locked Jim Crow Coaches

Charles Powell

A friend of mine sent me the link below to a short video from 2016 regarding the SOU 1200 coach that was placed in the Smithsonian. The video showed some short clips of the car's interior during the restoration. One of the issues they pointed out was that a difference between the "colored" section and the "white" section was that the colored section lacked luggage racks overhead. I was never on one of those cars during the Jim Crow era but did ride them in the 1960s after desegregation.  I remember the colored section had two small restrooms while the white section had two large ones and I can remember luggage racks but I can't recall if they were lacking in the colored section. The seats were the same throughout. I wonder if since the 1200 came from TVRM's storage yard if the luggage racks had been removed from one end in order to fix another car and the Smithsonian folks assumed that the car was always that way? I would have thought that even if the car lacked luggage racks on one end during the Jim Crow era, they would have been installed after desegregation when both sections of the car would have been used by anybody. 

Any thoughts anyone?
Charlie Powell 


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