway coaches had no heating but passengers could hire
foot-warmers. These worked on the same principle as modern sodium acetate heating
. Later, steam heating was introduced, using a steam supply
from the steam locomotive
heating continued into the diesel
era, with steam supplied by a steam generator
. Now, electric heating
is almost universal and
is often provided
as well. In the case of diesel
, the coaches may be heated by waste heat from
the engines, as in an automobile
The Railway Series
- Welsh, Joe (2005) New deal for rail travel, Classic trains
special edition: Streamliner pioneers, Kalmbach Publishing,
Waukesha, WI, 3, 8-17.