PIEDMONT & NORTHERN
BUSINESS CAR No. 2201 "CAROLINA"
The most precious and luxurious car in our collection, filled with brass and mahogany paneling with walnut inlay. The Piedmont & Northern contracted the Southern Car Company to build two parlor cars for first class service, the 2200 "Catawba" and 2201 "Saluda" respectively. Both cars had open back vestibules, Baldwin 4 wheel bogies, rich woodwork, and luxurious lounge chairs with cocktail tables, very rare for an interurban, less than 5 of this style surviving intact (PE 1299, with a glassed in platform; P&N 2201; and IT 234, which lacked wood.)
In the 1924, as first class travel declined in the South, the Piedmont & Northern retired No 2201, retaining just 2200 "Catawba". 2201 was rebuilt with a double length back platform (one of the largest business car platforms surviving today), 2 luxurious bedrooms, a washroom, full service kitchen (previously there was just a bar), and a grand conference style table in the combined dinning room/observation lounge. In order to fit on the streets (which interurbans also run on), the P&N had to save length, and the car is about 10' shorter than a Pullman built business/office car (85'), and as such the lounge and dinning room were combined, (as the car could not function without bedrooms). The car also had the 6-wheel Pullman bogies nder it today added for a smoother ride at this point. Parlor Car No 2200 remained in service until 1935, at which time the back platform was rebuilt into an enclosed glass solarium.
After her refit "Saluda" was renamed "Carolina" and used by the railway's president Frank Cothran of Bradley and senior level board members such as Mr James Self. "Carolina" was used into the 1950s and 1960s taking P&N executives over the system on inspection runs and to important meetings and conferences with other important executives. W.I. Rankin took over as President in 1948 after Cothran's retirement. It appears that sometime during this era the middle stateroom was converted to a full service washroom and either late in service or after retirement the beds in A & B were replaced. Eventually the coal fired kitchen and heating systems were modernised to gas, and was eventually sold to Mr Adams, who along with his wife fitted the car out for backyard "camping" at the Railroad Historical Center.
"Carolina" has been lovingly restored to her 1920s beauty. She retains her mohair chairs, mahogany woodworking, 1914 window shades and wall sconces, and her brass porter's call buttons. Brass light fixtures adorn the lounge ceiling along with leaded glass transom "toplight" windows. Down the hallway one comes to Stateroom A, where you find the bedroom designed for the two senior board members, a fine clerestory and classic GE fan. Next one finds the small washroom with a shower, and even a cigar match striker in the shower. Next is the president's stateroom, 'B', home to a massive full size bed, extremely uncommon, even in the railway president's stateroom.
- CAROLINA's rear platform was doubled in depth in 1926, and is one of the largest
surviving, even for an office car.
- CAROLINA being an interurban car is only 63 feet long, rather than 85 feet, so there is
no separate dining room.
- The rear platform was tiled at one point, with a blue and white checked design.
- The CAROLINA's master state room is large, even by office car standards.
- The car was originally a parlor car with no rooms, so even the crew room has ornate
panelled walls, although painted over.
^ The Combined Observation-Lounge & Dining Room ^
^ 'B' Stateroom, "Carolina"'s Master Bedroom ^ ^ "Carolina" in Piedmont & Northern Service ^