America’s Pullman at Shenandoah, WV

On September 17th, 2021 DCNRHS Member Mark Piotrowski took this spectacular photo as DOVER HARBOR sailed past Shenandoah Junction, West Virginia. DOVER HARBOR was bringing up the markers on Amtrak’s Capitol Limited train No. 30 eastbound. The car was on a charter.

Shenandoah Junction is in the eastern panhandle of West Virgnia. It derives its name as a former interchange point between the Norfolk and Western Railway and the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad. The train is traveling on the tracks of CSX.

Photo by Mark Piotrowski

Authentic Pullman Rail Travel Experience

We immerse our passengers in the Pullman experience in an authentic environment. We strive to provide both charter and public trip passengers not just a ride in a historic railcar, but to recreate the Legendary first-class Pullman experience as every day travelers in the United States might have experienced in the 1930s and 1940s. All that said, we can of course tailor the experience to our travelers’ needs.

Expect to experience White Jacketed Porters and Stewards serving freshly prepared meals and drinks on Pullman China, carrying luggage, turning down the berths at night, waking sleepy-eyed passengers in the morning, and providing shoe shine service overnight. Expect to relax, rest, and revel in a fun and enjoyable travel historic environment as you see the nation in “America’s Pullman.”

Of the roughly 10,000 cars built by Pullman for regular service between 1910 and the mid 1930s (heavyweight cars), DOVER HARBOR is the last revenue car in its original Pullman configuration still traveling the main lines of America behind Amtrak trains unrestricted. We work diligently on maintaining and presenting this Pullman experience by providing an authentic environment. Recently we repainted and reupholstered all the bedrooms aboard the car with period appropriate 1930s materials and colors. The lounge was repainted, curtains removed, and new blinds installed. But its often the more subtle little projects we undertake that set the experience apart.

Most all the furnishings on the car are original Pullman fixtures. However, when our organization acquired DOVER HARBOR in 1979, there was not chair at the location below. The table top area is known as the “writing desk,” a location Pullman travelers could use to write letters, send postcards, or compose telegrams. DCNRHS placed a simple wooden chair was here in the 80s for travelers to use, but it was never truly appropriate. Then last December we replaced that chair with a reproduction Pullman writing desk chair. A multi-year project, the chair was custom designed, built, upholstered, and installed based upon photos of 1930s writing desk chairs Pullman from lounge cars after extensive research. The effort was managed by our volunteer cadre and funded by a grant from the Amherst Railway Society.

Telegrams may have been replaced by email, but this location remains an authentic, relaxing, and comfortable location for our passengers to communicate with the outside world.

Writing Desk Chair – Photo by Dennis Dame

DOVER HARBOR – Returns to the rails post-COVID June 2021

Our classic Pullman resumes operations in June 2021 with a couple charters and a members only trip.

We made good use of the downtime over the last year. Our volunteers repainted the lounge, foyer, restroom, and all six bedrooms, reupholstered all of the bedrooms, replaced the tile flooring in the hallways, upgraded the blinds in the lounge, and did some routine maintenance. Great care was given to details in the process.

Interested in your own chartered private railcar trip with exclusive use of the car for you and your family? Contact our Charter Agent.

Want to join us on an upcoming public trip? See what’s available. More coming soon for the fall.

See America… by Pullman.

See America by Pullman
New River Gorgeous. Photo by J. Lilly

What Type of Traveler Are You?

The Pullman Company regularly advertised the comfort and convenience of Pullman Travel. Aboard DOVER HARBOR you will find many of the same opportunities, whether you are a pacer, lounger, mixer, snoozer, or even a photographer. Go Pullman. Go DOVER HARBOR. Looking for a more private conveyance away from the traveling public at large? Look to us.

A “Rail Fan” or “Attention to Detail!”

This spring the owners of the DOVER HARBOR began an ambitious project to refresh and further refine the lounge of the car. The effort will result in new paint, new blinds, a new foyer floor, and several other smaller improvements. The picture above illustrates the attention to detail and the care that DCNRHS gives in the stewardship our cultural resource, the DOVER HARBOR, and in providing an accurate, historic representation of a Pullman car from 1934. This is the main fan from the lounge. During the current lounge renovations the fan was removed, rebuilt, and repainted with appropriate colors. Photo by J. Lilly