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Passenger Trains > Crab Orchard & Egyptian RR Business Car-Stored

Date: 06/29/18 04:34
Crab Orchard & Egyptian RR Business Car-Stored
Author: cozephyr

Built in 1911 as a wood car for the Illinois Central as a business car, rebuilt by the IC when they installed a steel under carriage, updated trucks and sheathed the car in steel side sheets and roof. ex-Illinois Central 3, business car. Retired in the 1970’s.  Crab Orchard & Egyptian Railroad, CO&E, business car, no name nor number on the car.  Stored at Gateway Rail Services, Madison, IL, June 18, 2018. On July 2, 1971, the Crab Orchard & Egyptian railroad was first founded and incorporated under the name of American Rail Heritage Ltd. and the new company started off by creating a vintage tourist line operation alongside Illinois Central Gulf owned trackage. With the first revenue operations commencing on May 29, 1973, the railroad ran its very first train consisting of CO&E's newly acquired 2-4-2T #5 and three former Illinois Central Railroad commuter cars from the former IC passenger station on Market Street in downtown Marion with several sightseers in haul. Their tourist runs would go west towards the old Crab Orchard Refuge railroad junction near Ordill where the train would do a brief turn-around and eventually make a return trip back to the passenger depot.Locomotive #5 was rebuilt after its first season in service. The saddle tank and coal bunker were removed and a tender purchased from the Illinois Central Gulf in nearby Carbondale, Illinois, was added in its place. The rebuild resulted in a locomotive that looked more at home pulling the passenger trains, and also gave #5 additional fuel and water capacity.About two years later, a second and much larger steam engine was purchased from John Thompson of Chicago, Illinois. The locomotive was in storage in the Central Vermont Railway roundhouse in New London, Connecticut and was moved to Marion in early 1975 to further compliment the CO&E Railroad's historic roster. This new Canadian-built locomotive was former Roberval & Saguenay 2-8-0 #17, although since it was not in operable condition, the new engine couldn't be used in immediate service until an overhaul was performed. Despite a promising bright future, a tragic turnaround occurred on June 13, 1977, when the CO&E's first major incident took place as a fire suddenly broke out inside the old Illinois Central depot. The building was completely gutted, leaving the building little more than an empty brick shell. The fire destroyed the railroad's main offices, which were located inside the depot, and two of the CO&E's six passenger cars used in its tourist operation; this huge loss permanently affected future tourist services and would eventually be abolished indefinitely a year later by October 1978.  (Info courtesy Wikipedia)

Date: 06/29/18 05:56
Re: Crab Orchard & Egyptian RR Business Car-Stored
Author: MaryMcPherson

Here are a few photos of the car in Marion.

The first was taken on July 22, 1983, from the cab of 2-4-2 #5.  #5 was stored after being retired, and I took the photo on a visit on my 11th birthday.  At the time, the car was the home of CO&E co-founder William Schreiber.

The other two photos were taken in 2005 after Bill had passed away.  The car remained stored in Marion, awaiting its sale by the Schreiber estate.

Mary McPherson
Dongola, IL
Diverging Clear Productions

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