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 Post subject: Locomotive Hauled PRR MP54 Suburban Coaches
PostPosted: Tue Jul 31, 2007 12:35 am 

Joined: Tue Sep 21, 2004 11:42 pm
Posts: 10
Location: Gaithersburg, MD
An excursion car currently listed for sale at Ozark Mountain Railcars appears to be a modified PRR non-electrified MP54 coach. Does anyone know the history or original identity of this car? Are there any surviving locomotive hauled MP54's?

Thanks for any information.

Craig Sansonetti


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 Post subject: Re: Locomotive Hauled PRR MP54 Suburban Coaches
PostPosted: Tue Jul 31, 2007 7:19 am 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 1:51 pm
Posts: 8401
Location: Baltimore, MD
Technically, in PRR parlance a non-powered MP54--one that never got a pantograph or motors--is called a "P54".

I don't happen to know of any actual P54s about, but there are quite a few de-motorized MP54s about, as I recall--the Wilmington & Western has at least two operable/running and had a couple projects in the back of the enginehouse last time I looked. The excursion line that ran for a very short time on the nearby Octararo in the 1990s also had MP54s, and I know I've seen others about--Walkersville Southern?


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 Post subject: Re: Locomotive Hauled PRR MP54 Suburban Coaches
PostPosted: Tue Jul 31, 2007 8:46 am 

Joined: Mon Aug 23, 2004 3:01 pm
Posts: 1442
Location: SouthEast Pennsylvania
Also:
Delaware & Ulster Rail Ride, Arkville, N.Y.
Possibly a while ago:
Penn View Mtn. RR, Pa.
1950s or older:
Piedmont & Northern, Carolinas.


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 Post subject: Re: Locomotive Hauled PRR MP54 Suburban Coaches
PostPosted: Tue Jul 31, 2007 12:31 pm 

Joined: Fri Aug 27, 2004 9:19 am
Posts: 545
Location: Scottsboro, AL
Pennsy loaned out P54 coaches for excursions on short lines. Railfan trips on the Maryland & Pennsylvania and the Huntingdon & Broad Top come to mind. I can't think of any plain P54's that ended up on tourist railroads, but as pointed out above, a few MP54 cars did get preserved and minus their electrical gear they are essentially P54's now.

I don't believe Penn View Mountain ever had P54's or any other steel coaches (although Sloan Cornell did have two PRR gas-electrics at the time). Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum did have an MP54 but it went to scrap years ago. I presume a similar fate befell the lone MP54 employed by the short-lived Southern Appalachian Railway (Yancy RR) in North Carolina.

Buffalo Creek & Gauley had two old PRR passenger cars which photos show as baggage - RPO configuration, but may have been P54s or similar originally. Presumed scrapped when the BC&G quit in the mid-60's.

Delaware & Ulster has three MP54's in regular service as coaches. Wilmington & Western has converted one to an open air car. One of the W&W cars came from the Washington Terminal Company, where it had been painted blue and used for an employee shuttle service.

Alan Maples


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 Post subject: Re: Locomotive Hauled PRR MP54 Suburban Coaches
PostPosted: Tue Jul 31, 2007 3:17 pm 

Joined: Sun Sep 05, 2004 9:54 pm
Posts: 102
Location: Lehigh Valley, PA
Strasburg had an open car that was converted from a PRR MP-54. It was used on the "opposite" train from the Hello Dolly car. I believe it was taken out of service several years ago.

Both the Warehouse Point, Ct and Seashore Trolley museums had LIRR MP-54 cars at one time.

I agree that most likely Sloan Cornell did not operate PRR MP-54's on the Penn View Mountain. I recall riding behind the baby-blue painted 0-6-0, that has been disected at Steamtown, in an open car with a jade-green fiberglass roof. A former PRR wooden double-truck caboose was in the train as was a former New York City wooden elevated car with home-made steps and freight car trucks. It had old school bus seats for seating, similar to the open car. What a ride!

W&W had several different PRR MP-54's over the years. One was used into the 1970's and was painted blue and used as the cab car during the reverse moves. One pair arrived in SEPTA paint and had a drawbar between them, apparently installed by SEPTA/Conrail. The windows were so dark you couldn't see out of them.

Rob


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 Post subject: Re: Locomotive Hauled PRR MP54 Suburban Coaches
PostPosted: Tue Jul 31, 2007 4:58 pm 

Joined: Fri Aug 27, 2004 9:19 am
Posts: 545
Location: Scottsboro, AL
Rob wrote:
Strasburg had an open car that was converted from a PRR MP-54. It was used on the "opposite" train from the Hello Dolly car. I believe it was taken out of service several years ago.


I believe this is the car first referred to in this thread. It ended up on the Tioga Scenic Railroad at Owego, NY, and was sold when the Owego & Hartford elected to exit the excursion trade. It is now for sale again and listed by Ozark Mountain Railcar.

Alan Maples


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 Post subject: Re: Locomotive Hauled PRR MP54 Suburban Coaches
PostPosted: Tue Jul 31, 2007 5:48 pm 

Joined: Mon Aug 23, 2004 5:10 pm
Posts: 958
I believe the P-54-pattern cars that were on the BC&G wound up on the dead line at Cass Scenic RR. I haven't been to Cass in several years, but I seem to recall those two cars were on the siding north of the water tank, along with several old Reading coaches.


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 Post subject: Re: Locomotive Hauled PRR MP54 Suburban Coaches
PostPosted: Tue Jul 31, 2007 7:13 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 7:19 am
Posts: 5262
Location: southeastern USA
Piedmint and Northern.........can't recall if any of the survivors in Greenwood are of this heritage. Matt?

dave

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 Post subject: Re: Locomotive Hauled PRR MP54 Suburban Coaches/BC&G/Cas
PostPosted: Tue Jul 31, 2007 7:31 pm 

Joined: Fri Aug 27, 2004 9:19 am
Posts: 545
Location: Scottsboro, AL
G. W. Laepple wrote:
I believe the P-54-pattern cars that were on the BC&G wound up on the dead line at Cass Scenic RR. I haven't been to Cass in several years, but I seem to recall those two cars were on the siding north of the water tank, along with several old Reading coaches.


Wayne - I stand corrected. You're right, the two BC&G ex-PRR cars did make it to Cass, but they were scrapped there in 1973. Thanks to the wonders of the internet, I found a rather fascinating Cass roster on line:

http://www.msrlha.org/roster.html

Alan Maples


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 Post subject: Re: Locomotive Hauled PRR MP54 Suburban Coaches
PostPosted: Wed Aug 01, 2007 12:32 am 

Joined: Tue Sep 21, 2004 11:42 pm
Posts: 10
Location: Gaithersburg, MD
I am a bit puzzled about the correct nomenclature for the PRR locomotive drawn suburban coaches. I thought P54's were the arched roof cars (also built at Altoona) that ran on the Long Island Railroad.

According to Doug Kisala's article on "Steam Hauled" cars in the August 2006 Keystone Modeler, the PRR designation for the clerestory roof unpowered cars was mP54 (with a lower case m).

On the website http://prr.railfan.net there are PRR passenger car diagrams that show classes MP54, MP54c, and MP54t as unpowered coach or trailer cars while all other MP54x (where x is a variable) classes are listed as MU coach. P54 is not shown on the website as a PRR class.

At any rate, I was asking specifically about surviving cars that were originally unpowered MP54 type coaches.

Craig Sansonetti


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 Post subject: Re: Locomotive Hauled PRR MP54 Suburban Coaches
PostPosted: Wed Aug 01, 2007 8:11 am 

Joined: Mon Aug 23, 2004 8:17 am
Posts: 614
Location: Taylors, SC
The 3 P&N cars in Greenwood are demotored trolley #2101(?), business car "Carolina," and a caboose. No MP54s. The trolley is directly behind R&R #19, with a Seaboard coach, Lackawanna diner, and Erie sleeper behind it. The Carolina and hack are on a second track.

I'd dearly love to have all that stuff at SCRM, but the likelihood of that happening is nill.

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 Post subject: Re: Locomotive Hauled PRR MP54 Suburban Coaches
PostPosted: Wed Aug 01, 2007 9:15 am 

Joined: Fri Aug 27, 2004 9:19 am
Posts: 545
Location: Scottsboro, AL
sansonet wrote:
I am a bit puzzled about the correct nomenclature for the PRR locomotive drawn suburban coaches.


I am no expert on PRR passenger stock and the railroad's nomenclature was a bewildering array of classes and sub-classes. Staufer's "Pennsy Power II" states that the "MP54" 64-foot cars were all rebuilt by PRR from steam hauled coaches class P54. However he adds, as do others, that not all "MP54" class cars were motorized and that a relatively small number were configured as trailer cars. The "Pennsylvania Railroad Heavyweight Passenger Equipment Plan and Photo Book" also shows a low clerestory roof coach designated class P54.

As far as survivors, I don't know of any that were not motorized but definitive roster data is hard to come by. There are, of course, a number of the Long Island arch-roofed plain coach cars ("Ping Pongs") that have turned up on tourist railroads. A LIRR roster shows both class "P54" and "MP54", but I don't know all the distinguishing features of each.

I'm sure there is a Pennsy passenger car fan out there someplace who can better answer your questions.

Alan Maples


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 Post subject: Re: Locomotive Hauled PRR MP54 Suburban Coaches
PostPosted: Wed Aug 01, 2007 3:02 pm 

Joined: Sat Aug 21, 2004 10:52 pm
Posts: 909
Hi,

I believe that the prefix M is for equipment that is used in MU - Multi Unit - operation, not necessarily having motors. The MP54's (I do not recall the correct suffex) with no motors are Electrically Wired for MU operation. A pass-through car so that powered units can be on both ends of the unpowered car and operated from the same control stand in either powered unit.

Sort of like the Southern Railway's Radio Receiver box cars for mid-train helpers had MU connections.

I do not know if MP54s with no motors had pantographs or not.

The P54s were unmotored and had no MU wiring.

IIRC, the Metroliner MU design that came out about the time Penn Central (PC) was formed would have been an MP65 (?) in PRR nomenclature. I do not think that designation was used by PC.

Doug vV


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 Post subject: Re: Locomotive Hauled PRR MP54 Suburban Coaches
PostPosted: Wed Aug 01, 2007 3:19 pm 

Joined: Mon Aug 30, 2004 12:36 pm
Posts: 322
Location: Laurel Run, Pa.
Back in July of 1957 on a Newark, NJ. to Enola, PA MP-54 fan trip, we snagged the catinary at Langhorne, PA disabling our train. A PRR. Baldwin BS-6a was dispatched to rescue us. Some pictures taken my myself, and the late Steve Ward of this happening appears in Staufer's PENNSY POWER III on page 267. I guess this could qualify as a MP-54 / P-54 locomotive hauled train, even if it was for a short time.

Ed K. cp Laurel Run

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 Post subject: Re: Locomotive Hauled PRR MP54 Suburban Coaches
PostPosted: Wed Aug 01, 2007 7:20 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 11:26 am
Posts: 3749
Location: Maine
Long Island ran two types of MP54 cars. The Pennsy standard style, with high headlights ar ethe only type still in existence. When LIRR preserved a significant number of MP54's for historical purposes, only one car was the arch roofed design, which strongly resembled "owl eyes". The historical collection was disbursed to various groups at some time, but the MP54's have not faired well. Most have rotted outfrom underneath, and the sills turned to powder. Several of the historical collection were torched by arsonists, including the one arch roofed club car, "Rockaway". This past July, the RMLI had to disposed of their MP54 RPO and combine, as the cars were in a state of collapse, and were dangerous to the public. The MP54 coach at Kennebunkport is rotten underneath, and I see little hope for it. This seems to have been a design problem, age, weather, and neglect, all combining into extinction for the design.

P54 steam coaches, also known on LIRR as "Ping Pongs", were widely disbursed as period cars to a huge variety of tourist lines. They were cheap, open-windowed, and steam era. Even the bulk of those are gone today, or waiting to be cut up. The other problem is the trucks were riveted, not welded. Externally, the "pings" looked exactly like their MU sisters, only the end windows were sealed with steel plate and the color scheme was different. You have seen these at Steamtown and Knox and Kane.

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