Spare Baggage Car
In 1974, the AFT Foundation purchased 18 surplus NYC/PC baggage cars for conversion into the AFT.
Of those, 10 were made into display cars, two into showcase cars, one entrance car, two power cars and one concessions storage car. That accounts for 16. Another was reportedly dumped over on its side to harvest its trucks in Richmond, CA where the car conversions were taking place. That one was supposedly scrapped on site.
Which just leaves this orphan -- a spare American Freedom Train baggage car that has been shuffled around northern California for decades.
Today it sits in storage at Willits, CA. No car number is visible on the outside, though it might still exist above the end doors on the inside.
Shall we call it AFT #99?
The American Freedom Train steam locomotives were supposed to have a tool car #99 made from a baggage car like this, but that car became AFT #20, a concessions storage car, when the concessions people needed the room -- and the washer & dryer that came with it.
Images: Todd Schannuth 2010
Author's note: To my chagrin, it took me three years to figure out what exactly I was photographing in 2010, despite having a 500-page website dedicated to this very subject. Although, it did seem strange there was a New York Central baggage car rusting away in northern CA, which is the only reason I took pictures. Talk about not seeing the forest for the trees...
Thanks go to AFT veteran SR Bush for putting the pieces together for me.
Research: SR Bush, Mike Mangini
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