Gertrude Emma was built by the Pullman Palace Car Company in 1898 as a sleeper-parlor-observation car for service on the new “Pennsylvania Limited” train between New York and Chicago. Robert Todd Lincoln, son of our 16th President, headed the company at the time. Named Libertas, she was considered to be a work of art in color and ornamentation and was the pride of the Pullman shops.
After years of service under a variety of names, the car was retired from regular passenger service in 1938 and converted to a workman’s bunk car. She was rescued from scrapping and purchased by the Conway Scenic Railroad in 1975, where bunk room partitions were removed, and beautiful woodwork was discovered under layers of paint and grime. She was named Gertrude Emma to honor the wife of Dwight Smith, one of the Railroad’s original owners and first General Manager.
This 116-year old car continues to enjoy a renewed life as First Class seating on our Valley Trains, transporting folks on a journey back in time to the grand old days of of railroading. She is shown above right next to our 1874 station and 1921 steam locomotive #7470.