Pullman Sleeper Car McKeever
Donated to TTM by Dr. John Worsham
The McKeever is a 12 Section / 1 Drawing Room Sleeping car. It entered service with the Pullman Company on June 26, 1924. It is one of 63 such cars built to the same specifications between June and August of that year. It was rebuilt in 1935 and air conditioning was added. Until 1948 it operated mainly on the New York Central and the Missouri Kansas Texas Railroad. Some museum visitors have told us about trips on the McKeever between San Antonio and Grand Central Station, New York. After 1948, the car was operated solely by the MKT RR until 1965 when the KATY ceased passenger service.
Pullman McKeever layout and Pullman advert images
Heavyweight Pullmans on the New York Central in the 1930s. This was the railroad that took the McKeever to New York after it was switched out from the Missouri, Kansas & Texas. This was known as 'through-car' service.
The Pullman sleeper car McKeever's Floor Plan.
The Pullman sleeper car McKeever's Floor Plan.
The Pullman sleeper car McKeever's Floor Plan.
The Pullman sleeper car McKeever's Floor Plan.
The McKeever is a luxurious railroad "conversion" sleeper car built by the Pullman Company in 1924. During the day, while its passengers were at breakfast, its upper berths were closed and its lower berths were "converted" to day time use with a table between facing comfortably upholstered seats. The change back to night time use was performed while its passengers were at dinner. The car had its own dedicated staff. The McKeever's porters were known for their professionalism and courtesy. Many passengers planned their trips from San Antonio to New York and back, a journey which took several days, to coincide with when the McKeever was making the run. It was like staying at their favorite hotel. They knew the staff and the staff knew them. Pullman cars such as the McKeever provided through service on even the longest journeys. The car would be switched from one railroad to another for different sections of the trip but the staff stayed with their assigned car.
Pullman McKeever in San Antonio, near Seguin and early days at TTM
Pullman sleeper car McKeever in the MK&T Sloan yard in San Antonio, 1964
Pullman sleeper car McKeever in the MK&T Sloan yard in San Antonio, 1966
Pullman sleeper car McKeever near Seguin in the 1970's.
Pullman sleeper car McKeever near Seguin in the 1970's.
The Pullman sleeper car McKeever on the move to TTM.
The Pullman sleeper car McKeever just after its arrival at TTM.
1924 Pullman McKeever Sleeper Car, 2006
All Pullman cars, until 1948, were owned by the Pullman company itself. They were leased to operating railroads and serviced and staffed by the Pullman Company. The Pullman Company "monopoly" was broken up in 1948 and its cars were spread out among all the different railroads individually. The McKeever was allocated to the MKT. Its records show the McKeever as one of the nine Pullmans it owned in 1954. The others were the Kimbell, the McCaysville, the Lake Jessie, the McCumber, the McLeod, the McCallsburg, the McInnes and the Sunnyside. The McKeever is 82 feet, 11 inches long externally, with an interior passenger area 73 feet, 10 inches long. It seats 55 passengers and has both a men's and women's toilet area, one at each end of the car, for the sake of propriety, no doubt. The men's area is larger, and is also designated as the smoking room. The car has twelve sections, with upper and lower sleeping berths, plus an open drawing room area.
More external images of the Pullman McKeever at TTM
1924 Pullman McKeever Sleeper Car.
The Pullman sleeper car McKeever, June 2006.
The Pullman sleeper car McKeever.
The Pullman sleeper car McKeever, June 2006.
As an old-fashioned steel 'heavy weight' car in a streamlined age, the McKeever ended its days in service as a regular passenger car on short distance local branch lines. One of the museum's charter members, Dr. Bill Boyd, acquired the car in 1966, when the MKT exited the passenger business altogether. He had it transported to his property on Lake Placid, near Seguin, Texas. There is was used as a summer house by his family, especially his two daughters, who would have sleep overs in it with their friends. The car stayed behind when the property was sold and the car sank further and further into disrepair. It even was flooded out by the lake at one point. A subsequent owner of the land, Dr. John Worsham, donated the car to the museum in 1983. He also paid for the not inconsiderable expense of moving it from Seguin to the museum.
External restoration of the Pullman McKeever, November 2016
Pullman McKeever Sleeper Car being sand-blasted prior to being repainted, November 2016
Pullman McKeever Sleeper Car with old and new paint, November 2016
Pullman McKeever Sleeper Car being repainted, November 2016
Pullman McKeever Sleeper Car after being repainted, November 2016
New lettering applied to the Pullman McKeever Sleeper Car, November 2016
New lettering applied to the Pullman McKeever Sleeper Car, November 2016
Pullman McKeever Sleeper Car, July 2017
The exterior of the McKeever, along with the adjacent 404 business car, was repainted in 2016. This project, which included repairs and the application of silver sealant to the roof, was accomplished thanks to a generous donation by two local companies, "Mission Pharmacal" and "Southwestern Motor Transport." The Texas Transportation Museum is deeply appreciative of their assistance towards preserving this historically significant railroad car for the future.
TTM thanks Mission Pharmacal and Southwestern Motor Transport for their generous donations towards the exterior restoration of the McKeever in 2016
     
Interior images of the Pullman McKeever at TTM
Ladies bathroom in Pullman sleeper car McKeever.
Private suite in the Pullman sleeper car McKeever. The seats are upper berth would be converted into beds at night
Walk way between seating/sleeping sections in the Pullman McKeever sleeper car
Upper & lower berths on the Pullman sleeper car McKeever. Privacy curtains would be hung at night.
Daytime seating on Pullman sleeper car McKeever. These seats would be converted into beds at night.
Daytime seating on Pullman sleeper car McKeever.
Men;s bathroom and smoking lounge in the Pullman sleeper car McKeever.
Men's bathroom and smoking lounge in the Pullman sleeper car McKeever
Forward view from the rear passageway of the Pullman McKeever
Since its arrival at the museum, The McKeever has been the subject of much restoration work, usually with one major project once a decade. Its roof and sides have been restored and repainted. Most of the windows have been repaired or replaced. Most of the seats have been re-upholstered. This work was done in the 1990s by the two person team of Frank Miller and Pete Shavney.
Bill & Connie Foster who take care of the 404 & McKeever, September 2009.
Beginning In the summer of 2009, Bill and Connie Foster "adopted" the McKeever and the 404 Business Car." Despite the sweltering heat, they thoroughly the cars and installed new carpets. They then set about placing period correct items and adding much needed descriptive signs Their efforts yielded stunning results. Visitors now get a much better sense of how the kind of experience travelers had and how proud railroads were of their passenger rolling stock.
Help Preserve the Pullman McKeever

TTM always needs more help to maintain our exhibits in the best condition. As previously mentioned, most of the work is done by volunteers. Your assistance would be most appreciated, so come join us! And, if you are in a position to make a monetary donation so we can hire professionals when needed, that would be wonderful, too. Please see the section following for details on how to do this.
TTM is a registered 501(c)(3) charity and all donations are tax deductible

To make a donation, please send a check payable to TTM to:

Texas Transportation Museum
McKeever / 404 Restoration
11731 Wetmore Road
San Antonio TX 78247


For more information, please call (210) 490-3554 or (210) 394-0483.

 

TTM is a registered 501(c)(3) charity
11731 Wetmore Road
San Antonio, Texas 78247
(210) 490-3554
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