The PULLMAN Meath
Car CB&Q 2645, The Meath, was built in January 1921. It was a classic Pullman-Parlor car containing 12 Sections, each having upper and lower berths, plus 1 drawing room.
This type car made up 4000 of the nearly 10,000 cars in the Pullman fleet in the peak year of 1931. Cars like the 2645 operated throughout North America offering Pullman ease and safety on almost all overnight runs. The typical car's interior was highly lacquered in tones of gray and light green. Semi compartment sections contained winged seats patterned after colonial fireside armchairs. The upholstery and carpet were pearl green with rose undertones in oriental patterns. Oversized dressing rooms contained individual shaving mirrors for men and quaint Jeffersonian prinking seats for women.
The Meath saw many years of service on the CB&Q. With the demise of railroad passenger service and the creation of Amtrak in 1970, aged cars such as the Meath were no longer used. It was retired from that service and converted into a traveling bunk car for construction gangs on the Burlington Northern. It was ideal for that purpose as a means to house and feed these employees. It was painted an orange color. The Meath was destined for scrap when in 1981 the BN offered it to the fledgling Galesburg Railroad Museum.
It was accepted and placed by BN on a panel rail on the corner of Mulberry and Seminary Streets on a plot donated to the museum. The car was painted on the outside to its original colors and markings. The interior was revamped to provide museum space for exhibition of the museum's extensive collection of artifacts and memorabilia. There were many hours of labor by the volunteer workers, both active and retired railroaders and non-railroaders, in remodeling and rebuilding the Meath as a place to exhibit the history of railroading in the area. It was dedicated in June of 1982 during Railroad Days by Governor Jim Thompson.
The Meath was retired as our Museum at the end of 2004 with the completion of our new building in Colton Park. The Caboose 13501, which was set behind the RPO Car has been set over to the west on a new track. The Meath has been moved and set behind the RPO Car with the rest of the train equipment.
The Meath has been permanently set and we have begun planning of refurbishing the inside. As always, ideas and donations to support this effort, are always graciously accepted. We are hoping to start the project this year, as our season starts in April. Come see what's moving!