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 Post subject: Heavyweight Dining Car as Restaurant in Butzville, NJ???
PostPosted: Wed Aug 30, 2006 9:13 pm 

Hello all,

I saw this notation on George Elwoods' website:

Quote:
The car in Butzville, NJ is indeed a GM&O heavyweight diner formerly owned by railfan Al Coleman before its sale to the restaurant. I have slides of it sitting on rubber-tired dollies just prior to movement to its present sight and later after being placed back on its trucks.


http://rr-fallenflags.org/gmo/gmo.html

Does anybody have any further or current information on this car?

Many thanks,
Tom Cornillie


  
 
 Post subject: Re: Heavyweight Dining Car as Restaurant in Butzville, NJ???
PostPosted: Wed Aug 30, 2006 9:59 pm 

Joined: Mon Aug 23, 2004 8:39 am
Posts: 534
I just passed by this car on my way home tonight. The car is still lettered GM&O and has the name Azaela on it. I thought it was a sleeper converted to its current table car configuration. It is attached to the former Riverside resturant. Fortunately diners entered the car through the end door of the car. To my knowledge, no one ever hacked this one up.

The place went out of business about 3 months ago (food was so-so). In side they had photos of the car being delivered to the nearest grade crossing on the Lehigh & Hudson River. If the car was to be moved the nearest live rail would be on NS in Belvidere, about 7 miles away.


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 Post subject: Re: Heavyweight Dining Car as Restaurant in Butzville, NJ???
PostPosted: Sun Sep 10, 2006 7:56 pm 

Joined: Mon Aug 23, 2004 8:39 am
Posts: 534
Here are a couple of photos I took of this car today. I am still not convinced this car was a diner. To me, it looks like it was a sleeping car.
Image
Image


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 Post subject: GM&O 2008
PostPosted: Sun Sep 10, 2006 10:49 pm 

Joined: Mon Aug 23, 2004 8:10 am
Posts: 2499
By the best info I can find, GM&O #2008 "Azalea" was a lounge car.

How did she get to the NJ hinterlands?

Rob


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 Post subject: Re: GM&O 2008
PostPosted: Mon Sep 11, 2006 11:36 am 

Joined: Mon Jan 17, 2005 9:06 pm
Posts: 2521
Location: Thomaston & White Plains
"Azalea" was bought from GM&O by Al Coleman, about 1970 or so. Coleman was from Long Island, and was a PC tower operator and a major collector of passenger train artifacts. He owned the CNJ heavyweight baggage-concession car "Oasis" that was used on the early High Iron Co. "Steam Safaris" (hence the car's name). Coleman's father was a CNJ trainman, I think.

Coleman also owned CNJ coach 1158, kept at BR&W. Working on stripping the old varnish in that car, and doing the interior lettering/numbering, was my first experience in "preservation railroading" many moons ago. I recall his purchase of "Azalea", and his decision to sell it to the restaurant after his plans to bring it to BR&W fell through. Coleman owned a heavyweight 14-single bedroom Pullman "Night Trail", which he advertised for sale in the late 80s-early 90s.

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"I'm a railroad man, not a prophet."


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 Post subject: Re: GM&O 2008 - Update
PostPosted: Mon Dec 11, 2006 12:47 pm 

Joined: Mon Aug 23, 2004 8:39 am
Posts: 534
The now closed restaurant is going to be auctioned off on January 9th. When I can I will call the auctioneer to see if everything is being sold off as one or if it going to be piecemeal.


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 Post subject: Re: Heavyweight Dining Car as Restaurant in Butzville, NJ???
PostPosted: Mon Dec 11, 2006 2:02 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 2:40 am
Posts: 88
Azalea
28ChDr
Built May-July, 1926
Pullman Plan 3416; Lot 4958

Ralph L. Barger, A Century of Pullman Cars, Vol. 1, Alphabetical List (Sykesville, MD: Greenberg Publishing, 1988), 134.


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 Post subject: At least two cars named Azalea
PostPosted: Mon Dec 11, 2006 2:23 pm 

I too have that book - and consulted it immediately when I started looking for information on the car. However they are two completely different cars. The Pullman Azalea is presently owned by the Louisana Steam Train Assn. and serves as their observation car

See: http://www.lasta.org/yard.htm

The Dining Car Azalea was rebuilt into a diner by the GM&O from a different heavyweight car (do not have my notes in front of me) - and as it was not operated by Pullman, it did not receive a Pullman name.

Tom Cornillie


  
 
 Post subject: lack of stability in NJ
PostPosted: Mon Dec 11, 2006 11:55 pm 

Joined: Mon Aug 23, 2004 8:10 am
Posts: 2499
The situation with this car underlines the lack of stability with the preservbation scene in New Jersey.

We have had little luck here except for projects with major donors or individual effor behind them.

I have watched infighting between buffs result in scrappings, and I have seen indifference so the same.

And so I long for a national organization to help get things like Nevada Northern and GMO cars outta here, and some of our own relics back.

Rob

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 Post subject: Re: lack of stability in general
PostPosted: Tue Dec 12, 2006 12:18 am 

Any railroad preservation group that simply uses (or more aptly - misues) preservation as a surrogate for operation will find it diffcult to maintain the condition and historic integrity of their collection for any length of time.

It is interesting to note the similarites between the Azalea and the Lion Gardner/D&H 151 -- both among the last operating heavyweight dining cars in the US - and both entering in to preservation as described above in more or less the condition they left revenue service. In fact, the Azalea as well as a few dining cars from the Louisville & Nashville were likely the last heavyweight dining cars to operate in the US - operating right up to 1 May 1971.

Imagine the gems that either one would be if it were simply maintained in the condition it left service - let alone placed indoors. It seems that time has been kind to the Azalea so far -- I would love to hear a report on its interior configuration to see how intact it is.

Tom Cornillie


  
 
 Post subject: Re: lack of stability in general
PostPosted: Tue Dec 12, 2006 12:34 am 

Joined: Mon Aug 23, 2004 8:10 am
Posts: 2499
Point well taken. Add B&M "Mountaineer" at Steamtown to the list of heavyweight diners still with us but not restored or preserved for the long-term -- even though the route of her most famous assignment, over Crawford Notch, is a tourist line.

Dare I say she is worthy of preservation ahead of some of the steam locomotives in Scranton?

Well, I guess I did say it. Sorry, 2124. ;-)

Rob

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 Post subject: Re: Auction details
PostPosted: Fri Dec 15, 2006 10:42 am 

Joined: Mon Aug 23, 2004 8:39 am
Posts: 534
I was able to find the auction site for this resturaunt and the car:

http://www.absoluteauctionrealty.com/auction_detail.php?ID=122496

Looks like it is being sold as a going concern (even though it has been out of business for over 6 months). There is a photo on the site showing the GM&O car's interior.


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 Post subject: Re: Heavyweight Dining Car as Restaurant in Butzville, NJ???
PostPosted: Tue Nov 23, 2010 1:25 pm 

Joined: Mon Aug 23, 2004 8:10 am
Posts: 2499
GM&O Azalea threatened to make way for fishing access?

http://theweirdusmessageboard.yuku.com/topic/3826/t/Abandoned-Train-Restaurant-on-Route-46.html

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Rob


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 Post subject: Re: Heavyweight Dining Car as Restaurant in Butzville, NJ???
PostPosted: Tue Nov 23, 2010 2:53 pm 

Joined: Thu Aug 26, 2004 2:50 pm
Posts: 2815
Location: Northern Illinois
The auction listing doesn't seem to be up at the moment. It's amazing that a door was nevr cut in the car side (at least that we can see) but I suspect that the kitchen is gone, since the discussion on the "weird site" says there is a kitchen in the attached building; wish we had photos of the inside. I also notice that this is one of the GM&O sealed window conversions, so to be useful, the a/c must be maintained, if it's even there anymore. Still, with the dearth of heavyweight cars available these days, it would be a shame to see it scrapped... perhaps someday it could join the several ex-GM&O cars now in Waukesha, WI that are now a Mexican restaurant.

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Dennis Storzek


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 Post subject: Re: Heavyweight Dining Car as Restaurant in Butzville, NJ???
PostPosted: Tue Nov 23, 2010 5:39 pm 

Joined: Mon Aug 23, 2004 8:39 am
Posts: 534
Dennis Storzek wrote:
The auction listing doesn't seem to be up at the moment.


The auction was back in January of 2007 so I'm not surprised it is no longer listed.

robertjohndavis wrote:
GM&O Azalea threatened to make way for fishing access?


Since I live about 5 miles from this car I have been trying to keep an eye on it. My understanding is there was a winning bidder back in 2007 but they ran into problems when they proposed to renovate the place. Apparently most of the property has lots of water shed restrictions on it since the building hangs on the edge of the Pequest River. My understanding is that whatever they planned to do was blocked due to these restrictions. The building appears to be in terrible shape so I could see it being torn down for fishing access - an old motel about 2 miles from here was torn down several years ago for fishing access (the Pequest River is a popular for trout fishing - the state has a fish hatchery near here as well).

If someone has a serious interest in the car please PM me. I know the county and township officials and I can certainly pass along a serious plan to move and save the car.


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