A B C D E F G H I K L M N Ō P R S T U W Y

Troop Kitchen

From December 1941 to June 1945, American railroads transported approximately 44 million military personnel.

Not enough cars and coaches were available to meet the massive need for troop transit during World War II. So, in late 1943, the U.S. Office of Defense Transportation contracted with the Pullman Co. to build 2,400 troop sleepers and with American Car and Foundry (ACF) to build 440 troop kitchen cars.

The new rolling stock was either converted from existing boxcars or built from scratch based on AAR standard 50 foot-6 inch single-sheathed steel boxcar designs and were constructed entirely out of steel with heavily-reinforced ends. Sometimes, baggage cars were converted into temporary kitchen cars before ACF could complete its order.

The cars were painted the standard Pullman Green and affixed with gold lettering. Troop kitchens, also known as rolling galleys, joined the consists to provide meal service en route.

As the cooking was performed by regular Army cooks, the cars were outfitted with two Army-standard coal ranges. The cars were also equipped with two 200-gallon cold water tanks and a 40-gallon hot water tank; supplies were stocked on open shelves with marine-type railings, a bread locker, a large refrigerator, and a series of built-in cabinets and drawers.

Each car accommodated roughly 250 men and was usually positioned in the middle of the train to allow for food service from both ends. The soldiers had their meals while seated in their assigned seats or bunks.

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