Van Swerigen Brothers

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Van Swerigen Brothers

Post by tls_alcos2 »

I don't think railroading could be what it is today without the Van Swerigen brothers and the NKP (still only one of their many railroads). The NKP in particular represents some of their best work. Prior to the 1910's (I think, but go ahead and correct me if I'm wrong) the Nickel Plate Road belonged entirely to the New York Central, just like the Big Four. As a result it always seemed to be a second class railroad. However, after the NYC passed it on to the brothers it really became a first class operation for it's time. They're other railroads all were pretty much success stories and created another St. Louis to the East Coast railroad with the cooperation between them.

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Post by Aji-tater »

If they are that important, let's at least spell their name correctly. Oris and Mantis' last name was Van Sweringen.


Post by CHomko »

Oris and Mantis purchased their first business car for the RR which was built in February 1929 by the Pullman Standard Company. From 1929 through 1936, it was used by Oris and Mantis VanSweringen, the owners of the Nickel Plate. The brothers were also the owners of the C&O, PM, Erie and the Missouri Pacific. Prior to their entry into the railroad business, they developed Shaker Heights in Cleveland. They also built Terminal Tower, which is still a major landmark in downtown Cleveland.
In 1942, the car was sold to Chesapeake and Ohio as their #1, then returned to the Nickel Plate as #1 in 1949. When the Norfolk and Western bought the Nickel Plate in 1964, it became N&W No.1. In 1967, the car became N&W No.103, which it remained until being retired in 1971. It was then sold to Henry Kegley, an industrialist in Bristol, Virginia who preserved it on a siding at Tenneva Foods, a frozen food plant, until his death in 1998. In 1999, it was purchased from Mr. Kegley's estate for use at ITM.


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