Our 18-Roomette sleeping car 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 throughout 1938. Unfortunately in August 1939, after just 18 months of operation, the beautiful new Streamliner was involved in a disastrous 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 one of only three cars which did not derail in the mishap. In 1941, the Chicago-California Streamliners were re-equipped with additional new cars. In the process of this expansion, the 18-roomette car Telegraph Hill was transfered to the 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. 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.
RESTORATION GOALS: The goal of the American Southwestern Railway Association, through its Rail Heritage Southwest project, is to cosmetically restore the Rose Bowl back to the way it would have appeared during its years of passenger service on the Streamliner City of Los Angeles. We wish to preserve and maintain this condition so that future museum visitors can see, learn from, and enjoy this historic part of America's past. With a promising future ahead for the Travel Town complex, it is our goal that the Rose Bowl, together with its companion Streamliner cars Hunters Point and "The Little Nugget," will be enclosed within a climate-controlled museum structure, becoming the focal point of a series of educational exhibits pertaining to this bygone era of American railroad travel. We greatly appreciate your help and support in attaining these goals.
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