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Home / News & Reviews / News Wire / Fort Wayne organization acquires two PRR passenger cars

Fort Wayne organization acquires two PRR passenger cars

By | June 22, 2022

Cars acquired from Washington, DC., NHRS chapter will be used for Indiana Rail Experience excursions

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Two stainless steel passenger cars
Two stainless steel passenger cars
The Fort Wayne Railroad Historical Society has acquired two former Pennsylvania Railroad passenger cars for excursion use. (Ft. Wayne Railroad Historical Society)

NEW HAVEN, Ind. — The Fort Wayne Railroad Historical Society has acquired two Pennsylvania Railroad passenger cars from the Washington, D.C., chapter of the National Railway Historical Society.

The cars will be used to support the Indiana Rail Experience, a series of excursions with the society’s steam locomotive, Nickel Plate Road No. 765 [see “Indiana Northeastern Railroad to host excursions …,” Trains News Wire, May 5, 2022]. Tickets to ride the cars on those excursions are available at the Indiana Rail Experience website.

The cars, Collinsville Inn and Franklin Inn, were built as sleeping cars in 1949 by the Budd Co. in Philadelphia, and converted into coaches by the PRR in 1963. They were donated to the DC chapter in 2008, restored to their PRR appearance with help from a 2012 Trains Magazine grant, and certified for Amtrak use.

Jim Lilly, chief mechanical officer for DCNRHS, said the cars no longer fit the chapter’s business model because of changes in the private-car environment. “We are pleased to have the coaches go to an organization we have worked with for many years,” Lilly said. “We are confident that they will be cared for and continue to serve as icons of railroad history, giving another generation a chance to ride.”

11 thoughts on “Fort Wayne organization acquires two PRR passenger cars

  1. In PRR days these cars were terrible for several reasons, one of them being that the windows didn’t line up with the coach seats that were added. I wouldn’t want to ride in one on an excursion, unless this issue had been addressed. (Incidentally, note the dents in the side sheeting, a remembrance of being “rocked” while in PRR seevice.)

    1. Actually the seats did align with the windows. Every other row of four seats had no windows.

      This problem was abated in Penn Central days; Brother Pins notes the rock strikes. PRR and PC replaced the glass windows with green-tinted Lexan, but the car washers (PC did wash the cars; you have to go through one going into the loop at Sunnyside) scratched the early Lexan windows so badly the windows were translucent and nobody could see out.

  2. Battleships on rails, yes the windows didn’t match up with seating, but I always found a seat with a window. They rode well, like they would as a sleeping car.

    1. Jeffrey – Respectfully, battleships they were not. They rattled and vibrated at high speed. The battleship would be the heavyweight P70fbr that might be coupled adjacent. The ride comparison went to the old riveted job.

      1. George your entitled to your opinion, but I’m talking more than 50 years ago with Penn Central. For me it was smooth sailing down the NE Corridor.

        1. The P70fbr was one of the best riding cars ever. The 2E-P5 was the modern (for 1948) GSC 41-NP-11 truck and was installed during the rebuild to P70fbr. Not many standardweight cars got this truck.

          Even under PC the NEC had good track and was smooth up to 90 mph. Jointed but smooth.

  3. When I worked on cars of this class the biggest issue, maintenance wise, was the premature shelling of the wheels. They had been converted from tread to disk brakes which, although superior in braking ability, don’t “clean” the treads; not a good thing on a jointed-rail railroad. Also, most did not have toilets.

  4. Wow, these former 21-roomette Inn-series cars just keep rolling from carrier to carrier. Wouldn’t it be great if the Ft. Wayne folks put them back in Tuscan Red/gold pinstripes.

  5. They will be joined with a third such ex-PRR car. The Steam Railroading Institute is leasing our former MARC coach #147 (ex-Norristown Inn) to FWRRHS for the latter’s summer excursions while Pere Marquette #1225 is undergoing scheduled overhaul of its running gear.

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