Railway Preservation News

Anyone Want Two BCR/VIA Coaches in Md.?
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Author:  Alexander D. Mitchell IV [ Wed Oct 23, 2013 9:12 am ]
Post subject:  Anyone Want Two BCR/VIA Coaches in Md.?

The end days may be coming for two former Canadian cars that have languished in southeast Baltimore for years now:

From a 2007 thread on He Whose Name No Longer Gets Spoken Here:

Two ex-Canadian coaches (one each from BCR and VIA) were recently spotted on the Maryland Midland in Glyndon, MD. Spray-painted "MDRX 103" and "MDRX 104," the well worn duo would need quite a bit of TLC before going back into service.

Pictures can [STILL] be found here:



MDRX is now listed as belonging to:

Mr. James Riffin
1941 Greenspring Drive
Timonium, MD 21093
PH 443-414-6218
FAX 410-452-6208

These cars were part of an abortive scheme to operate "passenger and dinner train service" on that line he tried to acquire years ago. They somehow ended up in southeast Baltimore on the Canton RR's siding and have been rotting ever since.

Google Maps view: https://maps.google.com/maps?q=Broening ... s&t=h&z=20

Because of who these cars were associated with, I've ignored them. But now Amazon has announced headline-garnering plans to build a new distribution facility upon the big adjacent plot of land, a former GM plant site. Although anything is possible, these cars are most likely "doomed."

If anyone has a pressing use or desire for either or both of these cars, I can approach railroad management for a clarification of status, permission to inspect more closely, etc. It's not unreasonable to assume they're vandalized shells by now, but anything's possible.

Author:  Tim Moriarty [ Wed Oct 23, 2013 2:06 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Anyone Want Two BCR/VIA Coaches in Md.?

Around 2006 The Unspoken One came down to the Walkersville Southern Railroad to see about moving those cars to Walkersville for more secure storage since they were getting bashed up rather badly where they were. At that time there was a stretch of inactive state-owned track north of Walkersville that wasn't part of the WS's lease, nor did it belong to the Maryland Midland Railway, so the WS was effectively cut off from the rest of the national rail network. (That changed in November 2008 when the WS's lease renewal included that stretch, and renovation work was begun to restore it to service.) That being the situation, there was no way the cars could be shipped to the WS. The WS was (and still is) very short on available storage space on its tracks, plus the reputation of The Unspoken One had preceded him, so the WS had little interest in getting involved with him.

Author:  JimBoylan [ Wed Oct 23, 2013 3:09 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Anyone Want Two BCR/VIA Coaches in Md.?

Did He actually come in person? Were photographers allowed?

Author:  Tim Moriarty [ Wed Oct 23, 2013 5:20 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Anyone Want Two BCR/VIA Coaches in Md.?

Yep, he was there in person. That's the only time I've seen him. I didn't even think of taking his picture since I didn't know it was an issue at the time.

Author:  Dave [ Wed Oct 23, 2013 5:29 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Anyone Want Two BCR/VIA Coaches in Md.?

If you had there would only be a dark cloudy shadow.....


Author:  Iarx [ Fri Oct 25, 2013 8:04 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Anyone Want Two BCR/VIA Coaches in Md.?

I would be interested in saving these cars. It looks like they are on CSXT tracks....

Author:  Alexander D. Mitchell IV [ Fri Oct 25, 2013 9:23 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Anyone Want Two BCR/VIA Coaches in Md.?

Canton Railroad
1841 S. Newkirk Street
Baltimore, MD 21224
Tel: (410)633-9200

Serious inquiries only, please. And they're only, at best, the landlords for the track, not the cars' owners, unless they have a lien slapped on them.

Author:  sbhunterca [ Fri Oct 25, 2013 9:43 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Anyone Want Two BCR/VIA Coaches in Md.?

It might be best if there is a lien on the cars, since it could be the safest route to a clear title. Our lawyer members in the US might have advice on this aspect.

Be careful and good luck.

Author:  ctjacks [ Fri Oct 25, 2013 10:10 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Anyone Want Two BCR/VIA Coaches in Md.?

Keep in mind these don't appear to be coaches. The one in the red BCR paint appears to be an ex-CN snack bar car, similar to the one the SRI/1225 group operates. The other appears to be one of the ex-NYC 22-bedroom cars CN converted into a half sleeper/half baggage car. The Bluewater Michigan Chapter NRHS has one of these cars, which they re-named back to the NYC name "Haverstraw Bay". Ross R. can probably give details on the configuration of the snack bar car, if that is indeed what it is.


Author:  Rainier Rails [ Sun Oct 27, 2013 4:05 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Anyone Want Two BCR/VIA Coaches in Md.?

Found the history of the BCOL café lounge:

Originally one of 218 coaches built in 1954 by CC&F as CN #5437-#5654. In 1963-1964, 40 were reconfigured to coach lounges as CN #3000-#3039. Fifteen later reconfigured to café lounge as CN #2500-#2514. Transferred to VIA Rail on 4/1/1978, retaining same numbers. At least two were retired and sold at an unknown date to British Columbia Railway (commonly known as BC Rail):

CN #55xx to CN #30xx to CN #2503 to VIA #2503 to BCOL #2503 "Lions Bay". The #2503 is now owned by the Cañon City & Royal Gorge Railway in Colorado as CRRX #2503. As of 2005, the #2503 was in storage in Cañon City between an ex-SP bay window caboose and ex-SP dome lounge #3605.

Picture of CRRX #2503: http://rrpicturearchives.net/showPicture.aspx?id=198490 (Jim Sands photo)

CN #5570 to CN #3013 to CN #2505 to VIA #2505 to BCOL #2505 "Horseshoe Bay". Later renumbered #125050. The #2505 is now MDRX #103.

Picture of BCOL #125050: http://www.canadianrailwayobservations.com/2010/04/cpr286019.jpg

Regarding the MDRX #104:

Looking at the window configuration, I'm not sure that the MDRX #104 is one of the ex-NYC 22RM sleepers converted to a baggage-sleeper.

There were 45 "Bay"-Series 22RM sleepers built in 1948 by P-S in Lot #6790 to Plan #4122 as NYC #10400-#10444. 23 were sold to CN in January-May 1959 as #2052-#2074 in the "Val"-Series. Twelve were reconfigured in 1973-1974 as 14RM-baggage #9476-#9487.

Besides the "Haverstraw Bay" (NYC #10417 to CN #2069 "Valrita" to CN #9486), at least one other of the twelve converted cars survives: the Friends of the 700-Pacific Railroad Preservation Association in Portland owns the "Great Peconic Bay" as PRPX #23. NYC #10442 to CN #2063 "Valjean" to CN #9477 to VIA Rail #9477 to private owner to PRPX #9477 to PRPX #23. Painted in SP&S black with yellow pinstripes and large SP&S "The North Bank Road" herald next to baggage doors.

I compared the windows of the MDRX #104 to that of the PRPX #9477. On the PRPX #9477, the original narrow roomette windows are still in place, whereas on the MDRX #104, the windows are of the common wide variety. The roof grab bars on the PRPX #9477 are directly over the vestibule, while on the MDRX #104 the grab bars are further over. The PRPX #9477 also retains one of the original curved vent covers (common on NYC equipment) at the vestibule end, whereas the MDRX #104 has no such vent cover.

Picture of PRPX #9477: http://www.rrpicturearchives.net/showPicture.aspx?id=1920500 (Collin Reinhart photo)


1. Jerry LaBoda's railroad photo links: http://passcarphotos.info/

2. Terry Link's NYC lightweight passenger car roster at: http://www.canadasouthern.com/caso/NYC-MODELS-PASS-LIGHT.htm

3. Tom Madden's Pullman Project CCR database at: http://pullmanproject.com/Database.htm

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