Railway Preservation News

Part of the house
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Author:  Bobharbison [ Fri Sep 02, 2016 7:05 pm ]
Post subject:  Part of the house

We've all seen the stories about how an old passenger car, trolley, or even train station was made into a house, or used as a portion of one.

Well, since Amtrak isn't selling Superliners for a song, people have had to get inventive these days. I wonder if somebody will be trying to restore this in 100 years?

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Author:  Bob Davis [ Sat Sep 03, 2016 7:29 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Part of the house

I've told this story before, but not here. Back in 1971, my first wife and two daughters were living in a rather modest tract house in Duarte CA. The girls were growing up, and we agreed that they were ready for separate bedrooms. With to coming of Amtrak, many sleeping cars would be on the market, probably going for not much above scrap-iron prices. I envisioned buying an old Pullman (or ACF) car, having it moved into our back yard (which backed up to an abandoned Pacific Electric right-of-way for easy access), setting it onto a foundation, and giving the girls a unique set of bedrooms. They thought this was a swell idea; they were familiar with the interurban cars at Orange Empire, and had done an overnight trip to San Francisco on the Santa Fe. But the more I thought about it, the more I realized that A) The car would have to be moved from the nearest Santa Fe or SP siding--a "permit load" if there ever was one. B) I would have to acquire some serious metalworking skills to convert the railway car to a dwelling, and C) sell the idea to the Duarte Building and Safety Dept. Never mind the fact that my new addition had once traveled the rails of America at 70 MPH or more, and that it was designed to protect passengers in case of a train wreck, the building inspector would probably be asking a LOT of questions. So the idea went off into the family "oral traditions" and we bought a larger, but very ordinary house in 1972.

File comment: Back when building codes were less strict--an LARy "Sowbelly" body became a workshop in Baldwin Park. In 1979, it was removed from this site and is now at Orange Empire.
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