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Southern Pacific Baggage Car Apartments

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c. 1911, Pullman Car and Manufacturing Company. 411 Main St.
  • Southern Pacific Baggage Car Apartments (Bret Morgan)

Though Wadsworth is no longer a railroad town, remnants of its past can be found. One example is this Pullman baggage car converted to apartments. In 1863 George M. Pullman built the first modern sleeping car, which had a folding upper berth and seat cushions that could be extended to create a lower berth. The success of this car enabled Pullman to build a manufacturing empire, crushing many of his competitors. The Pullman company retained a monopoly in the sleeping-car business into the 1940s. It also produced other types of railroad cars, including dining and baggage cars and combination cars (divided into two or more compartments for different classes of traffic).

Railroad cars of various types and vintages have been recycled in Nevada to provide architecture for residential or commercial use. This car was produced for the Southern Pacific Railroad, a leader at the time in using all-steel cars. Much of the car's original fabric remains, such as the handles on the roof and sides, the roof vents, and the right-hand window. One of the two large baggage doors on the long side has been filled in, but the other serves as an entrance, now covered by a small porch. This car has been removed from its undercarriage and rests on a foundation. A gabled porch covering an entrance has been added to the side. In its form and materials the structure resembles trailers and mobile homes used as dwellings across the state.

Writing Credits

Julie Nicoletta


What's Nearby


Julie Nicoletta, "Southern Pacific Baggage Car Apartments", [Wadsworth, Nevada], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

Print Source

Buildings of Nevada, Julie Nicoletta. New York: Oxford University Press, 2000, 130-130.

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