Coach (rail)

Coach (rail)

A railway coach — also known, especially in the UK, as a railway carriage — is a passenger car designed for the conveyance of passengers by rail (the first such vehicles were, in fact, often road coaches mounted on frames equipped with railway wheels). A railway coach can be self-propelled (such as the Budd Rail Diesel Car, in which case it is known as a railcar), form part of a multiple unit of self-propelled vehicles, or be pulled or pushed by one or more locomotives either singly or together with other railroad cars.

The car's interior can be arranged in two ways:

* If the corridor is on the middle, the car is filled with row upon row of seats, generally all arranged facing toward one end of the car or in groups of four facing each other, often with a table in the middle,
* If the corridor is on the side of the car, the car is divided into separated compartments that usually contain 6 seats, but sometimes only 4 in first class or 8 in second class; half of them face forward, facing the other half, which face backward. This arrangement is prevalent in Continental Europe.

The seats are often so close together that there is not much room for anything more than a passenger or two in them. Carry-on baggage is stowed on a shelf above the passenger seating area. Coaches are sometimes referred to as "chair cars." The seats in most coaches until the middle of the 20th century were usually bench seats; the backs of these seats could be adjusted, often with one hand, to face in either direction so the car would not have to be turned for a return trip. The conductor would simply walk down the aisle in the car, reversing the seat backs to prepare for the return trip. (New Jersey Transit still uses this type of seating on some of its coaches.)

In some countries, such as India, the word "coach" may have a slightly different or expanded meaning, including sleeping cars. In India, moreover, the interior layout of a coach is often different from the European and American standards, with cars including multiple layers of benches/berths (people sit above other people, as well as in front and behind). On suburban trains in India, coaches are often full of standees.

anta Fe Pendulum-suspension car #1100

In 1938, Pullman built for the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway an experimental pendulum-suspension "chair" car which saw service on the "San Diegan" passenger train, among others. Mounted on high springs, the car was to tilt inwards of curves to counterbalance the cant deficiency with the induced centrifugal force. However, as it relied on purely passive components, it was not entirely successful, and the lack of damping produced a sea-sickness inducing rolling motion that ensured that the experiment would not be repeated.

ee also

* Famous trains
* "La Paz"
* List of named passenger trains
* Passenger car (rail); Chinese passenger coaches
* YZ-22B
* YZ-25B
* YZ-25G
* YZ-25K

External links

* [ Nevada Central Railway Coach No. 3 Silver State] — photographs and short history of a "shorty" Coach built in 1881.


*"The American Railroad Passenger Car" by John H. White, Jr. Two Volumes (1978) by Johns Hopkins University Press.
*ISBN 0-8018-2743-4 (pbk.: set: alk. paper)
*ISBN 0-8018-2722-1 (pbk.: v.1: alk. paper)
*ISBN 0-8018-2747-7 (pbk.: v.2: alk. paper)

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