National Embassy History

(Updated 1/4/2004)

The Pullman Standard built the National Embassy for the Union Pacific Railroad in early 1956. This car was built to run on the passenger train City of Saint Louis, which as co-operated with the Wabash Railroad. These trains ran between Saint Louis, Missouri, and Los Angeles, California. Union Pacific has 12 of the National Series, and the Wabash Railroad had 3. In the late 1960's, the City of St. Louis train was cancelled, and the UP Nationals were looking for a new usefulness. The Nationals saw some use on the Union Pacific Portland Rose, and the Union Pacific ski train to Idaho.

By the fall of 1971, all the 12 Union Pacific National cars were auctioned off. The Pacific Railroad Society won the bid for the National Embassy. Due to the lack of serviceable wheels, the society never used the car in any service. In early 1978, William Gawzner, who owned the Miramar Hotel in Montecito, California made the Pacific Rail Society an offer they could not refuse. Mr. Gawzner owned an ex-SP Shasta Daylight car, which he wanted to trade for a sleeper car. Since the Pacific Rail Society already owned another National Series car, which had serviceable wheels, the decision was made to trade the two cars.

For many years, the National Embassy was open on Sunday's in the parking lot of the Miramar Hotel in Montecito for public tours. Unfortunately, in 1984, Mr. Gawzner passed away. The car was virtually neglected from 1984, until 2000. After the passing of Mrs. Gawzner, and with the new owners of the Miramar Hotel looking to remodel the hotel, a new home was sought for the classic Pullman sleeper. With the help of society member, Larry Jennings, the car was donated to the Santa Clara River Valley Railroad Historical Society. On February 16, 2000, the National Embassy was hoisted from it's 22 year home, onto a truck, for a ride to it's new home, Fillmore, California. Click here to see
photos of this move, taken by society member John Gartman.

Since it's arrival, some carpet has been replaced in the hall, and several windows have been replaced, but the car is in near original condition. In the near future, the car needs places in the roof repaired, and an exterior paint job. In balance, this car is an excellent addition to the Santa Clara River Valley Railroad Historical Society's collection.

Jeffrey Trimble

Below are some statistics for the National Embassy Pullman Sleeper

Name and Number: National Embassy # 1205
Company Built For: Union Pacific Railroad Company
Construction: Aluminum
Type: Sleeper, 6 Sect-4 Rmt-6 Bdrm
Builder: The Pullman Company
Build date: Early 1956
Length [ft-in]: 85-0
Weight [lbs]: 141,665
Seats: 26

Where the 15 Nationals Series Sleepers Are
by Jeffrey Trimble

Also provided, where available, is information about where the cars are.

National Border # 1201 owned by a John Clark, Cerritos, California

National Command # 1202 displayed by Union Pacific RR, Council Bluffs

National Consulate # 1203 scrapped in South Carolina

National Domain # 1204 Forget-Me-Not Lodge/Aurora-Express, Fairbanks, Alaska

National Embassy #1205 Santa Clara River Valley Railroad Historical Soc., Fillmore, CA

National Emblem # 1206 Forget-Me-Not Lodge/Aurora-Express, Fairbanks, Alaska

National Forum # 1207 owned Pacific Railroad Society, Los Angeles, CA

National Frontier # 1208, scrapped in South Carolina

National Progress # 1209, owned by LA Live Steamers, Los Angeles, CA

National Scene # 1210 owned by Orange Empire Railroad Museum, Perris, CA

National Shores #1211 became SCD #702 (Mexico) Scrapped at Huehuetoca Yard, July 2000

National View # 1212 sold to Mexico, & became SCD # 701, disposition unknown

The Following Were Build For The Wabash Railroad:

National Colors (Wabash) to Ringling Brothers wrecked Jan. 1994 scrapped

National Homes (Wabash) May have been scrapped about 1971 by Steelmet Inc.

National Unity (Wabash) May have been scrapped about 1971 by Steelmet Inc.

Photo Album of the Historic Move to Fillmore, California

Click the image above to visit the National Embassy Photo Page.

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This page was created on November 26, 2000
and was last updated on January 4, 2004