Round-end 3301 ROYAL STREET was of one eight 5 double bedroom-buffet-lounge observation ordered in 1946, built by Pullman-Standard, and completed in February and March of 1950. Four of the cars were placed in service on the “Royal Palm”.
The other four cars, one owned by the Southern Railway, two, including the ROYAL STREET, owned by the Louisville & Nashville, and one owned by the Western Railway of Alabama, were assigned to service on the jointly-operated New York – Washington – Atlanta – New Orleans “Crescent”. North of Washington to New York, the “Crescent” was handled by the Pennsylvania Railroad. Between Washington and Atlanta, 637 miles, the train operated on the Southern Railway. From Atlanta to Montgomery, Alabama, 175 miles, the train traveled on Atlanta & West Point and Western Railway of Alabama rails. The final 318 miles to New Orleans were on the Louisville & Nashville.
“The finest atmosphere is found in the luxurious observation car on The NEW Crescent, A Grand New Train With A Grand Old Name”, said the L&N about the train in the July, 1950, edition of The Official Guide, intended primarily for use by railroad ticket agents and travel agents. “Recommend and sell the year¹s finest travel package”, the ad continued, “and remember, you are offering your customers the best when you route them on The Crescent”. A Southern Railway ad in the same Guide indicated its passengers were saying, “The man who designed the cars for the new Crescent is indeed a genius. The last word in comfort, courtesy, and convenience, and marvelous accommodations the Crescent is now the best train between New Orleans and New York”.
After 20 years working for the L&N, the ROYAL STREET was sold to its first private owner in 1970. By the time current owner Dr. Jim Giganti of St. Louis rescued the car and began the lengthy restoration process in 1992, the car was pretty far gone, to say the least. The completely restored ROYAL STREET, with its gleaming new interior and stunning “Lookout Observation Lounge”, a full 10 inches above the floor level of the rest of the car that features oversized picture windows, is today a stellar example of the lightweight-era railroad passenger car restoration process.
Our thanks to John H. Keuhl for compiling this information.