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American Freedom Train
Car #205
The Press Car

President Ford inaugurated the AFT from the platform of the Preamble Express, December 1974. Shortly thereafter this car was repainted into AFT #205.

Image: Ford Presidential Library collection

American Freedom Train Car 205 ex Reading 1329, Permacel Express, Springmaid Special, Preamble Express, BC Rail Britannia, Mt Rainier 321  
 

Built for the Reading Co. in 1922, coach car #1329 became Permacel Express car P3 "Educator" with the addition of a large observation deck on one end. The train debuted in September, 1966.

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

American Freedom Train Car 205 ex Reading 1329, Permacel Express, Springmaid Special, Preamble Express, BC Rail Britannia, Mt Rainier 321  
 

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

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 205 ex Reading 1329, Permacel Express, Springmaid Special, Preamble Express, BC Rail Britannia, Mt Rainier 321  
 

The car was used to train hundreds of Permacel employees and distributors.

Image: L&N Magazine September 1967

American Freedom Train Car 205 ex Reading 1329, Permacel Express, Springmaid Special, Preamble Express, BC Rail Britannia, Mt Rainier 321  
 

Springmaid Special car "Educator" became Preamble Express car #4, and later AFT #205 -- as seen here in a brochure put out by the Lancaster & Chester Railway.

Image: Keith Muldowney collection

American Freedom Train Car 205 ex Reading 1329, Permacel Express, Springmaid Special, Preamble Express, BC Rail Britannia, Mt Rainier 321  
 

Interior shot from the Lancaster & Chester Railway brochure.

Image: Keith Muldowney collection

American Freedom Train Car 205 ex Reading 1329, Permacel Express, Springmaid Special, Preamble Express, BC Rail Britannia, Mt Rainier 321  
 

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 205 ex Reading 1329, Permacel Express, Springmaid Special, Preamble Express, BC Rail Britannia, Mt Rainier 321  
 

Preamble Express Car #4 became AFT Observation Car #205.

It had already been to all 48 contiguous states even before it joined the AFT!

Shown at Lebanon, NJ. July 1974.

Image: Keith Muldowney.

American Freedom Train Car 205 ex Reading 1329, Permacel Express, Springmaid Special, Preamble Express, BC Rail Britannia, Mt Rainier 321  
 

The Preamble Express cars still carried large metal plaques on their sides from their days on the Lancaster & Chester Railway. The plaques were removed when the cars were repainted to become part of the AFT.

Image: Keith Muldowney. Roanoke, VA 1974.

American Freedom Train Car 205 ex Reading 1329, Permacel Express, Springmaid Special, Preamble Express, BC Rail Britannia, Mt Rainier 321  
  AFT Observation Car #205.

Shown at Columbus, OH. May 1975.

Image: William Brandon, photographer. George Elwood scan.

American Freedom Train Car 205 ex Reading 1329, Permacel Express, Springmaid Special, Preamble Express, BC Rail Britannia, Mt Rainier 321  
 

At Cameron Station, VA in early 1977.

Photo: Tom Nosera

American Freedom Train Car 205 ex Reading 1329, Permacel Express, Springmaid Special, Preamble Express, BC Rail Britannia, Mt Rainier 321  
 

Former AFT car #205 as BC Rail "Britannia" at North Vancouver, BC.

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

Click on images for a larger version.

Image: Claude Prutton June 6, 1980.

American Freedom Train Car 205 ex Reading 1329, Permacel Express, Springmaid Special, Preamble Express, BC Rail Britannia, Mt Rainier 321  
 


In 2003 the car ran, with former AFT #203, as part of the American Freedom Dinner Train in Lewiston, Idaho. While on the dinner train the whole rear platform was encaged floor-to-ceiling -- for insurance purposes.

Former AFT car #205 as Mt. Rainier Railroad Dining Company #321 "Pierce".

President Ford inaugurated the American Freedom Train from its back platform in December 1974 at Alexandria, VA

Elbe, WA.

Image: Lee Bishop December 2003.

American Freedom Train Car 205 ex Reading 1329, Permacel Express, Springmaid Special, Preamble Express, BC Rail Britannia, Mt Rainier 321  
  Image: Lee Bishop 2006. American Freedom Train Car 205 ex Reading 1329, Permacel Express, Springmaid Special, Preamble Express, BC Rail Britannia, Mt Rainier 321  
  Image: Lee Bishop 2006. American Freedom Train Car 205 ex Reading 1329, Permacel Express, Springmaid Special, Preamble Express, BC Rail Britannia, Mt Rainier 321  
 

Former AFT car #205 as #321.

Note the framed print of President Ford's inauguration of the American Freedom Train from the car's observation platform in December 1974 -- while the car was still in Preamble Express paint.

Image: Lee Bishop 2006.

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American Freedom Train Car 205 ex Reading 1329, Permacel Express, Springmaid Special, Preamble Express, BC Rail Britannia, Mt Rainier 321  
       
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