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Discussion Starter #1
I've collected a set of seven different AHM/Rivarossi 1930's smooth-side passenger cars in Illinois Central colors as it reminds me of the ones I rode on as a kid. While I'm obviously taking some 'artistic license' with the size of the consist, I'm wondering what in general would have been the correct order of the cars that would have included :

  • Railway Post Office
  • Smooth side full baggage
  • Sleeper
  • 'Bi-level' Sleeper
  • Coach
  • Vista Dome
  • Observation

I think IHC also made a Diner car in IC colors; where would that have fit in ?

I have a matching Rivarossi E-8 pulling the cars and would love to add to it some day but in the meantime I've actually found a photo in a book that has an IC E-8 pulling seven of the 1930's style cars.
 

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the order i use
Passenger car train order

Motive Power
Railway Post Office(s)
Baggage Car(s)
Combo Car (baggage/coach)
Coach Cars
Dome Car(s)
Dinner
Sleeper Car(s)
Observation

"The Sleeper Cars were placed as far from the Motive Power as possible so sleeping passengers would not be 'disturbed', also the Dome Cars were placed as far from the Motive Power so the smoke from the steamers wouldn't obstruct the view."

can't remember where the quote came from.
 

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Didn’t dome cars come out after dieselisation, and steamers never pulled them?
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Good question re: domes. BTW the Grand Canyon Railway has two fabulous dome cars that offer spectacular views. The one I rode on was built in '56 I think.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I read somewhere that if a train had a baggage car it would not have also had a combine.
This has always been my understanding also; that the combines were for short-haul trains.

I read recently that, at certain times, Amtrak will even sell space on their Superliner dormitory cars if there's space & demand.

Another thing I've seen is that, especially around Christmas, some passenger trains would add one or several refrigerated cars just after the motive power and between the baggage car, that would carry fresh fruit from Florida, Texas or California.
 

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Car combination and order really depends on the specific train.

Most trains wouldn't have all the cars listed.

Most short-distance day trains would of course be coach only, plus checked baggage. So baggage and several coaches. An overnight-only train might be only sleepers with one or two coaches for "economy" and short haul passengers.

Long distance/overnight trains with sleepers would often have the sleepers to the rear and coaches up front. Dining service in the middle to serve the whole train. Only some trains had observation/lounge cars. Most domes (if not a tail-end dome/lounge/observation) are dome-coaches, or dome coach/lounge, and not dome coach/sleepers. You probably mostly find dome-coaches with other coaches, but a dome coach or dome lounge might be in with the sleepers to provide day accomodation for sleeping car passengers on long distance cross country routes. Probably not many domes or lounges on short hauls.

I'm not sure what you mean by "bi-level" sleeper cars, unless you mean cars with staggered windows on them - those are for roomettes/berths. Sleeping cars have different levels of accomodations and those are the most economical. The same car will usually have several types of accomodations from roomettes, to bedrooms, double bedrooms, drawings rooms, etc. The amount and type varies by specific car design.

Post office and mail storage cars are sealed off from the rest of the train. If a train has them, they'll be at the front. Regular baggage following, then the rest of the train.

Combination cars are normally used when the train's service doesn't justify having an entire car for each (separate full bagage and coach cars vs. combination baggage/coach for example). A short haul train in a populated area with lots of traffic would probably have a full baggage and several coaches. A minor branch line train serving a handful of rather remote small communities might only operate with a single combine even if the run takes all day.
 
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