Canadian Pacific "Jackman"
A so-called heavyweight 14-section sleeper later modified for work train service.
Jackman was constructed by Canadian Car & Foundry of Montreal in 1931. It is a good example of the standard type of economy overnight accommodation operated on Canadian railways until the streamliner era (ca. 1955).
The accommodation consisted of seven sets of upper and lower berths or bunks along each side of the car. During the day, the lower berth converted into a pair of facing coach seats; at night, these seats became one bed and an upper berth or bed folded down out of the wall and ceiling area. Only the lower berth had a window. Privacy was assured by the hanging of heavy curtains in the aisles. To access the upper berth, it was necessary to climb a small ladder. Beds were prepared, curtains arranged and ladders provided by sleeping car porters, a profession traditionally reserved for black men.
At each end of the car, there was a large washroom - one for men, with a smoking lounge, and one for women, without a smoking lounge but with additional sinks, mirrors and other amenities. These cars were generally not air conditioned until after 1945.
Jackman is a good representative of the generation of all-steel passenger cars used in North America after 1918. Prior to the First World War, most passenger cars were constructed of wood or some combination of wood superstructure and a steel or iron frame. Jackman is described as a heavyweight because it is actually ballasted with concrete to make it even heavier than its steel construction and interior appointments would make it. Up to thirty tons of concrete would be added during the construction process, mainly between major frame members; it was believed that this additional weight helped the long-wheelbased six-wheel trucks or bogies produce a smoother ride over the jointed mainline rail of the period. These cars often weighed 90 tons or more.
Subsequent streamlined lightweight cars did not contain concrete ballast and were constructed of lighter materials such as stainless steel or even aluminum. They would weigh about 60 tons. This allowed for longer trains and higher speeds, but ride quality was sometimes an issue.
Such cars were widely used by families, commercial travellers (salesmen with territories), in troop trains and by immigrants.