Being that we are on the topic of government related train cars, I did some research through the FDR library website. I received a reply from them about this "not FDR'S private car". Please see below for FDR library reply...
This is in response to your recent inquiry to the Franklin D. Roosevelt
Presidential Library concerning the railroad siding and platform beneath
the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York City.
We are familiar with the tracks to which you are referring. FDR used
the tracks beneath the Waldorf only once, the evening of October 21,
1944 following his delivery of a speech on war and peace to the Foreign
Policy Association during the 1944 campaign.
The President had arrived in New York from Washington at 7:00 a.m. at
the Army Supply Base, Bayridge, Brooklyn. He then started a famous
rain-soaked open car motor tour of New York City that included the
Brooklyn Navy Yard, Ebbets Field, travel through Queens, Hunter College
in the Bronx, and through Manhattan. The tour ended at Mrs. Roosevelt's
apartment in Washington Square where FDR dried off and rested until his
speaking engagement to the Foreign Policy Association at the Waldorf.
In the meantime, the President's train assembly was moved from Bayside,
via Grand Central, to the private siding beneath the Waldorf. Following
the speech, the President exited the hotel via the east side Lexington
Avenue elevator, then proceeded via the New York Central elevator (I
believe this would be the street level elevator on 49th between Park
Avenue and Lexington Avenue) to the siding located below the hotel where
the train assembly was "spotted." The train then proceeded to
Poughkeepsie where it arrived at 2:30 a.m. The entire train remained
there with the President on board until 7:30 at which time the two
presidential cars were detached and moved to the siding below the
Roosevelt Estate in Hyde Park where the President detrained.
As previously stated, this is the only time that President Roosevelt
used this siding. It apparently had been previously installed for the
privacy of the Waldorf's elite guests, not specially for President
We are aware of the old train car below the Waldorf and have seen it.
While it seems of World War II vintage, it is definitely not a passenger
or Pullman car. Rather, it appears to be a baggage or freight car of
some sort. As yet no documentation or proof has been found that
directly links it to FDR in anyway. Certainly we have not found any
such documentation in our records here at the Library.
I hope this information proves helpful.
Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library
4079 Albany Post Road Hyde Park, NY 12538
Phone 845.486.7742 Fax 845.486.1147