Railway Preservation News

KCS 1899 Business Car Arsoned
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Author:  Alexander D. Mitchell IV [ Tue Jul 28, 2020 11:53 pm ]
Post subject:  KCS 1899 Business Car Arsoned

It's being reported on Facebook that 1899-built KCS business car 99 Geraldyne, later Texas South-Eastern 100, supposedly destined for over a decade for restoration as a display at Kansas City Union Station, succumbed to arson in the past day or so. Quoting a Facebook post:

Evidently, a local well known firebug destroyed a project that involved the restoration of the first presidential rail car off the Kansas City [S]outhern railroad. It was slated to be placed back on rail and restoration to begin within weeks. Built in 1899, the car boasted hand laid mosaic tile showers, kitchen, dinning rom , library, and parlor. It’s a loss for the entire region, and another example of the senseless destruction of irreplaceable history. It is a total loss, and equipment will be moved in next week to cut up the remaining metal.

Before, Sept. 2008 by John Smatlak:


After, shared by Dave Oglesby:


From other sources, mostly Greg Slaton:
Built by Barney & Smith in 1899 as business car #200 for the Kansas City, Pittsburg & Gulf Railroad. Kansas City Southern president Job Adolphus Edson became President of the KCS in 1905 and adopted car 100 as his private business car, naming it Geraldyne, after his daughter. This business car was outshopped in August 1899 by Barney and Smith of Dayton Ohio Its original owner was the Kansas City Pittsburg and Gulf Railroad Company ( a major KCS predecessor) where it became car 200 on the roster. Upon Job Edson departure from the KCS in December 1918 for the United States Railway Administration, Edson took the Geraldyne with him, and the car became USRA # 102, until Edson returned to the KCS in February 1921. This car remained his private car until his retirement on December 31, 1927.
The Geraldyne was renumbered in July 1930 becoming KCS car 99 and remained in KCS ownership until November 21,1963 when it was sold to the Texas Southeastern Railroad at Diboll. They used it for excursions and later put it on display. Purchased in 2007 by a private individual and donated to Kansas City Union Station for eventual display. KCS underwrote the costs of moving car from Texas. It was to go to Mid America Car for cosmetic restoration, but had recently been listed for sale at Ozark Mountain Railcar's site.

Author:  Alexander D. Mitchell IV [ Wed Jul 29, 2020 5:43 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: KCS 1899 Business Car Arsoned


https://www.joplinglobe.com/news/local_ ... f8837.html

GALENA, Kan. — A historic, one-of-a-kind presidential railroad car on old Route 66 that was built in August 1899 and destined for restoration as a tourist attraction was destroyed in a suspected arson earlier this week.

The Texas South-Eastern Railroad Business Car 100 was constructed for the Kansas City, Pittsburg and Gulf Railroad, part of the Kansas City Southern Railroad system, according to records. The railway car is located on old Route 66 near the Galena viaduct and former EaglePicher smelting plant. The car was outfitted with hand-laid mosaic tile, a kitchen, a bathroom, a dining room, a library and a parlor. . . .

The 120-year-old railway car was deemed a total loss. Hall said flames were breaking through the windows when they arrived and that the doors were bolted shut.

“It’s sad because it’s going to have to be scrapped right now,” Hall said. “It was a tough fire since the outside of it is metal, and it had metal on the inside. It was like a heat box. We were out there for a total of about five hours. This was different. It wasn’t like fighting a normal structure fire. It was new to us because you just don’t get these types of calls very often.” . . .

Oglesby and a friend invested thousands of dollars in the railroad car, planning to restore it into a hotel/motel for travelers and add it as a Route 66 tourist attraction. After walking through it Wednesday morning, he told the Globe that it’s doubtful that the car can be saved without a total gut and start from scratch. The owners had invested more than $35,000 in the car to transport it and unload it from Kansas City to Galena.

More, including photos, at the link.

Author:  Crescent-Zephyr [ Wed Jul 29, 2020 9:16 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: KCS 1899 Business Car Arsoned

Did we actually lose much preservation wise? If they were turning it into a hotel I’m guessing it was going to be / had been gutted anyways?

Obviously it’s sad that it was vandalized. A security system is worth the money!

Author:  Thomas Cornillie [ Thu Jul 30, 2020 12:27 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: KCS 1899 Business Car Arsoned

Crescent-Zephyr wrote:
Did we actually lose much preservation wise? If they were turning it into a hotel I’m guessing it was going to be / had been gutted anyways?

In terms of preserving an artifact to interpret the historical events that it was connected to, it seems like its fate was sealed when it was sold by the Kansas City Union Station museum after KCS made a generous contribution to bring it there.

Adaptive reuse in another purpose can be done without altering a car's historic integrity (as defined by the Secretary of Interior's standards) but this is very difficult to do while meeting building codes and modern marketplace standards.

Author:  Richard Glueck [ Thu Jul 30, 2020 2:18 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: KCS 1899 Business Car Arsoned

If the steel hasn't lost temper, it's possible the actual car itself might be preserved - but gutted for its new role. These things are notorious for the asbestos content.

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