Railway Preservation News

Reading cafe lounge # 1189 "King Coal"
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Author:  trolleyira [ Mon Mar 01, 2010 5:07 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Reading cafe lounge # 1189 "King Coal"

IIRC, this car was not built for the "King Coal', but was rebuilt from a much older car.
The kitchen appliances and the trucks are some of the giveaways.

Author:  Alexander D. Mitchell IV [ Mon Mar 01, 2010 5:37 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Reading cafe lounge # 1189 "King Coal"

Mike Tillger wrote:
Stop and think about what you just posted. Don't you think if they have the ability to do the work to their locomotives, they have the ability to restore the 1189? Why would you even suggest to do twice the work? The carbody and roof of the 1186 is not much better than the 1189.

I haven't examined either car closely lately, and only an experienced car restorer would be able to make a final determination.

But as things stand right now, there are four broad options:
*Let both cars rust until they have to be scrapped (or let one rust to death and the other get scrapped because it's in the way or someone hasn't paid taxes or whatever);
*Restore one and scuttle the other, but let the best of both cars be used if compatible or raid the car to be scrapped for donor parts;
*Restore both cars as static museum pieces;
*Restore one car as a static Reading-diner museum piece and one as any operable car for a PV owner, business train, dinner train, etc.

If a private owner wanted an historic operable diner (now, that's a long shot itself, but bear with me), the opportunity exists for the same work (more or less) to be done at the same time at possibly lower cost or ease of set-up, with the modifications I described. As photos and things stand now, the Strasburg car sure looks like a rusty box holding a good-but-in-need-of-restoring interior, while the Philly car appears to be a solid but gutted shell.

Of course, all we need to hear is that the frame has been cut on the Philly car or something, and we can just forget I ever said anything.

Author:  PLATFORMCAR [ Mon Mar 01, 2010 5:58 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Reading cafe lounge # 1189 "King Coal"

I thought I would offer ( my opinion ) of the most likely scenario of what will happen.... so here goes... I can name likely about 12-15 pieces of equipment ( non locomotive ) that resides in the RRM of PA yard... this is not meant to be a complete list.... just a few off the top of my head ( PRR P-54 coach, PRR B-74b horse car, Reading hopper car, Tower View, B&O RPO, Metroliner, Reading round end Crusader car, PRR 10/6 Scioto Rapids, LV RDC, P&LE caboose etc etc ) ... these are just a sample.... no need for the moment to list any more...

Now... to be perfectly honest, I suspect what will happen with the King Coal is it will sit... It will sit no differently than the Reading MU car that rotted out in the yard for many years, and sit like the PRR Air Brake inspection car. I suspect someday, ( which is the wildcard ), perhaps the Reading King Coal, will find its moment, as did the Air Brake car and Reading MU car ( both which were in pretty poor to fair condition. ( and were nicely restored and reside indoors ) Now, how and why that "someday" happens, I have no clue, however unless the car falls apart like the MP-54 did ( which was scrapped ) , it likely will stay on the property, awaiting its "someday"... Now.. will the Tower View happen before it ??... or will the Metroliner happen before it ??... or any other car ??.. I can't be certain, as I have no idea who seems to pick what pieces get attention when...

Pardon me if I seem a bit discouraged, as I am sure every single person has a reason why a certain piece of equipment should be rewarded with the attention, money and indoor storage space it deserves... If I had my personal say, I would say a three dome tank car, an Ore Jenny, a PRR steel boxcar and a LNE steel hopper could give up the indoor space for say the PRR DD-1 ( only 1 exists ), the Reading cafe lounge or the Tower View. ( in other words to see relatively common items inside, and 1 of a kind items outside raises a concern ) yet I can understand that a newly restored PRR boxcar, ore jenny or the like, would weather and not look so great in likely a year left outside.... and when I say give up the space, it would be after the item is properly restored.

So... with all that said...and indoor space a premium, I suspect the day will come "someday" for this Reading cafe - lounge...to get attention... as I would have doubted the Reading MU car or the Air Brake car would ever be restored. In the meantime it will sit, like the Tower View, B&O RPO and the like, awaiting its turn.... however the likelihood of the RRM of PA trading away, selling, or the like, any car, locomotive or artifact is highly unlikely....

I was going to say its because of it being a state run facility, yet within the last year I have been to plenty of private museums with many more problem cars and locomotives than the RRM of PA...I believe it very well may be that many groups simply over value the worth or need to have a piece of equipment, allowing it to be neglected or possibly destroyed in lieu of offering it to another group

So... unless I am totally unaware of the inner workings of the RRM of PA ( and lost track of history ) , I suspect the above mention scenario will come to pass....and the car will sit, as it has for nearly 40 years. Certainly not the best scenario, but perhaps not the worst, as who would have thought the E7 ( the only one that exists ) that rotted outdoors for 25 years, would have been restored and brought inside ?

In the meantime, I would say the B&O RPO is likely in the worst overall conation in the museum yard. ( just intended to be good, friendly, constructive discussion )

Dean Levin

BORPO.jpg [ 67.06 KiB | Viewed 2752 times ]

Author:  j32885 [ Mon Mar 01, 2010 6:14 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Reading cafe lounge # 1189 "King Coal"

Reading #1189 "King Coal" definitely needs some TLC. I say it needs mostly exterior work, while the interior just looks a little aged.

Also, Reading #1186 looks landlocked which needs a crane and truck to in order to move this piece. I like the one picture, where you could still see where the street running tracks were.

Here's my questions:

- How many passenger cars does RCT&HS own?

- Which passenger cars are were former Reading heritage?

Author:  Alexander D. Mitchell IV [ Mon Mar 01, 2010 6:47 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Reading cafe lounge # 1189 "King Coal"

If I had my personal say, I would say a three dome tank car, an Ore Jenny, a PRR steel boxcar and a LNE steel hopper could give up the indoor space for say the PRR DD-1 ( only 1 exists ), the Reading cafe lounge or the Tower View. ( in other words to see relatively common items inside, and 1 of a kind items outside raises a concern )

Other Brother Levin,
You seem to have forgotten about the Mountain View in Altoona which Brother Levin had a hand in getting there. So Tower View isn't quite unique. Not that it's not deserving of restoration and indoor space, but if your criteria is "one-of-a-kind," well........

Author:  Doug Debs 2472 [ Mon Mar 01, 2010 7:20 pm ]
Post subject:  Saving cars for the future - seal the roof!

Before this discussion veers too far off-topic:

Sealing the leaking roof on cars like "King Coal" is not necessarily an overwhelmingly expensive or difficult task. Often the leaking areas are only a small percentage of the total roof. More than anything else, this dramatically slows the deterioriation process, and preserves the car for future restorers. The roof fix doesn't have to be the 100-year museum-display-grade overhaul, it just has to keep it watertight for the next 10+ or 20+ years.

One thing to be careful of on roof repairs: falls. You need scaffolding or the equivalent so a slide or fall off the roof is stopped just below roof level. Better a bruise than a fatality! Used industrial pallet racks are inexpensive, less wobbly than most scaffolding, and often can be suitably adapted for this purpose.

- Doug Debs

Author:  PLATFORMCAR [ Mon Mar 01, 2010 7:50 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Reading cafe lounge # 1189 "King Coal"

Mr. Mitchell ( and group )

the idea of Tower View, or a Metroliner etc was meant as a "general" statement meaning something more rare than a ore jenny or 1950's era boxcars. ( although these are also indeed rare ) There are plenty of objects in the yard, that have more historical significance then say a GP 7 or 9, however once again, the EMD road unit was painted and restored, so putting it outside would be likely a mistake. If I had my choice, again the DD1 would be inside and a EMD road unit would be outside ( however both are significant to the history of the railroad and tell a story of motive power development )

In other words 1 of the 2 surviving blunt end tail cars from the Broadway Limited likely is more significant than a H30 covered hopper car. Imagine a New York Central museum leaving Hickory Creek outside in fair / poor condition while a NYC bay window caboose is inside.... ( even though Sandy Creek does also exist ? ) ... ( just an analogy ) ....( and an opinion ) ...

Personally I believe the RRM of PA has done pretty well over the last few years... The percentage of equipment that is at risk of loss is relatively low, and they have accomplished quite a few completed restorations ( snow plow air brake instruction car , E7, PC covered hopper, PRR boxcar, Conrail GP30, PRR Ore Jenny, E44 ) just to name a few..

I believe the "someday" will likely happen for the King Coal, perhaps not for the B&O RPO ( just a guess ) . however when looking at the outdoor equipment at RRM of PA, it appears to have a better future than a number of smaller museums across the country. With the completion of the restoration shop, RRM of PA, has indeed given themselves the opportunity to take on big projects like the King Coal, however I am uncertain as to their priorities or their abilities to gain grant money, etc etc. The only fund raising I am aware of, is perhaps the # 460, however I have not heard much on this effort.

In the perfect world, the King Coal would be restored, and indoors in a large museum expansion. Seems a bit unlikely under the current economic conditions, however I suspect being thankful the car survived, made it to Strasburg, and was not lost to vandals and the like, give it an opportunity to see its "someday".... Many wonderful treasures have been lost ( even recently) due to reasons ranging from vandals to fund raising. The "glass is half full" for car # 1189....so it would seem.

( a recent picture of PRR Tower View is provided )

Dean Levin

towerview.jpg [ 34.71 KiB | Viewed 2638 times ]

Author:  car57 [ Mon Mar 01, 2010 9:46 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Reading cafe lounge # 1189 "King Coal"

Here we go again societies with too much stuff than they could ever restore, and a lot of that isnt even worthy of being called historic, that King Coal car is a mess and not even attractive, concentrate on what you have and make lists of SERIOUS priorities not whims. You always get loads of people who have grand ideas about what to do with money they havent got, and many many of them dont even bother to help the groups that are trying......seen it all before in the UK and here.


Author:  trolleyira [ Mon Mar 01, 2010 10:05 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Reading cafe lounge # 1189 "King Coal"

One thing good about the WW&F RAilway Museum in Alna, ME, is that they do not "collect". They restore/build for current needs as time and money permit, which explains no derelect rolling stock hanging around.

Author:  Alexander D. Mitchell IV [ Thu May 04, 2017 7:18 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Reading cafe lounge # 1189 "King Coal"

Update (after seven years!) on Reading diner 1186 in Philly:

set to become the official welcome center for the Rail Park

https://philly.curbed.com/2017/5/3/1553 ... es-project

Interior view of some of the remains:


Author:  Alexander D. Mitchell IV [ Mon Feb 26, 2018 6:55 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Reading cafe lounge # 1189 "King Coal"

Update on the Philly car (sort of):

https://hiddencityphila.org/2018/02/old ... l-park-hq/

Security gates were recently installed around Car 1186 to protect it from further vandalism and graffiti.

On Thursday, March 8 the Friends of the Rail Park are throwing a big dance party at Voyeur Nightclub to raise funds to revive and refurbish this quirky little slice of North Broad history.

Author:  EJ Berry [ Tue Feb 27, 2018 12:15 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Reading cafe lounge # 1189 "King Coal"

Returning to the original subject, R.Co. Parlor-Diner 1189. The car has gone to RCT&HS and the Reading Railroad Museum in Hamburg. It did go on its own wheels.

1189 was built in 1927 as Class DCe, rebuilt 1932 to Class DPa, air conditioned in 1935, modernized 1948 for the King Coal.

Phil Mulligan

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