TomlinsonRunRR posted:

C&OSteam, thanks for the post of the ever-so-photogenic Empire Diner.  That's a great photo.  For the curious, it's an iconic Fodero Dining Car Company diner, built in 1946.

Thanks for telling us about Weber's Hamburgers (est. 1963).  You are right, a quick web search turned up several photos.  

The Wikipedia article says that the first three cars (boxcars presumably) they bought were Canadian National Railway cars and they are used for storing and processing the hamburger meat.  Five more cars were added, apparently including some from U.S. roads.

One car is apparently used for dining, another for an office, and one for "washroom facilities".  I don't know enough about body design and eras to ID the two steel passenger cars -- maybe someone else can?

A photo on Pinterest says the 1903 caboose, CN 77247, started out life with the Grand Trunk Railroad.

And, the menu says they serve poutine.  Ewwee!  

I have recently had a chance to document and collect photos for two additional New Jersey rehab'd restaurant railcars.  Thanks for the post, it's just what I needed to jump start those write-ups.

Tomlinson Run Railroad

I have to say that Weber’s is a life saver. A friend took me canoeing in the Algonquin Provincial Park a few hours north. The great memory of awesome burgers sustained me through the trip. Seeing Weber’s on the drive back, stopping again was a great experience. 

BTW, I am quite sure I actually took that photo of the Empire Diner. It was gorgeous that evening. 

Railroad modeling is fun, relaxing, and a great place to make good friends. 

Carl/Pingman,

Thanks for posting the ad about the Northern Pacific Railway Stewardess-Nurses.  That's really interesting.  The uniforms look so much like airline uniforms.  Nothing "hospital" about them :-).

Last night I did a quick search for the Pennsylvania RR and "stewardesses" and found nothing.  However, this topic from Train Orders discussed Stewardess-Nurses on the Northern Pacific , the AT&SF, and the B&O.   For those interested, the topic also has other photographs of these ladies taken from other Northern Pacific ads.

This National RR Hall of Fame topic says the position dates to the 1930s (scroll down about mid-way) and was introduced by the Union Pacific.  Just above that mention is information on Olive Wetzel Dennis, an engineer who introduced many features to rail cars that ended up on airplanes, as well.  So, the similarity in job title and outfit found on these competing modes of land and air travel shouldn't be surprising.

Although the 1930s would be "age appropriate" for my mother's story, she would not have been age appropriate for that position, nor qualified for the "nurse" half.  I suspect that the woman on the left in this New Haven ad is more in keeping with her childhood dreams of rail travel and snazzy uniforms on the PRR. But who knows? :

Tomlinson Run Railroad

Attachments

Photos (1)

Jim, thanks for the title of the passenger car book by White and your kind offer.  It looks like the book is readily available in both hardcopy and paperback.  Amazon has some preview pages that you can read, but they are from Part II, just beyond the chapter on dining cars. :-).  Two column pages and small type -- it looks packed with good info and pictures.

TRRR

This and a post to follow feature re-purposed rail cars found in Houston, Texas -- a total of four cars so far in one city.  With one exception, I haven't yet identified their prior lives; perhaps some of you can help?  Photos are from various web sources.

Goode Seafood, 2621 Westpark Drive, Houston, TX

This seafood restaurant is one of several owned by the Goode Company, but the only one with a rail car dining room.  The rail car has Amtrak Phase I livery (1972-74) but none of the photos I found showed a number. I couldn't locate it in rrpicturearchives nor lists of Amtrak passenger cars, but there was a lot to wade through.  Do any of you have a good source for researching retired Amtrak cars?

Here you can see how the car is attached at the side, with the roof partially protected:

The view from the car's other end, showing hints of Amtrak Phase I paint:

Night shot -- also possibly showing tow-tone Phase I paint in between the windows:

These interior shots show that one side of the rail car was removed and it has been modeled to match the rest of the interior - a la "dineresque".  The replacement tile floor has a classic diner (building) pattern that has been modernized by adding a lot of space separating the white crosses from the brown background. The updated pattern also fills the wide floor space better than the traditional diner floor pattern would have:

The removed side forms a space for diner-like counter service. As in a real diner building, the floor tile pattern has been repeated on the side of the counter:

For more browsing (mostly food photos), see: Tripadvisor Reviews and Pix

The Goode Company website and this restaurant's page (not very informative):

Enjoy!

Tomlinson Run Railroad

Attachments

Photos (5)

This replaced a real interurban car that had deteriorated beyond repair at the Bull Moose Bar and Grill in Sandwich, IL; other than the odd end windows, it does not look too bad:

P7023597P7023598

Later Gator,

  Dave

 

Here comes a Yankee with a blackened soul,
Heading to Gatow with a load of coal.
......Anonymous U. S. pilot during the Berlin Airlift

Attachments

Photos (2)

This next Houston offering is unfortunately "Permanently closed" according to Google Street view.  The associated photos show a really terrific looking restaurant.  (To get the most RR-related pictures, enter in Railroad Crossing BBQ before the address.  Many photos are from 2016-18, so it must have closed recently. I avoided interior shots with people in them.)

Railroad Crossing BBQ, 14720 Hempstead Road, Houston, TX

This eatery has three cars on the property, one of which is used as an extension for their dining spaces.

In addition to a crossing buck and a G gauge train in the main dining area, one web photo shows what looks to be a small steam engine at the far end of the converted rail car dining area. 

Info and Photos via Google Maps

This screen capture shows from, upper left to lower right, a (fake?) mini steam engine, the repurposed rail car, the main buildings, a baggage car marked "UP", and a bay window caboose marked Southern Pacific Lines.  You can see a single RR track behind the restaurant and there is a RR crossing near by:

CNW #300915

The Chicago and Northern Historical Society says this numbered car was used for MOW but was originally built as a sleeper.  I don't know why it has a Great Northern logo on the side.  Note the side-entrance vestibules, roof shape, and the modifications the restaurant made by adding a central entrance (in classic diner building tradition):

This entrance mimics a typical diner building central vestibule:

Here are earlier interior shots. I love the green and red and how the lights give off a gold cast. Notice also the use of a counter in some of the photos:

Interior roof lines as seen from the counter:

The restaurant must have closed because this photo shows a Grand Opening sign.  You can also see that the interior was remodeled.  Personally, I like the older look better :-).  Do those trucks say anything to you experts? date? type?:

This guy's happy.  You can tell it's a BBQ joint by the entire roll of paper towels placed at each table (or are those just tall menus?):

I'm guessing that the photo above and the one below were taken from the added central vestibule:

To assist with download time, I'll post the other two cars separately.  I think I would have liked this place a lot.  Oh, lastly, here's a G gauge train in one of the other sections:

Tomlinson Run Railroad

Attachments

Photos (11)
PRRMP54 posted:

This replaced a real interurban car that had deteriorated beyond repair at the Bull Moose Bar and Grill in Sandwich, IL; other than the odd end windows, it does not look too bad:

P7023597P7023598

Wow Dave!  Fantastic shots!  Thanks for posting these.  Great colors and lines.  Yes, they did a superb job on the rehab. (Hopefully the interior was maintained with its stained glass and etc.)

A question for you:  Are you sure that the interurban deteriorated?   I believe the car originally had a fake "moderne" shovel nose added on the right side.  Perhaps that is what deteriorated?? Regardless, the right side was replaced and extended with what we see now with the portholes.  I may have a series of photos showing this restaurant's evolution from an interurban over several owners and modifications.  However, they may be on my old laptop, which requires some digging.  Also, I think it had a central entrance at one point, too?

Have you eaten there?  I'm hungry all of a sudden.

Thanks again for these great photos.

Tomlinson Run Railroad

TomlinsonRunRR posted:

Wow Dave!  Fantastic shots!  Thanks for posting these.  Great colors and lines.  Yes, they did a superb job on the rehab. (Hopefully the interior was maintained with its stained glass and etc.)

A question for you:  Are you sure that the interurban deteriorated?   I believe the car originally had a fake "moderne" shovel nose added on the right side.  Perhaps that is what deteriorated?? Regardless, the right side was replaced and extended with what we see now with the portholes.  I may have a series of photos showing this restaurant's evolution from an interurban over several owners and modifications.  However, they may be on my old laptop, which requires some digging.  Also, I think it had a central entrance at one point, too?

Have you eaten there?  I'm hungry all of a sudden.

Thanks again for these great photos.

Tomlinson Run Railroad

Thank you, I only saw it when I came out of the Walgreens to the right of the car and decided to take photo or two. I was told by someone that the original car had to be replaced. I have not been in it so have no idea what the food is like. Oddly, I passed it about eight times when going to and from my motel in Mendota (interesting RR museum there) and never really gave the place a thought about stopping in; even if just to look at it.

Later Gator,

  Dave

 

Here comes a Yankee with a blackened soul,
Heading to Gatow with a load of coal.
......Anonymous U. S. pilot during the Berlin Airlift

Railroad Crossing BBQ, Houston, Texas, Part 2

I've had no luck finding information on the two other rail cars at the RR Crossing BBQ.  But, in the process, I found out more about the car that was used for dining, as well as lots of other railcar-restaurant conversions in the U.S. and Canada to add to this topic as time allows.

To the right of the restaurant proper is a baggage car painted orange and blue.  It looks like someone was going for a Howard Johnson's look .  Seriously. I don't trust the Union Pacific logos because the inside of the restaurant is decorated with lots of logos, and then there's the (mysterious to me) Great Northern Railway logo on the CNW car.

A post on rypn.org says that these additional two cars are just five feet from the old Southern Pacific line to Hearne, TX.

These screen shots are via Google Street View.  Notice the roof overhand in this photo:

Here's the bay window caboose marked with a Southern Pacific Lines logo.  I didn't find this caboose on the Wikipedia list of preserved SP rolling stock, nor another one consulted.  (Notice how Google hid the logo on the caboose but not the baggage car? Doh!):

Lots of (radio?) doo-dads on top of this car. I recognize the smoke pipe :

Here's more information on CNW #300915, a Pullman Heavy Weight Sleeper, from posts on rypn.org; consult those links for the sources and full citations:

"Pullman Plan 2412B 16 Section sleeper INTREPID to TC 4150 (8/35) sold to C&NW 9/53, to X300915. From the book, THE COMPLETE ROSTER OF HEAVYWEIGHT PULLMAN CARS, Wayner Publications."

"Intrepid (Lot #4150, Plan #Plan #2412B/U, 1913/35, LS&MS)--Tourist #4150 sold to C&NW (1953) as MofW #X-300915 sold (unknown date) to Railroad Crossing BBQ & Catering (Houston)"

There seems to have been at least one other car named "Intrepid" -- it has an observation deck on one end.

Sources:

Info on web page 36

Info on web page 37

Tomlinson Run Railroad

Attachments

Photos (6)

I may just have to rewrite the initial post for this topic.  In it I wrote that converted trolleys and rail car "diner" restaurants were actually more rare than legend (and toy train manufacturers) would seem to imply.   But since I've started researching this area, I'm find that there are a ton (pun intended) of refurbished rail and trolley car "diners" and cafes out there.  Add to that list rail cars that are used as dining rooms and the number grows even larger.  Here is a nicely documented offering from Missouri --- and by "offering", I mean that literally.  The whole kit-n-kaboodle can be yours for $375,000.

Pullman BBQ, Parkville, Kansas City, Missouri

This restaurant features a rail car, a caboose, and a building that looks as though it might have once been used for freight of some sort.  The complex is located next to working BNSF tracks according to one visitor.   I've cherry-picked the available photos and provided links to more at the bottom.  This restaurant closed in October 2018 when the owners moved the business to Kansas City proper, after less than a year in operation.

The Pullman

Said to be from the 1920s, I couldn't ID this car's prior life.  (Is it a real Pullman?)  This car seems to be in excellent condition inside and out.  It was once blue and now is yellow with a red stripe.  It looks as though the last owners tried to mimic Union Pacific livery.

Look closely at the windows in the photo below and you'll see the outlines of oval frosted/etched glass.

Interior shot -- apparently, sometimes the tables are arranged length-wise for parties.  The car looks wide here but cramped in photos showing the other configuration.  Notice that an opening has been cut in the right side and there are windows visible on only one side.  Other photos suggest some windows remain(ed) on both sides.

Here's a photo of the window etching with a real RR scene.  One diner said how great it was to eat in the rail car as it shook when a train went by.

The Off-set Caboose

Marked for the Missouri Pacific Lines but with no number visible.  This class 1 line could be legit as MoPac merged with UP in the late 1990s.  The restaurant, under various names, has been here prior to 1993.  You can see that windows have been boarded up and some sort of welding happened on the caboose's right side (look under the roof line).   Apparently it contained antiques and a variety of stuff on display for browsing.  It, too, looks like it is in overall great shape.

Restaurant Building

The real estate listings say the building dates from 1940.  That doesn't look right to me but I'm not familiar with the regional architecture.

For more photos and other information:

Before it closed -- story and photos

Real estate listing with photos (there are others, too)

Zomato reviews, menu, and photos

Yelp's version (50 photos)

Tomlinson Run Railroad

Attachments

Photos (8)

In keeping with our Missouri barbeque theme, here's a repurposed rail car offering from the western part of the state.

Kedhe's Barbeque, Sadalia, MO

This family run restaurant was founded in 1959.  It also features a rail car dining room -- this time a 21-window car marked Missouri Kansas and Texas (MKT 1870-1989).  This line merged with MoPac (see previous post) and is now Union Pacific.  That light (?) over the vestibule is intriguing:

From what I understand green can be prototypical, but I've seen more red livery on the web. 

Here's a clearer view of the trucks.  I've seen trucks like this on rail cars photographed in the mid-1930s.  Can anyone weigh in on that?

Here's a similar photo but showing the full length and more of the intact equipment under the car:

https://www.fit4adventure.com/...ry/eating-on-a-train

Interior shots show what to me look like reversible bench seats:

Following are some links for further exploration. 

The first link has a nice video that introduces the restaurant by discussing Sedalia's origins as a railroad town/terminus for cattle drives and stock yards, along with some vintage photos.  It also shows MKT memorabilia in the main restaurant and interior scenes of the rail car:

Nice video (some interior scenes)

In this TripAdvisor link, click "All Photos" to see some close-ups of the bench seats and luggage inside the rail car:

TripAdvisor Photos

If you have Facebook access, here's their page.

Enjoy!

Tomlinson Run Railroad

Attachments

Photos (4)

Missouri has two more repurposed cars that I'm aware of.  This post features an interurban -- one of my favorite rail car types.  Located on the first floor of the Crown Plaza (mall) in Kansas City from 1984 until the end of 2015, the fate of this car is currently unknown.  Can anyone help?

A Streetcar Named Desire, Kansas City, MO

2450 Grand Avenue (Crown Plaza, Suite 113

This car was former interurban #52 of the Kansas City, Clay County, and St. Joseph Railway (1913-1933).  St. Joseph was known as Excelsior Springs.  Some Don Ross Collection photos show what look like working cars photographed as late as 1935, so there's an inconsistency surrounding the end dates in my brief research.

(Flickr)

 Interurban Origins

Don's Depot (Don Ross) has photos of cars that bracket number 52.  It is possible that this car had a similar history, that is, manufactured by the Cincinnati Car Company, dual poles, and a "submarine" body style.  Here's #63 with a link to background on this route and photos of other cars:

The Excelsior Springs route: Background on the Interurban Line and other cars

Photos of A Streetcar Named ... show a body that is shorter than most of the photos at the site above.  Number 50 was built in 1912, and number 63 was built in 1915, which potentially brackets our car between those years.

First Restaurant Incarnation

The car was retired and sold at some point.  George Kapsemalis (d. 2003) found the car sitting in a farm field near Lone Jack.  He purchased the car to add to the front of his restaurant located in a house at 4922 Main Street, Kansas City (Pinterest). He and a partner founded the restaurant in 1964:

Notice the door configuration.  Counting from the left three windows, it looks like there's a seam where perhaps the car was shorted?  Here's interurban car #22 from the same line for comparison -- what a difference. However, notice the plate under the window with the number "16" and compare with the restaurant photo :

(various web sources)

Second Restaurant Incarnation

The owner of the land the car and restaurant sat on needed it, so Mr. Kapsemalis disassembled the car and moved it to the first floor of the Crown Center Shops/Plaza.  Opening in late 1984, the car was both entrance and seating for a large dining room, bar, and side patio. 

Notice how the entrance has been moved to the left a bit and seems to mimic the original central style car entrance (various sources):

Above and below you can see how one car side has been cut away, but the rounded front/ends were left intact.  Photos on an auction site showed that the ends had seat cushions:

The plaque on the side -- obviously based on the postcard of car #22:

These interior shots also show how much of the opposite side was removed:

The interior looks fun but apparently food was served on Styrofoam plates (!).   In December 2015, the founders' three daughters decided to close the restaurant when the lease expired.  The restaurant contents were put up for auction

Current Whereabouts?

A news story said that there was lots of interest in the car but I couldn't find anything saying what became of it. 

'“It’s more work than it’s worth. It won’t be that easy to get out of there,” said Andy O’Hanlon, president and CEO of Equip-Bid.

But Crown Center officials and Streetcar’s owners said they are getting calls from people who want to buy it.'  Source of quote

Interestingly, the seats at each end of the car didn't sell at auction, suggesting that perhaps they went with the car. (Or else the shape was impractical for reuse.)

What's odd is it seems from a web search as though two different restaurants claimed that spot (Unforked and Fritz's Railroad Restaurant).  One ironically is a train-themed chain with Rube Goldberg-like contraptions that lower the food down to the tables from a "train".  In fact, the boy shown in the side shot above looks like he's wearing a paper-hat from that very chain: Check this place out!.

So, as the TV show title (almost) goes, "Car 52 Where Are You?"

Tomlinson Run Railroad

Attachments

Photos (10)

Here's another offering from Kansas City, MO.  This retired PCC single-ended trolley is located at 426 Delaware Street and West Fifth.

Kansas City Public Service #551 was supposed to be made into Trolley Tom's Ice Cream, then into a MadeinKC store.  It doesn't seem as though either happened but the trolley is still on public display.  Here are the details, some pictures, and links to more pictures and more information.

Built in 1947 by the St. Louis Car Company, car #551 was in service for the Kansas City Public Service from that year until 1957.  It then went to Toronto, San Francisco, and the Western Railway Museum in Rio Vista, CA, respectively.  In 2006, it was returned to Kansas City and placed on display outside of the Kansas City Union Station until 2016.  Here are rrpicturearchives.net pictures from its Kansas City Union Station days.

For this car's "Facts and Figures" and full dates and details of prior ownership, check out this BERA link. (It hasn't been updated to include the fact that Trolley Tom's Ice Cream never seemed to get off the ground.)  

Here are some screen caps from Google Maps using June 2018 images -- they show the side and a bit of the rear.  I got a chuckle from the use of the railroad ties that support the rails. Unfortunately, it is no longer covered and there is some visible rust and damage to the front doors:

Here's a news story from 11 September 2017 about the car's move from Union Station to its new location and the intention to use it as an ice-cream parlor.  Photos include the cranes used to lift and remove it from Union Station, a vintage PCC car photo, and a nice shot of a current street car passing #511.

That story was followed by this story from 30 October 2018 saying that a MadeinKC shop was going to open there.  The MadeinKC website makes no mention of this location, so I'm guessing that fell through as well. 

Lastly, here's a Google Maps view that shows the brick building that the trolley is next to -- this building, not the trolley, contains a popular ice cream shop.  That would have made for some stiff competition had Trolley Tom Ice Cream ever become reality.

One final note: This car traveled the Country Club route, which if I understand the geography correctly, was were the interurban car restaurant (Streetcar Named Desire Restaurant) featured in the prior post was located. 

The KPSC logo found on the side of #551:

Tomlinson Run Railroad

Attachments

Photos (5)

I read that the 'Ye Olde College Diner' in State College, PA was recently torn down. Apparently, it was originally a Ward and Dickinson opened in 1929 that had been built and rebuilt over and around many times over. The original structure was found as part of the demolition.

Never realized it was there during the many breakfasts, dinners, and late night Grilled Stickies runs I made in the early 90s.

TomlinsonRunRR posted:

In keeping with our Missouri barbeque theme, here's a repurposed rail car offering from the western part of the state.

Kedhe's Barbeque, Sadalia, MO

This family run restaurant was founded in 1959.  It also features a rail car dining room -- this time a 21-window car marked Missouri Kansas and Texas (MKT 1870-1989).  This line merged with MoPac (see previous post) and is now Union Pacific.  That light (?) over the vestibule is intriguing:

From what I understand green can be prototypical, but I've seen more red livery on the web. 

Here's a clearer view of the trucks.  I've seen trucks like this on rail cars photographed in the mid-1930s.  Can anyone weigh in on that?

Here's a similar photo but showing the full length and more of the intact equipment under the car:

https://www.fit4adventure.com/...ry/eating-on-a-train

Interior shots show what to me look like reversible bench seats:

Following are some links for further exploration. 

The first link has a nice video that introduces the restaurant by discussing Sedalia's origins as a railroad town/terminus for cattle drives and stock yards, along with some vintage photos.  It also shows MKT memorabilia in the main restaurant and interior scenes of the rail car:

Nice video (some interior scenes)

In this TripAdvisor link, click "All Photos" to see some close-ups of the bench seats and luggage inside the rail car:

TripAdvisor Photos

If you have Facebook access, here's their page.

Enjoy!

Tomlinson Run Railroad

This appears to be a Lackawanna R.R. electric MU trailer car. It is missing the tube pilot in the front. The headlight over the vestibule was actually a red light used when trailing. There was a headlight above it. This car is along way from home.  

Greg Nagy posted:

I read that the 'Ye Olde College Diner' in State College, PA was recently torn down. Apparently, it was originally a Ward and Dickinson opened in 1929 that had been built and rebuilt over and around many times over. The original structure was found as part of the demolition.

Never realized it was there during the many breakfasts, dinners, and late night Grilled Stickies runs I made in the early 90s.

Greg,

Thank-you for this unfortunate update.  Ward and Dickinson (1923-1940? NY), as I recall, was a diner manufacturer favored by Bickford's Pancake restaurants and there aren't too many of them around.  I just tried to find an article to see whether the original structure was saved by a preservation group.  This topic started out with a nod to the fact that some trolleys encased in later restaurant additions were saved this way.

No luck so far, but this link does have a video showing the wonderful neon, chrome, tile and wood work that was lost.  The red and white steaming coffee cup that projected from the chrome overhang would be great to copy on a model.  $1.5 million for the site and the Grilled Stickies will still be available -- so they say.

Tomlinson Run Railroad

PAUL ROMANO posted:
TomlinsonRunRR posted:

=snip=

Kedhe's Barbeque, Sadalia, MO

This family run restaurant was founded in 1959.  It also features a rail car dining room -- this time a 21-window car marked Missouri Kansas and Texas (MKT 1870-1989).  This line merged with MoPac (see previous post) and is now Union Pacific.  That light (?) over the vestibule is intriguing:

From what I understand green can be prototypical, but I've seen more red livery on the web. 

=snip=https://www.fit4adventure.com/...ry/eating-on-a-train

This appears to be a Lackawanna R.R. electric MU trailer car. It is missing the tube pilot in the front. The headlight over the vestibule was actually a red light used when trailing. There was a headlight above it. This car is along way from home.  

Paul, great observation.  There are many DLW examples on the web, but this one in particular supports your observation -- even right down to the angle of the photograph (source: The Trolley Dodger and to read more):

Thanks for the reply!  I was hoping that folks would chime in with information like this.

Tomlinson Run Railroad

Attachments

Photos (1)

Add Reply

Post
OGR Publishing, Inc., 1310 Eastside Centre Ct, Suite 6, Mountain Home, AR 72653
330-757-3020

www.ogaugerr.com
×
×
×
×
×