Car 20 was built for Nevada 's Virginia & Truckee Railway, which ran between Reno and Carson City, with branches to Minden and Virginia City. Car 20 is a combination Coach and Baggage car (called a “combine”), and served the V&T for forty years. With its elegant stained glass windows, oak paneled interior, inset mirrors and plush seats, it is an example of a fashionable passenger car built in the final years of all-wooden car construction.
Car 20 was usually assigned to trains without a lot of passenger traffic; typically “mixed” trains which carried both freight and passenger cars. As originally built, it had a 32-seat coach section, a 16-seat smoking compartment, two bathrooms, and a baggage section. In 1937 the baggage compartment was enlarged by removing the men's room and smoking section.
Car 20 was sold to MGM Studios in 1947, and appeared in numerous Hollywood productions depicting the Old West. Motion pictures include Annie Get Your Gun, The Tall Target, The Sheepman, Cimarron , The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, Papa's Delicate Condition, Cattle King, Mail Order Bride, Hang 'Em High, The Reivers, and Johnny Got His Gun. It was purchased at auction and came to the Museum in 1971.
Additional V&T 20 info on Rails West website
Northern Nevada Railway Foundation V&T website
V&T in Films
Virginia & Truckee Railroad website
Nevada State Railroad Museum