When I rode Trains 645 and 638 with my Uncle he always found an empty roomette for me in the ten roomette six bedroom sleeping car out of New York and Roanoke respectively. Unfortunately for the future of travel on this route, the sleepers were seldom full.
In retrospect, I wish I had recorded names and car numbers on each trip. But I do remember with vivid certainty that one of the sleepers I rode was named Randolph Macon College. The post war sleeping cars built for the N & W by the Budd Company were named for colleges and universities in the railroad’s territory. These cars didn’t feature the shot-welded louvers of the streamlined cars Budd built for many railroads in the post war period. They were known as slab-sided cars, at least among rail fans if not the car builders. They were quiet to ride and I loved that special aroma of clean upholstery and fresh air circulating through the ventilation system. N & W also had some 10-6 Pullman-built sleeping cars that probably graced these trains and I assume many runs featured a 10-6 sleeper from the Pennsy. This appears to be the builder’s photo of this car. However, as I give this photo a closer look I see what looks like one of N & W’s Pullman-built coaches to the right and behind the sleeper. Perhaps this photo was made at Roanoke given the curved track in the foreground that suggests the station’s track layout. I welcome your opinion.