Monday, January 2, 2023

Dudley & Quincy

Merchants Limited

The elegant New Haven Railroad Merchants Limited  served mostly wealthy businessmen with a matching pair of extra fare and first class only seating passenger trains that ran simultaneously in opposite directions between New York City and Boston, leaving their respective terminals at 5 PM continually from 1903 until the end of the New Haven Railroad.

Identical headend cars Dudley & Quincy were built for and assigned to the consists of the Merchants Limited from when they were delivered new from Pullman during 1916 thru 1948, the following year being replaced by the arrival of the post war stainless steel consists. 

The above information gleaned from the comprehensive history of the Merchants Limited  that appeared in volume 36 #1 of the SHORELINER magazine published by the New Haven Railroad Historical & Technical Association (

Dudley & Quincy 

Cars Dudley & Quincy were originally configured as baggage-24-chair cars when built to Pullman plan #2915, the only two cars built to this plan. 

A 1920 New Haven Passenger Train Consist List classifies these cars as first car in the consist of the Merchants Limited  of both westbound train #23 and eastbound train #24, the New Haven referring to these cars on the list as composite-baggage-smokers, abbreviation CS. 

Train #23 from the 1920 consist list below.

Said to be the original floor plan below, but dimension over the end sills @ 77' 3 1/2" does not correlate with several later plans @ 74' 6" believed to be accurate. Maybe the length dimension of a vestibule was mistakenly added to the baggage end on this drawing adding to the overall length?  

An early side view of the Quincy.

The Dudley & Quincy were a narrow clearstory design, easily compared below to the wide clearstory cars of the remaining Merchants consist.   

This photo shows the inset baggage car end, opposite end was typical vestibule design, both car ends were curved at the top where end meets roof. 

All three photos above were taken before these cars were air conditioned.

Several reconfigurations thru the years of service

Both the Dudley & Quincy had seating and purpose reconfigurations, equipment additions while assigned to the Merchants Limited during Pullman ownership. Additionally one final reconfiguration under New Haven ownership for general assignments by the roads Dinning Car Department.

Not all reconfigurations are known here.  Relying on a collection of Passenger Consists Lists that has several gaps in years, notable revisions known are listed below.

Originally composite-baggage-24 chair-smokers a 1931 consist list now refers to both cars as a Club car with 42 chairs. No floor plan available. Listing below, note the Merchants Limited  now has new train numbers #26 & #27 that will also remain to the end of the New haven.

 The 1934 lists both cars as remaining Club (42 Ch) but an ice air condition system has been installed.

Pullman duct layout for plan 2915 G dated 1934 after air conditioning installation. Also note that a buffet now replaces the women's toilet, in the baggage room various lockers and an ice cooled refrigerator with roof fill hatch have been added.

Still listed as a Club car in 1937 but list now indicates a seating capacity reduction to 38 chair, no floor plan. Dudley & Quincy will remained listed as Club 38C on the Merchants Limited  until being replaced by the stainless steel cars delivered in 1948.

Below is the final 1942 Pullman floor plan 2915 H with seating for 38.   

Note the 74' 6" over end sill dimension believed to be correct.

Photo of the Dudley @ Boston 1946. 

Dudley & Quincy under New Haven ownership

After being replaced on the Merchants Limited by the stainless steel post war cars of 1948, Dudley & Quincy now under New Haven ownership were listed as "spares" during 1949.

The 1950 Passenger Train Consists list shows both cars as being "Withdrawn from Service". This status continued thru 1951, possibly this is when these cars were being converted into Café-Coaches at the New Haven Readville MA. shops. 

Dudley & Quincy are no longer listed with the parlor cars, now listed in the 1952 Passenger Train Consists with dining cars having been reconfigured into Café-Coach cars.

This is the 48 seat Café-Coach floor plan and final plan for these cars, 24 coach seats, two tables with 8 individual seats and 16 booth seats. The former baggage room now has a fully electric kitchen installed, the ice refrigerator remains although unclear if it is still cooled with ice and some additional lockers have been installed others repurposed.

Note again the 74' 6" over end sills dimension.

The Dudley

The main focus here going forward will be on the Dudley car number 2093.

The Dudley was assigned to name trains #13 "42nd Street Express" and #28 "Gilt Edge" in 1954. The following years of 55, 56 the Dudley is again listed as a "spare".

The consist list from 1957 shows Dudley assigned to NYC-Springfield MA. trains 69-60 and Quincy to Berkshire trains 141-144.

Never before having photographic proof of these Café-Coaches in service on the Berkshire, the following photo taken in 1957 appeared in the SHORELINER magazine volume 43 #4. 

Contradictory to the passenger consist assignments above, the Dudley is the 2nd car in the consist entering Danbury on train #144 "The Berkshire". Of special interest is the Dudley's McGinnis new image color scheme, most likely the only existing photo of that scheme on this car.

The magazine photo to small to work with, the photographer of the photo J. W. Swanberg was kind to provide this copy to enlarge.

A desire to have the food service cars used the Berkshire during 1957 for the layout this photo is a real treasure and piqued an interest in modeling this unique car as photographed above, that will begin next.

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