Nevada Northern & Railroads of White Pine County


Ward-Dressing Car USA 89033
Ex-NN Cyprus II (No. 100, 3rd), Jackling's Private Varnish


During World War II the United States Army had two types of cars in hospital train service: "Ward Cars" and "Ward-Dressing Cars".

  • "Ward Cars" had end-to-end straight aisles, wide end doors to permit passage of litters, patient beds, nurses records desk, storage space, and cleaning and sterilizing facilities.
  • "Ward-Dressing Cars" had a small area where surgical dressings could be attended and emergency surgeries performed, in addition to patient beds.

In general, two "Ward" cars ran coupled to each "Ward-Dressing" Car. The numbering scheme for Army railway hospital cars that eventually evolved had all cars beginning with "USA 89-". "Ward" cars carried a four-digit number, whereas "Ward-Dressing" cars carried a five-digit number.

Four modified Pullmans served as the original prototype "Ward" cars. As the war progressed the demand for additional hospital cars grew.

  • In 1942 the Army ordered 12 additional "Ward" cars and 6 additional "Ward-Dressing" cars.
  • In 1943 the Army ordered 64 additional "Ward" cars and 32 additional "Ward-Dressing" cars.

These demands exceeded the availability of Pullman cars, so any available cars were purchased. Daniel Jackling's private car Cyprus II, Nevada Northern's No. 100 (3rd), was one of the 32 non-Pullman cars obtained by the Army for hospital train service at this time. Ten of these were converted by ACF to "Ward-Dressing" cars: 9 Northern Pacific observation lounge cars (USA 89024-89032) and 1 Nevada Northern "business" car (USA 89033).

In 1944, and again in 1945, the Army ordered an additional 100 "Hospital Unit Cars". However, these were newly constructed by ACF and numbered USA 89300-89399 and USA 89400-89499, respectively.

The floor plan drawing below is based on a specific style of Pullman car in both length and window arrangement. As these may not correspond to those of Cyprus II, the drawing must be considered representative of the arrangement and principle features of the of the "Ward-Dressing" cars.


Click on the image below for a large version showing details.

1943 Ward-Dressing Car

Drawing created by and from the collection of
Major General Hugh F. Foster, Jr., USA (Retired)
Used with permission



ACF photographs of WW-II 1943 Ward-Dressing car USA 89027
These photographs are truly representative of the interior of USA 89033 (ex-Cyprus II) upon its conversion to a Ward-Dressing Car by ACF in 1943. The exception is the exterior photo — Cyprus II had a different window arrangement — but it gives a general representation of the outward appearance of USA 89033.

ACF photo CR-1753 Neg.61174-K
Receiving Bay. Wide side doors on both sides to load litter patients; cabinet for surgical instruments and supplies; instrument serilizer; surgical sink; doors to ward; rolling surgical table in stowed position with medical supply cabinets above.

ACF photo CR-1753 Neg.61174-H
Lavatories, opposite the toilet. At right, Utility Room for cleaning and storing bedpans and urinals. At left, storage locker, Nurse's desk and records file cabinet.

ACF photo CR-1753 Neg.61174-E
Ward viewed from the Receiving Bay. Near right, bunks folded up for cleaning the floor; just beyond, upper bunk lowered to waist height to facilitate medical car for special patients; mid-right, upper bunk forms backrest for lower bunk used as a bench seat.

ACF photo CR-1753 Neg.61174-G
Nurse's station. Writing desk with drawers for forms and administrative supplies; cabinet above for individual patient records; storage locker at right; ward at left, with safety straps in place.

ACF photo CR-1753 Neg.61174-A-14
USA 89027. One of nine Northern Pacific RR observation / lounge cars converted to Ward-Dressing cars USA 890024-890032. The tenth car, USA 89033, was Nevada Northern "business car" Cyprus II, the private varnish of Col. Daniel Cowan Jackling.

These photographs are from the collection and used with the kind permission of Major General Hugh F. Foster, Jr., United States Army (Retired). Also used with the permission of American Railcar Industries and ACF Industries.





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Last modified 18 August, 2001 -/-