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Passenger Car Roster

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Passenger Cars Used on the South Shore and the Mineral Range

This table lists the passenger cars that the Duluth, South Shore, and Atlantic Railway (DSS&A) used in the Autumn of 1922. By the 1920s, the DSS&A was the only affiliated railroad offering passenger service in the Copper Country. The Mineral Range Railroad (MRRR) and the Hancock and Calumet Railroad (H&CRR) no longer provided any service.

For a small backwoods railway, the DSS&A had an impressive set of passenger cars. They were fore runners in using vestibuled cars, and electric lighting, among north country railroads (King 1981,14). I speculate that the enclosed vestibules were probably favored because of the comfort they offered during the winter when moving between cars. By March 1925 the DSS&A started to use its first all steel passenger cars with electrical lighting. The DSS&A passenger service eventually owned at least eight steel passenger cars and three steel sleepers. These more modern steel cars eventually replaced the out-dated wooden cars. The DSS&A had sophisticated enough passenger equipment in 1925 that it could compete with the Soo Line in the comforts it could offer passengers.

Passenger service started to dwindle in the 1950s. Trains nos. 1 and 2 between Calumet and St. Ignace were discontinued on 18 January 1953 (Monette 1993, 102). Other DSS&A trains were dropped as the demand for service evaporated with the popularity of the automobile and the growth of bus services. In August 1955, the passenger cars of the DSS&A were no longer ferried across the Straits. Eventually, passenger service on the DSS&A dwindled to the "Shoreliner," a Budd coach-combine RDC-1, that ran from Marquette to St. Ignace. The "Shoreliner" ran from August 1955 to January 1958 (Page 1991, 41).

The last passenger train service to Calumet was the Copper Country Limited. This was a Chicago, Milwaukee, and St. Paul Railroad operation using DSS&A tracks. The last run of the Copper Country Limited was on 7 March 1968 (Roth 1993, 37).

As was the case elsewhere, passenger service was killed off by the automobile, bus, and air plane. The opening of the Mackinac Bridge in November 1957 made the remaining passenger service redundant. I plan to eventually add a page with a more detailed history of passenger services in the Copper Country.

The Bridge and Building Department is the maintenance-of-way department for the DSS&A. Many of the wooden passenger cars were moved over to this department as they became too old for regular passenger service. Unfortunately, the date of their transfer is not always known. Nevertheless, I am confident that those marked as transferred on this roster where moved over after the Autumn of 1922. I assume that after the merger, the Soo Line either used the remaining cars as maintenance-of-way cars or had them scrapped through the 1960s.

To my knowledge, only one of these cars, no. 213, has survived and is restored at the Mid-Continent Railway Museum. Please notify me if you know of the survival of any other cars. I am especially interested in learning if the sleeper converted into a Summer home near Calumet still exists. Also, I would like to know which sleeper, Duluth or Superior, was destroyed by fire and when.

DSS&A Passenger Car Roster, Autumn 1922

This list is generated from a number of sources as shown at the bottom of the table. Some of these sources conflict. I have tried resolved these conflicts by relying on the sources written as close to 1922-1923 as possible. However, in some cases I have recorded the conflicting details, especially in regards to the length of the cars. The feet and inches indicate the length of the car.

Car Number or Name Type of Car Details
1 Baggage, Mail, and Express Built 1881 by Gilbert Bush Co., wood body and underframe, 4-wheel, 45 feet.
2 Baggage, Mail, and Express Built 1881 by Gilbert Bush Co., wood body and underframe, 4-wheel, 45 feet.
3 Baggage, Mail, and Express Built 1881 by Gilbert Bush Co., wood body and underframe, 4-wheel, 50 feet.
10 Baggage and Express Built 1888 by Jackson & Sharp Car Co., wood body and underframe, 4-wheel, 52 feet.
11 Baggage and Express Built 1888 by Jackson & Sharp Car Co., wood body and underframe, 4-wheel, 52 feet.
12 Baggage and Express Built 1888 by Jackson & Sharp Car Co., wood body and underframe, 4-wheel, 52 feet, open platforms.
13 Baggage and Express Built 1888 by Jackson & Sharp Car Co., wood body and underframe, 4-wheel, 52 feet.
14 Baggage and Express Built 1888 by Jackson & Sharp Car Co., wood body and underframe, 4-wheel, 52 feet.
15 Baggage and Express Built 1881 by H&CRR, wood body and underframe, 4-wheel, 52 feet 9 inches, vestibule, transferred to Bridge and Building Department as no. 982, disposed of in 1964. This car may have been originally built in 1872 by Jackson & Sharp Car Co. It was scrapped in April 1964 at Newberry, Michigan.
40 Baggage, Mail, and Express Built 1888 by Jackson and Sharp Car Co., wood body and underframe, 4-wheel, 40 feet, open platforms.
42 Baggage, Mail, and Express Built 1888 by Jackson and Sharp Car Co., wood body and underframe, 4-wheel, 40 feet.
43 Baggage and Express Built 1888 by Jackson and Sharp Car Co., wood body and underframe, 4-wheel, 40 feet.
51 Coach, Second Class Built 1884 by Jackson and Sharp Car Co., wood body and underframe, 4-wheel, 49 feet, closed vestibules, 26 seats.
54 Coach, Second Class Built 1881 by Gilbert Bush Co., wood body and underframe, 4-wheel, 52 feet 5 inches, open platforms, 26 seats. Transferred to Bridge and Building Department as no. 962. It may have been only 45 feet?
55 Coach, Second Class Built 1881 by Gilbert Bush Co., wood body and underframe, 4-wheel, 52 feet 5 inches, open platforms, 26 seats. Transferred to Bridge and Building Department as no. 962, supposedly after no. 54 was disposed of. It may have been only 45 feet?
56 Coach, Second Class Built 1883 by Jones Car Co., wood body and underframe, 4-wheel, 56 feet, 10 inches, open platforms, 26 seats. Transferred to Bridge and Building Department as no. 964. It may have been only 52 feet.
57 Coach, Second Class Built 1884 by Jackson and Sharp Car Co., wood body and underframe, 4-wheel, 49 feet, 26 seats. Transferred to Bridge and Building Department as no. 965.
58 Coach, Second Class Built 1882 by Jackson and Sharp Car Co., wood body and underframe, 4-wheel, 55 feet, 8 inches, open platforms, 27 seats. Transferred in May 1926 to Bridge and Building Department as no. 963. Dismantled on 26 June 1939. It may have only been 49 feet.
59 Coach, Second Class Built 1882 by Jackson and Sharp Car Co., wood body and underframe, 4-wheel, 55 feet, 8 inches, open platforms, 26 seats. Sold to Weidman Lumber Co. in 1930. It may have only been 49 feet.
60 Baggage, Mail, and Express Built 1911 by American Car and Foundry Co., composite body and steel underframe, 4-wheel, 49 feet, 11 inches, vestibules. Scrapped at Fond du Lac in 1963. It may have been 51 feet.
71 Combination Built 1884 by Jackson and Sharp Car Co., wood body and underframe, 4-wheel, 48 feet, open platforms, 13 seats. Transferred to Bridge and Building Department as no. 960. It may have been 55 feet. Unlike many other DSS&A passenger cars, this one had paneled siding.
72 Combination Built 1884 by Jackson and Sharp Car Co., wood body and underframe, 4-wheel, 55 feet, open platforms, 13 seats.
73 Combination Built 1884 by Jackson and Sharp Car Co., wood body and underframe, 4-wheel, 55 feet, open platforms, 28 seats.
74 Combination Built 1881 by Gilbert Bush Co., wood body and underframe, 4-wheel, 52 feet, 4 inches, open platforms, 13 seats. Dismantled in 1938. Conflicting information indicates that this car may have been built 1884 by Jackson and Sharp Car Co. and was 55 feet.
75 Combination Built 1885 by Jackson and Sharp Car Co., wood body and underframe, 4-wheel, 59 feet, open platform, 13 seats.
100 Baggage, Mail, and Express Built 1905 by Barney and Smith Car Co., wood body and steel underframe, 6-wheel, 70 feet, 3 inches, vestibules. Moved to White Pine, Michigan, and used as an office. Scrapped at Marquette in 1966.
101 Baggage, Mail, and Express Built 1905 by Barney and Smith Car Co., wood body and steel underframe, 6-wheel, 70 feet, 3 inches, vestibules. Transferred to the Soo Line Bridge and Building Department in April 1964. At one time, probably before the DSS&A owned it, this had been a private car.  This car is reportedly now at the Minnesota Transportation Museum, Jackson Street Roundhouse, St. Paul, Minnesota.  It is undergoing restoration.
210 Coach, First Class Built 1888 by Jackson and Sharp Car Co., wood body and underframe, 4-wheel, 60 feet, 5 inches, vestibules. This car was originally open platforms.
211 Coach, First Class Built 1888 by Jackson and Sharp Car Co., wood body and underframe, 4-wheel, 60 feet, 5 inches, vestibules. This car was originally open platforms.
212 Coach, First Class Built 1888 by Jackson and Sharp Car Co., wood body and underframe, 4-wheel, 60 feet, 5 inches, vestibules. This car was originally open platforms.
213 Coach, First Class Built 1888 by Jackson and Sharp Car Co., wood body and underframe, 4-wheel, 59 feet, open platforms, 62 seats. Restored around 1988 and preserved at the Mid-Continent Railway Museum, North Freedom, Wisconsin.
214 Coach, First Class Built 1888 by Jackson and Sharp Car Co., wood body and underframe, 4-wheel, 59 feet, open platforms, 62 seats. Transferred to the Bridge and Building Department in October 1930 as no. 977.
215 Coach, First Class Built 1888 by Jackson and Sharp Car Co., wood body and underframe, 4-wheel, 59 feet, open platforms, 62 seats.
216 Coach, First Class Built 1888 by Jackson and Sharp Car Co., wood body and underframe, 4-wheel, 59 feet, open platforms, 62 seats.
221 Coach, First Class Built 1888 by Jackson and Sharp Car Co., wood body and underframe, 4-wheel, 59 feet, open platforms, 62 seats.  This car is reportedly at the Iron Horse Central Railway Museum in Chisago City, Minnesota, and is undergoing restoration.  It was previously being used as a Bridge and Building Department car for the Soo Line.
222 Coach, First Class Built 1888 by Jackson and Sharp Car Co., wood body and underframe, 4-wheel, 59 feet, open platforms, 62 seats.
223 Coach, First Class Built 1888 by Jackson and Sharp Car Co., wood body and underframe, 4-wheel, 59 feet, open platforms, 62 seats.
223 Coach, First Class Built 1888 by Jackson and Sharp Car Co., wood body and underframe, 4-wheel, 59 feet, open platforms, 62 seats.
224 Coach, First Class Built 1888 by Jackson and Sharp Car Co., wood body and underframe, 4-wheel, 59 feet, open platforms, 62 seats.
225 Coach, First Class Built 1888 by Jackson and Sharp Car Co., wood body and underframe, 4-wheel, 59 feet, open platforms, 62 seats.
226 Coach, First Class Built 1888 by Jackson and Sharp Car Co., wood body and underframe, 4-wheel, 59 feet, open platforms, 62 seats.
227 Coach, First Class Built 1888 by Jackson and Sharp Car Co., wood body and underframe, 4-wheel, 59 feet, open platforms, 62 seats.
228 Coach, First Class Built 1888 by Jackson and Sharp Car Co., wood body and underframe, 4-wheel, 59 feet, open platforms, 62 seats.
229 Coach, First Class Built 1888 by Jackson and Sharp Car Co., wood body and underframe, 4-wheel, 59 feet, open platforms, 62 seats.
300 Dining Built 1888 by Jackson and Sharp Car Co., wood body and underframe, 4-wheel, 60 feet, 3 inches, vestibules, 3 small and 3 large tables. Rebuilt from a 200 class car. It may have been 52 feet.
301 Observation-Café Built 1888 by Jackson and Sharp Car Co., wood body and underframe, 4-wheel, 59 feet, 10 inches, vestibules, 26 seats, 4 tables. Rebuilt from a 200 class car,
302 Business Built 1885 by Jackson and Sharp Car Co., wood body and underframe, 4-wheel, 59 feet, 10 inches, vestibule on one end and open platform on the other end. Rebuilt from a 200 class car. This was the private car for the DSS&A General Superintendent.
305 Dining Built 1912 by Barney and Smith Car Co., wood body and steel underframe, 6-wheel, 68 feet, 2 inches, vestibules, 24 seats, 4 large and 4 small tables. Used on the night train, nos. 7 and 8, between Duluth and Sault Ste. Marie. Sold in 1937.
306 Observation-Café Built 1912 by Barney and Smith Car Co., wood body and steel underframe, 6-wheel, 75 feet, 2 inches, vestibule on one end and platform on the other end, 45 seats. Used on trains nos. 1 and 2 between Calumet and St. Ignace. Converted to a combine, date unknown, but before 1936. Made a first class coach in 1936. Sold on 16 October 1943.
307 Dining Built 1912 by Barney and Smith Car Co., wood body and steel underframe, 6-wheel, 68 feet, 2 inches, vestibules, 24 seats, 4 large and 4 small tables. Used on the night train, nos. 7 and 8, between Duluth and Sault Ste. Marie. Sold in 1937.
308 Observation-Café Built 1912 by Barney and Smith Car Co., wood body and steel underframe, 6-wheel, 75 feet, 2 inches, vestibules, 33 seats, 2 large and 2 small tables. Used on trains nos. 1 and 2 between Calumet and St. Ignace. Sold in 1939.
500 Baggage and Express Built 1902 by American Car and Foundry Co., wood body and underframe, 4-wheel, 52 feet. Dismantled in 1940.
501 Baggage and Express Built 1902 by American Car and Foundry Co., wood body and underframe, 4-wheel, 52 feet. Dismantled in 1940.
502 Baggage and Express Built 1908 by Barney and Smith Car Co., wood body and underframe, 4-wheel, 55 feet, 5 inches, vestibules. Transferred to Bridge and Building Department as no. 813.
555 Business Built 1888 by Barney and Smith Car Co., wood body and underframe, 6-wheel, 59 feet, 10 inches, platforms. Transferred to Bridge and Building Department as no. 817 on 4 November 1943. Private car for the DSS&A General Manger.
600 Coach, Second Class Built 1902 by American Car and Foundry Co., wood body and underframe, 4-wheel, 61 feet, vestibules, 60 seats. Transferred to Bridge and Building Department as no. 814 on 27 April 1942.
601 Coach, Second Class Built 1902 by American Car and Foundry Co., wood body and underframe, 4-wheel, 61 feet, vestibules, 60 seats. Rebuilt as a combination car with 26 seats. Scrapped at Houghton in 1966.
602 Coach, Second Class Built 1908 by Barney and Smith Car Co., wood body and underframe, 4-wheel, 74 feet, 11 inches, vestibules, 80 seats. Transferred to Bridge and Building Department as no. 818 in October 1948.
603 Coach, Second Class Built 1908 by Barney and Smith Car Co., wood body and underframe, 4-wheel, 74 feet, 11 inches, vestibules, 80 seats. Transferred to Bridge and Building Department as no. 819. Disposed of in 1969.
604 Coach, Second Class Built 1908 by Barney and Smith Car Co., wood body and underframe, 4-wheel, 74 feet, 11 inches, vestibules, 80 seats. Transferred to Bridge and Building Department as no. 824.
700 Coach, First Class Built 1902 by American Car and Foundry Co., wood body and underframe, 4-wheel, 61 feet, vestibules, 60 seats. Transferred to Bridge and Building Department as no. 814 on 27 April 1942.
701 Coach, First Class Built 1902 by American Car and Foundry Co., wood body and underframe, 4-wheel, 61 feet, vestibules, 60 seats. Transferred to Bridge and Building Department as no. 999 on 28 July 1938.  It is now preserved at the Mid-Continent Railway Museum, North Freedom, Wisconsin.
702 Coach, First Class Built 1908 by Barney and Smith Car Co., wood body and underframe, 4-wheel, 60 feet, 5 inches, vestibules. It may have been 52 feet.
Duluth Sleeper Built 1902 by Barney and Smith, wood body and underframe, 6-wheel, 73 feet, 4 inches, vestibules, 10 sections, a smoking room, and a drawing (or state) room. This is the first sleeper named Duluth. It was replaced by second all-steel sleeper of the same name in 1932.
Houghton Sleeper Built 1902 by Barney and Smith, wood body and underframe, 6-wheel, 73 feet, 4 inches, vestibules, 10 sections, a smoking room, and a drawing room.
Ishpeming Sleeper Built 1902 by Barney and Smith, wood body and underframe, 6-wheel, 73 feet, 4 inches, vestibules, 10 sections, a smoking room, and a drawing room.
Sault Ste. Marie Sleeper Built 1902 by Barney and Smith, wood body and underframe, 6-wheel, 73 feet, 4 inches, vestibules, 10 sections, smoking room, and a drawing room. According to an email from Robert Oom, dated 10 July 1997, this sleeper may be in Alanson, Michigan (near Petoskey). It was still there last year. In an email dated 26 April 2002 from John Kenn, I am informed that this car might now be near Brimley, Michigan. It was purchased in 1998 with the intention of turning it into a resturant. However, it is apparently abandoned at this time.
Superior Sleeper Built 1902 by Barney and Smith, wood body and underframe, 6-wheel, 73 feet, 4 inches, vestibules, 10 sections, a smoking room, and a drawing room. This is the first sleeper named Superior. It was replaced by second all-steel sleeper of the same name in 1935.
Negaunee Sleeper Built 1906 by Barney and Smith, wood body and underframe, 6-wheel, 79 feet, 4 inches, vestibules, 12 sections and a drawing room. Probably used between Calumet and Mackinaw City.
Newberry Sleeper Built 1906 by Barney and Smith, wood body and underframe, 6-wheel, 79 feet, 4 inches, vestibules, 12 sections and a drawing room. Probably used between Calumet and Mackinaw City.

Sources: Derus and Fleming 1991; Durocher 1964; ICC 1916b; Perron Collection, Passenger Car Binder, which includes photographs, drawings, and news articles

DSS&A Sleepers

Sleeper service deserves a special mention. Initially, the DSS&A used Pullman cars and service for sleepers. However, this was discontinued in May 1902 when the DSS&A acquired its first sleepers: Duluth, Houghton, Ishpeming, Sault Ste. Marie, and Superior. The Negaunee and Newberry were added in 1906. One of these wooden sleepers reportedly ended up becoming a Summer home in Calumet, Michigan. Also, I seem to recall reading some where that one of these sleepers was destroyed by a fire. It would either have been Duluth (1st) or Superior (1st), since they were replaced with similarly named sleepers in 1932. Besides the sleepers in the table, the DSS&A also owned three additional steel sleepers after Autumn 1922. They were:

  • Duluth, second of that name, built September 1911 by Barney and Smith Car Co., all steel construction, 6-wheel, 81 feet, 12 sections, a smoking room, and a state room, ex-Soo Line no. 1229, originally also named Duluth, acquired 5 April 1932, rebuilt by the Soo Line in August 1940, transferred to the Bridge and Building Department as no. 820, and scrapped in the 1960s

  • Superior, second of that name, built September 1911 by Barney and Smith Car Co., all steel construction, 6-wheel, 81 feet, 12 sections, a smoking room, and a state room, ex-Soo Line no. 1230, originally also named Superior, acquired in March 1932, rebuilt by the Soo Line in August 1940, and eventually transferred to the Bridge and Building Department

  • Marquette, built September 1911 by Barney and Smith Car Co., all steel construction, 6-wheel, 81 feet, 12 sections, a smoking room, and a state room, ex-Soo Line no. 1234, originally named St. Paul, acquired 5 April 1932, transferred to the Bridge and Building Department as no. 845, and sold to M-CRHS [sic], Inc., in 1965.  According to Leon Schaddelee (letter dated 10 August 1997), this sleeper was suppose to be at the Mid-Continent Railroad Museum in North Freedom, Wisconsin.  However, when he visited this museum the sleeper was not there.  In the museum's files he found that a private party had purchased it in 1964 and brought it to the museum.  The car was disposed of in July 1983.  Unfortunately, it is not clear if this sleeper was sold, scrapped, or moved elsewhere.  The museum officials do not know the fate of the Marquette sleeper.   Please let us know if you are aware of the location of this sleeper.

Steel Passenger Cars

Although beyond Autumn 1922, I should mention some information about the steel cars that were added to the roster in March 1925. In the Perron Collection, Passenger Car Binder, there are several newspaper clippings referring to these cars and some drawings of them. As far as I can tell, the DSS&A had the following steel cars, not including the three sleeper enumerated above:

  • First class steel coaches, nos. 605, 606, 703, and 704, built March 1925 by the Pullman Co., steel body and underframe, 6-wheel, 76 feet, 8 inches, vestibules, 82 seats

  • Combination baggage, mail, and express cars, nos. 102 and 103, built March 1925 by the Pullman Co., steel body and underframe, 6-wheel, 73 feet, 3.5 inches, vestibules, no seats

  • Combination mail and express car, no. 104, built 1915 by American Car and Foundry Co., owned by DSS&A in 1940, but may have been purchased earlier, steel body and underframe, 6-wheel, 64 feet, 8 inches, vestibules, no seats

  • Combination mail and express car, no. 105, was known to exist in 1949, but I have been unable to learn anything else about this car

A list of passenger cars owned by the DSS&A in January 1949, found in the Perron Collection, Passenger Car Binder, indicates that nos. 60, 101, 306, 605, 606, 704, 704, 601, 100, 102, 103, 104, 105, and the sleepers Marquette, Duluth (2nd) and Superior (2nd) were still being held. All these cars were of either partial or full steel construction, except 601, which was of wood construction.

MRRR Passenger Car

Long before 1922, both the MRRR and H&CRR stopped offering passenger service. The only passenger car between them was a business combination car owned by the MRRR. It was numbered 403, wood body and underframe, 6-wheel, 60 feet, and was second hand (ICC 1917c).

Statistical Summary

The distribution of passenger car types for the DSS&A in 1922 is found in the following table:

Type of Car Number Percent
Baggage and Express 10 14.3
Baggage, Express, and Mail 8 11.4
Combination 5 7.1
Coach, First Class 20 28.6
Coach, Second Class 12 17.1
Dining 3 4.3
Observation-Café 3 4.3
Sleeper 7 10.0
Business 2 2.9
Total 70 100.0

As the table shows, most of the cars were coaches, 45.7 percent, either first or second class. I have not yet learned what exactly differentiated first from second class coaches. Though, I assume that first class coaches were more comfortable.

Some other interesting statistical facts include: (1) at least 31 cars (44.3 percent) had vestibules; (2) only 7 cars (10 percent) were made with steel underframes, the rest consisted of wood underframes and all the cars had wood bodies; (3) most of the cars had 4-wheel trucks, only 13 (18.6 percent) had 6-wheel trucks; (4) the average length was 59 feet 3 inches; and (5) the average year the car would have been built was 1893. The age of the cars in 1922 and their wooden construction, were perhaps the main reasons for the acquisition of steel cars soon after.

Please contact me should you have any questions or comments.

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This page, and all contents, are Copyright © 1997 by John P. DuLong, Berkley, MI. Created 29 June 1997.  Last modified 20 January 2003.