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Home > Richmond shops > Car Records >1930's Air Conditioning program

Richmond Pullman: Air Conditioning program

  By the 1930's air conditioning systems were light enough to install on passenger cars. Generally, diners were the first cars to be air conditioned as a measure of cleanliness against soot from the locomotive. Pullman had placed an experimental unit in the McNAIR, a 12-1 in 1929. The depression temporarily stalled any plans, but Pullman had been through depressions before and would be ready for the economic upturn. Initially only some cars were to be done. But when a/c became a selling point, everyone jumped on the bandwagon and whole trains were a/c'ed at one time. Pullman took advantage of their large pool of skilled workers to upgrade their huge investment. Thousands of cars were air condition during the 1930's, as well as hundreds that were rebuilt from older section type sleepers into room type cars.

  Ice was originally used as a refrigerant. As it melted the water was piped to fans in the ceiling and blown trough the car. Ammonia gas was used for a while, but was too dangerous. Freon came into use in 1932.
   These cars all had the Pullman-Mechanical type A/C with a brine tank installed on the dates shown. (The brine tanks were later bypassed, and most were removed.) Glen Rae, Glen Ridge and Glen Alta were also rebuilt to Plan 3523F when the A/C was applied.

Glen Tarsan 3523F 6Cpt-3DR LM 3/7/34 4/13/34 9102
Glen Meadail 3523F 6Cpt-3DR LM 3/21/34 4/30/34 9311
Glen Rosa 3523F 6Cpt-3DR LM 4/30/34 5/26/34 9695
DeFoe 3523 6Cpt-3DR S 11/5/36 2/4/36 18505
New Geneva 3958 14S   3/13/36 4/7/36 16493
Edmund Cartwright 3958 14S S 4/7/36 4/29/36 17029
McCune 3410 12Sec-1DR LM 4/15/36 5/5/36 16859
Jonathan Club 3989I 8S-Buf-SunRm-Obs M 4/21/36 5/19/36 16962
Glen Rae 3523A 6Cpt-3DR SR 6/11/36 6/26/36 17235
Glen Ridge 3523A 6Cpt-3DR SR 6/11/36 6/29/36 17297
Bernadotte 2410F 12S-1Dr M 9/10/36 9/25/36 17490
Glen Alta 3523A 6Cpt-3DR MR 9/14/36 10/27/36 17999
McGinty 3410 12Sec-1DR MA 5/4/37 5/26/37 20197
Berkeley 3410A 12Sec-1DR MG 10/26/37 11/19/37 21441
Juana 3410A 12Sec-1DR MG 1/19/39 2/6/39 24387

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