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 Post subject: Wabash triplets
PostPosted: Tue Apr 29, 2008 2:41 pm 

Joined: Mon Feb 11, 2008 10:31 pm
Posts: 87
Location: Metairie, Louisiana
The Wabash acquired six heavyweight parlor cars from Pullman in
December 1945. All of these cars operated into the 1960's.

Plan 3957 QUEEN ANNE (May 1925), to CITY OF PERU in 1956
Plan 3957 QUEEN MARY (May 1925), to PRR in 1950
Plan 3957A CLARA MORRIS (Jan 1927), to CITY OF DECATUR in 1955
Plan 3957A HELENA MODJESKA (Jan 1927), to CITY OF LAFAYETTE in 1954
Plan 3957B DIPLOMAT (Apr 1927), to CITY OF DANVILLE in 1955
Plan 3957B EMBASSY (Apr 1927), to CITY OF WABASH in 1954

The CITY OF LAFAYETTE later operated under N&W with same name, then WHITE OAK for the Clinchfield, and BLUE RIDGE for the New Georgia RR. In 1996, it left live rail and became part of the Fernandina FL Chamber of Commerce, lettered for SEABOARD and named FERNANDINA.. In 2001, it was bought and returned to the rails by the late Greg Dodd, cheif mechanical officer of the Great Smoky Mountain Ry. Mr Dodd brought the car with him to New Orleans while he was here rebuilding SP 745. The New Orleans Public Belt Ry decided they wanted a business car and ended up buying it from Mr Dodd. It was rebuilt into a fancy parlor car named CITY OF NEW ORLEANS, painted oriental blue trimmed in black with gold lettering. It is now back in Pete Messina's shop being rebuilt into a diner type of car, fully up to Amtrak standards.

In 2006, the Public Belt purchased the Keokuk Jct Ry's business car CHEIF KEOKUCK, which just happened to be former Wabash car CITY OF WABASH.
The car had been sold into private ownership in 1962(Nebraska RR Historical Society), then to Fr Steve Sandknop as the SAN ESTEBAN, then to Thomas Frawley as the EMBASSY(again), and in 1983 to the Keokuk Jct Ry. I think at some point it was leased to the Grand Canyon Ry. The car spent over a year in Pete Messina's New Orleans shop(in the old KCS engine house), and emerged a few months ago, dressed in blue, as the LOUISIANA, also a fancy parlor car.

Now they have purchased the CITY OF PERU, which has been in Kansas City for years, unchanged much since it left the Wabash, still on friction bearing trucks. It is being shipped via KCS to New Orleans on two flatcars(passed through Alexandria, LA on the 27th). It will become a sleeper, name unknown. It will probably not go into the shop for a while, so don't expect it to emerge until late next year.

Anyone know what happened to the other three Wabash parlor cars, or anyone have a history of the CITY OF PERU since it left the Wabash?

The NOPB uses the cars for the usual roles of entertaining and providing tours of the port to customers and shippers, etc. They have also helped dozens of local organizations raise money by donating trips on the cars that can be auctioned off. The trips include a ride over the Huey P Long Bridge(which NOPB owns).

When the entire train is complete, it should be Amtrak compatible, and may venture out of New Orleans for special occasions(conventions, trips to Washington?)

 Post subject: Re: Wabash triplets
PostPosted: Tue Apr 29, 2008 5:25 pm 

Joined: Wed Mar 01, 2006 4:29 pm
Posts: 68
Location: Monticello, IL
The Clara Morris is at the Monticello Railway Museum in Monticello, IL. It is stored indoors, awaiting funding for restoration. When MRM aquired the car about 30 years ago, it was being used by bums as a flop house.... what was inside was not a pretty sight, and isn't fit for discussion in a public forum.

We do have long term plans to restore the car to service, pending funding, and shop time availability.

Kent McClure

 Post subject: Re: Wabash triplets
PostPosted: Tue Apr 29, 2008 5:55 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 8:34 pm
Posts: 658
Location: Union, IL
A quick Internet search revealed that the "City of Danville" is on display as the "Diplomat" at the Eastern Shore Railway Museum in Parksley, Virginia. According to this website, the car was retired by the N&W in 1970 and rebuilt for MOW service. It was acquired by ESRM in 1989 and was sold to the Delmarva NRHS chapter in 1996, which has been maintaining it. Photo here.

Frank Hicks
Preserved North American Electric Railway Equipment News
Hicks Car Works

 Post subject: Re: Wabash triplets
PostPosted: Tue Apr 29, 2008 6:58 pm 

Joined: Sat Mar 29, 2008 9:53 pm
Posts: 3
As for one of them coming through Alexandria on the 27th, I'll gladly say on the 28th it came through Baton Rouge on the line second closest to the river. I am assuming that it is the same one, as I'm sure the KCS goes up to Alexandria, from my travel experiences in the area. (Visited both yards, and the one closer to the river goes right by a museum with ICRR No.333) At first I was actually kind of worried as to what the old passenger car was doing on the freight train, but it seems to be in good hands. (:

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