Copyright 1997-2015 Pacific Railroad Society, Inc.
The Imperial Bird
The Imperial Bird was the first car private car purchased by the Pacific Railroad Society. In a way, the term private car is misleading in that the Imperial Bird was never used as a private car for the transportation of individuals. This car was utilized only in revenue service by the Union Pacific Railroad and the Pullman Company on the passenger trains of the Union Pacific.
In 1942, the Pullman Company acquired 31 sleeping cars containing 4 double bedrooms, 4 compartments, and 2 drawing rooms for use on the Union Pacific, Chicago and North Western, Southern Pacific, Rock Island, and Illinois Central. One of those built for the Union Pacific was the Imperial Bird.
The Imperial Bird is a 4-4-2 sleeper of the Imperial series built by America Car and Foundry. The Imperial series cars were first developed in 1938 to provide deluxe accomendations on the name trains of the 1940's including The Broadway Limited, City of Los Angeles, The 20th Century Limited, The City of San Francisco, The Panama, and The Lark.
As the first private car purchase of the Pacific Railroad Society, the Imperial Bird has seen extensive excursion service. The Imperial Bird has travelled to Mexico, Yellowstone, and other far-flung destinations. Currently, the Imperial Bird is stored awaiting for funds to restore the car to working order.
The Imperial Bird saw revenue service on the City of Los Angeles and the trains of the Overland Route. The Imperial Bird was purchased from the Union Pacific Railroad in December of 1969.
The Imperial Bird was donated to Pacific Southwest Railway Museum Association in Campo in 2016
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