Name: C&O No.725, "Imperial Salon"
Railroad of Record: Chesapeake & Ohio Railway Type of Car: Coach Manufactured by: Pullman Car & Manufacturing Company Date Built: 1930 Date Rebuilt: 1949 & 2003
In 1930, the Chesapeake & Ohio Railway (C&O) designed a new set of passenger trains, known as the "Imperial Salons." These coaches have been described as "the most luxurious coach-type cars that have ever operated on the railroad" by some historians. The "Imperial Salon"
coaches resembled a parlor car more than an ordinary day coach of the time. The coaches seated 48 passengers in comfortable bucket seats, where as regular coaches of the time seated 60 to 80 people. The "Imperial Salons" featured upholstered, swivel bucket seats and tables that could be demounted from the wall. One side of the coach featured single seats while the other side featured double seats. The C&O No. 725 was the first of 30 coaches in the series. The "Imperial Salons" were originally ordered to serve on the "Sportsman," which ran between Newport News, Virginia and Detroit, Michigan. However, the C&O No. 725 and its sister cars served as the backbone of the C&O's mainline.
In 1937, the C&O No. 725 had an air conditioning unit installed.
After World War II, many of the "Imperial Salons" were sold, retired, or regulated to stand-by service. Beginning in 1948, a new era of railroading technology emerged with lightweight equipment. The C&O No. 725 and its sister cars were no match for the new streamlined 1600-series. In 1949, the C&O No. 725 was sent to the shop and emerged with more conventional double-seats.
In 1969, the C&O No. 725 retired to the B&O Railroad Museum as the last clerestory-roof coach on the C&O. In 1971, the C&O No. 725 appeared in the motion picture, "Fools Parade," which starred Jimmy Stewart. In the motion picture, the No. 725 was painted to appear as a B&O coach. In 2003, the C&O No. 725 was restored and rebuilt to house the museum's HO scale layout.
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