Ex-Monon Business Car Restored

A former Monon business car has been restored by the Monon Railroad Historical-Technical Society.

Pullman built Monon business car No. 2, Lynne, in 1924 as an open platform observation.

The Monon acquired the car in 1953 and rebuilt it into a business car with a kitchen, dining room, drawing room, two compartments and a large observation room.

It was named Lynne after Monon President Warren Brown’s 2-year-old granddaughter Lynne Chambers. The car would visit French Lick, Ind., at least once a year when the railroad ran specials to the Kentucky Derby in nearby Louisville.

The car was retired in 1971 and sold to construction company Brown Inc. of Michigan City, Ind., which used it as an office.

When the owner of the company died, the family donated the car to the society, which spent $30,000 for brake and structural work to move the car to the Indiana Railway Museum at French Lick in December 2011.

Interior and exterior work was done in the restoration process with cabinetry remanufactured, plumbing repaired, head end power work done, and furniture acquired.

The Jasper Group, a French Lick custom furniture manufacturer, donated furniture for the dining room.

Society President Pete Pedigo was found the original brass script logos that carried the car’s name from Lynne’s family, which was invited to an inaugural celebration to mount the plates back on the car.

The Lynne is used on occasional excursion runs by the museum, which operates the French Lick Scenic Railway over 25 miles of track from French Lick to Jasper.
Restoration of the Lynne was funded in part by a grant from the National Railway Historical Society National Heritage Grant program.

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