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Nostalgia & History > Some Chessie System (B&O) passenger car history


Date: 03/10/11 04:49
Some Chessie System (B&O) passenger car history
Author: ClubCar

Hello everyone! There have been many postings on this site concerning the passenger cars that used to be operated back in the 1970's to early 1980's. These were conventional passenger cars used in the commuter trains that operated out of Baltimore's Camden Station to Washington, D.C. and from Brunswick, Md. to Washington, D.C. Most of the trains ran with B&O RDC's; however when the ridership increased in the mid 1970's the Chessie System started to operate some conventional passenger cars, some that belonged to the railroad and they were still in either B&O or C&O colors, and then they started to lease many of their former B&O passenger cars that had been sold to Railroad Passenger Cars (RRP) a small group of owners mostly from the Baltimore Chapter NRHS. Over the years I have read and I have seen many postings of these trains with these RRP cars in the consists and they have been mistakenly identified as to ownership. I have attached three photos here of a few of these RRP cars. Keep in mind that RRP supplied cars to Chessie for MARC train service from 1973 until 1981 when the State of Maryland finally placed their own rebuilt ex-Pennsylvania Sleepers converted to commuter coaches into service. Here are the photos: #1 is of a former B&O coach RRP 3505, #2 is a former C&O/Amtrak coach 5256, and #3 is a former Long Island R.R. coach RRP 8302. Many of the RRP cars were also used in both the Chessie Steam Specials with engine ex-Reading 2101 and then with the Chessie Safety Express train using ex-C&O 614. At one time RRP owned 12 ex-B&O cars including a diner, food bar coach and club car. RRP purchased many other light-weight cars that had been owned by various other railroads and at the peak of their leasing operations they had 17 cars in service on these Chessie System (MARC) commuter trains. RRP sold off most of their cars after the State of Maryland terminated their leases and as the excursion trains became fewer due to the higher insurance costs. The former RRP cars have been sold and several remain in service on short lines all around the country. I hope you enjoy the photos.
All photos were taken by S. Hopkins of Railroad Passenger Cars, Inc. (RRP) of Baltimore, Md.
For the record, RRP went out of business in 1994 and their 3 remaining cars ( 2 of which were B&O heavy-weight classics) were donated to the B&O Railroad Museum in Baltimore.
JH a/k ClubCar








Date: 03/10/11 06:07
Re: Some Chessie System (B&O) passenger car history
Author: aehouse

John,

What's the ancestry of that car in Amtrak colors?

Art



Date: 03/10/11 06:34
Re: Some Chessie System (B&O) passenger car history
Author: Steinzeit

If you have addition RRP car photos, I hope you'll post them. Very informative; this is the type of post that makes TO membership valuable to me.

Best rgds, SZ



Date: 03/10/11 08:43
Re: Some Chessie System (B&O) passenger car history
Author: ClubCar

Steinzeit Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> If you have addition RRP car photos, I hope you'll
> post them. Very informative; this is the type of
> post that makes TO membership valuable to me.
>
> Best rgds, SZ

I have others that various people sent to me of others photos, many of which I have no idea as to who took the photos. I'll do this in a day or two depending on other things.



Date: 03/10/11 08:56
Re: Some Chessie System (B&O) passenger car history
Author: ClubCar

aehouse Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> John,
>
> What's the ancestry of that car in Amtrak colors?
>
> Art
The 8302 was originally a Lackawanna Railroad car, the only numbers that I have is that it was Delaware Lackawanna #318 and operated for them on the "Phoebe Snow" train between New York, Buffalo and Chicago. In 1970 a whole group of these cars (RRP owned 7 of these cars at one time) were sold to Penn Central for the Metropolitan Transportation Authority. At that point all of these cars were reconfigured from their 68 seat-plus lounge washroom arrangement to become 83 seat cars, with the original two large washrooms being eliminated. In 1976 all of these cars were transferred to the Long Island R.R. for a very short time, then Long Island retired them and they went to a scrap dealer. RRP was informed by someone who knew the scrap dealer and they went up to Flushing N.Y. where he was located and picked out the best 7 cars, moved them to Baltimore and then had them refurbished for the MDOT Chessie Commuter trains; however most were painted in Chessie Colors and operated first in the Chessie Steam Special in 1977. The 8302 was the first car that RRP put into service and thus it was painted in Amtrak colors which it continued to wear the whole time that it was owned by RRP, and many times it wound up in operation with leased Amtrak cars that Chessie leased when the steam trains were running since the rest of the RRP fleet was in that consist. I hope this helps you some.
JH a/k ClubCar



Date: 03/10/11 12:55
Re: Some Chessie System (B&O) passenger car history
Author: ctjacks

ClubCar, a question: why did EL sell off these coaches, which were farily new and I presume in pretty good shape, while keeping its rolling museum of Stillwells and ex-DL&W heavyweights for commuter service? Didn't EL start to use some used equipment from out west on its commuter trains at about this time?

The 318 is now privately owned, and there were plans for its restoration several years ago, but I don't know what's happened to it recently.



Date: 03/10/11 13:59
Re: Some Chessie System (B&O) passenger car history
Author: aehouse

ClubCar Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> aehouse Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> > John,
> >
> > What's the ancestry of that car in Amtrak
> colors?
> >
> > Art
> The 8302 was originally a Lackawanna Railroad car,
> the only numbers that I have is that it was
> Delaware Lackawanna #318 and operated for them on
> the "Phoebe Snow" train between New York, Buffalo
> and Chicago. In 1970 a whole group of these cars
> (RRP owned 7 of these cars at one time) were sold
> to Penn Central for the Metropolitan
> Transportation Authority. At that point all of
> these cars were reconfigured from their 68
> seat-plus lounge washroom arrangement to become 83
> seat cars, with the original two large washrooms
> being eliminated. In 1976 all of these cars were
> transferred to the Long Island R.R. for a very
> short time, then Long Island retired them and they
> went to a scrap dealer. RRP was informed by
> someone who knew the scrap dealer and they went up
> to Flushing N.Y. where he was located and picked
> out the best 7 cars, moved them to Baltimore and
> then had them refurbished for the MDOT Chessie
> Commuter trains; however most were painted in
> Chessie Colors and operated first in the Chessie
> Steam Special in 1977. The 8302 was the first car
> that RRP put into service and thus it was painted
> in Amtrak colors which it continued to wear the
> whole time that it was owned by RRP, and many
> times it wound up in operation with leased Amtrak
> cars that Chessie leased when the steam trains
> were running since the rest of the RRP fleet was
> in that consist. I hope this helps you some.
> JH a/k ClubCar

John,

Thanks for confirming my suspicion that the car was a former DL&W 300 series/EL 1300 series coach. I traveled in them many times in 1965-70 on the Phoebe and Lake Cities, and always thought them among the most comfortable long distance coaches I ever rode, and I rode a lot in that era. Thanks for the detailed reply.

Four of those cars were sold to the D&H in early 1971 and were still on the roster when Amtrak reinstituted service, as the Adirondack, on the D&H between Albany and Montreal. One of the early Adirondacks, shown in the start-up month in August 1974, sports three of them in the photo, below, taken at Whitehall, N.Y., northbound.

Art House


Art




Date: 03/10/11 20:21
Re: Some Chessie System (B&O) passenger car history
Author: ClubCar

ctjacks Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> ClubCar, a question: why did EL sell off these
> coaches, which were farily new and I presume in
> pretty good shape, while keeping its rolling
> museum of Stillwells and ex-DL&W heavyweights for
> commuter service? Didn't EL start to use some
> used equipment from out west on its commuter
> trains at about this time?
>
> The 318 is now privately owned, and there were
> plans for its restoration several years ago, but I
> don't know what's happened to it recently.

I don't know the answer as to why the EL sold the cars. Who owns the 318 now? The car was built of stainless steel as I remember it.
And to Art House, thanks for the D&H photo. I never rode those cars prior to them coming to Baltimore with RRP on the Chessie Steam Special. These cars still rode fairly well for being older and with many hard miles on them.



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 03/10/11 20:24 by ClubCar.



Date: 03/15/11 13:18
Re: Some Chessie System (B&O) passenger car history
Author: ctjacks

I don't know who owns 318 now, about 5 years ago it was owned by an ex-RR employee with New Jersey and EL roots.



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