Quick Facts

Name"Dreamland Sleeper"
Manufacture Date1958
Railroad Of RecordB&O Railroad, Amtrak
ManufacturerBUDD

Description

In the 1950s, the railroad industry was threatened by commercial airlines and interstate highways. To win back their middle-class customers, railroads lowered ticket prices and increased the capacity of their passenger trains. In keeping with this trend, the BUDD Company developed the Slumbercoach: a 40-person overnight passenger car with 24 single rooms and 8 double rooms. Utilitarian by design, each Slumbercoach bedroom is small with tiny seats, 1 or 2 narrow sleeping berths, and a compact restroom.   

Though cramped, the BUDD Slumbercoach became incredibly popular among overnight travelers. This was due, in part, to the privacy offered to every rider. For just a few dollars more than the standard coach rate, passengers could sleep in solitude and use the restroom without waiting in line. Despite its popularity, the Slumbercoach simply arrived too late; most railroads had already given up on the prospect of long-distance passenger service. Only 18 Slumbercoaches were made by the BUDD Company, and the majority had been removed from service by 1970. Some Slumbercoaches, however, went on to work for Amtrak until the late 1990s.   

In 1958, the B&O Railroad acquired the No. 7700 Slumberland and the No. 7701 Dreamland Sleeper, the first 2 BUDD Slumbercoaches to operate on the East Coast. Initially sent to work on the Columbian service connecting Baltimore and Chicago, the Dreamland Sleeper was an instant success. For the first few months of its service, nearly every bed was occupied. Later in life, No. 7701 joined the Capital Limited service, and it is possible that the Slumbercoach also spent time on the National Limited 

In 1971, the car was purchased by a private investor. The Slumbercoach eventually returned to passenger service in the 1983, when it was sold to Amtrak and sent to work in Florida. The coach retired from Amtrak in 1996 with the distinction of being the very last B&O car to operate on Amtrak lines.

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Carrollton Viaduct, one of the first major rail bridges built in the world, was constructed by the B&O in 1829 and is so sturdy that it continues to carry CSX freight trains to this day.

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