World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Parlor car

Article Id: WHEBN0025612464
Reproduction Date:

Title: Parlor car  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Bankers (train), Head end power car, Bar car, Pay car, Compartment coach
Collection:
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Publication
Date:
 

Parlor car

A parlor car (or parlour car outside the United States of America) is a type of passenger coach that provides superior comforts and amenities when compared to a standard coach.

History

Club seating aboard the Metroliner in the 1970s.

Parlor cars came about on United States railroads to address the absence of separate class accommodations. In the United Kingdom and Europe, passenger trains carried first-, second- and even third-class coaches, with the first-class coaches offering the best seating and costing the most money. In contrast, American trains offered a flat rate and standard accommodations. For nineteenth century writers this represented a difference between class-bound Europe and the democratic United States.[1]:224[2]:331

Parlor accommodations were appreciated by those who used them because of their exclusivity. H. L. Mencken called the parlor car "the best investment open to an American":

He not only has a certain seat of his own, free from intrusion and reasonably roomy; he also rides in a car in which all of the people are clean and do not smell badly. The stinks in a day-coach, even under the best of circumstances, are revolting. The imbecile conversation that goes on in parlor-car smoke-rooms is sometimes hard to bear, but there is escape from it in one's seat; the gabble in day-coaches is worse, and it is often accompanied by all sorts of other noises.[3]:130

Most parlor cars were found on daytime trains in the Northeast United States. In comparison to a standard coach, a parlor car offered more comfortable seating and surroundings, as well as food and beverages, but it was far inferior to a sleeping car for an overnight trip.[4]:287

Today

United States

The interior of a Pacific Parlour Car.

Elevated service survives on Amtrak although the term "parlor car" has fallen into disuse. One remaining example is the "Pacific Parlour Car" on the Coast Starlight, converted Hi-Level lounges which feature a mixture of 1x1 swivel-chair seating and cafe-style seating. In contrast to past usage this car is provided as a sleeping car passenger-only lounge and is not itself bookable. The Acela Express offers First Class service, including at-seat service and improved seating.[5] Other Amtrak trains offer a "Business Class", which includes roomier seating and, on some routes, a complimentary beverage and newspaper.[6]

Notes

  1. ^ Muirhead, James Fullarton (1898). The land of contrasts: a Briton's view of his American kin.  
  2. ^  
  3. ^  
  4. ^ White, John H. (1985) [1978]. The American Railroad Passenger Car 1. Baltimore, MD:  
  5. ^ Amtrak. "First Class Seat". Retrieved 2009-12-29. 
  6. ^ Amtrak. "Business Class Seat". Retrieved 2009-12-29. 

References

This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and USA.gov, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for USA.gov and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
 
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
 
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.
 


Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.