locked Re: Jim Crow Coaches

George Eichelberger

I’ve attached a low res version of Southern drawing SP-6098 showing the floor plan of partitioned coaches 1200-1206. The variations in the lav. sizes are shown as are the luggage racks on both ends of the car. This drawing, among others, was provided before the car was “restored” for the Smithsonian. Written specifications also make it clear both ends of the car were equipped with luggage racks.

Our (SRHA’s) concern when we did the research was that people would seize on ANY difference in the car as “proof” the railroad wanted to discriminate between the races. I was unhappy with the restoration but what is left to say after the Smithsonian made such a mess out of the 1401!

We have a tremendous amount of Southern passenger car info in the SRHA archives. It is open to anyone that wants to do serious research on the Southern Railway. Everyone is invited to come to the archives grand opening on the Saturday of this year’s convention at Chattanooga. We would like to accomplish and finish many things before the opening but we need manpower and cash.

SRHA member or not…..please consider helping! Folks may also help TVRM acquire Southern diner 3307 from Amtrak. It will be used for food service on TVRM.


On Apr 6, 2019, at 8:45 PM, Don Yelverton via Groups.Io <donyelverton@...> wrote:

Where did this car color come from?


On Saturday, April 6, 2019, 07:35:17 PM EDT, George Eichelberger <geichelberger@...> wrote:


I helped do the research on that car in the SRHA archives before it went to the Smithsonian. Other than the fact that the toilets  at the ends of the car were slightly different sizes, we found NO differences between the “white" and “colored” sections of the car. It is unlikely the Southern would have been interested in creating any differences as the cars were not always in Jim Crow services and the Southern was very interested in providing good service to its “colored” passengers.

We provided quite a few drawings and specifications for the effort and only asked that SRHA be given appropriate credit in the display, I hope that is the case?


On Apr 6, 2019, at 7:23 PM, Charles Powell <charlesspowell@...> wrote:

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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