Passenger Cars
Great Northern A-11
Streamlined Business Car
photo by Eric Hopp
History
 
Prior to about 1924, the Great Northern owned and operated its own sleeping car fleet for overnight accomodations. (On most railroads, sleeping cars were owned and staffed by the George M. Pullman company, under contract.)
 
In 1911, the Great Northern received 21 new sleepers from builder Barney and Smith, and numbered them 9015 to 9035. As sleepers, they were unusual. Most sleepers were designed in an open pattern around a center aisle, with only curtains for privacy. 9015 through 9035 were more opulent, providing four private sleeping compartments, a buffet, a smoking lounge, and an observation room and platform to bring up the rear of the train. Their design reflected the height of wooden car design, with arched windows, a clerestory roof, interiors of polished woodwork, a wooden frame stiffened by truss rods, enclosed vestibules, and six-wheel trucks. Their observation platform was a little unusual, in that the door inside was offset to make room for a large picture window.
 
In November 1922, car 9021 was rebuilt into official car A-1. (It was the second to wear that number.) Extensive remodelling included a steel underframe, replacing the restrooms and first compartment with a kitchen and pantry, turning the remaining compartments into a porter's room, secretary's room, and state room, replacing the buffer and smoking lounge with two more state rooms, and building a dividing wall in the observation compartment to create an office with a conference table.
 
From an equipment diagram made between 1938 and 1957 comes the following information: In 1924, rivited steel sheathing was applied. A 1937 photograph shows the window arches were covered by a wide letterboard and the observation platform door centered. Then in 1930, it was upgraded to a fishbelly underframe. In 1938, air conditioning was added. (The 1937 photograph shows air conditioning ducts. One date may be wrong.) Authorizations for expenditure 20784, 26818, and 53905 apply to this car. 
 
In April, 1957, the A-1 was renumbered to the (second) A-11. As such it was assigned to senior company officials in Minnesota. It was again renumbered to (fourth) A-6 in 1969 and assigned to the Executive Vice President in St. Paul. In June 1971 it became Burlington Northern Compass (computer assisted car tracking system) training car B-7. This is probably when the open room was enlarged by removing the divider and one or two state rooms. A photograph from this period shows the exterior had been smoothed to match the streamliners.
 
 
 
 
A-11 was purchased by MTM in 1981. It was in good shape and, having been repainted into GN Omaha orange and Pullman green, was put to work providing first class service in the museum's passenger trains.
 
Around 1994 it was decided A-11 was due for more extensive repairs, and it was withdrawn from service. Replacement of all windows with modern FRA glazing, repair of the air conditioning, and installation of toilets was completed in 1999. 
 
In 2003, stand-by air was installed to provide running water and to operate the toilets when not in a train. A bell and horn for backup movements were also installed. In 2005 it received fresh paint again. A-11 is used regularly on the O&StCV Railway for first class, dinner trains, pizza trains, movie trains, and even the occasional wedding.
 
References
 
"Great Northern Pictorial - Vol 5," by John F. Strauss Jr.; data p57, photo p59.
Reference Sheet 256, "Early GN Sleeping Cars; Part III: Compartment-Observation Cars," published in December 1997 by the Great Northern Railway Historical Society.
"Mech. Dept. Passenger Car Diagrams," pub. by the Great Northern, 11-1-69; data & plan, p144. 
Great Northern 1084 (Twin Ports)
Streamlined Buffet-Parlor-Observation Car
 
 
History
 
The "Twin Ports" began life as Pullman pool car "Natalie". She was outshopped in August, 1924 at Pullman's factory near Chicago. Built to plan 3416 in lot 4801, she was a one drawing room, 28 chair parlor car. Her interior steel was painted in simulated wood-grained red mahogany. She rode on "242" clasp brake trucks with pivoted equalizers and pedestals cast integral with the frame, wheel base 11' - 0". Air brakes were type UC, with one body-mounted 18" cylinder. It had type-D couplers. Air conditioning was Pullman mechanical. Heating was Vapor steam radiant. It was a classic "heavyweight" car, riveted together from mild steel, with a deep center sill and painted Pullman green. Pullman retired her from active duty in April 1938.
 
In June 1942 she and sister "Cordelia" were purchased by the Great Northern and converted to coaches 1084 and 1083. In 1945 (one might assume the end of the war meant more opportunity for luxury travel) they were converted back to parlor cars. Then in April 1952 they were completely rebuilt for the streamlined "Gopher" and "Badger" trains. They became streamlined, flat-ended buffet-parlor observation cars with a rounded roof end, sealed double-pane windows, Mars light, end windows, streamlined marker lights on the sides, and a long, horizontal antenna like the A-11's on top. The car name, 'Twin Ports' on the 1084 and 'Twin Cities' on the 1083, was centered in the green band below the windows, and the number placed in the same band at each end. On the observation end, a GN logo appeared under each window, with "BADGER" below the left and "GOPHER" below the right. Inside, the cars had 26 easy chairs in the parlor, which was separated from the cafe and buffet by glass panels with frosted artwork of a gopher and a badger. The buffet area had two tables to seat four and one to seat two, and a small kitchen. At the vestibule end were men's and women's toilets. (Click here for a diagram.) In February, 1959 they were modified for mid-train operation by squaring off the observation-end roof, replacing the Mars light with a red Gyralight, and adding a diaphragm. The end lettering was removed.
 
After retirement in 1969, 1083 was converted to a track inspection car in 1973 and 1084 was canibalized for the BN business car fleet. 1084 was apparently never assigned a BN passenger car number after the merger.
 
MTM aquired the "Twin Ports" in 1979, and stripped and primed the exterior for restoration in 1980. However, circumstances changed, and 1084 spent the next twenty years in storage. In 2002, it was part of an MTM train from a secured military facility to the Jackson Street Roundhouse. Volunteers promptly fell in love with it (so pretty in the dark with all its lights on!) and gave it a quick paint job. Plans for a complete restoration are being drafted.
The observation end of freshly-painted 1084.
Eric Hopp
Freshly-painted 1084 was displayed at Jackson Street in a "train" with 265 and A11. (The restroom window is boarded up.)
Eric Hopp
Primer-yellow 1084 brings up the rear of the MTM equipment move to Jackson Street.
Eric Hopp
In 2002, 1084 is back on Great Northern trackage. The MTM equipment move is about to pass under Snelling Avenue in St. Paul.
Eric Hopp
References
 
"Great Northern Pictorial - Vol 4," by John F. Strauss, Jr; Photos p128-130, 134, & 167, plan p128, data p160 & 164.
"Passenger Cars of the Burlington Northern, Vol I," by Rudel; Photos, data, and plan, p22.
"Mech. Dept. Passenger Car Diagrams," pub. by the Great Northern, 11-1-69; data & plan, p99.
"Pullman Car Construction Record Database," pub. by The Pullman Project; http://home.att.net/~pullmanproject/Database.htm
"Pullman Company Descriptive List of Cars, September 1, 1937" reprinted by Wayner Publications; data p147. 
Milwaukee 502
Streamlined Coach
photo by Eric Hopp
History
 
Milwaukee Road No. 502 was built in the company shops for the post-war Hiawathas. It was one of seventeen (498-514) built outshopped between January and February of 1948 for the Twin Cities, Midwest, and Chippewa Hiawathas. It had 52 seats, men's and women's lounges and restrooms, and steam-ejector air conditioning. The exterior featured smooth sides (a departure from pre-war rib-sided Milwaukee practice,) the round windows typical of the Milwaukee, and welded-on grab irons. The body was orange with red bands along the windows and the letterboard. The roof was grey, and the undercarriage black. By the vestibule door was a spiffy three-dimensional aluminum "Hiawatha" logo. The lettering was gold leaf with black trim. 502's inside was predominately blond woodwork, with polished aluminum "Hiawatha" logos on either side of the doors at the ends of the passenger compartment.
 
As of September 2006, 502's broken windows are being replaced, and it is receiving a quick exterior paint job. Both with the intent of improving its looks and slowing down weather-related damage. 
References
 
""Milwaukee Road Color Guide to Freight and Passenger Equipment, Vol 1," by Doug Nighswonger and William F. Stauss; data & photo p27.
"The Hiawatha Story," by Jim Scribbins; data p264.
Great Northern 265
Streamlined Baggage
photo by Eric Hopp
History
 
GN 265's story starts on January 28th, 1908, when Barney & Smith delivered a wooden, truss-rod dining car numbered GN 7109. It was one of 32 identical cars ordered from both Pullman and Barney & Smith, and delivered between 1905 and 1911. 7109 was 75' 11" long, weighed 120,000 lbs, and could serve thirty hungry passengers at a time. Had 7109 arrived on the property just two years earlier, it would have been numbered 729, following 719-724 and 726, delivered in 1905 and 1906, which had just been renumbered 7100-7106. 
 
 
 
 
 
Between 1922 and 1924, the 7100-series dining cars were upgraded by the Jackson Street Shops. All-steel construction was demanded by the public, to reduce the risk of fire and/or telescoping in derailments. All-steel "heavyweight" cars were significantly heavier, so wooden cars like the 7100-series diners had to have stronger frames to operate in trains with all-steel cars. Commonwealth steel underframes and Miner friction draft gear provided the necessary strength. These frames retained the truss-rod appearance. Steel sheathing was screwed on at the same time, reducing maintenance and, to a degree, fooling the public. The trucks and brakes also had to be upgraded, because the stronger frame and steel sheathing increased the car's weight to 152,000 lbs. Car lighting was apparently changed from Acetylene gas to electric around the same time. GN X757 and the Gopher, on display in the Jackson Street Roundhouse, were also given Commonwealth steel underframes by the Jackson Street Shops around the same time. Of those two, the Gopher also has screwed-on steel sheathing.
 
On March 20th, 1926, 7109 was renumbered 1008 as part of a general passenger car renumbering.
The 1924/5 purchase of brand-new all-steel "heavyweight" diners 7000-7009 for the Oriental Limited, (renumbered 1030-1039,) and 1929 purchase of 1040-1051 for the brand-new Empire Builder, rendered the diners surplus and they were recycled for other purposes. Most were rebuilt into 420- and 440-series baggage cars: On September 9th, 1929, diner 1008 officially became baggage car 426. This included gutting and remodelling the interior, plating over the existing doors and windows, and cutting new baggage doors into the sides. When finished, it measured 76' 5 13/16" in length and weighed 136,800 lbs. It was painted Pullman green. The authorization for expenditure recorded this as the business reason: "These cars can be used to good advantage as baggage cars in passenger service. Work to be done at Jackson Street Shops. cars to be retired from work equipment under monthly retirement AFE. When completed these cars will be numbered 420 to 426 inclusive. Cars being released by new diners for new service."
 
In March 1946, 426 was again rebuilt, this time into lightweight, streamlined baggage car 265. The work was done at the St. Cloud shops. In reality, this rebuild was money-saving accounting magic. 426's trucks were removed and refurbished. The body was probably stripped of usable parts and scrapped. In the meantime, the shops fabricated an entirely new carbody, from the center sill up. When finished, it was set on 426's trucks and painted in the Empire Builder colors of Omaha Orange and Pullman green. It measured 73' 10 1/4" long and weighed in at 125,600 lbs. Brake equipment was the HSC electric system with pneumatic backup. (Glorified D-22.) It had no. 263 universal wheel-type handbrakes on each end. The trucks kept their clasp brakes, but were upgraded with truck-mounted brake cylinders and slack adjusters, and 5 1/2x10" Timken roller bearing journals. The equipment diagram notes "Special Axles," which might indicate 5 1/2x10" axles specially machined to fit 5x9" trucks. (Speculative - not verified.) It had controlled-slack couplers and Miner A5xB draft gear. Inside, it featured a fish rack in one corner (for parcels which might drip water) and a small desk, stove, and toilet. On each side, one baggage door opened 6' wide and the other 5'. In service, it graced most GN main-line trains at one time or another.
 
 
 
 
 
265, and sisters 262-264, stand out in the Great Northern roster as first attempts at home-built streamlined passenger cars. (Many railroads resorted to this in the years immediately after World War II, when demand was high and the car builders were swamped with work.) Except for the recycled heavy-weight trucks, they were completely modern and up-to-date.
From Feb 23, 1947 until Feb 25, 1950, 265 was assigned to Spokane Portland & Seattle trains 1 & 2 - the Seattle section of the 1947 Empire Builder. As such, it displayed "Empire Builder" on the letterboard, with "Great Northern" in small letters at each end. The car number was centered above each truck in the lower green band, and marked "Railway Express Agency" in the orange window band, between the baggage doors. In 1950 265 was displaced from the Empire Builder by new equipment, and probably went back into the GN's general baggage car pool. At that time the letter board was probably changed to simply read "Great Northern".
 
GN 265 became BN property in the 1970 merger. When Amtrak started up in 1971, 265 was not among the cars they purchased, and went into storage. It was eventually pulled for conversion into a maintenance of way car. In June 1977, it became BN 976146, tool car in the Northtown-based wreck train. The diaphragms were cut off, one (redundant) handbrake removed, and the D-22 passenger air brake control valve was replaced by an ABD freight-car valve, J1 relay, and supplementary reservoir. It was painted MOW mineral red with silver roof. Inside, an electrical generator was installed (air intake cut into the car side) which supplied electricity to the whole wreck train, and it was outfitted with several large tool cabinets. Two wash rooms with caboose toilets were installed in one end. Two Vapor-Caban caboose stoves were installed in the other end.
 
In the mid-1980's, the BN retired their big derricks in favor of side-boom equiped Caterpillar bulldozers. 976146 was again surplus. On June 5th, 1987, it came to the Minnesota Transportation Museum.
Circa 1991 or 1992, the finished floor was removed. (It was saturated with spilled oil.) The cabinets found homes in the shop tool room, and other hardware was saved for re-use in other restorations.
In about 1994, it was decided to renovate 976146 into a concessions car. The sub-floor, which had significant rot problems, was removed. The bottom 12" of exterior skin were also removed, to fix side sill rust damage. But these projects have a way of getting interrupted...
 
In 2002, the museum needed a backup to Northern Pacific 1102, which was the sole handicap access, electrical power, RPO exhibit, and concessions car on the Osceola & St Croix Valley. The renovation resumed, and by the 2004 season GN 265 was once again operating in Empire Builder colors. Renovation work included wheel truing, a new floor, completion of the side sill repairs, installation of gates over the baggage doors, a generator, restrooms, a concessions stand, and new paint inside and out. 
References
 
"Great Northern Pictorial - Vol. 4," by John F. Strauss, Jr.; text p86, photo p126, data p161 & 164.
"Passenger Car Diagrams - Great Northern Railway," pub. by the Great Northern, 1912; data & plan, p194.
"Mech. Dept. Passenger Car Diagrams," pub. by the Great Northern, 11-1-69; data & plan, p25.
"Great Northern Head End Cars: Part VIII - Steel-Sheathed Baggage Cars: Rebuilds of the 1920s and 1930s - GNRHS reference sheet no. 323" pub. by the GNRHS; text p7-12.
"Great Northern Wood and Heavyweight Dining and Cafe Cars - GNRHS reference sheet no. 347" pub. by the GNRHS; text, photos p7-13, drawing p20-21, roster p34-35.
"Passenger Car Diagrams S.P.&S. Ry," by Paul T. Hobbs; data & plan.
"The Northwest's Own Railway - Vol 1," by Walter R. Grande; photo p265.
Northern Pacific / Chicago Burlington & Quincy 598
Streamlined Coach
 
History
 
CB&Q 598 is one of twelve streamlined "Day-Nite" coaches built in 1946 for the Northern Pacific's premier Chicago-Twin Cities-Seattle "North Coast Limited." They seated 56, and featured leg-rests and reclining seats.
 
 
 
 
598 was built by Pullman as part of lot number 6739 to plan 7509. The order was placed in October of 1944, and delivery made between June 1946 and January 1947. It is 85' 0" overall, and weighs 63 tons. 32vdc electricity is provided by a 25kw generator, driven off the axle through a "Spicer Drive" gear box, jack shaft, and torque convertor, or by 208-volt 3-phase shore-power windings. Steam from the locomotive provides baseboard and overhead heat, as well as hot water. A propane-powered Waukesha "ice engine" and wet-condenser "sub cooler" provide air conditioning. Brakes were WABCO D-22-P air brakes, with anti-lock "decelostats." The seats were made by Heywood-Wakefield. It's original colors were the "pine tree" scheme, with a dark-green body, "light"-green window area, and yellow pin stripes.
 
In a purely accounting arrangement, Day-Nite coaches 598 and 599 (and several other North-Coast Limited cars) were owned by and lettered for the CB&Q, to offset the Twin Cities-Chicago portion of the trip over CB&Q tracks.
 
In 1953, the Northern Pacific launched a "Passenger Car Exterior Colors Redesign Project," with industrial designer Raymond Loewy (famous for the Pennsylvania GG1 streamlining) selected as designer. The resulting "Loewy Colors" of olive-green below the windows, a white pin strip, and Pullman-green everywhere above were applied to the entire streamlined fleet. With "Northern Pacific" in white in the letterboard, and the NP's Korean-flag inspired "monad" logo centered below the windows, the look was striking. 598 still wears these colors, though they are badly faded.
Besides the North Coast Limited, the twelve Day-Nite coaches were used on the "Mainstreeter" - a new train inheriting the old North Coast Limited schedule, when that train was speeded up - and on the "Coast Pool Train," the UP/GN/NP cooperative Portland-Seattle service.
 
CB&Q 598 was retired in 1971 with the coming of Amtrak. It sat for a while in the old Omaha Road car shops in Hudson, WI, until aquired by MTM in 1985. Since then it has been in storage, first in a secured military facility, and since 1999 at Jackson Street. 
References
 
"Northern Pacific Pictorial - Vol. 5," by John F. Strauss, Jr.; data p.26-27, 86, 105-106, 121, 184, 186-187, and 191.
"Pullman Paint and Lettering Notebook," by Arthur D. Dubin; data p151-152.
"Passenger Equipment - Mechanical Department - Northern Pacific Ry" (internal equipment diagram book); plans p159. 
Chicago Burlington & Quincy 4709
(Silver Castle)
Streamlined Dome Coach
 
History
 
The "Silver Castle" is the newest member of MTM's passenger car fleet, having arrived at the Jackson Street Roundhouse on July 1st, 2014.
 
The "Silver Castle" was built by the Budd Company in 1940 at their plant in suburban Philadelphia, one of sixteen coaches ordered by the Chicago Burlington & Quincy. It's construction is thin stainless-steel sheet, rolled into structural sections and spot-welded together by Budd's patented "Shot-Weld" process. The Burlington gave almost all of their stainless steel passenger cars "Silver" names. These sixteen coaches included "Silver Gleam", "Silver Crown" and "Silver Forest", among others.
 
In 1945, the Burlington created the first Dome Car when, with the help of Budd engineering staff, they cut a hole in the roof of 4714 "Silver Alchemy" and installed a second story with glass-top roof. The inspiration is said to have come to Mr. Cyrus Osborn of General Motor's Electro-Motive Division in 1944, when he was riding in the cab of a locomotive through the Rocky Mountains of Colorado. Renamed "Silver Dome", it was a hit with passengers who loved the view.
After World War II ended, "Silver Castle" inspired the creation of hundreds more Dome Cars, starting in 1947 with a four-car demonstration train built by Pullman for General Motors, which they called the "Train of Tomorrow". This unique train was intended for exhibition, and toured the country showing off its dome-coach, dome-diner, dome-sleeper, and dome-lounge cars.
 
In 1949, "Silver Dome" had settled down in service on the Chicago-Twin Cities "Zephyr" service. Because it took two complete trains to provide the service, and because the Burlington wanted a matched set, they took another of the original sixteen coaches - 4709 "Silver Castle" - and gave it the same treatment as its sister. These two are unique among Dome Cars in that the factory-built cars all had the main floor lowered underneath the dome, but these two do not. Instead the aisle runs along each side, under the dome seats which have a a higher floor, while seating occupies the space under the dome's aisle which is lowered. Half of these seats face the end of the car - like airline seats under a luggage rack - and half are arranged back-to-back for a view out the side windows.
 
In 1970, the Burlington joined the Great Northern, Northern Pacific and Spokane, Portland & Seattle in the newly-formed Burlington Northern Railroad. "Silver Castle" was one of the few passenger cars renumbered and repainted, becoming BN 3480. The name plate below the windows was removed and replaced by a rectangular sheet near the vestibule steps which carried a BN logo and the car's name. ("Silver Dome" was to have been 3481.)
When the Federal Government formed Amtrak in 1971, "Silver Castle" and "Silver Dome" became their 9400 and 9401, respectively. They served Amtrak until retired in 1977. Amtrak was converting from steam heating to electric, and only converted a portion of the passenger cars. The rest, like these two, were replaced with new equipment. "Silver Dome" was purchased by the Mad River and NKP museum in Bellevue, Ohio and has been displayed there since. "Silver Castle" was purchased by the Branson Scenic Railway in the Ozarks, but refurbishing and upgrading to electric heat were halted when additional factory-built dome cars became available.
 
Starting in about 2010, the owners of the Branson Scenic and the Minnesota Transportation Museum began exploring the idea of the "Silver Castle" returning to its roots in the Twin Cities. This came to fruition in 2014, when "Silver Castle" made the journey from Kansas City to the museum's Jackson Street Roundhouse in St Paul. MTM intends to complete the refurbishing and upgrading, and put her in service on the museum's excursion train in the very scenic St Croix River valley. 
Great Northern 1096
Streamlined Coach
 
photo by Eric Hopp
History
 
1096 is one of two identical Great Northern, ex-C&NW "400" streamlined coaches owned by the Minnesota Transportation Museum.
 
Both were originally built for the Chicago and North Western's premier "400" passenger trains. Part of an August 1946 order for 26 cars, 1096 was delivered as C&NW 3453 in October 1947. It was part of lot 6812, and built to plan 7485. Construction details included full-width diaphragms, side skirting below the frame line and fold-up vestibule steps, 41-N trucks with Hyatt 5.5" x 10" roller bearings, no snubbers and truck-mounted brake cylinders, a Waukesha propane-powered ice engine (air conditioning compressor) and very similar Waukesha 7.5 kw enginator (engine-generator set.) The exterior had yellow sides and a green roof, letterboard and skirting. Black pinstripes separated the green and yellow, and a third ran just below the windows. "CHICAGO AND NORTH WESTERN" was spelled out in silver on the letterboard in railroad roman, a speedlined "400" was centered on the car side below the windows, and the car number was below the set of three end windows, offset towards the center of the car. The interior was very much the way it is today, except more richly decorated with venetian blinds, leather panels between the windows, textured fabric seat upholstery, and bullseye - wings designs in the aisle linoleum. The small room at the end with circular windows was a smoker's lounge with three chairs at each end and two more in front of the center window. Two fabric curtains covered the panels between the three windows.
 
 
 
 
In 1958-59, 3453 was rebuilt by Pullman and renumbered 801. It was reconditioned to as-new and the decor greatly simplified. Outside, standard diaphragms replaced the full-width ones, the side skirting was removed, and rigid vestibule steps replaced the fold-up ones. The black pinstripes and "400" logo were omitted, the letterboard lettering was yellow instead of silver, and the car number was in black, located below the windows near each end. Inside the fancy aisle design and window trim disappeared, the seats were reupholstered in vinyl, and the windows given a heavy green tint.
 
In 1963, after the Twin Cities 400 and Rochester 400 had been discontinued, 801 was sold to the Great Northern, who needed extra seating for the 1962 World's Fair in Seattle. They renumbered it 1096 and painted it in their "Empire Builder" Omaha orange and Pullman green. One mechanical change made was replacing the Waukesha enginator with an axle-driven generator. At some point also the smoking lounge was converted into a small kitchen, which involved blanking out the end window. Click here to see a high-res scan of the GN equipment diagram.
 
 
 
 
 
After the startup of Amtrak, 1096 and 1097 were used on the State of Minnesota-sponsored Twin-Cities to Duluth "Arrowhead." When Amtrak began purchasing new cars, they were returned to the BN because they were not of stainless steel construction.
 
1096 was acquired by the Minnesota Transportation Museum and is now used on Osceola & St. Croix Valley passenger trains. It has 56 seats and, like 1097 and 1213, has air conditioning. Because most of the C&NW "400" cars were scrapped, these two are rather rare pieces of history.
 
For students of passenger car history, RPC publications (publishers of the "Official Pullman-Standard Library") has assigned this car serial number PS47-1336-011.
References
 
"The 400 Story," by Jim Scribbins; data & photos p220, 221, 224.
"Great Northern Pictorial - Vol. 4," by John F. Strauss, Jr.; data p161 & 164.
"Great Northern Pictorial - Vol. 5," by John F. Strauss, Jr.; photo p93, 115.
"The Official Pullman-Standard Library - Vol. 9 Chicago & North Western," by W. David Randall & William G. Anderson; Photos, data, plans p82-91.
"Mech. Dept. Passenger Car Diagrams," pub. by the Great Northern, 11-1-69; data & plan, p100.
"Passenger Car Diagram Book," pub. by the Chicago & North Western Historical Society; data & plan, 2nd p45. 
Great Northern 1097
Streamlined Coach
 
photo by Eric Hopp
History
 
1097 is one of two identical Great Northern, ex-C&NW "400" streamlined coaches owned by the Minnesota Transportation Museum.
 
Both were originally built for the Chicago and North Western's premier "400" passenger trains. Part of a May 1944 order for twenty cars, 1097 was delivered as C&NW 3444 between February and April 1947. It was part of lot 6722, and built to plan 7485. Construction details included full-width diaphragms, side skirting below the frame line and fold-up vestibule steps, 41-N trucks with Fafnir roller bearings, piston snubbers and truck-mounted brake cylinders, a Waukesha propane-powered ice engine (air conditioning compressor) and very similar Waukesha 7.5 kw enginator (engine-generator set.) The exterior had yellow sides and a green roof, letterboard and skirting. Black pinstripes separated the green and yellow, and a third ran just below the windows. "CHICAGO AND NORTH WESTERN" was spelled out in silver on the letterboard in railroad roman, a speedlined "400" was centered on the car side below the windows, and the car number was below the set of three end windows, offset towards the center of the car. The interior was very much the way it is today, except more richly decorated with venetion blinds, leather panels between the windows, textured fabric seat upholstery, and bullseye - wings designs in the aisle linoleum. The small room at the end with circular windows was a smoker's lounge with three chairs at each end and two more in front of the center window. Two fabric curtains covered the panels between the three windows.
 
 
 
 
 
In 1958-59, 3444 was rebuilt by Pullman and renumbered 808. It was reconditioned to as-new and the decor greatly simplified. Outside, standard diaphragms replaced the full-width ones, the side skirting was removed, and rigid vestibule steps replaced the fold-up ones. The black pinstripes and "400" logo were omitted, the letterboard lettering was yellow instead of silver, and the car number was in black, located below the windows near each end. Inside the fancy aisle design and window trim disappeared, the seats were reupholstered in vinyl, and the windows given a heavy green tint.
 
In 1963, after the Twin Cities 400 and Rochester 400 had been discontinued, 808 was sold to the Great Northern, who needed extra seating for the 1962 World's Fair in Seattle. They renumbered it 1097 and painted it in their "Empire Builder" Omaha orange and Pullman green. One mechanical change made was replacing the Waukesha enginator with an axle-driven generator. At some point also the smoking lounge was converted into a small kitchen, which involved blanking out the end window.
 
 
 
 
 
After the startup of Amtrak, 1096 and 1097 were used on the State of Minnesota-sponsored Twin-Cities to Duluth "Arrowhead." When Amtrak began purchasing new cars, they were returned to the BN because they were not of stainless steel construction.
For students of passenger car history, RPC publications (publishers of the "Official Pullman-Standard Library") has assigned this car serial number PS46-1206-009. 
References
 
"The 400 Story," by Jim Scribbins; data & photos p220, 221, 224.
"Great Northern Pictorial - Vol. 4," by John F. Strauss, Jr.; data p161 & 164.
"Great Northern Pictorial - Vol. 5," by John F. Strauss, Jr.; photo p93, 115.
"The Official Pullman-Standard Library - Vol. 9 Chicago & North Western," by W. David Randall & William G. Anderson; Photos, data, plans p82-91.
"Mech. Dept. Passenger Car Diagrams," pub. by the Great Northern, 11-1-69; data & plan, p100.
"Passenger Car Diagram Book," pub. by the Chicago & North Western Historical Society; data & plan, 2nd p45. 
Great Northern 1213
Streamlined Coach
 
photo by Eric Hopp
History
 
On June 11th, 1929, the Great Northern introduced a new premier train, the "Empire Builder," connecting Chicago with Seattle, Tacoma, and Portland via the Twin Cities and Glacier National Park. It was named for James J. Hill, founder of the Great Northern. Through the great depression and the second world war, equipment was typically twelve to fourteen all-steel, all roller-bearing heavyweight cars built by Pullman, pulled by powerful 4-8-2 or 4-8-4 steam locomotives, or massive electrics in the mountain districts. One way, the trip took 62 hours.
 
When World War II ended, the Great Northern gave the "Empire Builder" a massive upgrade. Five entirely new streamlined, diesel-powered trains were ordered, making their debut on February 7th, 1947. Pullman-Standard built the sixty cars, and Electro-Motive furnished ten passenger diesel locomotives. The entire ensemble was painted in a beautiful orange and dark green, with gold strips and lettering, and a silver band along the bottom. The passenger cars were all numbered in the 1100 series.
 
Faced with increasing demand and enjoying prosperous times, in 1949 the Great Northern announced it was going to completely re-equip the "Empire Builder" - again! Eighty-four cars (five complete trains of fifteen cars each, plus an extra of each type) were ordered, for a 1951 inauguration. For speed of delivery, the order was split between Pullman-Standard (P-S) and American Car & Foundry (ACF.) This equipment soon became known as the "Mid-Century Empire Builder."
 
From front to rear, the train included:
  • A three-unit 4500 horse-power Electro-Motive "F" diesel locomotive.
  • A railway post office/storage mail car. (Cars 37-42, by ACF.)
  • A baggage/dormitory (crew's quarters) car. (Cars 1200-1205, by ACF.)
  • A sixty seat coach with conductor's compartment. (Cars 1209-1214, by ACF.)
  • Three 48-seat day/night coaches. (Cars 1215-1230, by P-S.)
  • A ranch (western-themed bar, lounge, & diner) car. (Cars 1240-1245, by ACF.)
  • A thirty-six seat dining car. (Cars 1250-1255, by ACF.)
  • Three four section/seven duplex roomette/three double bedroom/one compartment sleeping cars. (Cars 1260-1274, plus SP&S 702, by P-S.)
  • Three six roomette/five double bedroom/two compartment sleeping cars. (Cars 1370-1384, plus SP&S 701, by P-S.)
  • A two roomette/buffet/lounge round-ended sleeping/observation car. (Cars 1290-1295, by ACF.) 
 
In 1955, the "Empire Builder" was upgraded again. The motive power was increased to 6000 horse power, a second storage mail car was inserted between the rpo/storage mail car, the 1215-1230 48-seat coaches were replaced by equivalent-capacity dome coaches, the diner was moved back to be in the middle of the sleepers, the sleeper immediately following was replaced by a full-length dome sleeper, and the sleeper/observation car was replaced by the (much overhauled) 1946 originals.
As part of this rolling first class hotel on wheels, MTM's 1213 made it's Chicago to the Pacific Northwest and back journey about once a week. From its beginning in 1951 through 1962, business was very good for the Great Northern. This was despite direct competition from the Northern Pacific's "North Coast Limited" and the Milwaukee Road's "Olympian Hiawatha," and indirect - but increasing - competition from planes, buses, and automobiles. By 1963 some railroads were making a hasty exit from the loss-leading passenger business. The Great Northern, despite mounting financial challenges, chose to soldier on. The consist of the "Empire Builder" varied as the GN experimented with ways to increase revenue, but as their premier train it was normally filled to capacity.
 
In about 1967 or 1968, 1213 was repainted in the GN's new 'Big Sky Blue' colors.
In 1970, when the Great Northern merged with the Northern Pacific, the SP&S, and the Burlington to become the Burlington Northern, 1213 was still a regular in the "Empire Builder." 1213 was assigned BN number 6016, though it may not have been applied. It was never repainted into BN Cascade Green.
 
By 1970, America's passenger trains had become big money losers, even on the BN. On May 1st, 1971, the Federal Government created Amtrak and assumed responsibility for the nation's passenger trains. Though Amtrak took over and still operates the "Empire Builder," coach 1213 was not among the assets it elected to acquire. It remained the property of the Burlington Northern until it was acquired by the Minnesota Transportation Museum in 1981. 
 
 
 
 
 
References
 
"Great Northern Pictorial - Vol. 3," by John F. Strauss, Jr.; photo & plan p101-102.
"Great Northern Pictorial - Vol. 4," by John F. Strauss, Jr.; data p162.
"GN Color Guide to Freight and Passenger Equipment," by David H. Hickcox; photo p7.
"Passenger cars of the Burlington Northern, Vol I," by Rudel; photos, data, and plan, p45.
"Mech. Dept. Passenger Car Diagrams," pub. by the Great Northern, 11-1-69; data & plan, p123.
"American Car & Foundry Company 1899-1999," by Edward S. Kaminski; context p299-322.
"The Passenger Car Library, Vol 3 - Western Railroads," by W. David Randall; plan & photos p30-33.
"Car Builders' Cyclopedia, 21st Edition," pub. by Simmons-Boardman 1961; plan & photos p469.
"Burlington Northern 1972 Annual," pub. by Motive Power Services; data p55. 
 
Great Northern 1215
Streamlined Coach
 
photo by Walt Grosselfinger, URHS
History
 
Like GN 1213, 1215 and 1224 were built for the 1951 Mid-Century "Empire Builder." However, they differed in several important ways. 1213 was a 60-seat coach for short-distance passengers, with two restrooms/lounges and a small office for the conductor. It was one of six (1209-1214 - one in each of the six train sets,) and was built by ACF. 1215 and 1224 were 48-seat leg-rest coaches for long-distance passengers, with two women's rooms and a single men's room/lounge. They were two of eighteen (1215-1232 - three in each of the six train sets,) and were built by Pullman. See 1213's page for more about the Empire Builder train.
 
Though the eighteen cars were "identical," there were many minor differences.  
 
In 1955, the Empire Builder was re-equipped with dome cars. This very popular feature splits the car into two levels. The upper level is raised and has a glass roof, giving an outstanding view of the scenery along the route. The lower level is below the normal floor level, and incorporates the through-hallway. Each of the six trains received three dome-coaches, which replaced 1215-1232 car-for-car. The dome section was about 1/4 of the car's length, and the restrooms occupied the space under the dome. There was also a dome-lounge in the first class area at the rear of the train, whose dome spanned the full length of the car.
 
Bumped from the Empire Builder by the dome coaches, 1215 and 1224 filled coach slots in the more utilitarian long-distance "Western Star," and in short-distance trains like the "Coast Pool," "International," "Dakotan," "Red River," and "Gopher"/"Badger." They served these trains for fifteen years, from 1955 through 1969.
 
The 1970's brought changes. First was the Burlington Northern merger of 1970. 1215 was assigned BN number 4816, though it may not have been applied. Then Amtrak took over the Nation's passenger trains in 1971. None these coaches were selected by Amtrak, so they were placed in storage by the BN. In 1973, New Jersey Transit purchased roughly fourty coaches from BN, including all of the 1947 and 1951 Empire Builder long-distance coaches, and placed them in commuter service. 1215 became their 5313, and 1224 their 5318. Except for one restroom, the entire interior was removed and replaced with enough walk-over seats for 108 commuters. The double-pane windows were replaced with plexiglass at the same time.
 
NJ Transit never upgraded the coaches. They retained their 32-volt DC electrical systems, steam heat, and drop-on-tracks toilets until the end of their service lives. By 1987, enough new equipment was on hand, and the old GN coaches were retired.
In 1991, the United Railway Historical Society, with the help of a sympathetic state representative, acquired roughly twenty of the old GN coaches from NJ Transit for restoration and use in excusions. Eight were restored with grants and are used for excursion service. However, they had more coaches than they needed, and in the late 1990's eight were given to the Pacific Railroad Preservation Association, of SP&S fame.
 
In 2003, the URHS declared the last four unrestored GN cars, 1215, 1223, 1224, and 1229, surplus and offered them to other museums. MTM picked the two they felt were most desirable, 1215 and 1224. They arrived at Jackson Street in July 2005. 
References
 
"Mech. Dept. Passenger Car Diagrams," pub. by the Great Northern, 11-1-69; data & plan, p124.
"Burlington Northern 1972 Annual," pub. by Motive Power Services; data p54. 
Great Northern 1224
Streamlined Coach
 
photo by Walt Grosselfinger, URHS
History
 
Like GN 1213, 1215 and 1224 were built for the 1951 Mid-Century "Empire Builder." However, they differed in several important ways. 1213 was a 60-seat coach for short-distance passengers, with two restrooms/lounges and a small office for the conductor. It was one of six (1209-1214 - one in each of the six train sets,) and was built by ACF. 1215 and 1224 were 48-seat leg-rest coaches for long-distance passengers, with two women's rooms and a single men's room/lounge. They were two of eighteen (1215-1232 - three in each of the six train sets,) and were built by Pullman. See 1213's page for more about the Empire Builder train.
 
Though the eighteen cars were "identical," there were many minor differences.  
 
In 1955, the Empire Builder was re-equipped with dome cars. This very popular feature splits the car into two levels. The upper level is raised and has a glass roof, giving an outstanding view of the scenery along the route. The lower level is below the normal floor level, and incorporates the through-hallway. Each of the six trains received three dome-coaches, which replaced 1215-1232 car-for-car. The dome section was about 1/4 of the car's length, and the restrooms occupied the space under the dome. There was also a dome-lounge in the first class area at the rear of the train, whose dome spanned the full length of the car.
 
Bumped from the Empire Builder by the dome coaches, 1215 and 1224 filled coach slots in the more utilitarian long-distance "Western Star," and in short-distance trains like the "Coast Pool," "International," "Dakotan," "Red River," and "Gopher"/"Badger." They served these trains for fifteen years, from 1955 through 1969.
 
The 1970's brought changes. First was the Burlington Northern merger of 1970. 1215 was assigned BN number 4816, though it may not have been applied. Then Amtrak took over the Nation's passenger trains in 1971. None these coaches were selected by Amtrak, so they were placed in storage by the BN. In 1973, New Jersey Transit purchased roughly fourty coaches from BN, including all of the 1947 and 1951 Empire Builder long-distance coaches, and placed them in commuter service. 1215 became their 5313, and 1224 their 5318. Except for one restroom, the entire interior was removed and replaced with enough walk-over seats for 108 commuters. The double-pane windows were replaced with plexiglass at the same time.
 
NJ Transit never upgraded the coaches. They retained their 32-volt DC electrical systems, steam heat, and drop-on-tracks toilets until the end of their service lives. By 1987, enough new equipment was on hand, and the old GN coaches were retired.
In 1991, the United Railway Historical Society, with the help of a sympathetic state representative, acquired roughly twenty of the old GN coaches from NJ Transit for restoration and use in excusions. Eight were restored with grants and are used for excursion service. However, they had more coaches than they needed, and in the late 1990's eight were given to the Pacific Railroad Preservation Association, of SP&S fame.
 
In 2003, the URHS declared the last four unrestored GN cars, 1215, 1223, 1224, and 1229, surplus and offered them to other museums. MTM picked the two they felt were most desirable, 1215 and 1224. They arrived at Jackson Street in July 2005. 
References
 
"Mech. Dept. Passenger Car Diagrams," pub. by the Great Northern, 11-1-69; data & plan, p124.
"Burlington Northern 1972 Annual," pub. by Motive Power Services; data p54. 
MNTX 2232
Commuter Coach
 
photo by Eric Hopp
History
 
Originally Erie-Lakawanna 3232, this car dates to about the 1920's. The Minnesota Transportation Museum purchased it from the Freemont & Elkhorn Valley in 1993. The purple color is actually faded Tuscan Red. Sharp-eyed viewers from the Twin Cities area may think "The Mighty Limited" logo at the near end looks familiar. It should. This car starred in that television commercial. 
Rock Island 2529
Commuter Coach
 
History
 
2529 is one of three Rock Island commuter coaches owned by the Minnesota Transportation Museum. It was one of fifty built in 1925 by the Standard Steel Car Company. Numbered 2500-2549, they were known as "Capone" cars. After decades in Chicago commuter service it was acquired by MTM in 1981. It has been placed on a display track at the Jackson Street Roundhouse, where it will be a lecture and lunch area for groups visiting MTM's new museum there. Its restoration is in progress - passers-by will notice it has a fresh coat of paint but no lettering yet. The other two, 2604 and 2608, are slightly newer and have been restored to operation and are regularly used on Osceola & St. Croix Valley passenger trains. 
 
MTM's ownership of 2529 is an accident. We had originally purchased three 2600-series cars. One was destroyed in a yard accident, so the seller substituted an older car, 2529, instead. They are generally similar, but where the 2600-series has wider double-doors into the passenger compartment, the 2500-series has a narrower single door. For that reason, and because it sustained some frame damage prior to delivery to MTM, it was never restored for operation.
 
Railfans may notice its trucks look rather odd. It's own trucks are under one of our 2600-series cars. The trucks it is sitting on are from a Soo Line steam locomotive's tender.
 
It is interesting to compare 2529's roof line with DSS&A 101 which is displayed next to it. DSS&A 101 has a "clerestory" roof which was an industry standard from the 1870's to the 1940's. The clerestory roof has a high center section with small windows that open, and lower roof sections on each side. The clerestory roof provided better illumination, improved air circulation, and allowed the lighting fixtures to be high enough the aisle so people wouldn't knock their heads. Rock Island commuter coaches like 2529 have an unusual "Harriman" roof, named for the Harriman interests which controlled the Rock Island, Southern Pacific, and other railroads during the first decades of this century. They strove for standardization of equipment, and favored a simple high-arch roof over the more complicated and structurally weaker clerestory roof. \
 
References
 
"Rock Island Color Guide to Freight and Passenger Equipment," by Steve Hile, David H. Hickcox and Todd Miller; data p18.
"The American Railroad Passenger Car," by John H. White, Jr.; data p153-155. 
Rock Island 2604
Commuter Coach
 
History
 
Starting in 1865, the Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific operated a commuter service on its line south out of Chicago. Service reached Joliet by 1907. Early equipment was wooden coaches pulled by Forney-type steam locomotives. In 1923, the service was upgraded with fifty steel coaches (2500-2549) built by Standard Steel Car Company. These were followed in 1927-28 by another 50 (2550-2599) from Standard Steel. These featured roller-bearing axles, which were extremely modern for their day.
 
In 1929, Standard Steel delivered fifteen more (2600-2614) which completed the fleet. These had wider two-part end doors which permitted quicker entry and exit than the previous single doors. These 115 cars (dubbed "Al Capone" cars in more recent years) formed the backbone of the Rock Island's commuter fleet until Metra took over Chicago commuter operations in the late 1970's. The route itself survives today as Metra's "RI" route, also known as the "Rock Island" line.
 
In 1981, the Minnesota Transportation Museum had just restored Northern Pacific steam locomotive 328, and was looking for passenger equipment to pull behind it in excursions. The Rock Island "Capone" cars were available, and MTM picked up three. (Museum lore says one was badly damaged in transit, and the seller substituted another. That damaged car may have been the 2540? But that's speculation...) Since then, 2604 and 2608 have been staples in the museum's trains. Their mechanical simplicity and roller bearings make them very reliable, and their open windows and high ceiling make them very appealing to passengers. 
References
 
"Rock Island Color Guide to Freight and Passenger Equipment," by Steve Hile, David H. Hickcox and Todd Miller; photo, data p18.
"The American Railroad Passenger Car," by John H. White, Jr.; data p153-155.
"Commuter Railroads," by Patrick C. Dorin; data p131-136.
"Route of the Rockets," by Greg Stout; data p130-137. 
Rock Island 2608
Commuter Coach
 
History
 
Starting in 1865, the Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific operated a commuter service on its line south out of Chicago. Service reached Joliet by 1907. Early equipment was wooden coaches pulled by Forney-type steam locomotives. In 1923, the service was upgraded with fifty steel coaches (2500-2549) built by Standard Steel Car Company. These were followed in 1927-28 by another 50 (2550-2599) from Standard Steel. These featured roller-bearing axles, which were extremely modern for their day.
 
In 1929, Standard Steel delivered fifteen more (2600-2614) which completed the fleet. These had wider two-part end doors which permitted quicker entry and exit than the previous single doors. These 115 cars (dubbed "Al Capone" cars in more recent years) formed the backbone of the Rock Island's commuter fleet until Metra took over Chicago commuter operations in the late 1970's. The route itself survives today as Metra's "RI" route, also known as the "Rock Island" line.
 
In 1981, the Minnesota Transportation Museum had just restored Northern Pacific steam locomotive 328, and was looking for passenger equipment to pull behind it in excursions. The Rock Island "Capone" cars were available, and MTM picked up three. (Museum lore says one was badly damaged in transit, and the seller substituted another. That damaged car may have been the 2540? But that's speculation...) Since then, 2604 and 2608 have been staples in the museum's trains. Their mechanical simplicity and roller bearings make them very reliable, and their open windows and high ceiling make them very appealing to passengers. 
References
 
"Rock Island Color Guide to Freight and Passenger Equipment," by Steve Hile, David H. Hickcox and Todd Miller; photo, data p18.
"The American Railroad Passenger Car," by John H. White, Jr.; data p153-155.
"Commuter Railroads," by Patrick C. Dorin; data p131-136.
"Route of the Rockets," by Greg Stout; data p130-137. 
Northern Pacific 1102
Heavyweight Triple Combine
 
History
 
On June 7th, 1914, Pullman Standard outshopped a 24 chair drawing room buffet parlor car named "Reba," plan 2417B, lot 4265. In August of that year it went to the Northern Pacific, where it eventually became 86-passenger coach number 631. (Sources are not entirely in agreement - one even claims Reba was sold to the NYC in September 1941.) In 1947 coach 631 was rebuilt into triple-combine 1102, with a 15' Railway Post Office (RPO) compartment, a 37' baggage/express compartment, and a 20' coach section which could seat 20. The RPO compartment had a full-sized letter case, mail pouch, newspaper racks, overhead letterboxes and stalls for storage mail. On the floor of the baggage/express compartment were "fish racks" used to drain melt water from ice from refrigerated express items such as commercial fish from Minnesota Lakes. Mechanical systems included a generator for electricity, steam heat, and a coal-fired hot water heater. Total inside length was 72' 10", outside length 82' 4.5", and it weighed 158,120 lbs. In this configuration it served in mixed passenger/freight trains on branch lines which had few passengers but a decent express business and a mail contract. It is known to have served the James & Wilton, Carrington & Turtle Lake, James & Oakes and the Leeds & Jamestown routes on trains 157 and 158 in North Dakota, and also the Little Falls-Funkley-Kelliher RPO route in Minnesota.
 
In 1965, No. 1102 was modified as Northern Pacific's Signal Department training car, and renumbered 1931. It was used throughout the entire NP system to teach train crews about Centralized Traffic Control (CTC) operations. The baggage compartment contained switch machines, switch locking mechanisms and signals for the practical demonstrations which took place in the "classroom" area that had been the passenger compartment.
 
With the Burlington Northern merger in 1970, 1931 was retired and sat, the victim of vandals, until 1976 when it was purchased by the Minnesota Transportation Museum. Working in rented space in the NP's Como Shops (today's Bandana Square in St. Paul) volunteers restored the car to operation in its post-1947 triple-combine appearance. The St. Paul Post Office and Retired Railway Clerks donated sacks and other equipment to fully outfit the interior of the RPO compartment. Restoration was complete in 1978. 
 
References
 
"A Century of Pullman Cars - Volume I, Alphabetical List" by Ralph L. Barger.
"Complete Roster of Heavyweight Pullman Cars" by Wayner; data p87.
NP 1102 history brochure distributed aboard the car.
"Pullman Car Construction Record Database," pub. by The Pullman Project; http://home.att.net/~pullmanproject/Database.htm
"Pullman Company Descriptive List of Cars, September 1, 1937" reprinted by Wayner Publications; data p144. 
Great Northern 1146
Streamlined Buffet-Parlor-Observation Car
 
 
History
 
Great Northern 1146 was ordered as part of the complete upgrading of the heavyweight Seattle to Vancouver 'Puget Sounder'. This was a four-hour service operated two times a day, each way. Two complete sets of new lightweight, streamlined equipment were first ordered in 1946 and greatly anticipated. It was not delivered until June of 1950, however, because the car builders were extremely busy with a post-war business boom. To match the all-new equipment, the service was also given a new name; the 'International', and upgraded to three trips a day.
 
In Seattle, connections were made with all the GN's east-west long-distance trains, the north-south "Coast Pool Train", and other railroad's trains. In Vancouver, it connected with Canadian railroad's services. American and Canadian customs agents rode the train to speed passenger's passage across the border, and the food service could make change in either country's currency. Breakfast was served on the morning train, Lunch on the noon train, and supper on the evening train.
 
Front to rear, the train consisted of:
  • 511 - EMD E7A passenger locomotive.
  • 1106 - ACF baggage and 30' Railway Post Office.
  • 1117 - ACF 60-seat coach with conductor's office.
  • 1118 - ACF 60-seat coach.
  • 1146 - ACF coach-diner with 28 coach seats and 24 dining seats, arranged 'serpentine bench' style with four tables for four and four tables for two. The kitchen separated the coach and dining sections.
  • 1196 "Port of Vancouver" - ACF parlor-observation with customs office, a kitchenette for beverage service, a bedroom, 17 overstuffed revolving parlor chairs, a table for four, twelve observation chairs, and a love seat facing the rear.
 
The other train was identical, consisting of 510, 1105, 1115, 1116, 1145, and 1195 "Port of Seattle".
 
The exterior decor was identical to the GN's premier 'Empire Builder' streamliner, except that the letterboard said 'Great Northern' instead of 'Empire Builder'. The observation carried a drumhead featuring an illuminated GN logo surrounded by 'The International' in red neon. The interior decor featured artwork and hand-carved Oregon myrtle wood bas-relief friezes. The coaches closely resembled the 60-seat short distance coaches in the 1951 "Empire Builder", such as MTM's 1213, except they featured better Heywood-Wakefield "Sleepy Hollow" seats. The coach-diner's coach section was similar. It's dining section featured white table cloths and china, silver service, tan leatherette upholstery, gold-painted valence lighting and edge-lit artwork above the windows. The piers between the windows were wood-grained with bas-relief friezes, and the ceiling had recessed indirect lighting. The parlor-observation featured a rust-colored carpet and muted green, blue, or rust upholstery. An edge-lit half-height glass panel, decorated with leaf patterns, separated the parlor and observation areas. The windows had venetian blinds (as did the rest of the train) and were separated by wood-grain piers. The wall below the windows was painted light green. Polished aluminum valence lighting ran above the windows, and the ceiling was painted suede.
 
Mechanically, the cars all had inside swing hanger, clasp-brake trucks. Brakes were D-22 with antilock protection and the HSC electric-control option. The electrical system was 32 volts DC from a 20 kw axle-driven generator and storage batteries, with provision for 208v three-phase standby hook-up. A motor-generator provided 120 volts AC for lighting and recepticles. Air conditioning was a five-horse Frigidair electro-mechanical compressor, wet condensor, and overhead evaporator coils, ductwork, and diffusers. Steam provided overhead and baseboard heat, and hot water. The coach-diner's kitchen was equipped with frigerator and freezer, with ice cream well, a pie cabinet, a steam table, a propane range, a 3-gallon coffee pot, an open-top dishwasher, and a sanitizing sink. 
 
 
 
 
 
The two "International" coach-diners, 1145 and 1146, led rich and varied careers. After builder's photos in St. Charles, MO, the GN included them in an advertising shot of the "Red River" taken in St. Paul. They then went to work on their intended train between Seattle and Vancouver. However, after twelve short years, declining passenger traffic prompted a reshuffling. In 1962 the coach-diners were moved back to St. Paul to serve on the "Red River" to Fargo. They then moved to the St. Paul - Fargo "Dakotan" in 1968 in a further reshuffling. When the "Dakotan" was cancelled, the cars sat idle in St. Paul coach yards. Amtrak purchased them in 1971, renumbered them 8400 and 8401, and used them until the great cut-backs of 1979. 8401 was photographed in Montana on the "North Coast Hiawatha", but little else is known about how Amtrak used them.
 
In 1971, Amtrak bought 1145 and 1146 and renumbered them 8400 and 8401. (The numbering of Amtrak's initial fleet was extremely logical, and would make an interesting study.) The exterior was painted in Amtrak's then-standard platinum mist (silver) with the window band half red and half blue, and the "pointless arrow" logo at each end of the window band. Their interior decor was changed to blue carpet on the floor and walls, solid-blue wallpaper on the end walls, purple-ish upholstery, and off-white paint everywhere else. The GN-custom artwork thrown away. Mechanically, Amtrak changed the range from propane to charcole, and changed the kitchen exhaust vents, but little else. They were probably retired by Amtrak around 1979, when old steam-heated equipment was either being upgraded or replaced. 
 
 
 
 
 
1145's whereabouts in the 1980's and 1990's aren't known, but by 2001 it was languishing in a scrap yard in Newark, New Jersey. It had suffered a fire in the dining room, and by now is presumed scrapped. Interestingly, when GN 1224 was given to MTM by the United Railway Historical Society in New Jersey, it had 1145's burned dining room end-door mounted in place of its own blind end door.
 
1146 went a different path. It appears that Amtrak used it for parts, then sold it to a midwestern museum (Indiana Railway Museum?) They stored it in the New Orleans area (Louisiana Railway Heritage Trust?) for about fifteen years. While at one point they had sandblasted and primed the exterior, by the late 1990's it no longer fit their plans. Collector Bob Moen purchased it and moved it to Hooper, Nebraska. While it was there he installed wheel sets with more life left, replaced window gaskets, renumbered it PPCX 1146, and painted it. (The kitchen side is in "Empire Builder" colors, and the opposite side is in "Big Sky Blue" - Bob likes both equally well.) Bob moved it to Randolph, MN, then in 2001 sold it to the current owner, Eric Hopp.
 
An early-spring inspection in 2001 revealed a neat, but much-neglected car. On the positive side, it was still in its original coach-diner configuration, having never been extensively remodeled. The dining section, with serpentine benches, diamond- and triangle-shaped tables, and indirect lighting, was particularly attractive. However, it had been stripped of hinges, latches, and faucets, as well as major electrical and air-conditioning components. The 1970's-vintage plexiglas windows were totally opaque, and fifteen years in a salty, humid environment had caused tremendous rust damage to the floor and exterior sheet metal. Finally, someone had opened all junction boxes and cut the wires back to the conduits. She had potential, but she really needed help.
 
The first restoration project completed was replacement of the windows with single-pane FRA type-II safety glazing. Besides looking nice, great care was taken to ensure water-tight seals - to halt the decay. Mechanically, because the 32vdc electrical and air conditioning were so damaged, it was decided any restoration was foolish. Instead it will be able to run off a 480-volt Amtrak train line, 208-volt shore power, or an on-board 52kw gen set. It will also be able to power other 480-volt or 32vdc cars. All in-car wiring is being replaced with 2kw Exane. Other current projects include replacing non-essential (for a freight car) air brake parts, which had been removed, and re-plumbing the restrooms. 1146 has also changed identities to "ERIX 1146". 
In Amtrak service at Williston, North Dakota.
Bob Moen
The "Big Sky Blue" side of 1146.
Eric Hopp
The dining room, looking towards the end of the car. The decor is pure 1970's Amtrak - originally it was leather, walnut, mirrors, and gold. The carpet and upholstery have suffered extensive water damage. The lighting on the left side is missing because I'd taken it home for restoration.
Eric Hopp
The dining room, looking towards the middle of the car. The kitchen is barely visible on the right, and the hall to the coach is on the left. In the dining area, the square tables seat four and the triangular two. (The eight dining chairs are missing.)
Eric Hopp
Inside the kitchen, looking towards the dining room. Clockwise from left are the refrigerator, open-top dishwasher and sanitizing sink, coffee pot location, cup warmer, entry door with gate, freezer cabinet, cabinet, work table, steam table, and range.
Eric Hopp
Rewiring lighting ciruits. This is the right-side luggage rack in the coach section. This is a good example of the Amtrak decor.
Eric Hopp
New plumbing under a restroom sink. Still missing the mop bucket spigot and the sink drain pipe.
Eric Hopp
Restroom window, etched to resemble the pressed-glass original.
Eric Hopp
New electrical control equipment, by NW Rail Electric. Originally built for SP business car "Arieles" in 1996, but never installed.
Eric Hopp
Kitchen ceiling fan, cleaned, painted, and made to work again.
Eric Hopp
References
 
"Mech. Dept. Passenger Car Diagrams," pub. by the Great Northern, 11-1-69; data & plan, p111.
"Amtrak Car Spotter - A guide to the new Amtrak car numbers and pre-Amtrak histories of Amtrak's 1262 cars," by Robert J. Wayner; Data p48.
"Dining by Rail - The History and the Recipies of America's Golden Age of Railroad Cuisine," by James D. Porterfield; Photos, p70.
"Amtrak Equipment Plan and Specification Data for Cars," Pub. internally by Amtrak;
"The Passenger Car Library - Vol 3," by W. David Randall; Photos and data p9-12.
"Amtrak Trains & Travel," by Patrick Dorin; Photo p91.
"Great Northern Pictorial - Vol 4," by John F. Strauss, Jr; Photos and data p94-106, 162, 165.
"Great Northern Pictorial - Vol 5," by John F. Strauss, Jr; Data p120, 141.
"Great Northern's Internationals," by James H. Larson, reference sheet 313 pub. by the GNRHS; 
Great Northern 16
Heater Car
 
History
 
Steam Heat Car GN 16 was originally a locomotive. It was built by EMD in October, 1948 as GN 306B, builder's number 4825 - the center unit of the only A-B-A F3 locomotive the GN owned. Power was provided by a 1500-hp 16-567-B spinning at 800 rpm at full power, a 1050kw D12 main generator, and four 284kw D17 traction motors. Intended for freight, it had no steam heat capabilities. The whole three-unit locomotive delivered 4500 horse power.
In 1952, a newly-constructed F7B was added to the locomotive, making it 6000-hp locomotive 458. The former 306B was now 458B.
Change came again in 1965-1967, when the Great Northern began replacing their aging E and F passenger locomotives. Six boiler-equipped SDP40's and eight SDP45's were purchased. These single units could replace several older locomotives. Pleased by the economics, the GN selected nine F3B's and one F9B to be rebuilt as heater cars, to provide steam heat when regular freight locomotives were called upon to pull passenger trains.
Passenger F3B 354B became heater car 10 in 1965 under AFE 65-500. As the pilot model, it differed in minor details from the rest. Freight F3B's 434B, 430C, 432B and 430B became heater cars 11-14 in 1966 under AFE 66-68 at a cost of $73,174 each. Freight F3B's 436C, 458B and 436B, freight F9B 470C, and freight F3B 438B became heater cars 15-19 in 1967 under AFE 67-6 at a cost of $75,677.20 each. All was was done by the Dale Street Shops in St. Paul. 458B was stripped under Dale Street shop order 13321, and emerged as heater car 16 under order 13318.
 
 
 
 
 
During the conversion, the traction motors and all innards were removed. A large 11,780 gal. water tank covered the entire floor and extended up into the four corners. Two Vapor OK-4744 steam generators were installed in the center, accompanied by two supporting 30kw Detroit 251 gen sets and a pair of two-stage air compressors. Because the steam heaters were raised by the water tank, the roof line had to be raised as well. The original diesel fuel tank, main air reservoir, and one battery box were retained. The other battery box became the air brake cabinet. The air brakes were changed from 24-RL with cast shoes to a simplified number 6 with composition shoes. The control systems were originally designed to be "turn-key" automatic controls, but this didn't work out and the automation circuits were later removed. The finished units could provide 9000 lbs of steam per hour.
In 1972, newly-formed Amtrak selected heater cars 10 - 15 for its use. Heater cars 16 - 19 were retained by the BN. (Presumably for use with the business car fleet.) The 16 was acquired by MTM in 1982 and still wears its BN paint. It currently resides at Jackson Street. The gen sets and air compressors are operable, though the steam generators may need some work. 
References
 
"Great Northern Pictorial - Vol. 1," by Joseph W. Shine; photos, data p55, 63, 67, 77.
"Great Northern Pictorial - Vol. 5," by John F Strauss Jr.; photos, data p57, 59, 151.
"Locomotive Major Component Evolution" published by EMD; data.
"Passenger Car Diagrams - 11-1-68" - GN mech. dept. internal document; data on index page i, p6a, and p6b.
GN Authority For Expenditure 66-68.
GN Authority For Expenditure 67-6. 
Great Northern X757
Drover's Coach
 
photo by Eric Hopp
History
 
Great Northern X-757 was originally St. Paul, Minneapolis, & Manitoba first-class vestibule coach number 26. It was outshopped by Barney & Smith on June 24, 1893, and received by the railroad five days later. The cost, including shipping, was $5,357.61.
 
StPM&M 26 was a fair representative of the state of the carbuilder's art in 1893. It's builder, Barney & Smith Car Company of Dayton, Ohio was a well-established, big-name builder. The two independent four-wheel trucks at each end were classic American practice, dating back to the 1830's. The clerestory roof was standard American design from the Civil War until the great depression. (The "clerestory" - the raised center section of the roof with opening windows - provided rudimentary air circulation and raised the light fixtures above the passenger's heads.) The wooden body is framed much like a through-truss bridge, with the main structural members being in the side walls below the windows. Truss rods and queen posts under the car stiffen the body, and allow shop forces to correct sag. It's length of sixty feet, vertical-grooved exterior sheething, and enclosed vestibules were modern developments of the day. The varnished oak interior, with brass hardware, rich wine-red or emerald-green upholstery, and fancy ceiling decoration followed contemporary styling tastes. There were no interior partitions. All the car's passengers shared a common space and equal seating arrangements - An American practice starkly constrasting with European norms. Lighting came from four oil ceiling lamps, heat from a closed-loop hot water system, (stoked by hand,) and there were separate restrooms for men and women. The wheels were of 42" diameter, on axles with 4 1/4" x 8" friction journal bearings. Air brakes were by the New York Air Brake Company. Total weight was 62,000 lbs.
In 1889, the StPM&M, owned by James J. Hill, was leased to a new company Hill had formed, the Great Northern Railway Company. Hill had a habit of creating new companies to build new railroad lines, then folding them into the parent company. By the turn of the century, the StPM&M was folded into the GN, and coach 26 was renumbered GN 145 on February 3rd, 1900.
Upon the creation of the "Oriental Limited" - the new top train to the Pacific Northwest, 145 was demoted, and became second-class coach 3225. A center partition was added, dividing the coach section in half. This probably happened circa 1905. 
 
 
 
 
 
 
In 1914, the GN's Jackson Street Shops in St. Paul standardized the 3225's safety appliances to meet current Federal regulations. (This probably refers to hand brake, grab iron, and uncoupling lever placement, as set forth in what is today 49 CFR 231.12.) Work was recorded as done on April 24, 1914.
Electric lights were added in July 1926.
 
On August 30th, 1926 3225 was renumbered 568, and demoted to branch line use. (As new, modern equipment appeared, older equipment was usually bumped down a notch, with the oldest equipment being used by maintenance crews or scrapped.) The "Oriental Limited" had been upgraded to all-new steel cars in 1924, which may explain this demotion.
On April 26, 1930 number 568 was demoted again, becoming Drover's Coach X-757, the number it wears today. A "Drover's Coach" is for ranchers accompanying their cattle to market. Most of the coach seats were removed and replaced by bunks for sleeping. X-757 had four bunks on one side, starting from the women's (larger) restroom, and five bunks on the other. Eight coach seats remained at the far end for daytime use. If not done so already, the varnished oak interior was repainted at this time.
 
About this time (sources disagree on the exact date) a new steel center sill was applied by the Jackson Street Shops. An equipment diagram displayed in the car says it was applied in 1930 under AFE 40787. A letter, also displayed in the car, says it was applied on April 30th, 1932.
 
The new steel center sill was a kit marketed by Commonwealth. It consisted of two large end castings, which incorporated the center bearing and side bearings for one truck, the body bolster, the draft gear pocket, and the framing around the vestibule steps. Steel collision posts, on either side of the door from the vestibule into the car, anchored into the end castings. The two end castings were joined by I-beams (cut to length) which formed the center sill, and new queen posts and truss rods were applied. The carbody, stripped of everything below the floor, was then secured to the new frame. This converted the car to a steel frame with collision posts, which made it strong enough to be in a train with the heavy new all-steel cars, and prevented telescoping. In X-757's case, it added enough weight that the old 4 1/4" x 8" journals and 42" wheels were replaced by 5" x 9" journals with 36" wheels. (36" wheels being standard passenger car equipment for most of the 20th century.)
 
The Jackson Street Shops, where this work occured, were the GN's main passenger car shops on the east end of the system. MTM's Jackson Street Roundhouse is a surviving part of the complex, as are the 1870's-vintage stone buildings on the west side of the Jackson Street bridge. Another example of this same conversion technique is the Gopher, also in the MTM collection, which was converted by the Jackson Street Shops in 1926. 
 
In 1961, X-757 was retired, and sat awaiting disposition (scrapping or burning) in Montana. Jack Hoover, a local railfan, purchased it from the GN in November of that year and moved it to his property. There is was well taken care of. It appears Jack removed the bunks and paint, and revarnished the interior woodwork. The exterior he covered with tin sheeting and roll-roofing to prevent water damage.
 
In 2001 Jack Hoover donated X-757 to MTM. It was trucked to St. Paul and unloaded at Shaw Lumber, which is on the same spur as the Jackson Street Roundhouse. (Construction prevented unloading at the roundhouse.) MTM sent both of it's GE 45-tonners to get it, one coupled to each end. In the photo above, one has pulled X-757 out of the lumber yard and is about to couple it on to the other. As an indication of its condition, after 40 years sitting idle the air brakes still functioned! 
 
References
 
"Passenger Car Diagrams - 1912" - GN mech. dept. internal document; data on index page 14, diagram page 155.
"Passenger Car Diagrams - 1951" - GN mech. dept. internal document.
Letter from J. F. Likarish, General Superintendent Car Department, to Jack Hoover, dated May 28th, 1963, displayed inside the car.
"Great Northern Pictorial - Vol. 3," by John F Strauss Jr.; general info on the "Oriental Limited".
"The Great Northern in Minnesota," by John C. Luecke; general info on the StPM&M and the GN.
"The American Railroad Passenger Car," by John H. White, Jr; general info on passenger car evolution. 
 
Great Northern 480
Heavyweight Baggage Car
photo by Eric Hopp
History
 
In July 1917, the Pullman company built a twelve-section, one drawing room sleeper named "Tasmania" for their nation-wide sleeping car service. It was part of lot 4503, built to plan 2410 F. Mechanically, it rode on cast steel, clasp brake trucks, had dual LN brake systems with 16" cylinders, vapor heat, and type-D couplers. Inside it was painted in solid colors, rather than simulated wood. In March 1943, they rebuilt it into tourist sleeper 2549.
 
In February 1948, needing to replace well-worn old wooden baggage cars, the Great Northern purchased fifteen tourist sleeper cars from Pullman. This was done under AFE (Authority For Expenditure) number 76178 of 12/1/48. They paid $1,555 each. Twelve of the fifteen were rebuilt by the St. Cloud shops into baggage cars 475 to 486. The work took from October to December of 1948, cost an estimated $6,442 per car, and was done under AFE 76179.
 
Starting in 1954, the Great Northern began combining the Fast Mail and Western Star between Spokane and Seattle. This created trains over twenty cars long, with so many mail cars that if they were all handled at the head end, the passengers would have to get off on the ballast and walk to the depot platform. Thus the non-working mail cars were placed at the rear, followed by an empty coach for the rear flagman. The extra coach was judged inefficient, so sometime between 1954 and 1956 a rear office was added to cars 475-486. The flagman's accomodations included a coach seat and table, clothes locker, restroom, water cooler, and a Caban coal (later oil) stove. A portable red oscilating Mars light was bolted to the rear door, right in the center, creating a distinctive spotting feature.
 
AFE 88227 of July 2, 1956 authorize upgrading the twelve cars' friction journals to Timken roller bearings. This was completed between September 1956 and January 1957, at $510.11 per car.
Photographs of 480 show it wore both the GN "Empire Builder" Omaha orange and Pullman green, and the BN "Hocky Stick" Cascade green with white.
 
With the cessation of BN passenger service on April 30, 1971, the rider-storage mail cars were stored. For most of the seventies, they saw use in work train service. Most were scrapped in the eighties, although 473 (a later addition,) 480, 485, and 486 went to museums, 481 was sold to a private individual, and 483 & 484 went to industries. MTM's 480 was actually the first to leave the roster, being donated in February 1979. 
 
 
References
 
"Great Northern's Rider-Storage-Mail Cars" by Kurt E. Armbruster, Great Northern Railway Historical Society reference sheet #291; text, photos p9.
"Complete Roster of Heavyweight Pullman Cars" by Wayner; data p45.
"Great Northern Pictorial - Vol. 4," by John F. Strauss, Jr.; text p21, photo p74, data p160 & 164.
"The Great Northern in Minnesota - Foundations of an Empire" by John C. Luecke, photo p208.
"Pullman Search", by Fr. Herman Page, Topeka Chapter, National Railway Historical Society.
"Passenger Car Diagrams" of 11-1-68 - Great Northern internal publication.
"Pullman Car Construction Record Database," pub. by The Pullman Project; http://home.att.net/~pullmanproject/Database.htm
"Pullman Company Descriptive List of Cars, September 1, 1937" reprinted by Wayner Publications; data p64. 
DSS&A 101
Wooden Baggage-Mail-Express Car
photo by Eric Hopp
History
 
When the Minnesota Transportation Museum purchased 101 in 1987, it was part of a set of wooden work train cars and numbered "SOOR 1474". The Soo Line had inherited in when it absorbed the Duluth, South Shore, & Atlantic. In 1964 it went to the Bridge & Building department. The "R" in the road name indicates "Haul in rear of train" - probably because of its age.
 
101 is a baggage car with a 30-foot Railway Post Office section. (Twice the length of the RPO in Northern Pacific 1102 at Osceola.) From John P. DuLong's 1922 DSS&A passenger car roster, "Built 1905 by Barney and Smith Car Co., wood body and steel underframe, 6-wheel, 70 feet, 3 inches, vestibules. Transferred to the Soo Line Bridge and Building Department in April 1964. At one time, probably before the DSS&A owned it, this had been a private car." It's trucks are especially interesting. They are very old, of composite wood and iron construction. 
 
 
Chicago & North Western 8676
Baggage-Express
photo by Eric Hopp
History
 
A good 1959 in-service picture may be found on page seven of "Chicago & North Western Passenger Train Equipment" by Patrick C. Dorin. It's most note-worthy features are a near-featureless roof line (a smooth-welded clerestory, with no visible joints, rivets, or overhangs - only the occasional ventilator,) it's short length (63' 11",) and lack of buffer plates or diaphragms. Also note there is no electrical system, and the floor is extremely thick. The paint job was very simple - basic dip Pullman Green. Below the belt rail, between the baggage doors were the only markings: "RAILWAY EXPRESS AGENCY" "C&NW" "8676" (These markings still exist today, showing through the maintenance-of-way red. It was one of a series of 74 such cars owned by the North Western, numbered 8603 - 8676.
 
The Railway Express Agency played the same role as today's UPS and FedEX. A good resource on the company seems to be "Model Railroading's Guide to the Railway Express: An Overview" by V. S. Roseman.
 
After retirement from REA service, it was transferred to Maintenance of Way. It was painted mineral red and renumbered X300100. Several windows were rather slopily cut in the side, an oil-fired heater installed, and an interior partition wall. 
 
 
Broad-side of 8676 in its Maintenance of Way appearance.
Eric Hopp
Minneapolis, Northfield & Southern
Gopher
Business Car
photo from Doug Hodgedon Collection
History
 
This business car has a fascinating history. Probably built in the 1890's, it was the private car of a lumber company's general manager, first in Michigan and later near Duluth, Minnesota. In 1925 it went to MN&S co-owner Win Stephens, who stretched it like a limo for entertaining Detroit automobile executives. In the 1947 photo above, it is seen on a duck hunting trip in North Dakota.
 
A first life as the Grand Marais
We know from inlay in the end doors that the Gopher was "Built By The Barney & Smith Car Co. Dayton, Ohio". Marks stamped on the outsides of doors and windows further reveal it was built the Gran Maris. This is probably a mis-spelling, since on one it is the Grand Marais. It is difficult to read, but 2352 (the builder's number?) also appears to be stamped in doors and windows. Exactly when and for whom it was built is a mystery - the records of Barney & Smith were lost in a flood in the 1920's.
 
We believe it was built before 1892 for the Manistique Railway, a Michigan logging railroad owned by the Alger-Smith Lumber Company, since we have seen a small-town newspaper article from that year which mentioned the Grand Marais coming to town. That its name was spelled Grand Marais is fairly certain, since the Manistique was head-quartered in Grand Marais, Michigan.
 
Its history in this century is better known. By 1912 the lumber in Michigan had all but disappeared, and the Manistique was dismantled to build the Duluth & Northern Minnesota, located north of Duluth along the north shore of Lake Superior. On the D&NM it was the private car of general manager John Millen. We have seen two pictures of it during this era, one in Duluth around 1910, and another on a business trip to Florida's timber reserves in 1912. (Although the D&NM ceased operations around 1923, at least one other piece of equipment has survived. Locomotive 14 is located at the Lake Superior Transportation Museum.)
 

 
 
 
Artist's conception of Grand Marais as built
Rooms from L to R: Lounge, Stateroom, Toilet, Pantry, Kitchen, Dining
 
The Grand Marais was a sixty foot long wooden car. The floor plan is based on differences in the woodwork inside the car, more modern bunks in two rooms, and traces of exterior paint visible from above the head-end vestibule, as well as the photos we have seen. The interior was Oak and Mahogany, with clerestory windows and a light green ceiling. The wood had inlay borders, and the ceiling was trimmed with gold.
 
A second life as the Gopher
In 1924 the Grand Marais was refurbished for an equipment dealer by the Minneapolis & St. Louis' Cedar Lake shops in Minneapolis. Then, in 1925, Mr. Win Stephens of Minneapolis purchased it for his private use. Mr. Stephens owned what was then the only Buick dealership in Minnesota, and had dreams of gaining an exclusive right to sell Buick automobiles in the upper midwest. To that end, he and partner Harry Pence purchased the Minneapolis, Northfield, & Southern as the first part of an all-rail link to Detroit. Harry Pence followed suit by also purchasing a private car (the Pheasant). During the winter of 1926-27, Mr. Stephens had his car completely rebuilt by the Great Northern's Jackson Street shops. They cut it in half, added a second state room, a crew room and about seventeen extra feet in length, put it on a Commonwealth steel underframe kit, enclosed the head-end vestibule, wired it for electric lighting, and finished it in steel siding. The main change in interior decor was painting the ceiling brown. Curiously, they kept the original composite four-wheel trucks. (We have before and after equipment register entries.) Mr Stephens had already renamed it, for the name Gopher appears in pencil on the new woodwork.
-a href="../jsr/roster/gopher2.jpg" align="left"--img src="../jsr/roster/gopher2_icon.jpg" width="100" height="50" alt="MN&S Gopher"--/a--br- -small--30's or 40's photo - Patrick McLaughlin--/small-
 
In its new role, the Gopher made several trips to Detroit to pick up brand new automobiles. Mr. Stephens had flat cars equipped to handle them, and the entire train would make the trip, the Gopher bringing up the markers. It was also took Detroit dignitaries on several excursions. In his effort to win an exclusive dealership, Mr. Stephens invited Alfred P. Sloan of General Motors on several duck-hunting excursions on Northern Pacific branch lines. Win Stephens Jr. has recalled for us going on one of those trips as a child. They would take pot-shots at the ducks from the rear platform as they rolled down the track.

 
 
 
 
Floor plan of the Gopher after its 1927 rebuilding
Rooms from L to R: Lounge, Stateroom A, Stateroom B (new), Toilet, Crew (new), Pantry, Kitchen, Dining
 
The Gopher Today
From its retirement in the 50's until the Soo Line's acquisition of the MN&S in 1983, the Gopher sat at Leech Lake, Minnesota as a lake cabin. Although on trucks, its underside was stripped of mechanical equipment and it was connected to the local utilities. The kitchen was remodelled with then-modern appliances. A hot water/car heat unit in a closet jutting into the kitchen was removed and replaced by heaters in each end. The ceiling and master bedroom were painted white.
-a href="../jsr/roster/gopher3.jpg" align="left"--img src="../jsr/roster/gopher3-icon.jpg" width="100" height="65" alt="Gopher at Leech Lake"--/a--br- -small--Later years at Leech Lake - Photo by Doug Hodgedon--/small-
 
In 1984 the Minnesota Transportation Museum acquired the Gopher for $2500. Because MTM was renting space at the time and the car had to be stored outside, vandals were able to kick in a door and almost succeeded in setting the car on fire. After that it's valuable brass fixtures were removed for safe-keeping. (They have since been stolen)
 
Duluth Missabe & Iron Range 30
Heavyweight Coach
History
 
Duluth Missabe & Iron Range is a classic heavyweight coach from Minnesota's iron mining country, built in 1918. When acquired by MTM in 1983, it had been been in maintenance-of-way service. (Thus the red paint, "W30" number, covered-over windows, and missing interior.) 
Northern Pacific 1370
Heavyweight Coach
photo by Eric Hopp
History
 
In 1915 the Northern Pacific Railway bought 33 new First Class Coaches from the Pullman Company. These cars, Nos. 1200 through 1232, were put into service on the Northern Pacific's top trains, the North Coast Limited and the Northern Pacific Express/Atlantic Express.
 
The new cars were just under 80 feet long and of all-steel construction. All-steel construction was a relatively recent innovation in railroad passenger cars but already the traveling public was demanding them. The primary reason was safety. Wood cars were much more likely to break up, burn, or be telescoped in the event of an accident. The new cars were heavy, weighing about 141,100 pounds each and rode on six-wheel trucks. The cars had electric lights and steam heat. Each car had arch windows and could seat 84 passengers.
 
After twenty years service that included the heavy traffic loads of World War I, these cars needed major overhaul. In 1935 the railroad began rebuilding the cars in its own Como Car Shops in St. Paul. Coach No. 1203 went into the shops in 1936. It was rebuilt into a Deluxe Coach and renumbered 1370. This was during the years of the Great Depression of the 1930s and passenger traffic was down significantly from twenty years earlier. Competition among the railroads was great and each one tried to outdo the others to attract customers. In this environment, the NP decided to install better seats, to give the passengers more room, and more significantly, to add air conditioning equipment.
 
When car No. 1370 came out of the Como Shops in July 1936, its seating capacity had been reduced from 84 to 53 passengers. It now had individual reclining seats. The old-style windows had been altered by closing off the arch windows. A smoking lounge occupied part of the front end of the car. More importantly, the car now had Pullman-built air conditioning installed. As a result of the changes, the car's weight had increased to 160,300 pounds. In all, nine cars, numbered 1370-1375 and 1377-1379, were rebuilt in this fashion into Deluxe Coaches in 1935 through 1937.
 
Deluxe Coach No. 1370 saw heavy use during World War II and the Korean War. It remained on the NP's roster until the 1960s. It was finally retired in 1966 at Como Shops.
 
Lorenz P. Schrenk - Northern Pacific Railway Historical Association
 
Additional Info
In 1967, Northern Pacific 1370 became the first piece of railroad rolling stock acquired by the Minnesota Transportation Museum, predating even Dan Patch 100. It was displayed on panel track, adjacent to the Milwaukee Road's Minnehaha Depot, near Minnehaha Falls in Minneapolis.
 
Many years later, (the author guesses in the mid-80's) the weather had caused enough deterioration that it was removed from display. Museum circumstances were such that it found itself in storage, along with much other MTM rolling stock, in a secured military facility.
 
In the fall of 2005, 1370 was trucked to the museum's Jackson Street Roundhouse. After 37 years of sitting outside without maintenance, NP 1370 is in desperate need of restoration.
 
Eight other coaches from this series survive! In 1960 the Denver and Rio Grande Western purchased eight for its Ski Train service from Denver to Winter Park. NP 1214, 1217, 1225, 1227, 1216, 1213, 1210, and 1218 became D&RGW 1011-1018. Then in 1987 they were traded to the Napa Valley Wine Train. Five have been completely rebuilt, given appropriate names like "Zinfandel" and "Chardonnay", and are in service today. 
 
References
 
"The Wine Train," by Verne Alexander, from "The Mainstreeter" vol 11 no 1, published by the NPRHA.
"The North Coast Limited In The Summer of 1939," by John Barry, Pat Egan and Dick Mossman, from "The Mainstreeter", vol 11 nos 2 and 3, published by the NPRHA. 
SOO 1472
Heavyweight Dining Car
photo by Eric Hopp
History
 
Little is known about the history of this car, other than it was part of a Soo Line work train picked up by MTM in 1987. Other cars in the train included baggage-RPO DSS&A 101, sleeper 693, nearly-identical sleeper 725, and coach 1476. (These numbers may be inaccurate - peeled paint is hard to read.)
 
1472 is probably its maintenance-of-way number. The original car number, configuration, builder, date built, and date retired are unknown. Typical for the Soo Line, it has steel framing and walls, but a wooden floor and roof. Visually, it appears to be an WWI-vintage car. One third of the interior (marked by the commissary service door and the small windows) is the kitchen - still intact. The other two thirds were dining tables, typically seating 36 (Four on one side, two on the other) or 48 (four and four.) At the end of the dining section, where the hall swings right of the kitchen and the kitchen entry is on the left, there is still a very ornate built-in hutch with mirror. When MTM acquired the car, the tables and chairs were gone, replaced by long tables, bench seats, and various refrigerators and freezers.