Model train display with moving trains and a miniature old train station.

One-Millionth Pullman-Standard Freight Car

Field review by the editors.

Bessemer, Alabama

A 1,000,000th of anything is important. It's not surprising that there might be several claimants to such a momentous title. But a boxcar? In fact, three different boxcars in three different states claim to be the one-millionth built by Pullman-Standard. One is at the Railway Museum in Union, Illinois; another is near Gibson Woods Park in Hammond, Indiana; and then there's this one.

Bessemer's boxcar should be the favorite, since it was built here and it's the only one of the three outfitted as an attraction. But the curator at the Bessemer Hall of History Museum across the street wasn't sure if this was boxcar 1,000,000 or 1,000,001 (The word "commemorating" on its side sounds evasive). A club from Birmingham named "The Wrecking Crew" has filled it with a working model railroad display, depicting downtown Bessemer circa 1950 from the perspective of the spot currently occupied by the boxcar.

Outdoor view of a white railroad freight car, parked in a grassy lot, with an entry ramp and door in its side.

The Pullman-Standard factory in Bessemer closed in the early 1990s, apparently before it could build boxcar 2,000,000.

One-Millionth Pullman-Standard Freight Car

Bessemer Hall of History Museum

Alabama Ave., Bessemer, AL
Part of the Bessemer Hall of History Museum. I-59/20 exit 112. On Alabama Ave. just south of 20th St. The museum is on the east side of Alabama Ave. (in the old train depot); the Freight Car is on the west side, across the street. You have to ask the curator in the museum to open the freight car.
T-Sa 9 am - 3 pm. (Call to verify) Local health policies may affect hours and access.
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Nearby Offbeat Places

Adolf Hitler's TypewriterAdolf Hitler's Typewriter, Bessemer, AL - < 1 mi.
African Village in AmericaAfrican Village in America, Birmingham, AL - 8 mi.
Temple of SibylTemple of Sibyl, Vestavia Hills, AL - 10 mi.
In the region:
Large Copper Frog, Harpersville, AL - 29 mi.

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July 7, 2020

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