Railway Preservation News

SP Business Cars
Page 4 of 4

Author:  jmlaboda [ Fri May 26, 2017 5:15 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: SP Business Cars

Congrats!!! Hope you will be able to post those pix... definitely wanting to see them!!!

Author:  PMC [ Fri May 26, 2017 6:13 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: SP Business Cars

Donald Kirk wrote:
As of Wednesday, May 24, I was told that I now am the owner of Former SP business car #127. It's sitting in a yard about 1/2 mile from live rail. I have pic's of it; and some of in the SP silver with large stripe on the top; and some have the r,w,b Amtrak stripe on the car.

The couplers are E; and the wheels are I'm told Oil bearings (they have an oil hose going to the cap of the bearings (are these sleeve?). The outside has peeling paint; and the inside needs a whooping huge cleaning. All original furniture seems to be in it. The wood looks a little dry, but either liquid gold or a good brand of polish should fix that. The electrical has been altered. some is 110v. ac and some is not. Besides the couplers and possibly bearings (trucks), I'm sure I'll have to upgrade the plumbing and kitchenette in it. I understand that there is a little outside metal to be fixed; and I know that things like hte marker light lenses are missing. Due to 2 major surgeries last year I had cut my concert productions, but with the obvious expenses I'll have to turn this car into a luxury mainline car, railcar. Whether I'm takng it to Rapid City, CA or someplace on S. Oregon, I have not decided yet.

I went back and looked at Ted's entry for this car and see that you mean (back) yard, not a rail yard cut off from live rail, which made me scratch my coffee-deprived head:

"SP business car #127 (2nd) "Alamo" constructed in 1926 by Pullman as Galveston, Harrisburg & San Antonio (GH&SA) business car #999 "Alamo". Transferred to T&NO #999 "Alamo" in 1931. To #127 (2nd) "Alamo" in 1960. Transferred to SP #127 "Alamo" in 1960. Retired and sold in 1982 to private owner and moved to ranch in Houston area. Does anyone know the Lot and Plan numbers? Accomodation configuration/capacity?"

Author:  Brian Norden [ Sat May 27, 2017 2:01 am ]
Post subject:  Re: SP Business Cars

According to Southern Pacific Official Cars published by the SPH&TS the Alamo was built on Lot 4947 to Plan 7092 completed in June 1926.

It was designed to clear the 3rd rail at Grand Central Terminal, New York. A number of SP business cars were constructed to these clearance standards because the corporate headquarters was in New York City.

According to the book, the SP purchased five new, steel officer cars between 1926 and 1928. These were SP 99, SP 100, SP 140, SP 141 and GH&SA 999. All of these were designed for clearance into Grand Central Terminal.

Number         Original name   Built         Lot no.   Plan no.
SP 100 (3rd)   Airslie         May 1926         4930   7081
SP 99 (2nd)   (none)            Nov. 1926      4934   7085
GH&SA 999      Alamo            June 1926      4947   7092
SP 141         New York         Dec. 1927      6103   7137
SP 140         Sunset         Jan. 1928         6107   7145

Author:  KevinKuzma [ Thu Jun 01, 2017 11:38 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: SP Business Cars

Congratulations, Mr. Kirk. This looks like a great car that needs a savior.

Since this is a board focussing on railway preservation, I'll make the pitch for preserving the interior of the Alamo as-found. Looking at the pictures, it looks like an intact '20s business car with an unpainted wood interior and original lights, layout, etc.

On your classified post you wrote, "I could just refurbish the unit; but, to make it into a tourist attraction and a railcar people will rent for mainline excursions, it needs to be luxurious. For that reason, I've already begun looking for and securing such things as crystal chandeliers, brass trim, art-deco exclusive furnishings, etc. It will take about 5 years, but it's my goal to see to it that this railcar ends up being one of the showpieces of railroad business/office cars."

If I were taking this on, I might focus initial efforts on the car's mechanical systems and think long and hard before making interior changes. In my (admittedly cursory) understanding of the private car charter market, "luxury" appointments might help the car secure only a handful of additional charters. To Joe Public, a private car with crystal chandeliers only slightly more attractive than a standard business car. It's the idea of a private car, period, that is the main carrot.

But, if you fix up the mechanical to Amtrak standards, the car is worth 10 times more in real terms, should it need to be deaccessioned. And, retaining the existing interior keeps its historic fabric intact, which is what is most highly valued on a discussion board like this.

Best wishes and please keep us updated.

Since others are interested in the interior, here's a link to some images: http://jalbum.net/en/browse/user/album/1739116

Author:  Donald Kirk [ Sat Jun 10, 2017 11:21 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: SP Business Cars

Former SP Business / Office car #127 is currently in Houston, TX, in the yard of a private home. I am in the process of acquiring the car; but, it has to be moved at minimum of about 500 feet. by Mid-August; or, it may get scrapped. I then have 1 year to remove it from the yard.

The rumor about frame damage, I have been told is rumor only; and the railcar was retired as no longer being needed.

I have a GoFundMe account set-up to help raise the money to move it this summer the 500 feet; and then to Oregon a year later. Please..... If you can help with a donation (small or large); unless I get this car moved, today (June 10, 2017), the current owner emailed me that if it's not moved soon, it may end up getting scrapped as he wants to build on the site.

Anyone in the Houston area that's available in August, we need volunteers to move it. We also need 2 cranes and a lowboy for the move. We are working on moving it to the areas roundhouse; instead of 500'.

https://www.gofundme.com/reopening-milw ... line-in-sd

Donald Kirk

Old & New Pics.jpg
Old & New Pics.jpg [ 184.25 KiB | Viewed 2443 times ]

Author:  Peter Nicholson [ Sat Jun 24, 2017 12:18 am ]
Post subject:  Re: SP Business Cars

Conflicting with information recently posted here, the San Antonio Railroad Heritage Museum in Elmendorf, TX announced yesterday on their Facebook Page that they had taken ownership of SP Business Car 127, "Alamo". Their website:


indicates they are now raising funds to restore the car. Not sure what this all means, but we now have two different stories regarding the disposition of SP 127. Incidentally, the listing for this car is still active on the Ozark Mountain Railcar site as of this evening.

Author:  Donald Kirk [ Sat Jun 24, 2017 1:49 am ]
Post subject:  Re: SP Business Cars

I am aware of all of that. I have saved all communications with the car's possession owner in Houston; and "Several" tell me I can take the car whenever I can get it. They also offer a cash amount to help move it, the moment it's off his property. Because of all of this, 2 of the people that had promised money to help move the railcar have now told me that they won't give; as they cannot be assured that I will ever take possession of it, due to all that is transpiring. I also have an email from Mario (2 weeks ago), stating that he will have Ozark Mountain remove the ad; as the sales contract expired in February.

Yesterday I sent Mario an email asking what is going on, the group claiming they now own the car, when he had given it to me. He has NOT replied. If I have to, I will show up with movers to take the car. If he then won't let me take it as in "legal standing" emails promised, I'll decide what to do after that. I now also am faced with having to give back funds raised on GoFundMe. I've spent well over 200 hours working on this project; since he said I could take it.

You can't take ownership of something, when someone else has proof that the item was given to that person. BTW... The museum group has not replied to my message to them either. I know that their post has cost me over $3,000. in gifts to help move the car; and now no-one will give, knowing that there is a dispute as to owns the car. Whether he gave/sold them the car, or they made an offer to Ozark to purchase it at full asking price I don't know; but due to one of their actions, there is no way I can get the car moved by Aug 15th. now; and once I get an answer, I will do what I have to do, to get the car; if that means a court stay of moving the car by them or anyone else, and prohibiting it's destruction, I'll take that action. He said that if I had not wanted it, it might have ended up being scrapped; so any injunction would have to prevent him from doing that.


Author:  RDGRAILFAN [ Mon Dec 11, 2017 4:18 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: SP Business Cars

What was the outcome of this business car Alamo? Seems like with two people going after it the car would be out of danger!
any updates as to final outcome.

Author:  Tavor [ Mon Dec 11, 2017 4:26 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: SP Business Cars

Second the call for an update on SP 127 "Alamo". What in tarnation is going on over in Texas?

Author:  RDGRAILFAN [ Mon Dec 11, 2017 7:04 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: SP Business Cars

a little digging and Found this on the SAHS dated 11/2017
Well, we got our quote today for the move of the Alamo from Houston to SA…. Its going to be $22,500 for the move. Its a bit more than we were expecting, but we will make it happen, somehow.
looks like they are in the early stages

Author:  Bowmore [ Tue Dec 12, 2017 12:02 am ]
Post subject:  Re: SP Business Cars

I volunteer on the Fillmore & Western, and will ask about #99 tomorrow.

Author:  CREEPING DEATH [ Tue Dec 12, 2017 12:49 am ]
Post subject:  Re: SP Business Cars

What was the outcome of this business car Alamo? Seems like with two people going after it the car would be out of danger!
any updates as to final outcome.

https://www.facebook.com/SARHMinc/photo ... =1&theater
We were out in Houston today preparing the Alamo for her move. She'll be making her way to Elmendorf in the next two weeks, so stay tuned! We'll be posting her move date soon!!!

I feel for the other 'buyer' but it looks like it'll at least get saved instead of scrapped.


Author:  ted66 [ Wed Dec 13, 2017 2:44 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: SP Business Cars

Here is a little more on SP #121 Western. In the 1950s the City of Oakland had a four car railroad display at Harrison Park. The Western was part of it until the 1980s; when the display was dismantled. Today Harrison Park is the home of a Chinese cultural center.

The two Western Pacific passenger cars went to the Western Railroad Museum and the SP locomotive and SP # 121 went to the Pacific Locomotive Association's Niles Canyon Railway. Currently the car is tarped, but is reported to have had the interior trashed while it was in the park.

This is a rare example of a display being taken apart and none of the cars going to the scrap man.

Ted Miles, Archives Department, WRM

Page 4 of 4 All times are UTC - 5 hours [ DST ]
Powered by phpBB © 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007 phpBB Group