Definition of "Private Varnish" : LUSENET : ACL and SAL Railroads Historical Society : One Thread

Can anyone provide me with a textbook definition of the term "Private Varnish"? I believe it has something to do with privately owned railroad cars, but have as yet been unable to find a complete definition. I am a college student and we have just begun a study of the rise of the Railroads. My professor has asked us to find the definition of that term. Thank you for your assistance.

-- Wanda Price (, September 14, 1999


Response to "Private Varnish"

"Varnish" is an old term for passenger cars or trains, especially "name trains," dating to the days of wood equipment that was carefully painted and then varnished for a high-gloss appearance. "Private" refers to privately-owned cars, typically an open-platform observation sleeper-lounge car. There is a Private Varnish magazine published by and for present-day owners of such cars.

-- Larry Goolsby (, September 14, 1999.

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