former AFT car that over 7 million Americans passed through
has escaped the scrapper's torch.
If you visited
the AFT, you walked through half of this car. As did Hank Aaron,
Buzz Aldrin, Walter Mondale, Alf Landon, Johnny Cash, Merle Haggard,
the Apollo-Soyuz Cosmonauts, John Wayne, Lady Bird Johnson, and
dozens of other luminaries.
This car served
as the "exit" car on the AFT and was also one of two cars
supplying electrical power for the AFT's trainset. (It served the
same role on the 'Discovery Train' for the National Museums of Canada
immediately following its service on the AFT.) It was the last car
that millions of Americans and Canadians passed through on their
trips through each train.
The car has
seen all 48 contiguous states and every province in Canada with
tracks (coming within 600 miles of the arctic circle at Churchill,
Manitoba) -- not bad for a car that started life as a lowly baggage
car -- one of dozens of identical cars built by American Car &
Foundry for the New York Central Railroad.
If there is
a better-traveled railcar in the world, we'd like to know about
Please email if you know the original car number from its days on the New York Central.
The car is seen
here at Omaha in May, 2001.
With the help
of the Museum of America's Freedom Trains, the car is now with the
Pacific Railway Preservation Association in Portland, OR.
Upper two photos:
Dave Varilek at Omaha, NE ~2002.
Thanks go to
the following for helping make preservation of the car a reality
(and saving a significant part of North American railroading history
in the process!):
Jayne and John Rowe, major contributors
Skillman, AFT alumni, contributor
Sowers, AFT alumni, contributor
and Tina Hoban, Bill is AFT alumni, contributors
Phillips, AFT alumni, contributor
Shaw, AFT alumni, contributor
MAFT supporter, contributor
Waters, event organizer, 25th anniversary of the AFT in Texas,
Irion, AFT 4449 volunteer, contributor
& Bob Patterson, contributors
& Brenda Anderson, contributors
Varilek, Empire Builder Private Cars, who made the car available
after acquiring it from the Union Pacific!!
Kimzey, for the PRPA (and for a LOT of hard work and problem
Wines, MAFT founder
Schannuth. Fremont, NE. February 2003.