The 10-Compartment Sleeper Glen Cassie (arrived 1989)

The Original Floor Plan and Interior finishes of the Glen Cassie


The Glen Cassie was one of 10 steel "Glen-Class" compartment sleeping cars built between 1928 and 1930 to re-outfit the Trans-Canada Limited.

Based on a completely private-room floor plan for sleeping cars (favoured in first class European trains of that period) it contained 10 private compartments, each with a section (upper and lower berth). Each room also contained a corner porcelain sink, and a single covered toilet which could serve as a day seat. (.. INSERT - slide # 1 - interior of a compt.) The rooms also had interconnecting doors so that they could be taken ensuite for larger groups, and a hallway along one side of the car by-passed all rooms. A porter's room at one end provided a single bed (which could be made into a day seat) and a wash basin. At the other end of the car was a single washroom accessible from the hall, containing a cast glass window. This was provided more for convenience than necessity since all rooms had their own toilets.


The interiors were finished in quarter-sawn Honduran Mahogany. Simple border marquetry designs were placed on the berths - very different from the more decorative patterns found in other sleepers of this train - probably because they were not so publically visible as those in cars with open sections. Each lower seat (lower berth) contained a small fluted square shaded fixture for reading.



A brief History of the Glen Cassie before its Arrival at the Museum

After the Trans-Canada was discontinued in 1931, cars of this type continued to be popular throughout their life in providing exclusive privacy for passengers. In the mid-1930's, the cars were air conditioned and the ceilings were lowered about 6 inches. The rooms were also slightly altered to provide a total of 5 double connecting suites in all. Every second interconnecting door was closed over with a small wardrobe cabinet and beveled mirror. No other changes were made to the interiors.

The Glen Cassie continued to be used on many trains until the early 1960's when it was taken out of passenger service and placed in work service as a "crew sleeper". Amazingly, this car escaped the interior re-configuration which was usually the case in most work cars. Only compartment # 10 was altered with its berth and seats removed with the room then used storage purposes, but the sink remained. Although all interior mahogany sash windows remained in the car, including brass window railings in the hall, the exterior windows were replaced in the 1970's with aluminum sash windows with adjustable screened bottom sections. This was the only noticeable exterior change. (.. INSERT slide # 2 - showing original exterior and # 3 - showing aluminum sash windows)

The Glen Cassie served for many years as a crew sleeper at the Coquitlam Yard of the CPR near Vancouver, and was discovered there in 1982. by the museum in the search for Trans-Canada cars. The museum immediately contacted the railway to see if it might be obtained. Although the CPR considered the car to be useful in work service, it did place a moratorium on any interior alterations. With the intention that someday it would go to the museum. In mid-1989, the car was donated to the museum and transported gratis to Cranbrook.

Work done on the Glen Cassie after its Arrival


The car was placed inside the museum security fence along with two other cars which had also arrived that year to complete the Trans-Canada (the sleeper Somerset, and the day-parlour car # 6751). Initial work included a quick assessment of panel conditions and an inventory of appliances . (... INSERT slide # 4 and # 5 showing interior parts...) While the car was stored on CPR property, the only work done on it was a temporary exterior paint job.


A special job creation program allowed work on this car which included the stripping the green painted interior and re-varnishing. (... INSERT slide # 6 - before, and slide # 7 - after - restoration of hall). This prepared the car for acceptable public display standards, although later restoration projects will have to complete the final process.

The car was also prepared for special interpretive purposes which included special overnight school and other special program accommodations. The car is not considered a "hotel" car or a "bed & breakfast" , but it is intended for moderate interpretive experience with a high degree of control over its use.
Compartment # 10, which had been removed, was converted into temporary shower facilities for overnight guests. The temporary wall covering in this room can easily be removed, and the room restored when desired. Toilets and sinks were also hooked up for visitor convenience. Air cooling and heating units were connected to the original ceiling ducts to provide consistent environmental control thorough all compartments, and special exhaust fans remove any excess water from the shower rooms. A new electrical service was installed and the car completely re-wired.


The 10 corridor-side exterior aluminum sash windows were replaced with restored mahogany sash.


The 23 room-side exterior aluminum sash windows were removed, and re-covered with exterior solar glass (since this is exposed to the weather). Also, 31 new light fixtures similar to the original, were placed throughout the car in a project involving 6 cars of the Trans-Canada.

Work Yet to do on the Glen Cassie (as of 1999)

  1. Although 5 varnishing stages were completed in 1991, the whole interior of the car still requires the final 3 stages.
  2. The ceiling air flow grills will have to be stripped, and after the varnishes have been completed, new carpets and new seat upholstery can be done.
  3. Hall ceilings and wall mahogany trim will also have to be completed.
  4. The room-side of the car will have to have 23 exterior mahogany sash windows installed to finish the window restoration program.
  5. Removing the old metal sheeting over the exterior roof, and replacing it with 90 lb roofing felt will make it consistent with the other cars.
  6. As a finale, compartment # 10 can be restored.

Other Notes on the Glen Cassie

It is the only surviving car of its type


To the River Rouge Solarium Car