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American Freedom Train
Car #203
The Bar Car

Built for the Reading Co. in 1922, car #1327 became Permacel Express car P2 "Motivator", debuting in September, 1966.

Image: Parke-Bernet Galleries auction catalog, November 21, 1968

American Freedom Train Car 203 ex Reading 1327, Permacel Express, Springmaid Special, Preamble Express, BC Rail Resolution, Mt Rainier 322  
 

The colorful Permacel Express was used for employee education and public relations. For economy, it traveled attached to regularly scheduled passenger trains.

Image: L&N Magazine September 1967

American Freedom Train Car 203 ex Reading 1327, Permacel Express, Springmaid Special, Preamble Express, BC Rail Resolution, Mt Rainier 322  
 

The interior of Permacel Express P2 - Motivator. According to L&N Magazine, the chairs were red velvet, the tables black marble. There was a ten-foot solid oak bar, complete with brass foot rail and cuspidors. A player piano and brass chandeliers completed the Gay '90's look.

Image: L&N Magazine September 1967

American Freedom Train Car 203 ex Reading 1327, Permacel Express, Springmaid Special, Preamble Express, BC Rail Resolution, Mt Rainier 322  
 

 

The three-car train was sold at auction to the Lancaster & Chester Railway, the "Springmaid Line", where it became the Springmaid Special.

Image: Parke-Bernet Galleries auction catalog, November 21, 1968

American Freedom Train Car 203 ex Reading 1327, Permacel Express, Springmaid Special, Preamble Express, BC Rail Resolution, Mt Rainier 322  
 

Springmaid Special car "Motivator" became Preamble Express car #2, and later AFT #203 -- seen here on a brochure put out by the Lancaster & Chester Railway.

Image: Keith Muldowney collection

American Freedom Train Car 203 ex Reading 1327, Permacel Express, Springmaid Special, Preamble Express, BC Rail Resolution, Mt Rainier 322  
 

 

 

The same brochure illustrates the car's famous bar.

 

Image: Keith Muldowney collection

American Freedom Train Car 203 ex Reading 1327, Permacel Express, Springmaid Special, Preamble Express, BC Rail Resolution, Mt Rainier 322  
 

 

The brochure also shows the car's piano -- a favorite among the AFT staff, once they got it working...

 

Image: Keith Muldowney collection

American Freedom Train Car 203 ex Reading 1327, Permacel Express, Springmaid Special, Preamble Express, BC Rail Resolution, Mt Rainier 322  
 

Coming from the L&C, the cars of the Springmaid Special were measured for the AFT Foundation. The measurements appear on a drawing that shows the skirting the cars used to wear on the Reading RR.

Image: John Finnin collection

American Freedom Train Car 203 ex Reading 1327, Permacel Express, Springmaid Special, Preamble Express, BC Rail Resolution, Mt Rainier 322  
 

Above the bar was a large 3'x4' oil painting by H.T. Norman, circa 1864.

In the lounge area was a Forrest player piano by Cunningham Piano Co. of Philadelphia, #75154 with 145 rolls of player piano music in the closet nearby.

Photographed at Minneapolis.

Image: John Hill collection

American Freedom Train Car 203 ex Reading 1327, Permacel Express, Springmaid Special, Preamble Express, BC Rail Resolution, Mt Rainier 322  
 

 

The car could be reserved for local civic functions (parties).

Shown at Pittsburgh, PA July 1976.

Image: William Brandon, photographer. George Elwood scan.

American Freedom Train Car 203 ex Reading 1327, Permacel Express, Springmaid Special, Preamble Express, BC Rail Resolution, Mt Rainier 322  
 


The carwas sold to BC Rail and renamed "Resolution" as part of the British Columbia Provincial Museum Train.

In 2003 it ran, with former AFT #205, as part of the American Freedom Dinner Train in Lewiston, Idaho. Now owned by a diner in Elbe, Washington, home of the Mt. Rainier Scenic RR and running as MR 322 "Thurston" on the Mt. Rainier Railroad Dining Co. Click here for photo.

Former AFT car #203 as BC Rail "Resolution" at Vancouver, BC.

Jerry LaBoda alerted us to this picture on the web and did the leg work getting us permission to post it here. Our thanks to both Jerry and Claude Prutton, the photographer.

Image: Claude Prutton. March 30, 1978.

American Freedom Train Car 203 ex Reading 1327, Permacel Express, Springmaid Special, Preamble Express, BC Rail Resolution, Mt Rainier 322  
 

Former AFT car #203 as Mt. Rainier Railroad Dining Company #322 at . Elbe, Washington.

Walter Curll identified this as former AFT #203, pointing out that the roof vents on cars 203 and 204 were very different. AFT 203 had this box type of roof vent, while AFT 204 had its original "Reading-style" roof vents. Walter also pointed out that three of the car's original windows have been plated over -- toward the right end of the car in this photo. The windows were still there in its AFT days.

Image: Lee Bishop December 2003.

American Freedom Train Car 203 ex Reading 1327, Permacel Express, Springmaid Special, Preamble Express, BC Rail Resolution, Mt Rainier 322  
  Image: Lee Bishop 2006. American Freedom Train Car 203 ex Reading 1327, Permacel Express, Springmaid Special, Preamble Express, BC Rail Resolution, Mt Rainier 322  
 

Image: Lee Bishop 2006.

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American Freedom Train Car 203 ex Reading 1327, Permacel Express, Springmaid Special, Preamble Express, BC Rail Resolution, Mt Rainier 322  
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