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18" Pullman Sleeping Car Interior Upgrade, Placid Haven

After completing the interiors for my other Pullman sleeping cars in this series I really wanted to build the interior for the fourth.  But I was missing the last K-Line car in the set.  The sleeping car I needed was the 11 bedroom Placid Haven part number K4690-30001.  It's the hardest car of the set to find and goes for a premium price when located.  I wasn't looking for a mint condition example of the Placid Haven in a factory unopened box because I planned on changing out the stock K-Line interior and running it daily with the other cars on my layout.

From the photos I have seen online K-Line's Placid Haven has the exact same windows in the shell as all my other sleeping cars.  So, I started digging into some older threads in this forum and I made up my mind on how to make the missing car. There were several posts on how to use either a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser or Testors ELO (Easy Lift Off paint & Decal Remover) to remove the factory painted name off the side of a car.  I took a chance and purchased a used K-Line Ocean Sunset 1305 sleeping car (part number K4690-31305) a Magic Eraser and a can of ELO for this project.  The reason I chose the Ocean Sunset is it's the least expensive of the four K-Line Union Pacific sleeping cars and easiest to find for sale.       

name before

Once the car arrived I still needed to decide which method to remove the Ocean Sunset 1305 glossy red paint.  I chose to start with the Magic Eraser and if the Magic Eraser did not work then I would move up to the stronger ELO.  I cut a small piece off the Magic Eraser and started rubbing with light pressure over the red painted letters...  nothing happened.  Then I applied medium pressure and I noticed the glossy shine on the red letters started to dull to a matte finish.

name during

Within 5-minutes this was the result.

name gone

The Magic Eraser was successful.   The glossy red Ocean Sunset 1305 paint disappeared from side of the car without messing up the factory Amour Yellow paint underneath.  I never even opened up the can of ELO.  This success meant I could build one more passenger car interior for my Union Pacific City for Los Angeles train.  But first, I need to apply a new name to the side of this blank sleeping car.

According to the book "The Union Pacific Streamliners" by Ranks and Kratville, Pullman-Standard build 10 sleeping cars in the Placid series for the Union Pacific in 1956.  In alphabetical order their names were:  Placid Bay, Placid Harbor, Placid Haven, Placid Lake, Placid Meadow, Placid Scene, Placid Sea, Placid Vale, Placid Valley and Placid Waters.   After purchasing the O-Scale Microscale decal part# 48-198 (sheet 3) I realized this sheet only allowed me to pick two of the original 1956 names.

name Placid Haven

To correctly match one of the ten original Union Pacific sleeping cars I had to either choose Placid Haven or Placid Lake.  I picked Placid Haven just like K-Line did back in 2005.

For others like me that have never applied decals to an O-gauge passenger car before the Microscale instructions said:

1.  Cut out the Microscale decal, and dip in clean water for 10 seconds.  Set decal on a damp paper towel for a full minute or until decal slides freely on on backing paper.

2.  Apply to model by holding decal in desired place and sliding backing paper away.

3.  Blot gently with paper towel and allow to dry completely.

And just like that... here's the K-Line sleeping car with its new name.

Name Placid Haven on car

There are no Union Pacific Placid series sleepers in museum collections.  Only the Placid Lake survives today and is still on the rails.  It’s interior was heavily modified several years ago and its name was changed to Berlin.  You can find information online about the Berlin by typing in .   This meant all my research for this Placid interior was going to come from books and internet searches.  On the positive side, since I was not traveling to see real passenger cars it allowed me to spend more time adding extra details to this interior.

Once my car's name was changed to Placid Haven I was ready to create the correct interior per Union Pacific's plans for this 11 double bedroom sleeping car.  Start by removing the K-line frame with stock interior from the aluminum shell.


Then, unscrew the old plastic floor from black metal frame.  Save all benches and passengers to be reinstalled later.


Tack down 1/16" wooden strips with CA glue to elevate your new floor above the incoming power wires.  Trim plastic (at arrow marked below) to allow room for the power wires underneath the new floor.


Tack down your new basswood floor with CA glue to the wooden strips.   Then reinstall the factory screws from the bottom.


Mark where the windows are located on basswood floor.  Be careful, sleeping cars have a lot of walls and the rooms can be very small.  On this car I marked the room letters on the new floor per the P.S.C.M plans.   The Placid series sleeping cars have 11 double bedrooms marked A ~ K and some of the bedrooms are "S" shaped.  I'll attach my patterns for the full and half size walls ready to print on a 8 1/2" x 11" paper.  To use my tall divider wall pattern you will need to change out the stock K-Line incandescent bulbs to LED strip lights.


Full and Half walls

Glue the seats in the place so the people can see out the windows and start putting up walls. The existing K-Line bench seats were not long enough to be used as convertible sofas in the bedrooms.  But with a little bit of modification I was able to extend these bench seats to the length of the room.  To do that, I used 1-1/2 bench seats per room.  This can be done by cutting one bench seat in half and attaching it to another full size seat.  To get the smaller seats for the center bedrooms I cut about 1/3 off some other K-Line bench seats.


Paint the floor, paint the walls and add mirrors in the rooms.  In this interior I placed the Hennings 21000 Passenger Car LED lighting kit's small LED circuit board just in front of the main hallway.  Since my interior walls are tall I also added four extra micro LED lights under the shell to illuminate the main hallway.


After the walls were dry I added chairs, toilets and sink from ScaleCityDesign.  I'm pleased to say this was the first K-Line sleeping car where the room spacing correctly matched the window locations in the aluminum shell.  As you can see from the build I did not have to stretch or shrink rooms to match the windows in the semi-scale space.


I like to challenge myself and add additional details in each new passenger car interior.  That way, no two cars are the same and it stays interesting for me to keep building.  In this car the one of the extra details was the electrical locker with exhaust fan.


Per the original plans the extra details needed on the other end of the car was an equipment locker, clean linen locker (with folding table storage below) and the soiled linen locker


The final step was adding passengers.

I repainted some of the K-Line figures that originally came out of this car and turned their heads.   I did this because don't like having all my passengers staring straight ahead at blank walls like zombies.  Also, I recommend trimming the bottoms on your figures to make them fit in the seats better.


The folding seat for the sleeping car attendant is in the hallway is next to the main bathroom.  I turned the head of the sleeping car attendant so he would be looking out the window.


This passenger just put his book down to look at the scenery passing by out the window.


This passenger is checking her luggage and looking down at a Union Pacific travel book.


These two passengers are enjoying the views of countryside out the window.

Here's a look inside the four different Pullman sleeping car interiors in this series.   The Western Star 4-12 (part # K4690-30003), Ocean Sunset 5-2-2 (part# K4690-31305), National Border 6-4-6 (part# K4690-30002) and the 11 bedroom Placid Haven.   

Inside view all four cars

In closing if you are using a magic eraser to remove the name off your passenger car, please note with flat finish paints it will turn that area into a satin finish when closely inspected.  On my passenger car this could only be seen was when held up in a certain light and at a certain angle.  None of my visitors will notice this difference while the car is rolling by on the track.  In my option, I feel this Placid Haven sleeping car matches great with the other K-Line Pullman cars.


This series has covered 11 different Union Pacific interior builds in 11 months and I have learned a lot along during this journey.  I have one more 18" interior to build in this series before it's time to sit back and enjoy watching all those "City of Los Angeles" passenger cars go by on the rails.  Thank you to all the OGR forum members for the positive feedback on these interior builds.  And thank you for following this series.

To look at the other interior builds in this series click on the links below. They are listed in the order I run them on my layout:


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  • Placid Plans
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  • Inside view all four cars
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Last edited by T.Albers
Original Post
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