Railway Preservation News

PRR N6b on ebay
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Author:  JR May [ Tue Mar 07, 2017 10:47 pm ]
Post subject:  PRR N6b on ebay

Surfing ebay and came up with this:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Antique-Caboose ... SwfVpYstpK

Its ugly, but the trucks might be worth the $2500 asking price. I'm near by so could help coordinate things.


Author:  sousakerry [ Wed Mar 08, 2017 11:51 am ]
Post subject:  Re: PRR N6b on ebay

looks like a bonfire waiting for a match..

Author:  WVNorthern [ Wed Mar 08, 2017 4:16 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: PRR N6b on ebay

"Needs Rehab"--understatement of the year. The listing does have a button for "Make Offer". The seller might entertain a lesser offer if nobody goes for the $2,500 "Buy It Now" price.

Author:  JR May [ Wed Mar 08, 2017 7:41 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: PRR N6b on ebay

I have an appointment to look at it Saturday morning. If anyone has any interest in parts let me know. Its in the backyard of a private home in a residential area in south Jersey. At a minimum I'd like to check it for a number and if the trucks still have their brasses.

Author:  Mark Trebing [ Wed Mar 08, 2017 10:29 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: PRR N6b on ebay

Please correct me if I'm wrong, but doesn't this car have a solid steel underframe? I think that cars in worse shape have been resurrected. How many PRR N6b are preserved? It could also be rebuilt as an open car.


Author:  Tom Davidson [ Fri Mar 10, 2017 8:06 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: PRR N6b on ebay

I believe all N6a's and b's had steel frames.

During the so-called truss rod era, PRR used 4-wheel cabin cars. The all steel N5 and the wood-and-steel N6 cars were designed in the very early 1900's and were PRR's first system standard 8-wheel cabin cars. Many older 4-wheel cars were cut apart and placed on the longer N6 steel frames, with new carpentry filling in the gaps. In other cases, brand new carbodies were built on the new frames. While the cars were very nearly identical in many respects, there was some variation in window spacing due to some of the cars' origins as 4-wheelers and due to the work being done at several different PRR shops.

For many years, PRR concentrated on adding many hundreds of N6a's and b's to the fleet, keeping a very few steel N5's. The road did not begin to expand the N5 fleet until much later, with new N5a's, b's, and c's.

N6a's were intended for use on Western lines with generous clearances so they had wide cupolas. As far as I know, all N6a's had cupolas offset to one end. Very few N6a's lasted past WWII. I have heard that many N6a's were rebuilt into N6b's, and that only one N6a lasted into the 1950's.

N6b's were intended for lines where clearances were more restrictive, so they had a sloped-in cupola and were more flexible in assignments. N6b's might have a centered cupola or an offset cupola.

There is one N6b in private hands near Gettysburg, PA. It may be the one from the Gettysburg RR. One was put on display at Horseshoe Curve, but vandals burned it a long time ago. The group in Worthington, Ohio used to have one, but vandals burned it. I have heard that the hardware, trucks, frame, etc. from Worthington were saved and are being used to construct a new copy using original PRR drawings at a location in Ohio. I can't confirm the status of that project.

Since the one in New Jersey is so far gone, it appears that any "restoration" would require all new wood. A lot of the steel parts would probably have to be made new as well. If anybody is ambitious enough to undertake that project, it might be worthwhile to consider building an N6a, since that's the only way we'll ever see one.

Isn't it interesting that there may be as many (maybe more) 4-wheel PRR ND's as N6's in preservation? N5a's, b's, and c's are fairly plentiful, but original all steel N5's are exceedingly rare, as they never were very numerous in the first place.


Author:  Les Beckman [ Fri Mar 10, 2017 11:44 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: PRR N6b on ebay

Tom -

Thanks for all of the interesting information. Much appreciated.

Many years ago, when travelling through Kalamazoo, Michigan, I saw a PRR N6 behind a supermarket. Whether it was owned by the store, or simply stored back there, I don't know. A few years later, I tried to find it, but had no luck. I assumed it was sold to someone and moved, but I don't think that any of the current survivors, really fit that area. Maybe burned...or scrapped...or rotted away. Or maybe someone has it somewhere on private property. Let's hope it's the later.


Author:  Mark Trebing [ Sat Mar 11, 2017 2:56 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: PRR N6b on ebay

JR May and I had a productive visit to the ruin this morning. The caboose is in the backyard of a house that's being renovated for resale. The builder, Bob, put the car up on eBay to see if there was any interest in it. Bob is a really nice guy, and he's willing to be flexible in regard to price. He's going to accept doing a 501c3 donation if that can be arranged. He is willing to give a little time to get the car out. Bob already cleared several trees out of the way, so that there's a direct path to the street. He's also okay with the ground graded for a smoother approach if it's needed. He's delayed having a new air conditioner condenser installed, so that it won't be in the way.

We found a number stenciled on the center sill. It appears to be 998177. It's hard to tell for sure, because the stencil seems to have slipped during painting, and there's a kind of double image that partly overlaps in a vertical direction. The brake cylinder is stenciled 7-26-65. The brasses are still in the journals and they're still oiled. The car is on a short length of track. The roof is completely gone. The smoke jack is inside, but the stove is missing. A conductors desk is still in there, and a coal bin.

While I was trying to convince JR that he needed a caboose kit project, Jack and Bob showed up. A caboose kit project is exactly what Jack wants. This is not a done deal, but hopefully Jack can put the details together to get it moved. JR and I volunteered to help with disassembly.

The ground slopes away from the car. Jack thinks that we can build one or two lengths of rail on cribbing, and use it to roll the underframe out to some kind of flatbed truck.

I will still be pleasantly surprised if this has a happy ending, but I'm a lot more optimistic than I was before we started. Even though it's a ruin, it was worth having a look.


Author:  JR May [ Sat Mar 11, 2017 6:05 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: PRR N6b on ebay

The number of the car is open to debate I suspect. I have attached a photo of the numbers and after staring at it on the laptop, I come up with 981775 which is more in keeping with the N6b number series. Kind of a combo of google searching for N6b cab numbers and comparing that to what we found on the car.

Hopefully Jack comes through. He seems to have the experience required - this is not his first caboose.

It was nice dealing with an owner who seems cooperative and appreciative of what is here. That seems rare these days.

As Mark said, its feeling pretty positive.


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Author:  PMC [ Sat Mar 11, 2017 6:35 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: PRR N6b on ebay

It really looks like 981775 to me, painted twice with two different fonts, but I don't know if that fits the PRR numbering scheme.

Author:  Tom Davidson [ Sat Mar 11, 2017 8:23 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: PRR N6b on ebay

The number 981775 would be correct for an N6b.

I checked the 1957 roster of PRR cabin cars on the Keystone Crossings website, hoping to find information indicating that the car was in use in the New Jersey area at that time. Unfortunately, data for other years is not available on the site, and the number seems to have been vacated on the roster by 1957, indicating that she's probably been at her current location for a very long time, probably over 60 years. That's assuming the number 981775 is correct, which seems likely.

This will be a big job, but a wonderful project if it can be accomplished.

Best of luck to all.


Author:  JR May [ Sat Mar 11, 2017 9:04 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: PRR N6b on ebay

The last time the PRR did brake work on the car was 1965 per the stencil on the air tank. See attached. So, this thing was a survivor for sure.

What is "HAW." though?


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Author:  Tom Davidson [ Sat Mar 11, 2017 9:47 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: PRR N6b on ebay

In that case, I can't account for the car's absence from the 1957 list, but I really don't know how accurate that list might be. Another mystery.


Author:  Bob D. [ Sat Mar 11, 2017 11:11 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: PRR N6b on ebay

Isn't there a Hawthorne Yard, Chicago?? HAW might be where the brake work was done.

Bob D.

Author:  Alexander D. Mitchell IV [ Sat Mar 11, 2017 11:33 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: PRR N6b on ebay

I'm saving and reposting a few photos of this only because 1) the eBay listing is likely to disappear any day now, and 2) IF this proposed rescue and reconstruction actually comes to pass, it will likely be the most spectacular set of "before and after" photos since the Rogers K class 2-4-2 K88 was dragged from a river in New Zealand and restored to operation.......

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