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The covered hopper thread got me thinking about other interesting rolling stock and I thought that a thread devoted to private passenger cars might be a good one. Here are a few to start the thread off.
Well, since nobody else has anything to offer, I'll post some of my photos. All of these were taken at the Alvarado Transit Center in Albuquerque (the ATC was built on the site of the long-demolished Alvarado Hotel and the adjoining Santa Fe passenger depot which burned down in 1997). I'm not the expert photographer that some of the other regulars are, and the lighting wasn't all that great in one or more of these photos. I do try my best, though.
First off are some photos of RPCX 800174 Eaton (formerly called Pontchartrain Club). Owned and operated by High Iron Travel Corporation (an Iowa Pacific Holdings subsidiary), this car started out as a heavyweight steel coach built for the Illinois Central by Pullman in 1917. After WWII, the IC modernized this car and several other of its heavyweight cars for service on its fast passenger trains, and it was named Mark Beaubien and placed in service as a parlor-drawing room car on the Chicago-St. Louis Daylight. It was eventually sold into private ownership in 1986 and was remodeled into a sleeper-lounge-observation car. It was apparently in town for the official start of the New Mexico State Centennial celebration. (This took place at 11:30 AM on Jan. 6, 2012 and included the blowing of 2926's whistle for 30 seconds at noon using compressed air; unfortunately, 2926 was not able to be present and provide the 300 PSI steam for the whistle as originally planned before the economy went south. It won't be too much longer before she does show up there, though...)
1 and 2. I couldn't quite get far enough back for a decent side shot (stupid #$%^%^ fence!!) so I settled for a couple of slightly off-angle shots (having one of the potable water hose reels in the way didn't help either!).
3 and 4. Two shots from the rear (little did I know that the car would be turned around 180 degrees the next day, otherwise I would have waited till then to take these shots; oh, well...).
Next up is SLRG 551 Sky View, one of six full-length domes built for Santa Fe's San Francisco Chief. Eight similar cars were built for the El Capitan and Chicagoan/Kansas Cityan; when the "Cap" went to hi-level cars in 1957, they were moved to the Chief.
551 and seven other former Santa Fe full domes were purchased from Holland America Westours by Iowa Pacific and are used in excursion service on its railroad properties or are in charter service. 551 was also apparently in town for the NM Centennial ceremony and arrived the day after the previous photos were taken.
1. Apparently IPH felt that the "big domes" should be returned to their "as-built" appearance, and began removing both the Coleman rooftop A/C units and the paint applied to these cars by Holland America. Unfortunately, the paint removal was apparently done using wire wheels that were a bit too coarse, leaving some rather obvious "brush marks" (it's not that apparent in these photos, but it is quite visible from certain angles and in the right lighting conditions, which I tried to avoid as much as I could). It's nothing a bit of extra work can't fix, and I'm not complaining (much, anyway ).
2. The "brush marks" are a bit more visible on the end of the car in this shot; still, I prefer seeing 551 sans paint and other "clutter" (no stainless steel car should ever be painted, especially a Santa Fe car, dangit!).
Here's a soon to be rare view of the interior of the Bay View, which is due in for a long overdue rehab. It is to get more bench/lounge type seating upstairs rather than the higher capacity row style seating you see it has now. This is too bad as it is, presently, the most functional business car around.
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