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 Post subject: Old business / private cars -- pre-1890 origins
PostPosted: Thu Jul 07, 2016 2:50 am 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 8:51 pm
Posts: 1668
Location: Southern California
I am carious about what may be the oldest railroad business / private cars in existence. Two that I know about are:

Illinois Railway Museum has the former Nevada Northern #10 "ELY." this car was built as Savannah, Florida & Western #100 in 1889 by Pullman Palace Car Co. It was owned by the Nevada Northern from 1906 to 1947. Then it went to the GM&O for a few years. The car is now steel sheathed and probably got a reinforced underframe. North American Car Company had it for a while and it donated it to IRM in 1962(?).

The (Southern) Nevada State Railroad Museum at Boulder City has the one-time "ELLSMERE" that was built in 1888 by the Wagner Car Company for use by a member of the Vanderbilt family. The New York Central rostered the car until 1914. In 1920 it shows up on the roster of the Texas & Pacific. Along the way it received a steel underframe, steel sheathing, forward vestibule enclosed, and air conditioning. T&P used the car into the 1950s; then it went into private ownership.

Both of these cars still have their richly carved wood interiors.

Any others of this age still existing?

An honorary mention needs to go to the Virginia & Truckee coach #17. All evidence points to the car being used by Stanford for the trip to Promontory Summit for the Gold Spike ceremony in May 1869. This car was later thoroughly rebuilt to a coach by the V&T and there is little, if any, evidence of the private car interior.

And another honorary mention should maybe go to the Carson & Colorado caboose/officer car #2. This car was built as a caboose-combine by the V&T in 1882; but shortly thereafter it was used by the officers of the company for inspection and travel over this 3-foot gauge railroad. Sold several times it remained in western Nevada and eastern California; was converted to standard gauge and then de-trucked. Later he was privately purchased and is being restored.

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 Post subject: Re: Old business / private cars -- pre-1890 origins
PostPosted: Thu Jul 07, 2016 3:08 am 

Joined: Fri Jul 13, 2007 3:06 pm
Posts: 33
Location: North Palm Beach, Fl.
The FEC 91, in the Flagler Museum in Palm Beach Florida was built in 1886 as the private car for Henry Flagler. He used it when he made the first trip to Key West.


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 Post subject: Re: Old business / private cars -- pre-1890 origins
PostPosted: Thu Jul 07, 2016 3:14 am 

Joined: Fri Mar 05, 2010 3:41 am
Posts: 3518
Location: Inwood, W.Va.
Another old car would be the narrow gauge Nomad.

http://www.durangotrain.com/nomad#.V34BEmgrLcs

http://www.telegraphlore.com/telegraph_ ... nomad.html

There is also East Broad Top's No. 20, listed as a parlor car but also reported to be used as a directors' car. The website Spikesys.com gives a construction date of 1907, but I don't think that's right; it may be an acquisition date. From some of its construction features, including what would be a "duckbill" roof, I believe the car is older, perhaps as far back as the 1880s. Maybe someone who knows more about the EBT can comment on this.

http://www.spikesys.com/EBT/roster.html

http://www.spikesys.com/Bin/EBT/17925.jpg

http://www.rrpicturearchives.net/showPi ... id=3661214


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 Post subject: Re: Old business / private cars -- pre-1890 origins
PostPosted: Thu Jul 07, 2016 2:20 pm 

Joined: Sat Aug 28, 2004 5:52 pm
Posts: 534
Location: Apple Valley, Minnesota
The Intercolonial Railway of Canada had built a business car in 1884. The car was purchased from the Canadian National in the mid-1960s by Jim Bradley. Bradley was the fellow that also acquired a half-dozen New Haven heavyweights in the 1960s and mounted them in Stonington, CT overlooking the New Haven's shore line. He stored the car (No. 85 I believe) on the Narragansett Pier Railroad, and that's when my involvement occurred. I used the car as a dormitory while working on the Pier in the late 1960s. No. 85 was unique in that it had two open platforms--observation room at one end and the dining room with end windows at the other.

In the 1970s, the then owners of the Narra Pier RR (Tony Hannold was gone to the Bath & Hammondsport RR by then) "modified" the car by removing several rooms to create seating space for excursion service. This butcher job destroyed the car IMHO. Eventually, when the Pier was abandoned in the early 1980s the No. 85 ended up in Newport, RI and currently serves as a "parlor car" on the Old Colony and Newport tourist railroad. I have no idea whether any of the interior that was left after it's Narra Pier days remains. The Old Colony & Newport has currently suspended service according to their website.

I'd have some photos of the car but I donated all my New Haven RR, and Rhode Island short line slides to the New Haven Railroad Tech & Hist Society.

Thanks!

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 Post subject: Re: Old business / private cars -- pre-1890 origins
PostPosted: Thu Jul 07, 2016 4:34 pm 

Joined: Thu Aug 26, 2004 2:50 pm
Posts: 2399
Location: Northern Illinois
Cars with two open platforms weren't all that unique... after all, before vestibules, what else would you expect there? I suspect all these pre-1890 cars that have been mentioned so far were originally built with two open platforms, I know the ELY was.

Another candidate is Wisconsin Central car OAK PARK at Mid Continent. Originally built by Barney & Smith in 1884 as a cafe parlor car, it was converted to a business car after the Soo Line took over the WC in 1909. Nicely restored, it retains its two open platforms.

http://www.midcontinent.org/equipment-r ... -oak-park/

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 Post subject: Re: Old business / private cars -- pre-1890 origins
PostPosted: Thu Jul 07, 2016 9:51 pm 

Joined: Mon Jun 13, 2016 10:40 pm
Posts: 207
Location: San Francisco, CA
The Summer issue of IRM's Rail & Wire just arrived in my mailbox. It has several pages of color pictures of the recent work on the Nevada Northern #101 ELY.

They are doing great work restoring the ceiling, the clerestory windows and the electrical system.

Happily the car has been stored indoors since IRM's first car barn.

Ted Miles, IRM Member


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 Post subject: Re: Old business / private cars -- pre-1890 origins
PostPosted: Fri Jul 08, 2016 11:10 am 

Joined: Mon Feb 22, 2010 5:06 pm
Posts: 163
RGS B-20 "Edna" was built in 1881.

Image

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 Post subject: Re: Old business / private cars -- pre-1890 origins
PostPosted: Fri Jul 08, 2016 12:12 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 7:19 am
Posts: 5636
Location: southeastern USA
Central Railroad and Banking Company of Georgia car #2...... I don't know when it was built or by who, but it is similar in construction to cars built around 1880. It is assumed to have been a coach converted to a business car. You can see it in person if you go to the ATRRM fall meeting in Savannah this year.

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Corollary: "He who does is doomed to watch those who don't repeat it anyway."


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 Post subject: Re: Old business / private cars -- pre-1890 origins
PostPosted: Sat Jul 09, 2016 10:31 am 

Joined: Wed Feb 16, 2005 11:17 pm
Posts: 252
Location: Houston, TX
Five former D&RG / RGS pre 1890 business cars survive. Not only Nomad, but the cars Cinco Animas and William Jackson Palmer, are in Durango, and made up the D&RGW business train. Both RGS business cars, Rico and Edna also survive.


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 Post subject: Re: Old business / private cars -- pre-1890 origins
PostPosted: Sat Jul 09, 2016 5:15 pm 

Joined: Mon Jun 13, 2016 10:40 pm
Posts: 207
Location: San Francisco, CA
i was poking around the Internet to see if I can find any more information on the Ellsmere and ran across the Grand Isle preserved at the Shelborne Museum in Vermont.

The car was also built for the Pullman Palace Car Company about 1889.

if you look at Wikipedia for Grande Isle and go to the #3 citation you will link to Railroad Gazette for 1895; there is a tiny floor plan of the Ellsmere and several other cars. Apparantly it was displayed at the Colombian Exposition of 1893.

if anyone has access to that magazine they might be able to get a larger picture of the floor plan.

I am sure that Randy Hees and the Museum in Boulder City would like to know of it!

ted66


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 Post subject: Re: Old business / private cars -- pre-1890 origins
PostPosted: Sat Jul 09, 2016 8:24 pm 

Joined: Tue Jul 11, 2006 10:57 am
Posts: 48
Location: Elgin, IL
NKP 5 is an 1883 Pullman, currently preserved in Lima, OH:
http://www.rrpicturearchives.net/rspict ... ?id=726545

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 Post subject: Re: Old business / private cars -- pre-1890 origins
PostPosted: Sat Jul 09, 2016 9:32 pm 

Joined: Sat Oct 10, 2015 12:21 pm
Posts: 33
Add the following two in this category which are currently preserved at Exporail / Canadian Railway Museum:

CPR #1 - Built by Crossen c.1864 for the St.Lawrence and Ottawa as their #9, it became part of CPR when the company was purchased in the early 1880s. It was retired in 1960 as CP #1 and donated to the museum. It is notable for having carried some of the "Fathers of Confederation (Canada)" at the 1864 Ottawa conference and same at the signing of the Canadian Confederation in 1867.

CPR #38 - Built Barney & Sharp in March 1883 as CPR "Sackatchewan" and was assigned to William Cornelius Van Horne. He made extensive use of this car and was on his funeral train in 1915 to Joliet Ill where he was buried. Retained in CPR's fleet, it was retired in the late 1950s and was within two weeks of being torched and scrapped, when a member of the CRHA (which owns the museum) discovered the car by accident in Toronto while he was on a business trip. Eventually, the CPR did donate the car to the museum where it currently resides.

Len


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 Post subject: Re: Old business / private cars -- pre-1890 origins
PostPosted: Sun Jul 10, 2016 1:31 am 

Joined: Sun Oct 19, 2008 12:58 pm
Posts: 1257
Location: Chicago USA
No longer extant but IC Business Car 2 survived at least until 2008. This is the car that was located at the Thompson Winery south of Monee, IL for many years (with the T&NO 4-6-0 and two ATSF head end cars). It was later moved to another Thompson property a few miles away. They were unable to sell it or even give it away. It was scrapped on site per someone who said he worked for Thompson.


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 Post subject: Re: Old business / private cars -- pre-1890 origins
PostPosted: Sun Jul 10, 2016 9:32 am 

Joined: Thu May 24, 2012 1:37 pm
Posts: 1100
If the floorplan cited is in Railroad Gazette volume 27, you can download the PDF of the whole year here:

https://books.google.com/books/download/Railroad_Gazette.pdf?id=NGk-AQAAMAAJ&output=pdf&sig=ACfU3U1UCqqSyu7aSYPq075E1Kojx3Scjg

Google has digitized many of the railroad 'trade' magazines up to 1923.

Be advised to leave a few hours free when you start reading this.

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 Post subject: Re: Old business / private cars -- pre-1890 origins
PostPosted: Sun Jul 10, 2016 7:18 pm 

Joined: Fri Feb 13, 2015 2:48 pm
Posts: 95
East Broad Top #20 was obtained from the Big Level & Kinzua, which was the last remaining section of the Bradford Bordell & Kinzua. It was built from their coach #2 to replace business car #3 which was destroyed in a wreck and fire. It is a product of Billmeyer & Small and dates from when the BB&K started running in 1880.


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