Corridor on the right?


Trainz Entry Level
Paul of Paulztrainz and I have been having a discussion about which side the corridor is on in US passenger cars.

All the floor plans I've found for Pullman, Budd, and ACF show the corridor on the right side as viewed from the rear. In other words the station side.

Paul tells me that UK corridor cars are also on the right side so that passengers can wave to their family from their compartments. My vague memories of my time in Germany seems to recall that the corridor was also on the right there.

So why is the corridor on the right side?
Pure coincidence I think.

Once the train arrives at its final destination, the engine is put on the other end and "all of a sudden" the corridor is (experienced as if) on the other side of the wagon.

At to this that trains drive on the left in some countries and on the right in others.

Within one consist it is possible to find some wagons with the corridor on the left and some on the right.
There is no corridor stock left in regular service on the UK railway but there was certainly never any rule about which side the corridor should face. There were passenger doors on either side of the coach and waving goodbye to family or friends is hardly a pressing operational concern. In fact, the practice was (is) highly dangerous as there was the inherent risk of someone standing that close to the train as it started to move, of getting pulled down between the train and platform.

There were occasionally requirements as to where the brake vehicle should be marshalled in the train, or in the day newspaper or parcels vans due to platforming considerations.
oknotsen"s argument that the train reverses by the engine running around isn't correct for the era I'm most interested in, the Pullman Lightweights from 1936-1946 which extended until the late 50s - early 60s with railroad ownership. I probably should have said that. Due to the streamlined observation car the amount of work getting both it and the steam locomotive turned around made using wyes to turn the entire train reasonable.

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They really made a wye large enough to turn a complete train around? Sounds like a waste of a lot of space; are you sure?
I totally see them turn around the engine, but also the carriages when they have doors on both sides anyway? Or did I make a wrong assumption with the doors on both sides?
I do remember when I was younger and all the coaches were slam-door Mk1's that the consist could be mixed depending on how it was put together. Going from one coach to another as you walked through the train would mean having to dog-leg left and right as the corridor could be on either side.

I always liked the Reading's solution to turning the train:

I always liked the Reading's solution to turning the train:


I also like that too. I just wish that more railroads would adopt that also. Think about how much time (and money) a railroad could save by not having to turn the entire train around at the end of the line.
One thing that allowed them to do that is the fact that the train didn't carry head-end cars. It really wouldn't be possible on any train that did, which was most any other.
In some areas like in Boston for example, there are huge balloon loops to turn the passenger equipment. The one used for the Boston and Maine North Station is long gone, but the one on the South Station side on the former B&A/NYC and New Haven lines still exists. It's probably not used much anymore because the Acela is double-ended, and the diesel powered commuter trains use cab cars on the coach end. Back in the era of observation cars and beautiful varnish, it was necessary, and was used right through the PennCentral days when they ran trains with observation cars on them. During the 1970s there was a derailment on the South Station turn loop which caused a train to end up stopping in a parking lot. The train took the curve too fast and jumped on the curve.

What's interesting is there was once a complete loop setup underneath South Station its self. This was long forgotten and then rediscovered when the MBTA rebuilt South Station subway station so that its entrance was inside the station rather than on the street outside. There were questions about whether the tunnels were usable, however, they were not. They are too narrow, due to being built for the small and narrow passenger equipment at the time, and partially filled in on one side of the loop due to modern construction of a big US government and Post Office facility.
Probably when constructed the blueprint shows a front end ... but they probably got turned somehow in transit and switching moves from time to time
Most sleeping cars I know of the corridors are "on the right". However I do know the Milw. Skytop Lounge'd corridor is on the left (looking in the direction of travel).

I have drawings for almost all of Amtrak's Heritage fleet; when I get home I can share the pdf with you guys & you can look over the 'average'

Looking for something else, I found this, Budd Drawing Room cars were arranged differently than Pullman cars to avoid patent infringement.