Wheels of Time N Scale: 60-ft Arched Roof and Harriman Baggage Express car - UP
Modernized Roof, CS Class 60-B-2 Pullman built 1910-14, Streamline colors, originally assigned to UP's Oregon Short Line
These cars were seen on railroads across North America. Harriman cars were developed during the time of Edward Henry Harriman, who controlled the Chicago & Alton Railroad, the Union Pacific, the Southern Pacific, the Illinois Central, the Central of Georgia, the Pacific Mail Steamship Company, Wells Fargo Express Company, and directed the development of the "Common Standard Specifications" among the Associated Lines. This set of specifications allowed parts to be shared across all Harriman-controlled railroads, allowing economical bid prices due to the sheer size of standardized orders, standardized part inventories and methods for car repair.
These cars were designed with the a distinctive arched roof and diamond underframe crossbearers. The Arched Roof construction handled rainy weather better than clerestoy design - once lighting and ventilation problems were solved. Non-Harriman Arched Roof cars, while similar, had fished-belly underframes developed by Pullman Mfg. Co. and copied by others. Some of these 60-ft cars remained in use until the advent of Amtrak while others became maintenance-of-way cars.
About the UP Scheme:
The Union Pacific Railroad ordered (Harriman) Common Standard 60-ft baggage express cars, Class 60-B-2. Originally built for Oregon Short Line (UP subsidiary) by Pullman in 1910 through 1914. Most of the 1800 series cars had their Utility roof vents removed and covered over during rebuilding and repainting to "Streamlined" colors - sometime around 1953-54. They were commonly used in carrying Railway Express shipments and sacks of U.S. Mail. The U.P. Harriman baggage were regularly in the consist of the San Francisco Overland, Trains 27 and 28.
As an interesting side note, a typical westbound run of Train 27 in the 50's and 60's was mainly made up of mail & express cars with single rider coach. Baggage cars were collected at Council Bluffs from C.& N.W. / Milwaukee from Chicago, then on to Omaha. Cars from St. Louis and Kansas City added. This train dropped off cars at Columbus, Grand Island, North Platte and Cheyenne for a local destination; or local connection via a local passenger train or local freight train. At Laramie, the cars were dropped off for the westboound City of Saint Louis enroute to Los Angeles. Train #27 continued on, dropping off cars for Green River, Ogden (Oakland S.P. connection) and Salt Lake (Portland connection). Some cars were returned to Council Buff on Train #28 while others on a local freight - yes mix freight trains! The operating possibilities for this model train operation session would be quite interesting.