Long Island Rail Road
Parlor Cars

The focus of this website is the parlor cars of the LIRR during the last four decades of the 20th century.

Heavyweight parlor cars: The majority of these cars, known as The Blue Ribbon Fleet, were acquired from the Pennsylvania Railroad. Other cars came from Delaware, Lackawanna and Western; Lehigh Valley; and New York Central. Most were retired in the autumn of 1968, but a few remained in service into the 1970s.

Lightweight parlor cars: During the 1968-1970 era, LIRR acquired a group of used sleeping cars, sleeper-lounge cars, buffet lounge cars, and tavern-lounge-observation cars for use in parlor car service. These cars were purchased from Baltimore & Ohio (B&O), Erie Lackawanna (EL), Florida East Coast (FEC), Kansas City Southern (KCS), New Haven (NH), Pennsylvania (PRR), and Union Pacific (UP). Follow this link for more information and photos. These lightweight cars were purchased to replace the heavyweight parlor cars. In addition, LIRR leased New Haven "STATE" series six double bedroom buffet lounge cars for parlor car service during the 1968 (and possibly 1966 and 1967) season; follow this link for some photos. Most of the lightweight parlor cars were retired by 1976, although some served for a few more years.

Rebuilt lightweight parlor cars: LIRR rebuilt these 12 cars, known as The Sunrise Fleet, from their own lightweight coaches, to be compatible with their "push-pull" operations. They served from 1975 to the end of the 20th century, when they were displaced by LIRR's new fleet of bilevel cars.

In addition to the parlor cars, this website also offers some information on certain other passenger cars on LIRR.

Heavyweight commuter club cars: Four heavyweight cars used by private commuter clubs in the 1960 and 1970s. In addition, we have a few photos of private club cars on the LIRR earlier in the 20th century.

A group of lightweight passenger cars, mostly coaches, acquired "secondhand" from several railroads (Bangor and Aroostook, Florida East Coast, Kansas City Southern, New York Central, and Penn Central) to upgrade service.

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Special recognition is awarded to Tim Darnell, Steve Hoskins and Dave Keller who provided the majority of the pictures on these pages. Tim and Steve were in the right place at the right time - with their camera! Dave acquired his collection of photos from various photographers who were in the right place at the right time. In addition, he worked a number of years onboard these cars as a LIRR Special Services Attendant.

I also thank Marty Bernard, Ken Bitten, A. Joseph Daly, Dennis DeAngelis, James Donohue, Tom Duggan, Ed Frye, Jim Gillin, Richard Glueck, Kevin Gulau, John S. Horvath, Tim Hyde, Bobby J. Kasza, Ryan Kertis, Bob Kingman, Geoffrey Knees, Richard F. Makse, Fritz Milhaupt, Doctor Kevin Moore, Tim Moriarty, Martin K. O'Toole, David Reddy, Michael H. Ringbauer, Steve Smith, D. Garrett Spear, John Suscheck, John Volpi and Roy J. Wullich II for their contributions of images and/or information.

Special recognition is due to Mike Boland for his superb article "The Route of The Weekend Chief" published in the Autumn 1995 issue of The Keystone; his research confirmed much of what I knew, but added so much more to the total!

If you would like to contribute additional photos or information, please contact me at jhdeasy [at] cox [dot] net. We have no photos of certain cars; we would like to have a photo of these cars!

I hope you enjoy your trip down our virtual memory lane!

You may be wondering why this web site exists?

Links to other web sites featuring the LIRR

The official New York MTA / LIRR website
Dave Keller's LIRR Photos & Recollections
Steve Lynch's LIRR website

Updated on August 17, 2016