John H. Emery Rail Heritage Trust has awarded DCNRHS a $4,000.00 1:1 matching grant to support the replacement of the mattresses aboard historic heavyweight 1923 Pullman Sleeper-Lounge passenger car Dover Harbor. The Sleep in Pullman Safety and Comfort Project is an initiative begun by DCNRHS in 2015 to ensure the long-term preservation and viable operation of the car in the best traditions of the legendary Pullman Company which provided first-class and overnight accommodations for rail travelers in the United States for over 100 years. The Pullman Company was principally concerned with providing first class sleeping accommodations for overnight passengers. Dover Harbor's six double bedrooms provide for such an essential overnight Pullman travel experience for passengers aboard the car on long distance trips.
The replacement of Dover Harbor’s mattresses is an initiative to improve the travel experience aboard the car. The car still uses the original Pullman Company horsehair mattresses which came with the car. Many of them are suffering from significant deterioration due to advanced age, and have become less comfortable for a night's rest. This project will make new, custom sized mattresses for the upper and lower berths made with ticking which closely resembles the appearance of fabrics used by Pullman. The total value of the mattress replacement effort is estimated at about $8,000.00. DCNRHS expects to complete the project in time for the 2016 operating season.
In addition to the mattress replacement initiative, DCNRHS is also planning to replace the on-board blankets, stationery, and linens with authentic materials appropriate for the period. The estimated costs for those are approximately $10,000.00.
Upper berth Photo by William Hakkarinen