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Horseshoe Curve, NRHS - The Union League Club

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The "Union League Club"

Updated on July 17, 2011 !


As you know, the Chapter has owned the Union League Club for many years. In it's present state with a silver roof, maintenance-of-way utility yellow and black lettering, it is hard to envision what it once was. The above image, is the Union League Club as originally built to Plan # 3989, an 8-Section, Buffet-Lounge Car.

The "Union League Club" is an 8 Section, Buffet, Sun Room, Sleeper Car Built by Pullman Standard in August & September of 1929, under Plan 3989, Lot 6274. The car had 8 sections, 4 table seats, 10 lounge seats, and 6 seats in the sunroom. The lounge and sunroom were separated by a partition with windows and a doorway. There was also rubber tile in sunroom. It was assigned to the General Service pool on the PRR and operated in may services during its life.  The car was converted for work train service in the mid 1960's and was retired in 1980.

The "Union League Club" (PRR plan number 3989A, car number 8628) was part of the "Club Series Cars" . Those cars were: "Anthracite (Country) Club" , "Athletic Club" , "Bankers Club" , "Buffalo Club" , "Chicago Club" , "Cleveland Club" , "Columbia Club" , "Manufacturers' Club" , "National Press Club" , "Racquet Club " , "Traffic Club" , "Union League Club" , "University Club" . These cars were also known as Sun Parlor Lounges or Solarium Lounge Cars.  Many of the Club cars entered PRR service in the 1930's at the rear of the train but later moved to mid-train status.

The following are the known assignments of the "Union League Club" :

April 1930: Train No. 38;
December 1941, Train No. 67;
August 1948 Train No. 33.

"In 1941, the PRR train "The American" had the following consist: the "Columbia Club" , the "Racquet Club " , and the "Union League Club" . By 1947, the first two were still in this line but the "Anthracite Club" had bumped the "Union League Club" which was sent to service on the "St. Louisian" where it ran in concert with the "Athletic Club" and the "Manufacturers' Club." "Occasionally they substituted for one of the plan # 3992 Club-series parlor-buffet cars on the Philadelphia "Clockers". The "Union League Club" was seen there frequently between 1951 and 1956. Its section space was sold as parlor seats in such daytime service."

Chronology of the "Union League Club" : (by month and year):

09-1929: Constructed in Pullman lot # 6274 to plan # 3989A. Leased to the PRR and Painted Pennsylvania red. Trucks # 2411.
04-1934: Ice-activated air conditioning installed at Calumet Shops.
09-1937: Exterior black and gold striping removed.
12-1941: Reconfigured to plan # 3989U
12-1948: Sold to PRR. Car leased to and operated by Pullman. Assigned # 8628.
07-1949: Repainted Pennsylvania red per MDD4973E.
12-1958: Withdrawn from Pullman lease. Stored.
05-1958: Whitelined.
04-1959: Assigned to maintenance-of-way service. Interior fixtures stripped. Painted maintenance-of-way yellow. The number "492386" was applied to the body.
02-1968: Ownership assumed by Penn Central.
04-1976: Ownership assumed by Conrail.
06-1980: Sold to Railroaders Memorial Museum, Altoona, Pa.
Sold-transferred to Horseshoe Curve Chapter, NRHS.

12-2006: moved to Railroader's Memorial Museum for permanent exhibit/display/cosmetic restoration.

*Interesting Note: Plan # 3989U: " A variation of suffix "A" had 8 sections, 4 table seats, 9 lounge seats, 1 writing desk with chair, 6 seats in sunroom, and had a partition and rubber tiling as in plan "A". Other variations included round swivel chairs in the "Women's Lavatory," some differences in light fixtures and two items not noted on the plan: installation of a converter for electric razors which had become popular in the late 1930's, and the application of a cast lot # plate, usually fastened to the wall inside the clean linen locker. With more than 7,000 cars still in the Pullman fleet, it helped identify each one." (Source: PRRT&HS "Keystone" , Vol. 22, No. 2, Summer 1989 by Peter Tilp; Clifford Kendall, ARMM, contributed to this article.)



  Taken 6-99   Taken 6-99
  Taken 6-99 ul-club.jpg (67529 bytes)  Taken 3-26-00.


June 27,  2005 - Ward Siding.  Installing replacement hand brakes on the Union League Club so car can be moved.  Photos by David Seidel.

Frank Givler

Neil Myers

Jody Kinsel and Frank Givler

Neil Myers burning holes for bolt application.



December 19, 2006 - On Altoona Railroaders Memorial Museum Turntable. Photos by David Seidel.

"Union League Club" "Union League Club"


May 5, 2007 - Union League Club Work/Assessment

  Denny Walls and Dan Moringiello review car plan for the Union League Club to ascertain original specifications. "Union League Club"
"Union League Club" "Union League Club"


NRHS and its logo are trademarks of the National Railway Historical Society
Photos are by Chris Behe unless otherwise noted.
(Photographs are by Chris Behe unless otherwise noted; schematics courtesy of
Rob's PRR Page; Robert Schoenberg)