The Pullman Streamlined Railplane. Click to enlarge.

(Image by W.B. Stout, Public domain, via



Not to be confused with the George Bennie Railplane.

The Pullman Streamlined Railplane was designed by William Bushnell Stout in 1933. The Pullman Car & Manufacturing Company constructed the Railplane to William Bushnell Stout's design in 1933.


The Pullman Car & Manufacturing Company constructed the Railplane to Stout's design (some improvements were later patented by the company, see the positives below). This was merely Stout's familiar triangulated space-frame aircraft fuselage, this time adapted to railroad use. Here too, he was able to preserve his all-time important triumvirate: simplicity, practicality and comfort.

The self-propelled car had an aluminum body and was 60 feet in length. It was exhibited at the Chicago World's fair in 1934.


The Railplane was leased to the Gulf, Mobile & Northern Railroad in 1935 for service between Tylertown and Jackson, Mississippi.

From the railroad point of view, all running gear could be easily serviced from outside, tracks and roadbed lasted longer and operating costs were significantly less.


Despite proven advantages, there were no buyers.


Stout in 1947 with model of his skycar. (By Mechanix Illustrated, November 1943, Fair use,


The Pullman Railplane was written up in this issue of Popular Mechanics from 1934. Click to enlarge. (Public domain, via

The Designer

William Bushnell Stout (March 16, 1880 – March 20, 1956) was a pioneering American inventor, engineer, developer and designer whose works in the automotive and aviation fields were groundbreaking. Known by the nickname "Bill", in addition to the Pullman Railplane, Stout designed an aircraft that eventually became the Ford Trimotor, and was an executive at the Ford Motor Company.


This image shows the Railplane testing without lower streamlining. (Popular Mechanics, 1934, Public domain, W. Lenheim Collection)


All streamlining on the Railplane is intact in this photo. (Popular Mechanics, 1934, Public domain, W. Lenheim Collection)


Speed: 90 to 110 miles per hour

Capacity: 50 passengers

Weight: 490 pounds per passenger

Power: Two gasoline engines of 160 horsepower each

Operating cost: Twenty-five cents per mile

Streamlining: Front, rear and against side winds

Safety: Special “four-wheel” air brakes