Posts Tagged ‘business cars’

Ex-N&W Business Car Being Restored, Will Run in Michigan

October 14, 2020

A former Norfolk & Western business car has been sent to Valparaiso, Indiana, for additional restoration work before moving to excursion service in Michigan.

N&W No. 300 was built in 1917 and had been stored inside a warehouse since 1991.

The car is expected to be pulled by Little River Railroad excursion trains out of Coldwater, Michigan, once the restoration efforts have been completed.

You Mean Penn Central Had Business Cars?

August 17, 2016

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We all know that Penn Central didn’t care much for passenger trains. Scarcely had it begun operations following the Feb. 1, 1968, merger of the New York Central and Pennsylvania railroads when it began seeking to remove intercity passenger trains as quickly as regulators would allow.

PC’s attempt in March 1970 to remove nearly all passenger trains operating west of Buffalo, New York, and Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, helped prod Congress into creating Amtrak.

Knowing that history probably was the reason why earlier this year I was surprised to see a former Penn Central business car sitting at the Mad River & NKP Railroad Museum in Bellevue.

You mean Penn Central had business cars? Isn’t that the company that despised passenger trains?

I can’t recall having seen photographs of PC business cars but it made sense that PC would have a business car fleet because all large railroads had them.

Shown here is RPCX No. 7, which is now named The Seven.

I wasn’t able to find out much about the history of this car other than it was originally owned by the New York Central and, later, by the late Ted Church of Erie, Pennsylvania.

Mr. Church had acquired the car from a mayor of a city in New Jersey near Fort Monmouth and had it shipped to East Erie Commercial Railroad.

Along with his wife, Sally, Mr. Church lived on the car during the winter when they and their car would migrate to the Hartwell Railroad in Georgia. The Seven also operated on steam excursions out of Bellevue.

Mr. Church willed the car to the Mad River museum, which took ownership of it after his death.

In recent times, the car was leased for a time to the Dennison Railroad Museum before it was returned to Bellevue.

The car appears to be in good condition, at least for display at a museum.

I tried to imagine PC executives riding in this car on the back of the Broadway Limited, Pennsylvanian Limited, Manhattan Limited, the Spirit of St. Louis or unnamed Nos. 63 and 64.

I did find in a book about Penn Central passenger service a couple photographs of No. 7 in the consist of a PC passenger train.

Still, it is difficult to imagine PC executives wanting to travel between Philadelphia and Chicago in this car and having to endure some rough track.

Nonetheless, with a little imagination I could picture Alfred Perlman or Stuart Saunders on the open platform of No. 7 inspecting their property.

They couldn’t have liked much of what they saw so they probably went back inside the car for the remainder of the trip.

Article and Photographs by Craig Sanders

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The Monon’s ‘Lynne’ Before it was Restored

March 18, 2014




Upon reading the post on the Akron Railroad Club blog about how the ex-Monon Railroad business car Lynne has now been restored, I recalled having photographs of it from several years ago. This car has long sat on a unused siding near Chesterton, Ind. It had taken on the myth of an urban legend except it was real. Here are some pictures from then. I hope to visit it in a few months to see how it has progressed.

Photographs by Todd Dillon