Baggage cars no. 1550 & 1551

Louisville & Nashville Post Office Car 1121/1151
Louisville & Nashville Post Office Car no. 1121/1151

Pullman Standard Car Manufacturing built Louisville & Nashville Post Office Cars numbered 1120 and 1121. No. 1120 was built on December 21, 1949 while No. 1121 was built a week later on December 28, 1949. They were built using plan #7597 and were part of lot #6813. The overall length of each car was 82’10”.

Service on the Crescent Limited

The cars were built as full railway post office (RPO) cars as part of the L&N contribution of thru cars to the Crescent Limit consist of 1949. The cars featured flat panel stainless on the outside rather than the more common fluted stainless steel on the exterior of the cars. This was done to prevent dents and dings that most fluted Pullman built cars suffered as a result of baggage cars hitting the sides at stations. These cars ran as Post Office cars for only four years.

Louisville & Nashville Post Office Car 1120/1150
Louisville & Nashville Post Office Car 1120/1150

Collision in Woodstock, AL

On November 25, 1951, The Crescent was routed off it's normal route to travel an all Southern Railway route to New Orleans. The Crescent was operating as the Second No.47 which was following the Southerner operating as the First No.47. The Crescent and The Southerner were both traveling southbound. At a siding in Woodstock, AL northbound No.48, was instructed to pull onto the siding to wait for the both No.47s to pass. Unfortunately, No.48 waited long enough for only the First No.47 to clear the siding before it went through the switch at the north end of the siding. It was at this point, the Second No.47 appeared resulting in a head-on collision. The collision left 17 dead and 67 injured. Louisville & Nashville Post Office Car 1120 was part of the consist and was heavily damaged. Louisville & Nashville managed to salvage the car and return it to service. For more information, the accident report #3437  is still available from the Interstate Commerce Commission. 

New Life as Baggage Cars

In 1953, Louisville & Nashville shopped both cars for conversion. When the both cars reappeared, the side windows had been blanked out and the cars were now full baggage cars. This complete conversion to baggage cars was prompted by the U.S. Postal Service’s continued cancellation of postal contracts. It was at this time the cars were given the road numbers they carry today: 1550 and 1551.

Alabama Reunion Train

In 1989, No. 1550 was part of the 15-car Alabama Reunion train. CSX Rail Transportation and Norfolk Southern Railroad cosponsored the Alabama Reunion train. No. 1550 was used as a museum car highlighting railroad history in the state. This car is currently lettered for the Heart of Dixie.