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Pullman Sleeping Car
Rose Bowl
18 Roomette Sleeper - Built 1937
Originally named "Telegraph Hill"

Pullman 18-Roomette sleeping car Rose Bowl (aka Telegraph Hill) was built in 1937 by the Pullman-Standard Car Manufacturing Company for service on the Union Pacific-Southern Pacific-Chicago & North Western Railroad's "new" passenger train - the Streamliner City of San Francisco. For this service, the car was named for the Bay Area landmark - TELEGRAPH HILL. The car ran on the City of San Francisco train throughout 1938. Unfortunately in August 1939, after just 18 months of operation, the beautiful new Streamliner was involved in a horrific train wreck near Sparks, Nevada. As a result of this tragic derailment, nearly all of the City of San Francisco's 17 cars were severely damaged or destroyed. The Telegraph Hill was positioned near the rear of the train and was one of only three cars that did not derail in the mishap. In 1941, the Chicago-California Streamliners were re-equipped with additional new cars and, in the process of this expansion, the 18-roomette car Telegraph Hill was transferred to the Streamliner City of Los Angeles train and appropriately renamed ROSE BOWL. After over 20 years of service, the car was retired by the railroad in 1960 and made its way to a motel in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. The Rose Bowl, along with another car from the motel, Hunters Point, was donated to Travel Town for historic preservation in 1992.

THE PULLMAN COMPANY: Although the train itself was operated by the three railroads mentioned above, the sleeping cars on the train were all owned and operated by a separate corporation, the Pullman Company. Up until the mid-1940s, the Pullman Company owned nearly all of the sleeping cars in service on the American railroads. This company maintained the cars, laundered the sheets, supplied the Porters and otherwise provided beds for hundreds of thousands of travelers each week. During this era, when a passenger purchased a ticket for a trip by railroad sleeping car, two fares were paid: one to the railroad company for transportation, and another to the Pullman Company for accommodation in one of its cars.

THE ROOMETTE: In 1937, the roomette - a small private room designed specifically for one person traveling alone - was a new innovation in rail travel. Each roomette offered complete private toilet facilities, ample luggage space, individual lighting and climate controls, and featured a comfortable lounge seat which was easily converted into a full-length single bed for sleeping. An interesting note - the Telegraph Hill (now Rose Bowl) was the first all-roomette car in regular passenger service.

Visitors touring our two historic sleeping cars, Hunters Point and Rose Bowl, will be able to see the complete selection of standard sleeping car rooms that were available on American passenger trains during the streamliner era.


Last Modified: Friday, 09-Oct-2009 11:33:25 CDT