Surviving Maine Central Passenger Equipment

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Re: Surviving Maine Central Passenger Equipment

Postby eastwind » Sun Sep 02, 2012 10:01 pm

gokeefe wrote: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.

The Maine Central diners were "separated from the other MEC Pullman Lightweight Stainless cars [that] were sold in 1960 to the Missouri Pacific" because they had already been sold—in 1951, to the C&EI as you noted. In other words, the Maine Central owned two brand-new LW dining cars for only four years.

From timetables of the period I can find evidence that these dining cars' regular assignment was only in the summer-only Bar Harbor, between Portland and Ellsworth and between Portland and Rockland. If these cars were in fact idle during the rest of the year (I would appreciate any clarification on this point), no wonder the Maine Central was willing to part with them so soon.

But it also begs the question: Since the summer 1953 B&M timetable, two years after the sale, again shows the Bar Harbor carrying dining cars Portland-Ellsworth and Portland-Rockland, whose cars were they? Again, I would appreciate any input.

That these cars were in Amtrak service—or at least ownership—between 1971 and 1977 is a fascinating footnote. Where did they run? Is it possible some of us may have actually ridden in them and not known it? And what became of them after their retirement?

eastwind

[Attachment from The Official Pullman-Standard Library, Volume 10—Northeast Railroads, page 130.]
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MeC_diners.jpg
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Re: Surviving Maine Central Passenger Equipment

Postby gokeefe » Sun Sep 02, 2012 10:28 pm

eastwind wrote:
gokeefe wrote: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.

The Maine Central diners were "separated from the other MEC Pullman Lightweight Stainless cars [that] were sold in 1960 to the Missouri Pacific" because they had already been sold—in 1951, to the C&EI as you noted. In other words, the Maine Central owned two brand-new LW dining cars for only four years.


That kind of helps explain why there are relatively few pictures of these cars in MEC service. For whatever reason I read over 1951 as noted in Mr. VanBokkelen's site and didn't think of it.

eastwind wrote:But it also begs the question: Since the summer 1953 B&M timetable, two years after the sale, again shows the Bar Harbor carrying dining cars Portland-Ellsworth and Portland-Rockland, whose cars were they? Again, I would appreciate any input.


My guess would be that they were using B&M diners, it is only a guess. I would like to know as well, as that would mean that some of the B&M lightweight diners (if they even had any?) would have significant MEC service history as well.

eastwind wrote:That these cars were in Amtrak service—or at least ownership—between 1971 and 1977 is a fascinating footnote. Where did they run? Is it possible some of us may have actually ridden in them and not known it? And what became of them after their retirement?


First, thanks for the question as I think I can now make a guess as to what the timeline for MEC #16 is. The original listing on the icrr.net website shows present position in Gulfport at the top with the listing "(sold to Hancock County Port Commission in 1977)" at the bottom. The original posters in the Railway Preservation News forums thread read this as Amtrak -> ANP Pharmaceuticals -> Hancock County Port Commission. In other words the parenthetic was read as an update or an addendum to the original listing, advising the reader that the car was no longer there. Actually it would make a lot more sense if it were the other way around. Amtrak would have acquired the cars in 1971, and disposed of them in 1977, right when they started the "Heritage Fleet" Head End Power(HEP) conversions. Neither #8380 or #8381 show up on the Heritage Fleet roster. The cars were bought by the Hancock County Port Commission, and then for one reason or another MEC #16 is sold to ANP Pharmaceuticals and the others to the Waccamaw Coast Line as discussed. The parenthetic was not noting sale or transfer from ANP it was noting transitory ownership by the Commission prior to current disposition as listed. That would explain why it is still listed as being there (because it is!).

So to answer your question directly. It appears that Amtrak sold this car to the Hancock County Port Commission in 1977, when they sold or disposed of a lot of their "Heritage" rolling stock, and it was then resold to ANP Pharmaceuticals (@ 3600 25th Avenue, Gulfport, MS), this facility recently became, GCP Laboratories and apparently the rail car conveyed with the property. My guess is that it is being used as an employee breakroom or possibly for cold storage.
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Re: Surviving Maine Central Passenger Equipment

Postby gokeefe » Sun Sep 02, 2012 10:34 pm

Note also that the illustration provided by eastwind indicates that these cars went to the L&N in 1959 ("through merger"). That's information that I haven't seen before and is not listed on Mr. VanBokkelen's roster.

Thanks very much for the great picture and caption information from the Pullman-Standard Library.
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Re: Surviving Maine Central Passenger Equipment

Postby eastwind » Mon Sep 03, 2012 12:14 am

gokeefe wrote:
eastwind wrote:But it also begs the question: Since the summer 1953 B&M timetable, two years after the sale, again shows the Bar Harbor carrying dining cars Portland-Ellsworth and Portland-Rockland, whose cars were they? Again, I would appreciate any input.


My guess would be that they were using B&M diners, it is only a guess. I would like to know as well, as that would mean that some of the B&M lightweight diners (if they even had any?) would have significant MEC service history as well.

That would be my guess, as well, since the B&M had two of their own LW diners—Bald Eagle and Hermit Thrush—from the same order as MeC's. The B&M owned them until 1957.

However, there is another possibility. It is known that the East Wind at times carried an Atlantic Coast Line diner, leased from ACL's idled wintertime Florida fleet. It is within the realm of possibility that the Bar Harbor, too, carried diners leased from ACL (or perhaps rival Seaboard Air Line?). I sure would like to know for sure....

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Re: Surviving Maine Central Passenger Equipment

Postby gokeefe » Wed Sep 05, 2012 8:03 pm

CONFIRMED- FOUND! MEC #16 Arundel, Hancock Port Commission, Gulfport, MS, Stored - Out of Service.

The following message was received from the Webmaster at icrr.net.

As far as I know, the car is still behind the pharmaceutical company and still belongs to the port commission who I believe own the building and spur.
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Re: Surviving Maine Central Passenger Equipment

Postby sandyriverman » Mon Jan 06, 2014 7:04 pm

gokeefe wrote:
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?


This thread has been listless for a while, but has fascinated me as I am interested in the history of MEC passenger cars. Re the question posed above, according to Ron Johnson, editing the marvelous book on the MEC Mountain Division, published by the 470 railroad club, on page 200 of that book he states that #501 was obtained (from MEC I presume) and was used for some years as the place where the 470 club had their meetings. That must have been quite interesting to say the least. He goes on to state that when the club outgrew the seating capacity of #501 the car was sold to the Henry Ford Museum, in Dearborn, MI, in 1984, for use on their railroad. But I have seen a photograph of it on the Otter Valley RR in 1979 so something is wrong with all of that.

I lived in Bartlett, NH several years ago and got deeply interested in the Beecher Falls Mixed trains which ran for a number of years. Wooden combines, #501 being one of them, ran in those trains until they stopped. I am trying to solve the mystery of what combines were used where. The book by the 470 club has pictures of #501 and #502 that are identified and you can see the numbers clearly. There are numerous other pics of wooden combines, in that service, but one cannot distinguish the numbers. According to the roster of MEC passenger equipment that I have, wood combines #501 through #510 were built by Laconia in 1910. I have seen others state that Laconia built #501-#506. But now for the mystery of these cars. I have good pictures of #501 and #502. Both of these cars have 13 windows in each side of the passenger compartment. There are numerous other pics in the Mtn Division book that show wood combines.......that have only 8 windows in the passenger compartment. But no numbers can be discerned in any of the other photos that I have seen.

I am trying to find out, anyway I can, just which of these Laconia built cars were used on the Beecher Falls Branch, and what their numbers were, and where did they go. I am trying to model mixed train operations in that area and want to be historically accurate as I can be.

In the Maine Central Photo Album by Edwin Robertson, on page 12, is a picture of combine #506 that was obviously one of those old combines. That was used for many years on the Pittsfield-Harmony line. It also has 13 windows in the passenger compartment, just like #501 and #502.

In the Liljestrand and Sweetser book it gives a different roster of MEC passenger cars. It shows #501,502 and 503 as being built by Laconia in 1910. It shows #504 and 507 being built by Pullman in 1905. It shows #505, 506 and 508 being built by Pullman in 1905 also. Then it shows #509 and 510 being built by Laconia in 1909! There are some discrepancies from one roster to another for sure.

I am really intrigued by the mystery of these cars, which ones have the 8 windows, instead of 13, which ones were used where over the history of that mixed train operation. I came to know some guys in Bartlett with MEC background and some of them said that one of the combines hung around Bartlett as a storage car, after regulara use was stopped, but nobody remembered the number.

Can you, or anyone else point me to other places where there may be identifiable photos of any of these cars, or any written history of any of the cars? i don't want to give this up until I figure out what cars were used where, and maybe where they went later on.

Gil Ford took a lot of photos along the Beecher Falls branch, I don't know if he ever saw any of the cars or not. I wonder if he is still around and could be contacted, or anyone else with info on that era in that area.

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Re: Surviving Maine Central Passenger Equipment

Postby gokeefe » Thu Jan 09, 2014 11:15 am

Funny you should mention Mr. Ford.

Some of his photos have been posted to rrpicturearchives.net. Due to their exceptional quality and seemingly unusual foreknowledge of special trains some of us who saw these pictures assumed that "Gil Ford" was a pseudonym for someone who had worked for Guilford Transportation. Some of the photos posted on there are among the only known public photos of MEC #333 LONE TREE in the modern era and likely its last known use right around the time of the GTI purchase.
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Re: Surviving Maine Central Passenger Equipment

Postby gokeefe » Thu Jan 09, 2014 11:19 am

sandyriverman wrote:Can you, or anyone else point me to other places where there may be identifiable photos of any of these cars, or any written history of any of the cars? i don't want to give this up until I figure out what cars were used where, and maybe where they went later on.


rrpicturearchives.net is probably one good option. The other would be the Passenger Car Photo Index but their listings of Maine Central equipment tend to be thin.

In general photos of Maine Central equipment are very hard to find. However, lately, in particular the last two or three years have seen a dramatic improvement in availability. When I started looking for MEC passenger cars a few years ago I could barely find more than a few dozen now there are hundreds out there and always more to be found if you search long enough and hard enough.
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Re: Surviving Maine Central Passenger Equipment

Postby gokeefe » Thu Jan 09, 2014 11:45 am

sandyriverman wrote:In the Liljestrand and Sweetser book it gives a different roster of MEC passenger cars.


Just a quick clarification: I presume you refer to Robert A. Liljestrand and David R. Sweetland?
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Re: Surviving Maine Central Passenger Equipment

Postby gokeefe » Sun Jan 19, 2014 6:54 am

gokeefe wrote:CONFIRMED- FOUND! MEC #16 Arundel, Hancock Port Commission, Gulfport, MS, Stored - Out of Service.

The following message was received from the Webmaster at icrr.net.

As far as I know, the car is still behind the pharmaceutical company and still belongs to the port commission who I believe own the building and spur.


I went back through this thread and realized that I had never posted the satellite photos I had seen of this car. Much to my delight the views in Google Maps have improved significantly since I last checked. Here is the best shot of ex-MEC#16 ARUNDEL I was able to get.

I would appreciate any impressions or analysis that anyone has about this car including whether or not window and vestibule configurations match or are close to what they should look like.
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Re: Surviving Maine Central Passenger Equipment

Postby gokeefe » Sun Jan 19, 2014 7:16 am

Although I am reluctant to claim it is "FOUND" I did recently 'discover' for myself that MEC #352/ex-MEC #411 a 1914 Laconia built baggage express car is on the roster at the Railroad Museum of New England (RMNE) and is currently under restoration.
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Re: Surviving Maine Central Passenger Equipment

Postby RGlueck » Sat Mar 08, 2014 8:22 am

Photos of "Arundel" as is, where is, in Gulf Port, MIssissippi.

http://www.rypn.org/forums/viewtopic.ph ... 69#p211869
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Re: Surviving Maine Central Passenger Equipment

Postby gokeefe » Sat Mar 08, 2014 2:28 pm

RGlueck wrote:Photos of "Arundel" as is, where is, in Gulf Port, MIssissippi.

http://www.rypn.org/forums/viewtopic.ph ... 69#p211869


Dick,

First and foremost thank you for an absolutely magnificent contribution to the thread.

I am simply astounded to think that a genuine Maine Central streamliner survives somewhere in something even close to resembling intact condition. The original Phase II Amtrak signage and paint scheme is impressive in its own right and may be one of the best surviving examples of an intact Phase II paint scheme on a Heritage fleet car.

Based on the research available this is almost certainly the one and only surviving lightweight Maine Central passenger car of any type. Furthermore these are probably the first photographs of this car made public since it left service with Amtrak (about 37 years ago now). This is truly an exceptional find in many respects and the photos are in of themselves extraordinary.

Thank you so very much for taking the time to cross post this thread to the Railway Preservation News forums and to inquire regarding photographs.
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Re: Surviving Maine Central Passenger Equipment

Postby Dick H » Fri Mar 21, 2014 2:43 pm

Were the MEC 333 and 322 placed outside when PAR acquired the
CSRX FP9s to become PAR1 and PAR2, so as to provide inside
space to store PAR 1&2 undercover?

Possibly PAR has put these cars on the "insiders" market, but
had no takers at the requested sale price. At any rate, leaving
these cars outside will surely lead to their demise eventually. I
did not win the Mega-Millions this week, so I can't move them
to the Conway Scenic in a newly built storage building, along
with the MEC RPO already at North Conway. Probably should
plan on a bay for the MEC 501, also.
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Re: Surviving Maine Central Passenger Equipment

Postby gokeefe » Sat Mar 22, 2014 6:06 am

Dick,

MEC #333 Lone Tree is stored inside and has been "caught" outside by Sam only once that I am aware of. My impression is that the company understands its importance quite well. MEC #322 although clearly very historic in its own right by no means is of equivalent stature. Given that it probably does not have the same wood paneling once described in MEC #333 (Peruvian Mahogany at that) I wouldn't be as concerned about the potential for water damage.
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