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 Post subject: Cars in need of assistance ?
PostPosted: Wed Jan 25, 2006 9:18 pm 

Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2006 1:22 pm
Posts: 429
Thought it would be interesting to initiate a discussion about a handful of cars, and what the future holds for them. This discussion goes hand and hand with previous discussions, on how can all this stuff be preserved, while kept outdoors with limited resources.

Here are just a few :

Pullman "Union League Club", previously owned by the Altoona RR Memorial Museum, now owned by Horseshoe Curve chapter NRHS. To my knowledge car sits outdoors in Altoona area

Pullman 12-1 "Richard Dale" stored on the Everett Railroad in Central Pennsylvania

Pullman 12-1 "Beaver" stored on the Everett Railroad in Central Pennsylvania

Pullman 10-1-2 "Lake Girard" stored on the Everett Railroad in Central PA

PRR D-78 4973 Heavyweight diner stored on the Everett Railroad in Central PA.

Pullman Glen Blair, owned by the LASTA in New Orleans LA

Pullman Wake Island and Harbor Springs in Altoona PA owned by ARRM, (I believe these were the names of these two cars ) owned by ARRM

Pullman Palm Beach at the TVRM

Pullman / PRR Business Car "7508" in Rio Grande NJ

NYC # 6 business car Algiers LA

IC Pullman "General Jackson" Abita Springs LA

PRR Parlor "Minerial Springs" Rio Grande NJ

PRR Budd Congressional / Senator car "George Washington" stored in California

Central of Georgia heavyweight baggage car, stored in New Orleans, outside of LASTA siding (along with 2-3 ex Southern lightweight cars )

NYC heavyweight baggage car, stored at scrapyard in Portage PA

Pullman "American Dream" (not real name ), might be in Lebanon NJ ?

Burlington gas electric car south of Union Station in Denver, CO ?

this list is just a start ..

Can anyone offer any knowledge as to the present status, future plans of any of this equipment ? It is interesting to hear what is around...


Dean Levin


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 Post subject: Re: Cars in need of assistance ?
PostPosted: Thu Jan 26, 2006 9:35 am 

Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2006 1:22 pm
Posts: 429
sorry for the mistake, Palm Beach on the TC Railway Museum ( my mistake ) I indicated it was at TVRM


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 Post subject: Re: Cars in need of assistance ?
PostPosted: Thu Jan 26, 2006 10:47 am 

Photos of a some of these cars can be viewed at:

http://prr.railfan.net/PRRToday.html

http://www.bbandbrr.com/everett/roster/passenger/roster_passenger_equipment.aspx

http://www.trainweb.org/horseshoecurve-nrhs/U_League.htm

When I had more time on my hands, I used to keep track of the Altoona museum cars by combing the newsletter of the Horseshoe Curve Chapter NRHS

http://www.trainweb.org/horseshoecurve-nrhs/

I would also add to this list the heavyweight PRR observation Queen Mary - photos of which can be viewed at the prr.railfan.net link above

As I recall, the "American Dream" was purchased by the Reading & Northern and is part of their business car fleet.

The Central Pennsylvania Chapter of the NRHS is also said to have a few PRR pullmans converted to work service on their property. I do not have names or numbers.

Finally, I would also recommend asking the same question at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/PassengerCarList 1219 members and quite a few with factual information. This group also has database feature (yet unusued) that may be helpful with building the list and keeping it updated.

Tom Cornillie


  
 
 Post subject: Re: Cars in need of assistance ?
PostPosted: Thu Jan 26, 2006 11:43 am 

Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2006 1:22 pm
Posts: 429
Hey Tom.. appreciate that information. Perhaps someone from the Altoona area can comment on the status of the museum equipment and the cars are the Everett Railroad.

Unfortunately, I believe in time, some of these will fall into the same catagory as the Southern Coach, meaning that scrapping is likely. However I would suspect cars like the "Union League Club", with the right money, in the right place, with the proper direction could come back. However many of the initial cars on this quick list, look to be reaching the time of no return. I looked at the Queen Mary in Wayne New Jersey two years ago, while completing a project in New Orleans, and the car suffers the normal rot at the bottom of the side sheets, belt rail etc, along with the large whole cut out of the car. The platform suffers the expected rot from years of northeast weather exposure, however 75 percent of the interior looks to be in good original condition. However my visit centered around how the light dome on a deep platformed Parlor was designed. This knowledge and dimensional data was essential in our restoration efforts of a Wabash / Pullman that has now been returned to servie and last year was made Amtrak compatiable. ( complete with the light dome on the platform )

I would suspect, that each large museum has a handful of cars, in their backlot, with questionable futures. However, I am yet to understand why such little effort is typically put forth to stabilize equipment that remains outdoors, in lieu of allowing water, snow, ice, wind, and the occasional vandal do their work.

I suspect some cars on that inital quick list, will survive, and perhaps someday prosper, however I would imagine that 100's of cars, across the country could indeed be looked at as having at best questionable futures.

I received an email about the Seminole, a business car/ private car in the Knoxville area that is showing signs of tiring, along with cars owned by a NRHS chapter ( or a historical society ) in Jacksonville Florida..

It is not my intent per say to start a list of endangered cars, yet wondering if any groups or individuals who read this forum, also understand, that the heavyweight still left outside is an endangered species ?

Am I wrong ?


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 Post subject: Re: Cars in need of assistance ?
PostPosted: Thu Jan 26, 2006 2:06 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 4:19 pm
Posts: 1398
Location: Pottstown,Pa.
The heavyweight all bedroom pullman sleeper "American Dream" was purchased in 1995 by Andy Mueller and is now part of his business car fleet. Car is kept under cover in Pt. Clinton,Pa.
Is the Queen Mary the ex-PRR parlor-obs. with an enlarged open rear platform?? If it is,I always thought she'd make an ideal rear end car for mainline excursions. Who owns the Queen Mary? Thanks for any info on her.
Ross Rowland


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 Post subject: Re: Cars in need of assistance ?
PostPosted: Thu Jan 26, 2006 2:24 pm 

Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2006 1:22 pm
Posts: 429
Ross..

The Queen Mary, ( the ex PRR Parlor platform car ) is part of what was a restaurant in Wayne New Jersey ( away from live rail ). I was taken through the car by a management employee, as I believe it is now part of a medical office (or some type of office ).. The car has a large (approximately 10 foot ) whole cut in the side of the car and other than that, it suffers the normal wear from the elements after seeing likely 30 years of exposure in its present location.

This car is indeed unique, yet it is unfortunate it did not have a better fate, as it ran so late into Penn Central ownership. On a side note, the "Queen Anne" a sister car still survives as the City of Peru ( Wabash owned.. as was the Queen Mary ), still for sale, awaiting its preservation fate. Car was converted to mid train service, yet remains very complete. Note the Queen Mary still has its wood sash windows, as the Queen Anne ( City of Peru ) was modernized. Car is for sale, $18,000.00, on friction bearings in Kansas City area.

Interesting story, the City of Peru, is certainly a worthy canidate for preservation and restoration.


Dean Levin


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 Post subject: Re: Cars in need of assistance ?
PostPosted: Thu Jan 26, 2006 2:39 pm 

Quote:
It is not my intent per say to start a list of endangered cars, yet wondering if any groups or individuals who read this forum, also understand, that the heavyweight still left outside is an endangered species ?

Am I wrong ?


If you are wrong, I would like to hear the alternative.

What would be useful is a webpage that shows the progress of corrosion and other water damage with passenger cars. This is pretty basic knowledge among those who inspect passenger cars, however I have yet to see a good explanation of how corroision starts and progresses in relationship to car structure. This isn't rocket science - more basic chemistry and physics - and would be really useful for long term preservation planning and budgeting as it would allow a cost benefit calculation. (i.e. $$ for a building now or $$$$ for repairs later)

Also, the City of Peru is a great car. Is it still available? It used to be listed on Ozark Mountain Railcar but was delisted a while back without explanation. It is amazing that a tip-to-tail C. 1960 Wabash Banner Blue still survives - scattered around the country and in various states of repair.


Tom Cornillie


  
 
 Post subject: Re: Cars in need of assistance ?
PostPosted: Thu Jan 26, 2006 3:08 pm 

Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2006 1:22 pm
Posts: 429
Just for talk (on a group of interesting cars that remain )... and keeping with the Queen Mary / Anne theme, a similar lot of Pullman / Wabash cars remain. City of Decatur is stored indoors ( awaiting $$ I would assume ) at the Montecello RR Museum, City of Wabash ( now the Chief Keokuck ) owned by the Pioneer Railroad Corp ( used as a business car ), and the Helena Modesjka later the City of Lafayette, now named the City of New Orleans and restored, operational and now Amtrak compatiable owned by the New Orleans Public Belt RR. I believe one more car existed ( City of Danville ), which if my memory serves me correct .. might have been Queen Victoria ?? ... is lost or perhaps gone... All cars were deep platformed parlors with I believe one drawing room, and separate mens and womans rooms at the ends of the car.

In keeping with Tom's comments, the concept of understanding the ramifications of prolonged exposure to weather elements is certainly interesting, however it is safe to say, water that penetrates and freezes opens up the car bodies, and then more water enters, the rust process starts and the side sheets, roof sheets, belt rails, vestibules, rot. Same can be true for PS cars where water is famous for getting behind the fluting, causing the same damage.

Unfortunately, the specialized nature of steel replacement, rivet recreation, belt rail reconstruction, etc etc etc, makes a passenger car perhaps one of the more complex items in railroad preservation. No matter if its rotting wood sash windows, or Adlake aluminiun window frames with broken screws, its complicated. and beyond the scope of most museums that do not have specialized restoration shops, as everything becomes a "custom" fabrication.

That alone makes it tough, few qualified shops ( museums and private enterprise ), and a large quantity of cars sitting outdoors, awaiting $$ that likely will never arrive.

I saw a company that shrink wraps locomotives, trolleys etc. I would suspect this would work for a few years ?


I will look up that site !


Dean Levin


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 Post subject: Central Pa. Chapter NRHS cars
PostPosted: Thu Jan 26, 2006 3:15 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 12:51 pm
Posts: 6660
Location: Baltimore, MD
Qouth Tom C:

Quote:
The Central Pennsylvania Chapter of the NRHS is also said to have a few PRR pullmans converted to work service on their property. I do not have names or numbers.


I am a member of the Central Pa. NRHS. They do indeed have five Pullman day coaches, converted to camp car service, at their Reading station museum at White Deer, Pa. The ones whose names I remember for certain are the three "best" of the bunch, PRR names Torrance, Urbana, and Voyager; there are two others whose names I forget, one I believe to be ex-NYC. They were reportedly diverted to the Chapter's track literally in the middle of the night as they were en route to the scrapper, with financial arrangements made later with Conrail. I've slept in one of these cars. I've eaten in them--a roast-turkey dinner prepared in the car's kitchen.

These cars are truly a dilemma. There is/was enough open-section hardware within the several cars to assemble and potentially restore at least two cars (possibly three) as Pullman day-coach (12-1) configuration. (The cars also have such things as propane ovens and stoves from camp service--excellent for serving a volunteer work group, as the Chapter has done in the past.) Furthermore, almost NOBODY out there in rail-museum-land has a Pullman open-section car, let alone one restored and on display--and these cars are almost as important to the actual cultural history of railroads and travel as an Amtrak F40PH, the General, or the Burlington Zephyr.

However, there are reasons nobody pays attention to these cars: 1) it's been so long since anyone used them as sleepers that it's a couple generations ago, and people are focusing on saving modern stainless cars instead; 2) the configuration is totally wrong for excursion service in terms of capacity, yet nowhere near plush enough for the "modern" standards of "first-class" or "deluxe" excursion or main-line service; 3) no operation with a "period" air (Strasburg, Conway, Mid-Continent, etc.) can justify a Pullman car or "sleeper" service; 4) no private operator wants one as PV (who wants to sleep in open sections when a private bedroom and dining room and obs platform are available?) and 5) the usual problems of old six-wheel trucks, friction bearings, etc. and return on the investment of rebuild and conversion to rollers.

Furthermore, the Chapter suffered the ignomity of having two spans of the deck-girder bridge directly south of the cars/museum collapse in a flood as the pier was eroded out from under it. Barring someone creating a "need" for the bridge to be rebuilt (the girders were saved), the cars will have to be either trucked out or rolled north through heavily-overgrown track for a couple miles to another access point and still trucked to live track. Fortunately, it's only a mile or two south to Interstate 80.

Chapter members have been at least stabilizing the cars over the years, with roof and window repairs, but age is catching up with both the Chapter and the cars. I'd dearly love to see ANYONE work out a deal that would get at least one of these cars restored as a Pullman day coach in a better museum/collection. I can't see the Chapter doing much more in the long term than keeping one car as a display or passenger carrier (once the bridge is rebuilt, if ever) and maybe one as a camp car/volunteer hostel.

Does anyone else agree with me that we need a Pullman day coach in a museum setting? Friends of the RR Museum of Penna.? RMM in Altoona? North Carolina Transportation Museum? Roanoke? Anyone?

Though not in an official capacity with the Chapter anymore, I'm willing to help guide any interested parties with answers to questions, etc.

Or prove me wrong and point me to a Pullman 12-1 day coach restored for display somewhere...........


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 Post subject: and all of this gets back to.....
PostPosted: Thu Jan 26, 2006 5:10 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 10:54 am
Posts: 746
Location: Michigan
The question of why no one is trying to recreate a complete, period, passenger train of this vintage, ala the Canadian Museum or Rail Travel still blows my mind. Are the Canadian's really that far ahead of us and that well connected that they can come come up with five separate train sets representing five different periods, and we can't seem to get ONE whole trainset together? The only example I can think of someone trying to do this is the Erie Lackawanna Dining Car Group, who I believe is trying to recreate a typical "Lake Cities" consist. There are portions of typical PRR trains to at the RRMofP, but nothing of the size, of, say, a Broadway of 1920.

Am I missing something? Why isn't this happening? Is it simply politics? Museums and collectors not willing to get together to make it happen? No good venue? Or is that the Wabash people won't help the NKP people who Won't help the C&O people, etc.......

Ah yes, stirring the pot.....once again....

TJ


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 Post subject: Re: Central Pa. Chapter NRHS cars
PostPosted: Thu Jan 26, 2006 5:32 pm 

Joined: Tue Aug 02, 2005 12:25 pm
Posts: 3826
The statement that no "period" railroad museum can justify operating a Pullman car makes me wonder. Surely in the days of Pullman travel, there were "ordinary" passenger trains that carried a Pullman car. Locomotive, baggage car, coaches and a Pullman. Are there any passenger train "experts" out there, that can site some examples of this (or tell me that I am wrong)?

I, for one, would LOVE to have an open section Pullman car. (Actually I'd love to have ANYTHING where I could put some fannies in some seats.) But the problem with any small museum is....money! It's one thing to find such a car in decent condition, but then the owner(s) want big bucks for it. Not counting movement which, yes, usually has to be done over the highway. So the limited funds go for other things.

Les Beckman (Hoosier Valley Railroad Museum/North Judson, Indiana)


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 Post subject: Re: and all of this gets back to.....
PostPosted: Thu Jan 26, 2006 6:21 pm 

Joined: Mon Aug 30, 2004 2:45 pm
Posts: 362
I sit back and breath a collective sigh as I see this topic come up yet again, and again with regard to "what if"?........or "can anybody"? I'm not familiar with the Canadian end of things, but it seems they don't have post-911 paranoia regarding liability that we have here in the states. It certainly makes sense that if your'e a millionaire you can do a lot more than most of us. Your pointing out the EL Dining car group is a good demonstration of a group of people who are putting all the pieces together. When they're done they'll have a nice collection that eventually will run on a friendly railroad with some nice scenery.

You're not missing much at all, it's simply a case of too many things to do and not enough people to do them. Oh sure, you can add politics, and the territorial aspects, they're part of it too. But as someone stated previously, most of us are getting older, and there aren't too many people reaching out for that torch, so to speak.

Anyone want the ladle????????


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 Post subject: Re: and all of this gets back to.....
PostPosted: Thu Jan 26, 2006 6:35 pm 

Quote:
I sit back and breath a collective sigh as I see this topic come up yet again, and again with regard to "what if"?........or "can anybody"? I'm not familiar with the Canadian end of things, but it seems they don't have post-911 paranoia regarding liability that we have here in the states. It certainly makes sense that if your'e a millionaire you can do a lot more than most of us. Your pointing out the EL Dining car group is a good demonstration of a group of people who are putting all the pieces together. When they're done they'll have a nice collection that eventually will run on a friendly railroad with some nice scenery.


The difference is that the Canadian Museum of Rail Travel is focused on interpretation and education - not operation. As such there is a completely different liability standard applied to them. Moveover, they have been able to attract funding by clearly showing why their efforts are significant - answering the "so what" - so a wider range of persons (and benefactors) can recongnize its importance.

Its not money - Its the strategy

Thus far the majority of US efforts have focused on operation, which creates a cost envelope that cannot be satisified - after which the equipment continues to sit OUTSIDE deteriorating. Without interpretation or conservation they become rusty eyesores instead of historic pieces and time capsules.

Tom Cornillie


  
 
 Post subject: Re: Cars in need of assistance ?
PostPosted: Thu Jan 26, 2006 7:25 pm 

Joined: Wed Aug 25, 2004 10:06 pm
Posts: 127
Location: Bendena KS
Burlington gas electric car south of Union Station in Denver, CO ?

This "doodlebug" has been moved and is now in an RV storage lot in west Denver. The private owner who moved it to the storage lot has dropped off of the face of the earth and the RV lot owner wants it gone. He is willing to give away the body, but thinks that the trucks (junk passenger car ytrucks) are worth their weight in gold. The Boulder County Railway Historical Society is working to move the car to Boulder for display.

Jason Midyette


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 Post subject: Re: Pullman day coaches
PostPosted: Thu Jan 26, 2006 8:24 pm 

Joined: Fri Aug 27, 2004 8:19 am
Posts: 492
Location: Scottsboro, AL
Quote:
Does anyone else agree with me that we need a Pullman day coach in a museum setting?


TVRM does operate the "Clover Colony", an 8-section 5-bedroom car. They have a complete (never in work train service) 12-1 car, however it is presently in storage and would need a fair bit of clean up and cosmetic work to be presentable as a display.

I suspect there are a handful of 12-1 cars in private ownership in various stages of restoration around the county.

Alan Maples


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