Surviving Maine Central Passenger Equipment

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Surviving Maine Central Passenger Equipment

Postby gokeefe » Fri Aug 31, 2012 6:26 pm

Recently in the process of doing some research I realized that the number of pieces of known surviving MEC passenger equipment (rolling stock specifically) is likely no more than 6 or 7 cars. I would like to open this thread to collect this information in a single place and to allow for further discoveries. For the most part I'm trying to focus on cars and not engines but by all means, if someone discovers any MEC motive power with a passenger service history feel free to post it here (yes, most of us know about #470 in Waterville, I won't even discuss The Flying Yankee). Since both pieces are very significant historically I'm including the business observation car Lone Tree (MEC #333) and its power car (MEC #322).

MEC #155, Coach, McNeil Point, Downeast Scenic Railroad, Ellsworth, ME, Restored - Operating.

MEC #252, Coach (MEC #2011, Instruction Car, MEC #252), Conway Scenic Railroad, North Conway, NH, Stored - Static. Also of note, per reliable sources this car is not on its original trucks. They were switched out and placed under CSRX Gertrude Emma.

MEC #333, Business Observation, Lone Tree, Pan Am Railways, Waterville, ME, Out of Service - Unknown. (Lone Tree has been the subject of an ongoing thread for some time on railroad.net here)

MEC #322, Power Car Combine, Pan Am Railways, Waterville, ME, Out of Service - Unknown.

MEC #390, Coach (AMTK #5444, PC #4044, PRR #4044), Pan Am Railways(?), Waterville, ME, Out of Service - Unknown. (Further research appears to indicate this car did not ever belong to the MEC during their passenger service era, MEC #390 (exxx-PRR 4044) was built for and saw service on the PRR train Southwind).

MEC #391, Chair - Cafe - Foodservice (Buffet?) (MEC #391, AMTK #3951, PC(?) #3211, NYC #3211, NYC #3011), City Point Central Railroad, Belfast, ME, Preserved - Static(?). (This coach also never operated on the MEC during their passenger service era, according to Bruce Cooper (as posted on NE Rail Photo) its heritage is AMTK #3951, NYC #3211, NYC #3011). Part of a 153 car order for 64 seat coaches by the NYC in 1948 to Pullman Standard (Plan #7484, Lot #2169, some others indicate Lot #6721).

MEC #409, Railway Post Office, Conway Scenic Railroad, North Conway, NH, Stored - Static. (Used as tool car by CSRX, interior condition unknown)

MEC #501, Combine, Cooperville & Marne Railway Company, Marne, MI, Stored - Static. (Interior photos show this car to be largely intact and in excellent shape). This car was also at one time in service on the "Otter Valley Railroad Tourist Train" in Proctor, Vermont. Other information seems to indicate it was part of the Steamtown Inc. collection at one time (supposedly on loan from MEC, not owned by Steamtown). It was also at one time in the collection of the 470 RR Club as well.

FOUND! MEC #540, Lumber King, Baggage Coach, (MP #761, MP #562, Grill Coach), Kennekuk County Park, Danville, IL, Preserved - Static. (scroll to bottom of page on Danville, IL link).

Also, for general reference, Ken Houghton has an excellent site with a series of albums from many different railroads (including the B&M) in the 60's through the 80's. Includes some very interesting Guilford era paint schemes. The available photographs of the MEC are substantial and include some photos of equipment ref'd in this thread.

MEC #901, MoW Coach (BAR #230), Shelburne Falls Trolley Museum, Shelburne, MA, Stored - Static is not discussed in this post due to the fact that is was never in passenger service (public or private (business)).
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Re: Surviving Maine Central Passenger Equipment

Postby gokeefe » Fri Aug 31, 2012 8:11 pm

Some further notes for this thread:

Everything listed in the first post, is known to still be in existence. I have been attempting to track down MEC #16 Arundel (AMTK #8381, L&N #2801 Dixie Journey, C&EI #604 Merry Meeting) for some time but have yet to find any definitive information on current disposition. As such I didn't include it in the list above.

Regardless, by my count there are exactly five (5) cars that were used on MEC passenger trains, still in existence. Only two of them MEC #155 and MEC #252 were solely dedicated to passenger accommodations. MEC #501 and #540 both had baggage, and MEC #409, the RPO did not carrying any passengers at all, but likely was present in passenger trains.

MEC #540 Lumber King is in some ways a bigger find than it might seem. To date it is the only stainless streamlined MEC car that survives to this day. Having realized today with certainty that MEC #390 and MEC #391 never served passenger trains on the MEC I consider finding a real MEC passenger streamliner on par with discovering a unicorn.

MEC #322 is an interesting case as it did in fact see passenger service as a coach, baggage car. Here is a photo of it in its original setup. The car was significantly altered (see above linked photos) and has been a power car for MEC #333 for a very long time. As such I'm not counting it as "surviving" because of the substantial materials changes to the interior, and to the car body.
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Re: Surviving Maine Central Passenger Equipment

Postby gokeefe » Fri Aug 31, 2012 9:40 pm

Some observations on the research process for the initial thread:

A couple of years ago I attempted a very similar search and met basically dead ends everywhere. Some of what I posted about in the AMTK #8381/#8381 (MEC #16 Arundel) thread is the result of that research. But the bottom line ultimately was that you couldn't really find much at all about the Maine Central passenger fleet after it went to the Missouri Pacific. The cars just disappeared and essentially were never heard from again. MEC #15 Merrymeeting and MEC #16 Arundel took a slightly different path through the C&EI (Chicago & Eastern Illinois Railroad), the L&N (Louisville & Nashville Railroad) and amazingly were subsumed into Amtrak but met a nearly similar demise into ignominy once they left Amtrak. The last lead I had for Arundel pointed towards the Carolina Southern, but I have yet to see a single picture or other substantiating piece of information that agrees with this theory. Merrymeeting just disappears altogether with no further indication of disposition.

Since then a couple of things have changed pretty drastically, first the Missouri Pacific has updated their online resources to include the creation of a Passenger Car Master List that is both accurate and very precise in its detail of the car information. Second, there has been an explosion of available archival imagery of many railroad related pictures. While almost impossible to quantify the depth and quality of available imagery is far greater than it was just a few years ago. Ironically, had I been doing this research while living in the period I'm actually studying I could never have had access to this much information.

The lesson for the reader is what failed years ago won't necessarily fail this time around, such is the seemingly limitless advance and expansion of available content on the Internet. Finally, never assume the equipment has been scrapped. What was certainly common practice in the late 19th and early 20th century is not at all the case now. Passenger equipment has not been mass produced in the United States in large volumes in a very long time. Furthermore the older equipment is protected by various grandfathering clauses and as the engineering for cars traveling at speeds below 110 MPH hasn't changed in decades in most cases these cars are still capable of being brought up to current safety standards. Consequently, these cars retain substantial value and as a result the market for used cars is very good. All of this means that cars that survived past 1960 (as basically all of the MEC's stainless streamliners did) have a pretty good chance of still being around today due to their durability and value.
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Re: Surviving Maine Central Passenger Equipment

Postby gokeefe » Fri Aug 31, 2012 10:01 pm

Also useful was the listing of Lightweight Passenger Cars at Pullmancar.org
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Re: Surviving Maine Central Passenger Equipment

Postby bmcdr » Sat Sep 01, 2012 11:20 am

MEC combine 501 was never part of the Steamtown collection, nor was it ever on loan to Steamtown.
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Re: Surviving Maine Central Passenger Equipment

Postby gokeefe » Sat Sep 01, 2012 11:26 am

bmcdr wrote:MEC combine 501 was never part of the Steamtown collection, nor was it ever on loan to Steamtown.


Thank You for the clarification!

Was the car was sold directly by the MEC to the Otter River Railroad?
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Re: Surviving Maine Central Passenger Equipment

Postby MEC407 » Sat Sep 01, 2012 12:42 pm

gokeefe wrote:For the most part I'm trying to focus on cars and not engines but by all means, if someone discovers any MEC motive power with a passenger service history feel free to post it here...


MEC 573, EMD GP7 with steam generator for passenger service; known around the railroad as Mr. Miller's Engine; later became DH 573, then ST 27; now preserved and in service as CSRX 573.
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Re: Surviving Maine Central Passenger Equipment

Postby S1f3432 » Sat Sep 01, 2012 8:17 pm

I think the baggage-mail combine in use as a lunch counter-takeout on US Rt.1 in Stockton Springs
may be the former oil-electric motor car 901 used between Bangor and Vanceboro. Demotored and
renumbered 950 it was used for years as a tool car by the MEC signal dept. construction crew.
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Re: Surviving Maine Central Passenger Equipment

Postby gokeefe » Sun Sep 02, 2012 12:06 am

S1f3432 wrote:I think the baggage-mail combine in use as a lunch counter-takeout on US Rt.1 in Stockton Springs
may be the former oil-electric motor car 901 used between Bangor and Vanceboro. Demotored and
renumbered 950 it was used for years as a tool car by the MEC signal dept. construction crew.


Do you remember the name of the place? I took a look around by satellite and couldn't find anything. I drove through the area a couple of weekends ago and didn't remember seeing anything either.
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Re: Surviving Maine Central Passenger Equipment

Postby Steameng7 » Sun Sep 02, 2012 3:12 am

I believe you are referring to Cooks Crossing in Searsport as the location of the MEC oil motor. This car had been part of the collection of the Belfast & Moosehead Lake RR at Unity, ME. Unit was purchased by Baxter Cook and moved from Unity to his Ice Cream Stand in Searsport several years ago.
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Re: Surviving Maine Central Passenger Equipment

Postby gokeefe » Sun Sep 02, 2012 10:10 am

Steameng7 wrote:I believe you are referring to Cooks Crossing in Searsport as the location of the MEC oil motor. This car had been part of the collection of the Belfast & Moosehead Lake RR at Unity, ME. Unit was purchased by Baxter Cook and moved from Unity to his Ice Cream Stand in Searsport several years ago.


That's what I thought he was talking about as well. I went by it (and noticed it) but there does not appear to be a railroad car there anymore.
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Re: Surviving Maine Central Passenger Equipment

Postby gokeefe » Sun Sep 02, 2012 1:17 pm

I posted an update in the Amtrak Heritage Diner #8380/8381 Thread.

While it is almost certainly far too early to tell there is circumstantial evidence that may indicate the presence of MEC #16 Arundel.
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Re: Surviving Maine Central Passenger Equipment

Postby S1f3432 » Sun Sep 02, 2012 5:28 pm

That's what I thought he was talking about as well. I went by it (and noticed it) but there does not appear to be a railroad car there anymore.
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Former MEC 901 was there alongside US Rt.1 complete with a deck with tables last Sunday afternoon close to the location of the
former B&M caboose sans trucks on a trailer that someone reported was for sale in another post.
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Re: Surviving Maine Central Passenger Equipment

Postby gokeefe » Sun Sep 02, 2012 7:40 pm

S1f3432 wrote:
gokeefe wrote:That's what I thought he was talking about as well. I went by it (and noticed it) but there does not appear to be a railroad car there anymore.


Former MEC 901 was there alongside US Rt.1 complete with a deck with tables last Sunday afternoon close to the location of the
former B&M caboose sans trucks on a trailer that someone reported was for sale in another post.


I must have forgotten that I'd seen it there. When I looked it up on Google Streetview it wasn't there.
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Re: Surviving Maine Central Passenger Equipment

Postby gokeefe » Sun Sep 02, 2012 8:27 pm

As noted in Mr. Van Bokkelen's roster of Maine Central Passenger equipment MEC #15 Merrymeeting and MEC #16 Arundel were separated from the other MEC Pullman Lightweight Stainless cars when they were sold in 1960 to the Missouri Pacific (MP). Merry Meeting and Arundel were sold to the Chicago & Eastern Illinois (C&EI), were they were given named and numbered Merry Young, #603 and (oddly) Merrymeeting #604 respectively. Ironically, the C&EI was taken over by the MP in 1967, however part of the merger stipulation required some portion of the railroad (and apparently rolling stock as well) to go to the Louisville & Nashville Railroad (L&N). #15 & #16 were among the rolling stock that transferred to the L&N were they were named and numbered Dixie Traveler, #2800 and Dixie Journey, #2801 respectively. Although unlikely it at least seems possible that some of the former MEC cars would have been operated together at some point between 1967 and 1970 before the L&N assumed control of their portion of the C&EI.
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