Trains, Trolleys, and Diners: The real story

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 therapeutic. 

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

Add Reply



OGR Publishing, Inc. PO Box 218, Hilliard, OH 43026 330-757-3020
www.ogaugerr.com
×
×
×
×
×