• Whereabouts of Passsenger Cars on ME Property

  • Discussion about the M&E, RVRR and SIRR lines of New Jersey, and also the Maine Eastern operation in Maine. Official web site can be found here: www.merail.com.
Discussion about the M&E, RVRR and SIRR lines of New Jersey, and also the Maine Eastern operation in Maine. Official web site can be found here: www.merail.com.

Moderators: GOLDEN-ARM, cjl330, mikec

  by Sid Farkus
Hi, I was wondering if anyone here knew what ever happened to the two Royal Rail passenger cars that were stored in Whippany a few years back. The Belle Terre (ME 2002) and Royal Crest (ME 3003) were the two cars. If anyone has any other cars that were on ME's property and was wondering what happened to them, please post them here. Thanks for your help
  by jhdeasy
A few years ago, heavyweight business car CANNON BALL was stored on M&E Railway property, mostly at Whippany, while new trucks with higher loading capacity were acquired, rebuilt and installed under the car. After the work was completed and the Amtrak inspection paperwork was signed, the owner relocated the car to the Lancaster & Chester Railway in Lancaster, SC.
  by therudycometh
The Belle Terre has been in the tent in the rear of the shop on track 1 on lifts with no trucks under it for a long time now - since before I started working there last summer. It's a long-term restoration project. The Royal Crest was sold last summer - I'm not sure who it was sold to, but it is no longer on the property.

The Royal Crest was an interesting car - built for the U.S. Transportation Corps in 1953 (during the Korean War) as a hospital car. I had a chance to take a look through it before it left, the interior was in remarkably good shape, and the U.S. army olive drab paint was still intact under the Royal Rail garb on the outside.

The Belle Terre is the former Northern Pacific/CB&Q Minneapolis Club, built 1948 as a tailcar for the NP's North Coast Limited. It served for a brief time on the CB&Q after the Limited was discontinued (the car was actually owned by the CB&Q as part of the deal for a run-through consist), and then it got sold after the BN merger. It was also named the Vija K (painted in SP Daylight colors) in that terrible 1980's movie Tough Guys. And now it's in our shop. When sanding the exterior sides, we found all of those layers of paint still intact, all the way down to the original NP two-tone green!
  by therudycometh
Never heard of them either other than the two cars that the M&E has. I'll ask Wes - I'm assuming he would know.
  by jhdeasy
Susquehaniewikiwokiwani wrote:Does anyone know anything about Royal Rail? Never heard of them before.
Royal Rail is/was a business run by Don Primi. They acquired a number of ligfhtweight passenger cars from Amtrak and other sources, for charter and resale. You will find Royal Rail in news articles and advertisements in AAPRCO's Private Varnish magazine from the mid 1980s through approximately 2000.

One of their cars in chareter service was a Budd lightweight C&O lunch counter lounge rebuilt into an open platform business car, whose previous owners included NYC, GTW and CN. I think it was named FANTASIA when owned by Royal Rail. The last time I saw the car was 2001 when it was stored inside the Delaware Car Company shop in Wilmington DE.


The current name of the business may be Fantasia Design Ltd, or that may be another company owned by Mr. Primi.