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 Post subject: Disposition of Former City of Memphis Cars
PostPosted: Thu Feb 04, 2021 12:57 pm 

Joined: Wed Dec 24, 2014 3:15 pm
Posts: 358
I’m looking to pin point down the disposition of the former City of Memphis passenger cars. I’ve tried to look but I’m still having a lot of trouble pointing down where specific cars are located.

According to American Rails (I don’t know how reliable this source is), all 6 of the cars survive in preservation. However, I’ve only been able to find four of those cars so far, and of those 4 cars, it mostly entails loose information from the Railway Preservation Index.

RPO 1040: Surviving at the TVRM, unrestored
Coach 1100: Operational on the Great Smoky Mountain Railway as their Coach 320
Observation 1103: Surviving at the TVRM, inoperable
Diner 1200: Surviving at the TVRM, unrestored

The remaining 2 cars are Coaches 1101 (L&N number 2590) and 1102 (L&N number 2591), of which I have not found any information on.

Does anyone have any information about the “missing” cars? Or better yet, more information about the cars I was able to find the disposition of?


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 Post subject: Re: Disposition of Former City of Memphis Cars
PostPosted: Thu Feb 04, 2021 4:39 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 8:28 am
Posts: 2559
Location: Salt Lake City, Utah
I've always wondered that too. Three other former NC&STL modernized cars survive.

GMSR 324 is former NC&STL 741, and I believe it was a CoM coach. It has smooth sides, which is confusing, as will be discussed below.

GMSR 322 is former NC&STL is former NC&STL 742, and is like a CoM coach, but has the belt rail.

L&N 2587, was at KRM, and is now in Lynneville, TN at their museum. I remember this car at KRM having "City of Memphis" cast into the door treads on the end doors.

These three cars, according to my L&N passenger train book, were rebuilt subsequent to the original CoM, but were used on the train. They all retained their belt rails, as opposed to the original CoM cars. I wonder if the 324 roster information is correct, and it's one of the "missing" cars, as it has smooth side, or if GSMR rebuilt it.

2587 was pretty rotten when it was at KRM, the side sills had rotted out. All of these cars came from the Clinchield steam program and got the bus windows in place of the sealed windows.

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David M. Wilkins
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Salt Lake City, Utah


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 Post subject: Re: Disposition of Former City of Memphis Cars
PostPosted: Thu Feb 04, 2021 7:54 pm 

Joined: Wed Dec 24, 2014 3:15 pm
Posts: 358
That’s what I thought. It would make the most sense. However, I cannot find any information showing that 741 or 742 were originally numbered 1101 and 1102. According to the L&N’s equipment roster in 1958 (the year after the NC&StL merged with the L&N), it shows the cars acquired from the L&N and their “projected” numbers (which turned out to be their real later on, as pictures show).

Here is said equipment roster if you’d like the information.

http://www.lnrr.org/pdf/equipment-regis ... -01-01.pdf

The information about the other city of Memphis cars, aside from the GSMR car, is also pretty sparse even with the locations thanks to the railway preservation index. I think in my time of searching I only found a couple photographs of each. The observation car (1103) is clearly at TVRM near the turntable as shown by many photographs, but on their website the TVRM doesn’t list this car in its stock, likely because it isn’t operational.

Same goes for RPO 1040, and Diner 1200, though I’ve been far less successful in finding photographs of them. 1040 is apparently at the TVRM, but the latest photo I’ve found of it is from 2000. 1200 is apparently also at the TVRM, but I have yet to find photographs of it in Chattanooga. Latest pictures I can find of it was when it was at the Former TC yards in Nashville at the TCRM (the same place where 576 is being restored), as VLIX 972149.

I’m just surprised by how little information is available about any of these cars online.


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 Post subject: Re: Disposition of Former City of Memphis Cars
PostPosted: Fri Feb 05, 2021 12:56 pm 

Joined: Wed Dec 24, 2014 3:15 pm
Posts: 358
Better news.

I was able to find more info about the three cars at TVRM

Observation car 1103 is privately owned, being the big reason for why it hasn’t been operationally restored

Based on a collection of photographs from the year 2000, I was able to find that 1040, several other passenger cars, and likely dining car 1200, are being stored offsite near Volkswagen Chattanooga.

This I believe is the collection of cars where Southern 1200 (the car restored and donated to the Smithsonian a few years back) came from.

Quite a few interesting pieces being supposedly stored back there. However, I haven’t seen any pictures of said cars before or after this album. I’ll credit the photographer when I can get to the Album again.


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 Post subject: Re: Disposition of Former City of Memphis Cars
PostPosted: Fri Feb 05, 2021 2:15 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 8:28 am
Posts: 2559
Location: Salt Lake City, Utah
Why isn't there more info?

You can probably count the number of people genuinely interested in L&N passenger cars on both hands. I volunteered for years with a museum that was located on a former L&N branch, and not a lot of the members and volunteers cared about L&N cars.

That number is probably even smaller for NC&STL cars.

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David M. Wilkins
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Salt Lake City, Utah


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 Post subject: Re: Disposition of Former City of Memphis Cars
PostPosted: Fri Feb 05, 2021 2:44 pm 

Joined: Fri Aug 27, 2004 9:19 am
Posts: 625
Location: Scottsboro, AL
wilkinsd wrote:
I've always wondered that too. Three other former NC&STL modernized cars survive.

GMSR 324 is former NC&STL 741, and I believe it was a CoM coach. It has smooth sides, which is confusing, as will be discussed below.

GMSR 322 is former NC&STL is former NC&STL 742, and is like a CoM coach, but has the belt rail.

L&N 2587, was at KRM, and is now in Lynneville, TN at their museum. I remember this car at KRM having "City of Memphis" cast into the door treads on the end doors.

. . .

All of these cars came from the Clinchield steam program and got the bus windows in place of the sealed windows.


The only published roster I can find of the Clinchfield excursion equipment (Trains Magazine, March 1972) shows Clinchfield 101 as NC&StL 742, later L&N 2587; and Clinchfield 102 as NC&StL 1100, later L&N 2589; both "used on NC&StL City of Memphis."

This seems to agree with the L&N roster info but raises the question of the correct identity of the GSMR 322 or the Lynneville car.

- Alan Maples


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 Post subject: Re: Disposition of Former City of Memphis Cars
PostPosted: Fri Feb 05, 2021 2:51 pm 

Joined: Fri Aug 27, 2004 9:19 am
Posts: 625
Location: Scottsboro, AL
Steamguy73 wrote:
Better news.

I was able to find more info about the three cars at TVRM . . . I was able to find that 1040, several other passenger cars, and likely dining car 1200, are being stored offsite near Volkswagen Chattanooga.


The NC&StL RPO is privately owned by a TVRM employee and as noted is stored off site at a secure location along with a number of other pieces of equipment that are not presenty suitable for use or public display.

- Alan Maples


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 Post subject: Re: Disposition of Former City of Memphis Cars
PostPosted: Fri Feb 05, 2021 3:56 pm 

Joined: Wed Dec 24, 2014 3:15 pm
Posts: 358
wilkinsd wrote:
Why isn't there more info?

You can probably count the number of people genuinely interested in L&N passenger cars on both hands. I volunteered for years with a museum that was located on a former L&N branch, and not a lot of the members and volunteers cared about L&N cars.

That number is probably even smaller for NC&STL cars.


My guess is because the L&N, and the NC&StL weren’t exactly world renowned passenger railroads, weren’t big innovators in the passenger industry, and/or they weren’t known for being generous with equipment. They were both known more for freight traffic. Probably a big reason why 576 before the restoration attempt was such a rarely discussed locomotive. I was surprised by the lack of information and photographs for such a large and late locomotive class prior to the NSPS’s efforts in restoring it. Before then, you would be hard pressed on Google to find really any pictures of the J3’s.

Thanks for your response Alan, it was very helpful. I’m pretty intrigued by the sheer amount of cars by the Chattanooga Volkswagen and what might happen to them in the future, whether the owners of the cars or TVRM ever have plans for them.

Also, the photo I found of NC&StL 1040 (among other interesting cars) are thanks to the work of Matthew Sadler in 2000. Without his photos, I’d be at a dead end. Here’s the link to his album below.

http://scanchattanooga.rrpicturearchive ... x?id=34440


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 Post subject: Re: Disposition of Former City of Memphis Cars
PostPosted: Fri Feb 05, 2021 5:51 pm 

Joined: Fri Sep 20, 2013 2:34 pm
Posts: 153
Is this in any way connected to the Memphis Transportation Museum, which later on had their equipment in nearby Colliersville?


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 Post subject: Re: Disposition of Former City of Memphis Cars
PostPosted: Fri Feb 05, 2021 7:32 pm 

Joined: Wed Dec 24, 2014 3:15 pm
Posts: 358
diningcartim wrote:
Is this in any way connected to the Memphis Transportation Museum, which later on had their equipment in nearby Colliersville?


This is in reference to the Named “City of Memphis” train from 1947 on the Nashville, Chattanooga, and St Louis Railroad, which I believe is the last “streamliner” made to operate with a steam locomotive. The consist was specific for every journey: 1 RPO, 3 coaches, 1 diner, and 1 observation car. 4 of the cars are confirmed to survive today, as of this post. We’re trying to find more information on the 4 cars confirmed to survive, as well as the current disposition of the two remaining coaches (NC&StL 1101 and 1102).

So unless one of those cars ended up at that museum, they wouldn’t be.


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 Post subject: Re: Disposition of Former City of Memphis Cars
PostPosted: Sat Feb 06, 2021 12:04 am 

Joined: Fri Mar 13, 2009 12:10 pm
Posts: 173
Location: TN
I’m not certain the 1200 is here in Chattanooga, though I’ve not been to the secured equipment to see everything there. I know that’s where the 1040 is, though from the stories I’ve been told, its interior was at least partially gutted years back 80s-early 90s from a fire started by welding when it was on the main TVRM property.

It is hearsay to me, but someone told me within the past year or so that they did some research that found the diner to be in CSX MOW service.

From what I know, the other two coaches are at GSMR.

1103 has been at the same spot at TVRM Grand Junction for years.

From all accounts I heard, the entire train is still in existence, albeit in varying conditions.


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 Post subject: Re: Disposition of Former City of Memphis Cars
PostPosted: Sat Feb 06, 2021 12:28 am 

Joined: Wed Jan 20, 2016 1:15 pm
Posts: 903
Alan Maples wrote:
Steamguy73 wrote:
Better news.

I was able to find more info about the three cars at TVRM . . . I was able to find that 1040, several other passenger cars, and likely dining car 1200, are being stored offsite near Volkswagen Chattanooga.


The NC&StL RPO is privately owned by a TVRM employee and as noted is stored off site at a secure location along with a number of other pieces of equipment that are not presenty suitable for use or public display.

- Alan Maples


According to the book Steam in the Valley, published in 1998. (So could be outdated now).
RPO car #1040 is owned by George Walker.
Observation Lounge#1103 is owned by Ed Bowers.

There is a Southern Coach #1200 on the roster, perhaps someone saw it in storage and assumed it was the NC&StL diner? Not sure if it is or ever has been visible.


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 Post subject: Re: Disposition of Former City of Memphis Cars
PostPosted: Sat Feb 06, 2021 12:53 am 

Joined: Wed Dec 24, 2014 3:15 pm
Posts: 358
Southern Coach 1200 was the one restored donated to the Smithsonian a few years back. Different car.

I have seen multiple photographs of the NC&StL 1200 (VLIX 972149) in Nashville. Given the dates of said photographs, my guess is that it’s been there for over a decade, also likely privately owned. The person who does the Railway preservation index must’ve just gotten the two mixed up.

As for the 1101 and 1102, I’m still fairly uncertain of their whereabouts. I don’t see any indication showing that they’ve been cut up but unless shown otherwise, I also don’t see anything showing that either of those cars became 322 and 324 on the GSMR.

It might be helpful if we had a roster of the L&N from say 1970 to see if they were still on the books. Maybe then we could get a better idea if these cars had a number change.


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 Post subject: Re: Disposition of Former City of Memphis Cars
PostPosted: Sat Feb 06, 2021 6:36 pm 

Joined: Sun May 23, 2010 11:27 am
Posts: 463
Location: Switching the Coach Yard
WRRX 972149 is currently waybilled out of Nashville going to East Tennessee Rail Car Services in Oak Ridge, Tennessee.


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 Post subject: Re: Disposition of Former City of Memphis Cars
PostPosted: Sun Feb 07, 2021 1:37 pm 

Joined: Sun May 23, 2010 11:27 am
Posts: 463
Location: Switching the Coach Yard
NC and City of Memphis is far from my strong suit, but my understanding is that in addition to the smooth welded sides the CofM cars all got new trucks as part of the upgrade. I know this to be true for the Obs, Diner, and RPO as all three have cast one piece truck frames and truck mounted cylinders. I suspect the "pool service" streamlined heavyweights retained rivited belt rails and original trucks/brake cylinder arrangements.


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