Railroad restaurant bites the dust, Surf City

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Otto Vondrak
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Post by Otto Vondrak »

Why all the effort to save the cars and all the expense to move them from Surf City only to cut them up? What a waste. Last quote I got for moving railroad cars with a lowboy trailer was about $8,000 to $10,000 a piece... and forget it if you need a crane operator for a few hours... it's not a cheap proposition to move equipment!

OT, the restaurant in Valhalla NY is still there with its wooden former B&O caboose and wooden former LS&MS observation car.

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Post by TheBaran »

Not everyone bidding will be interested in running a restaurant, let alone one with a railroad theme. Nowadays, townhouses and condos occupy every square inch of the Jersey shore. Winning bidder may be willing to get rid of the rolling stock to anyone willing to pay for removal (which can be pricey). Does any of the equipment have historical value? May be worth attending the auction.

Irish Chieftain

Post by Irish Chieftain »

Why all the effort to save the cars and all the expense to move them from Surf City only to cut them up? What a waste
Has the Rumorpace writeup been confirmed?

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Post by OCtrainguy »

There was a story about it in the Asbury Park Press confirming what happened to the three cars in Barnegat.

http://www.app.com/app/pbcs.dll/article ... 50442/1070
Eatery train car plan rolled off the tracks
Posted by the Asbury Park Press on 04/25/07

BARNEGAT — It's the end of the line for three railroad cars that were planned to be part of an upscale restaurant on Route 9.

"We took our best shot, but we were unable to make it happen," said Joe Dringus, general manager and executive chef of Sweet Jenny's restaurant.

Martin Sprinzen, co-owner of Sweet Jenny's, had planned to incorporate the cars into a dining room for a Victorian-themed lobster and steak house, separate but adjacent to Sweet Jenny's on Route 9.

Two box cars and a diner lounge car, long a feature of the Express Restaurant in Surf City, were rescued from the scrap heap about this time last year. Carmen Deo, Express' owner, had sold the property, and Sprinzen purchased the rolling stock and moved them in June onto his site in Barnegat.

Sprinzen also had planned the construction of a replica train station as part of the new restaurant.

But the plans have been derailed and the cars scrapped. Dringus said the change was due to unforseen circumstances about which he declined to specify.

"The last thing we wanted to do is see them (the train cars) go to the scrap yard," he said Tuesday. "We reached out to municipalities and train societies offering them as a free donation, but the cost of moving them was prohibitive."

Timothy G. Hart, president of the Stafford Township Historical Society, said as far as he knows, the society had not been contacted to take the cars. He also said the society had originally indicated an interest in the rail cars when they were part of Express Restaurant.

"The boxcars would have been perfect, not only for our railroad displays, but also for storage," Hart said. "We would have been happy to take them. It's a shame."

In August 2006, the historical society transported a 1922 Central Jersey railroad car to its historic railroad station on Bay Avenue in Stafford. The car is now used as a historic classroom for area children.

The scrapping in particular of the diner lounge was a great loss, said Larry DeYoung, archivist for Erie Lackawanna Historical Society, and a Devon, Pa., resident. The diner lounge car had once belonged to that railroad company.

"There are parlor cars, there are lounge cars, and there are diner cars, but that (diner lounge) was one of four combination cars," DeYoung said. "That was the only one left; now, there are none (that belonged to that railroad)."

The inside of the diner lounge car that had been owned by Sweet Jenny's had been remodeled at least three times. Though air conditioning had been installed, the exterior remained unchanged, DeYoung said.

Dringus did not rule out the possibility of another restaurant opening next to Sweet Jenny's. "We are always looking to expand what we have," he said.

Hartriono B. Sastrowardoyo: (609) 978-4581 or harts@app.com

And here is some additional information about the three cars:
The age of two box cars that were scrapped Monday could not be determined because any identifying markings on them had been painted over. Only the diner lounge car — half of which was a dining car and kitchen, the other half a passenger lounge — bore traces of its pedigree. While in service at Express Restaurant in Surf City, the side that was not visible to the public wore the paint and name of the Erie Lackawanna Railway, as well as its car number, 2999.

According to Larry DeYoung, Erie Lackawanna Historical Society archivist, car 2999 was built in 1926 by Standard Steel Car Co. in Hammond, Ind. The company later became a subsidiary of sleeping car builder Pullman Car and Manufacturing Co.
The related post, which has photos of the cars from September 2006.
http://www.railroad.net/forums/viewtopi ... highlight=

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