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Steam & Excursion > Two PRR passenger cars purchased for steam excursions


Date: 06/22/22 05:11
Two PRR passenger cars purchased for steam excursions
Author: nathansixchime

NEW HAVEN, INDIANA – The Fort Wayne Railroad Historical Society has acquired two vintage Pennsylvania Railroad (PRR) passenger cars from the Washington, DC Chapter, of the National Railway Historical Society (DCNRHS) to support the Indiana Rail Experience, an expansion of its popular events and programs in Northeast Indiana. Tickets to ride aboard these cars are on sale now at indianarailexperience.org.

Constructed in 1949 by the Budd Company in Philadelphia, the Collinsville Inn and Franklin Inn were originally built as sleeping cars for the PRR’s famous passenger trains, several of which operated through Fort Wayne, Indiana.

“It is very exciting to celebrate our 50th Anniversary with the purchase of these cars and we can’t wait to welcome guests aboard them later this summer,” explained Wayne York, senior excursion manager for Fort Wayne. “DCNRHS has been a long and respected partner to our organization, and we are thankful for their stewardship in preserving these cars.”

In 1963, the PRR converted the cars into traditional passenger coaches to transport visitors to the 1964 World’s Fair in New York. Later, they were assigned to commuter train service in Michigan, New York, and Maryland before they were donated to DCNRHS in 2008. Thanks in part to a 2012 Trains Magazine grant to “introduce new generations of rail enthusiasts to the history and excitement of mainline rail travel,” the cars were restored to their 1960s appearance and certified for use on Amtrak.

“Changes in the private car environment meant these two beautiful, historic cars were no longer a great fit for our business model,” said DCNRHS Chief Mechanical Officer Jim Lilly, who oversaw the rescue, restoration, and operation of the equipment. “We are pleased to have the coaches go to an organization we have worked with for many years. We are confident that they will be cared for and continue to serve as icons of railroad history, giving another generation a chance to ride. It’s rather fitting that they go to Fort Wayne, as these were built for the Pennsylvania Railroad which was once a major industry in the region.”

Since 2015, the cars have been used in special charters and excursions, including steam-powered trips operated by Fort Wayne. This year, they will enter service as part of the Indiana Rail Experience, which will offer a variety of train rides and programs for all ages in Angola, Indiana. Offering comfortable, climate-controlled interiors with rotating chairs, the set also includes ADA-compatible seating and a restroom.

The purchase was aided by First Merchants Bank with assistance from a private donor. Transportation, logistics, shipping, and assistance were provided by FMW Solutions, Inc. Norfolk Southern Corp, and the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad.

Press release and additional photos: https://fortwaynerailroad.org/2022/06/pennsylvania-railroad-passenger-cars-acquired/








Date: 06/22/22 06:36
Re: Two PRR passenger cars purchased for steam excursions
Author: Spoony81

Congratulations !!



Date: 06/22/22 07:12
Re: Two PRR passenger cars purchased for steam excursions
Author: wcamp1472

A worthwhile acquisition.
What powers the A/C electrical systems?

They are fairly well sound-insulated, so that fact diminishes customer 
experience.  But, hey, it's almost 2022...

With stout wheels, trucks and couplers, they should 'be good'  for decades.


W.



Date: 06/22/22 07:18
Re: Two PRR passenger cars purchased for steam excursions
Author: Topfuel

wcamp1472 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> A worthwhile acquisition.
> What powers the A/C electrical systems?
>
> They are fairly well sound-insulated, so that fact
> diminishes customer 
> experience.  But, hey, it's almost 2022...
>
> With stout wheels, trucks and couplers, they
> should 'be good'  for decades.
>
>
> ​W.

The have the now-standard 480 volt Head End Power electrical system.  But they are not "self-contained", so they will need a power car for electricity.  



Date: 06/22/22 07:45
Re: Two PRR passenger cars purchased for steam excursions
Author: ClubCar

The Washington, D.C. Chapter of the NRHS did an outstanding job of refurbishing these two cars after they had been retired from the MARC Train Commuter Service in Maryland.  Like so many other private owned passenger cars, with the cost to operate excursions or run with Amtrak, many of these organizations have had to sell off their passenger cars.  Most of these groups can no longer afford the basic upkeep in maintaining these cars along with the higher insurance costs.  It's a shame, but I'm happy to see these cars go to a worthwhile organization and hopefully they will operate for many years in the future.
John in White Marsh, Maryland



Date: 06/22/22 08:27
Re: Two PRR passenger cars purchased for steam excursions
Author: wcamp1472

Oops, my badd!  ( I should have known that!  3-phase, 480v .)
Makes perfect sense ...


W.
 



Date: 06/22/22 11:42
Re: Two PRR passenger cars purchased for steam excursions
Author: bigsavage

I encountered the Franklin Inn several times in MARC service, seen  here at New Oxford, PA. on a excursion special back on 10/16/1994.
I also had a great ride on the Franklin Inn on 5/26/2013, pictured here at Altoona, PA., on a #765 Lewistown-Gallitzin, PA. round trip.
Kodacolor prints by Warren W. Jenkins








Date: 06/22/22 12:06
Re: Two PRR passenger cars purchased for steam excursions
Author: ironmtn

This is great news for all concerned. I'm pretty sure that I have ridden in one of the Inn cars previously when the 765 ran trips several years ago on the Metra Rock Island District between LaSalle Street Station in Chicago and Joliet. I will be riding the 765's tour-of-the-line trip covering most of the Indiana Northeastern in late August, although on that trip both I and a longtime railfan friend will be in an open-window coach. But I will still look for these cars in the train, and be happy to see them again.

As a note, Collinsville Inn is named for Collinsville, Illinois, just east of St. Louis on the ex-PRR main east to Indianapolis (today CSX). Collinsville was a famed point for St. Louis railfan photographers through the years, with a big sweeping curve on the double track main just west of town on the Mississippi floodplain. And there were other scenic spots as the line climbed the bluffs in the valley of Canteen Creek (or Cantine, as sometimes spelled) up to the flat prairies of south central Illinois. That heritage has always made this car a favorite of this St. Louis boy....and Pennsy fan.

If you have a copy of Arthur Dubin's Some Classic Trains, there's information about the PRR Inn-series (built as all-roomette cars, with 21 roomettes per car) on page 411. There's also a photo of Budd-built sister Ashtabula Inn in the original Tuscan Red paint, before the cars were later converted to unpainted stainless steel exteriors.

Great news for the Fort Wayne group and the 765!

MC



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 06/22/22 12:31 by ironmtn.



Date: 06/22/22 17:37
Re: Two PRR passenger cars purchased for steam excursions
Author: tonymarchiando

Thanks for the info on Collinsville Inn.    I did not realize it was named for "that" Collinsville, where I lived for several years and graduated from high school.

Tony



Date: 06/23/22 15:19
Re: Two PRR passenger cars purchased for steam excursions
Author: ironmtn

Glad you found the info on Collinsville Inn interesting, Tony. I did not know that you were a Collinsville boy.

Here's a list of all of the PRR Inn-series 21-roomette cars, and a couple of interlopers of the 21-roomette configuration. http://prr.railfan.net/passenger/GSPEAR/GSPEAR_PRR_SL_Inn.htm
As any good Pennsy fan will recognize, all were named for points on the PRR system, or very close to PRR trackage. A few of them have fairly obscure names.

Quiz: what are the towns for which Culver Inn and Kane Inn were named?

The Pennsylvania had a good-sized fleet of these 21-roomette cars, 59 in all. Fifty of them were built by Budd, class PS21B. But interestingly there were seven built by ACF (Class PS21A), and two of the 21-roomette configuration (Class PS21C) were built by Pullman-Standard. Those latter two P-S cars were also named not for communities on the PRR with the word Inn appended, but for two islands in New York Harbor, Governors Island and Staten Island.

Diagrams for the PS21A ACF cars: http://prr.railfan.net/diagrams/PRRdiagrams.html?class=PS21A&fr=GS
Diagrams for the two PS21C Island Pullman-Standard cars: http://prr.railfan.net/diagrams/PRRdiagrams.html?class=PS21C&fr=GS
Sorry, can't locate any diagrams for the Budd-built cars, but I'm sure they were quite similar.

Concerning the two Island cars of this 21-roomette type: Governors Island, an important military terminal just off the shore of Brooklyn and not far from the lower tip of Manhattan, had its own military railroad and a car float terminal which the PRR could have served from New Jersey, perhaps from Harsimus Cove. A fascinating webpage about the GI RR: http://members.trainweb.com/bedt/milrr/girr.html

I would assume that Staten Island also could have had PRR carfloat service to technically make it a point on the PRR system. My understanding always has been that the B&O fought the PRR hard to get access to Staten Island and to maintain service to it under their control rather than Pennsy's. The Arthur Kill Bridge gave B&O a direct connection to the New Jersey shore, and of course the Staten Island Rapid Transit operated under the aegis of B&O for many years. I am not aware of and could not locate any reference to PRR having trackage rights or service across the Arthur Kill Bridge onto Staten Island. However, one webpage on the Arthur Kill Bridge mentions that PRR appears to have had a brief period around 1900 when they had some control over the B&O, and actually routed some passenger trains to the island's ferries to alleviate pressure on other Hudson River crossings into Manhattan. Reference:http://www.nycroads.com/crossings/arthur-kill/

So Pennsy's claim to Staten Island as being a point on the PRR system seems a bit tenuous, even more so than for Governors Island, where it's hard to imagine that they would not have have had carfloat service for all of the military warehouse and port traffic there and for Fort Jay on the island. As for Pennsy's claim to Staten Island as a system point, I will leave that to the New York-area folks to comment upon. But in any case, the two islands certainly were close to PRR and its operations in the metro New York area. Indeed, within sight (maybe with binoculars for Governors Island).

An unexpected glimpse into some obscure railroad history. All from some passenger car names. How one thing can lead to another....

MC



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 06/23/22 15:23 by ironmtn.



Date: 06/23/22 17:03
Re: Two PRR passenger cars purchased for steam excursions
Author: junctiontower

ironmtn Wrote:

>
> Here's a list of all of the PRR Inn-series
> 21-roomette cars, and a couple of interlopers of
> the 21-roomette configuration.
> http://prr.railfan.net/passenger/GSPEAR/GSPEAR_PRR
> _SL_Inn.htm
> As any good Pennsy fan will recognize, all were
> named for points on the PRR system, or
> to PRR trackage. A few of them have fairly obscure
> names.
>
> Quiz: what are the towns for which Culver Inn and
> Kane Inn were named?

I would guess Culver Indiana and Kane PA. Not exactly top of mind towns in Pennsylvania Railroad history.

Posted from iPhone



Date: 06/23/22 18:56
Re: Two PRR passenger cars purchased for steam excursions
Author: ironmtn

junctiontower Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> ironmtn Wrote:
>
> >
> > Here's a list of all of the PRR Inn-series
> > 21-roomette cars, and a couple of interlopers of
> > the 21-roomette configuration.
> >
> http://prr.railfan.net/passenger/GSPEAR/GSPEAR_PRR
>
> > _SL_Inn.htm
> > As any good Pennsy fan will recognize, all were
> > named for points on the PRR system, or
> > to PRR trackage. A few of them have fairly obscure names.
> >
> > Quiz: what are the towns for which Culver Inn and
> > Kane Inn were named?
>
> I would guess Culver Indiana and Kane PA. Not
> exactly top of mind towns in Pennsylvania Railroad
> history.

Ding-ding-ding! We have a winner!. The communities are indeed Culver, Indiana and Kane, Pennsylvania.

Culver is on an abandoned Pennsy line from South Bend to Logansport, which crossed the Chicago - Ft. Wayne main line at Plymouth, Indiana. Culver is a lovely small town on the shores of large, beautiful Lake Maxinkuckee, in the heart of the northern Indiana lake belt. The town has long been the home to the distinguished Culver Military Academy, which in 1971 joined with the Culver Girls Academy to form the Culver Academies. The former PRR depot at the center of town has been repurposed as a community center today. A website with some info, and unfortunately not the best photo of a nicely restored building (can't locate a better one which I have) at: https://localremnants.wordpress.com/2016/11/13/culver-train-depot-still-used-today/  By the time of my May 1960 Official Guide, the earliest I have at hand, whatever PRR passenger service the line may have had already had ceased, and the line was freight only.

Kane was at milepost 246.3 on  Pennsy's Renovo Division from Harrisburg through Williamsport, Renovo and Emporium to Erie, Pa., running deep through the heart of the Alleghenies. It was the route of the New York to Erie Northern Express and Southern Express, and the New York / Washington / Baltimore to Buffalo Buffalo Day Express and Baltimore Day Express.  A B&O line from Butler, Pa. to Mt. Jewett, Pa. crossed the PRR at Kane. Part of the line is today's Western New York & Pennsylvania Railroad (WNYP), famed among railfans for its Alco power still in service, and a classic PRR signal bridge with position light signal heads (though out of service) at Emporium.

As you noted, two fairly obscure places on the PRR's vast system. But worthy enough that their names graced two of the PRR's postwar streamlined sleeping cars.

MC



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 06/23/22 19:13 by ironmtn.



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