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Salisbury Beach Pullman sleeper

Salisbury Beach

Salisbury Beach, a 1954 stainless steel sleeper rail car, has a new home at Santa Fe Station, Fullerton, California, USA

A report for by Carl Morrison, March, 2004.



FULLERTON, California, USA--Local residents and those who frequent the station have noticed the addition of private rail cars to the storage sidings at the Santa Fe Station, in Fullerton, California.  One, the Salisbury Beach, owned by Thomas C Pearson of Southern California, is a stainless steel clad sleeper car with six-roomettes, four bedrooms that can be configured to be 2 bedroom suites by unfolding a partition, and six sections.  "Sections" have seats during the day and upper and lower berths at night.  They had curtains and ladders for 12 people in this section of the car.  It arrived in Fullerton at 1 a.m. January 19, 2004.  This car was originally put into service with three sister "beach sleepers" like it, with the Boston & Maine Railroad in December, 1954.  After touring this car at Fullerton Station, it is hard to believe she is 51 years old.  Tom says the credit goes to the non-corrosive stainless steel fluting over stainless steel sheets, and I say, credit goes to his excellent care and restoration.

The Salisbury Beach's six roomettes feature cut-away beds and permanent sinks.  The six bedrooms included private annexes and an en-suite capability.  Owner and restorer, Tom Pearson, has owned eleven other cars before the Salisbury Beach including a diner-lounge car and several baggage cars.  He bought the car in 1989, and brought it to California from St. Louis off the Sunset Limited, in February, 1990.  In restoring rail cars, as with restoring classic automobiles, finding original parts is a challenge, but part of the enjoyment of authentic restoration.  The car has been all refurbished except for upholstery and carpet, which will soon be replace with original pullman upholstery.  Original steam heat has been replaced with electric baseboard heaters.  Tom has updated the car by converting one restroom to a shower and another to a dressing room, leaving two restrooms.  After he installs the wiring under the car, it will be fully Amtrak ready.

Tom says Fullerton is the best place to have a private car stored in the US.  Recently a fence has been erected by the City of Fullerton around the full set of cars stored at the station.  The car will eventually be available for lease for trips along the rails of the US as a two-car team with the Silver Splendor, formerly Silver Buckle coach, dome diner-lounge car, also being restored in Fullerton.  This will allow for overnight journeys with both sleeping and dining facilities. The Silver Splendor will have 16 settees downstairs and upstairs in the dome will be settees for dining.  In front of the dome is a lounge.

While viewing the cars, you will notice the letters RPCX, the official AAR letters for the Rail Passenger Car Alliance.  Another association of rail car owners is the American Association of Private Rail Car Owners.  Tom pointed out electronic tracking devices on his car that are read trackside when the cars are on the move.  These associations help owners with insurance and Amtrak connections for moving the cars.

You can see these cars and selected areas inside them for the first public tour at the Fullerton Railroad Days held each year the first weekend in May.

Other rail cars at Fullerton Station



Bill Hatrick's Daylight Amber Train, is an aluminum, 44-seat coach.  It is still steam equipped for running with the SP Daylight steam engine 4449.

Future plans include having the steam engine 3751 housed here in a Butler building on new track.

(Silver Rapids, a former California Zephyr Car built for the Pennsylvania Railroad, now shown)

Learn more about the Boston & Maine Historical Society through our own Fullerton at:

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