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 Post subject: Not exactly restoration
PostPosted: Mon Jan 04, 2010 11:09 pm 

Joined: Mon Nov 26, 2007 2:54 am
Posts: 906
Location: Califoothills / Midwest Prairies / PNW
Stumbled upon the website of the firm, Rail Theme Restoration and Development Co, which designed the Victoria Station restaurants and several other railroad themed commercial projects. They state they have restored 111 cars (maybe renovated is the appropriate term for most of them). Still, they are cars that exist today versus being part of the scrap pile, etc.
http://sonic.net/~stadelma/rtrdc/history.htm


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 Post subject: Re: Not exactly restoration
PostPosted: Tue Jan 05, 2010 4:04 pm 

Joined: Wed Jan 25, 2006 5:00 pm
Posts: 818
Location: NJ
I remember the Victoria Stations restaurants. There was one at Roosevelt Blvd and Grabt Ave. in Northeast Philadelphia. According to their site, it only lasted three years. They don't seem to be doing much any more with the bulk of their work done in the '70s.

Later!
Mr. Ed


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 Post subject: Re: Not exactly restoration
PostPosted: Tue Jan 05, 2010 4:31 pm 

Joined: Mon Oct 11, 2004 8:42 am
Posts: 404
Location: Haslett, Michigan USA
Do any of these restaurants still exist? I have a dim memory of following Bill Feuhring through a forest of 40-foot box cars en route to a restaurant table somewhere in Ohio, so I must have been in one. I have a much clearer memory of the outrage of a British friend over the purchase of British Rail memorabilia in bulk by the developers of these restaurants. British steam fans were said to be outraged over the export of lots of rare stuff, including many locomotive nameplates and spiffy cast-iron signs. It is a bit outrageous to think of "The Fife and Forfar Yeomanry" on a restaurant wall in Buffalo.

Aarne Frobom
Powder Plot Heights, Michigan


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 Post subject: Re: Not exactly restoration
PostPosted: Tue Jan 05, 2010 4:35 pm 

Joined: Mon Nov 26, 2007 2:54 am
Posts: 906
Location: Califoothills / Midwest Prairies / PNW
There is a rather complete Victoria Station in Roseville CA, now a Mexican restaurant and nightclub. Others I know of were auctioned off after closing.

One could dedicate an entire website to railroad themed commercial establishments that have come and gone, and a bunch that still exist.


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 Post subject: Re: Not exactly restoration
PostPosted: Tue Jan 05, 2010 4:58 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 1:51 pm
Posts: 9593
Location: Somewhere east of Prescott, AZ along the old Santa Fe "Prescott & Eastern"
Aarne H. Frobom wrote:
It is a bit outrageous to think of "The Fife and Forfar Yeomanry" on a restaurant wall in Buffalo.


Waitaminute, waitaminute, waitaminute.......... a Deltic nameplate?!?!?!?! Those damn things sold for thousands each in the 1980s! Or are we talking a LMS splasher nameplate?


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 Post subject: Re: Not exactly restoration
PostPosted: Tue Jan 05, 2010 5:37 pm 

Joined: Tue Aug 24, 2004 2:35 pm
Posts: 350
Location: NJ
One in Wayne, New Jersey still exists, but as a research facility now. A caboose and passenger car still exist there.

Another one in Hanover, NJ was torn down about 15 years ago to make way for a Lonestar Steakhouse, which was also torn down this past year to construct a pharmacy for one of the larger chains.

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 Post subject: Re: Not exactly restoration
PostPosted: Tue Jan 05, 2010 8:07 pm 

Joined: Mon Jan 17, 2005 9:06 pm
Posts: 2301
Location: Thomaston & White Plains
Wasn't the Wayne, NJ location (the one that had/has PRR-Pullman parlor-obs "Queen Mary" and a wood Erie caboose) originally "Citro's 1890s" restaurant? And wasn't there a certain local-road 2-6-0 out front for a while in the late 60s-early 70s? I seem to recall that when Tony Citro sold his place, it became a Victoria Station, minus the 2-6-0.

Howard P.
Dim Distant Memory, NJ

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 Post subject: Re: Not exactly restoration
PostPosted: Tue Jan 05, 2010 8:39 pm 
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Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 7:07 am
Posts: 1114
Location: Northeastern US
There used to be one located a few miles from me in Burlington, MA which was demolished only 5 years ago. It had been closed for a while and I remember one Saturday, shortly before these photos were taken, pulling into the parking lot to take a look around. To my surprise the doors were unlocked, so I went inside. Everything was still intact. Kind of spooky.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/eclipsepic ... 061057324/


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 Post subject: Re: Not exactly restoration
PostPosted: Tue Jan 05, 2010 9:03 pm 

Joined: Sun Dec 26, 2004 10:13 pm
Posts: 350
Location: Metropolis
Miraculously, the one in Salem, MA, survived, and I believe now holds the distinction of being the very last. I've personally seen two that became other restaurants: the former Studio City, CA, location is now a hot dog/burger joint-type place, and the Valhalla, NY, one was renamed "Valhalla Station" (which hosts fairly popular Karaoke Wednesdays and Live Acoustic Rock Saturdays - no, I do not attend!)

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Last edited by Ed Kelley on Tue Jan 05, 2010 9:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Not exactly restoration
PostPosted: Tue Jan 05, 2010 9:07 pm 

Joined: Mon Aug 23, 2004 8:39 am
Posts: 534
Howard P. wrote:
Wasn't the Wayne, NJ location (the one that had/has PRR-Pullman parlor-obs "Queen Mary" and a wood Erie caboose) originally "Citro's 1890s" restaurant? And wasn't there a certain local-road 2-6-0 out front for a while in the late 60s-early 70s? I seem to recall that when Tony Citro sold his place, it became a Victoria Station, minus the 2-6-0.

Howard P.
Dim Distant Memory, NJ


Yes, one in the same. Also if you find "Erie Railroad" china made by Mayer China, it is fake and was made for Citro's 1890.


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 Post subject: Re: Not exactly restoration
PostPosted: Tue Jan 05, 2010 9:34 pm 

Joined: Tue Aug 02, 2005 1:25 pm
Posts: 5814
Stephen Hussar wrote:
There used to be one located a few miles from me in Burlington, MA which was demolished only 5 years ago. It had been closed for a while and I remember one Saturday, shortly before these photos were taken, pulling into the parking lot to take a look around. To my surprise the doors were unlocked, so I went inside. Everything was still intact. Kind of spooky.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/eclipsepic ... 061057324/


Stephen -

Thanks for the photos. I see from one of your photos that that outfit apparently had one of those steel bay window/cupola caboose combinations. I know that the Indiana Railroad Museum in French Lick, Indiana has one and I have seen one someplace else (St. Louis Union Station maybe?). These cabooses were apparently built that way. I have been inside the one at French Lick and it has seats for both the bay windows and for the cupola. I have never seen any photos of where these cabooses originally ran. Anybody know? Was it a class 1 railroad? A short line? An industrial operation? The caboose at French Lick is strictly used for storage, which really seems a bit of a shame.

BTW, I have also seen cupola cabooses that had bay windows installed later. I recall wood cupola cabooses on the Missouri Pacific like this and of course, there were ex-New Haven steel cupola cabooses that Penn Central (or maybe Conrail?) added bay windows to. But these other as-built cabooses I think are unique.

Les


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 Post subject: Re: Not exactly restoration
PostPosted: Tue Jan 05, 2010 9:54 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 1:51 pm
Posts: 9593
Location: Somewhere east of Prescott, AZ along the old Santa Fe "Prescott & Eastern"
According to the restaurant history books I'm perusing (yes, such things exist), Victoria Station was the BIG sensation in the 1969-1970 restaurant industry, comparable to the record-setting initial-public-offering spectacle of Outback Steakhouse and Boston Market two decades or more later. It had 22 locations in 1973.

FAST FOOD: Roadside Restaurants in the Automobile Age
, Jakle & Sculle, 1999:
Quote:
Victoria Station was pitched to singles, couples, and families who could not afford high prices yet hungered for cooking they did not want to do themselves, but its prices proved relatively high for the clientele. A dinner including salad and wine cost $15per couple and the average luncheon was $4. Lower-priced roast beef dinners--$4.75 to $5.75--sold th most, not the advertised prime rib. By the early 1980s, Victoria Station failed, victim mostly to boredom with the limited menu and format that were initially so attractive. A diversified menu did not salvage the chain because customers refused to think of it except in its original terms. Themed steakhouses, thus, originally proved short-lived gambits, the more frequent their change, the shorter their customers' attention.


The excursion rail industry might learn a few things from the above.......


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 Post subject: Re: Not exactly restoration
PostPosted: Tue Jan 05, 2010 10:39 pm 

Joined: Mon Jan 17, 2005 9:06 pm
Posts: 2301
Location: Thomaston & White Plains
The railroad station restaurant in Valhalla, NY was already a "RR-restaurant" before Victoria Station, and it still is. It's been through a bunch of owners. Never had the V-S rolling stock ,but has a wood B&O caboose and a wood NYC obs car, both quite modified over the years.

Howard P.

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 Post subject: Re: Not exactly restoration
PostPosted: Tue Jan 05, 2010 11:06 pm 

Joined: Mon Sep 29, 2008 8:06 pm
Posts: 38
There is a former Victoria Station in Torrance, CA on Hawthorne Blvd. that was most recently a seafood restaurant called the South Bay Grill. Unfortunately they went out of business last year and the structure is currently being dismantled by the property owner. There is one UP CA-5 caboose and several box cars. The caboose is hammered with half of one wall cut away completely and a concrete floor in it. The owner told me the city is making him recycle the RR cars, in other words, a metal recycler will scrap them. Won't be long before there is nothing but a plot of dirt there.


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 Post subject: Re: Not exactly restoration
PostPosted: Tue Jan 05, 2010 11:46 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 2:02 am
Posts: 620
Location: Albany, Georgia
Back in September 2006 I was in Miami on business and stumbled across a former Victoria Station that had most recently been a Puerto Rican restaurant named Apo's Cafe. I don't recall the road it was on, but it sat adjacent to a large, windowless building with "Televisia" on it. The property was for sale, and about 1.5 years later it was still unsold. It was made of 4 boxcars and a caboose, but the boxcars weren't your ordinary, run-of-the-mill single-door cars. Instead, they were rare 50-ft. Central of Georgia door and a half boxcars. All four of them. The caboose was an ATSF cupola caboose. The cars were almost completely intact, brake rigging, couplers minus a few knuckles, trucks, everything, including some of the air hoses. A couple of the brake wheel assemblies had been relocated to clear the end for doors, which had been cut in two cars, but otherwise, at least on the outside, the cars were intact. It would have been nice to get inside to see if the original doors were intact and if any additional doorway openings were cut in the sides or ends I could not see. I suppose they have been scrapped by now, especially with the high scrap prices in 2008-2009, to make the property more attractive to new development.

I actually ate in one of these restaurants while on a vacation trip in Denver in the Summer of 1982 or '83. It wasn't too bad, but it wasn't as memorable for the food as for the ambiance.

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Albany, GA


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