Created By: PocketSights Ruthmere Tours
South Shore Car fifteen was built in 1926 by the Pullman Company for the Chicago South Shore and South Bend Railroad. It was part of an initial order of twenty six all-steel cars to begin replacing the electric line’s wooden cars, some of which had been in operation since the South Shore’s predecessor, Chicago Lakeshore and South Bend Railway, began operations in 1908. Car fifteen was built as a sixty-foot long, fifty six passenger car. It and the similar cars to follow were fine for their time; however, with the rationing of gasoline, tires, and steel for new automobiles during World War II in the early 1940s, the South Shore’s passenger load doubled. Unable to get additional passenger cars, the South Shore came up with a somewhat unique solution: a few at a time, the almost new cars were pulled into the railroad’s shops in Michigan City and cut in two, the pieces pulled seventy and a half feet apart, and a new section fabricated to fill the gap. A sixty-foot fifty six passenger car became a seventy eight-foot six-inch eighty passenger car. Car fifteen was the first to be lengthened by that process. Together with many of her sister cars, Car fifteen remained in service until the 1980s, when the Northern Indiana Commuter Transportation District began acquiring new equipment to replace the pre-World War II cars. The Northern Indiana Commuter Transportation District continues to operate South Shore electric passenger trains between South Bend and Chicago. The National Parks Service acquired Car fifteen after it was taken out of South Shore service and later released it to the National New York Central Railroad Museum where it is now part of our collection.
This point of interest is part of the tour: National New York Central Railroad Museum (Purple Tour)