Submitted by Andrew Hershman & Matt Lee
This past Saturday, January 8th marks the beginning of a new project on one of the former Amtrak baggage cars acquired in 2019. The 3671, originally built for the Atchison, Topeka & Santa fe Railroad in 1955 by American Car and Foundry has been selected to fill the role of an open air car for excursions and other related events. The car once completed, will allow for a multiple use setting that will allow riders to enjoy the sights, sounds and smells only found in tow behind a coal fired giant. All four doors will be able to be opened with fixed gates installed to provide a safe area to offer a different excursion experience. Limited seating could be included with a counter or bar to offer amenities to passengers tailored to the type of even being hosted.
On Saturday, a brief overview of the car was given by Zach Hall and we wasted no time in digging in. The floor was tackled first with Brain Smith getting involved as well. A large part of this project will be the necessary removal and replacement of the floor in the car. The aged and beaten floor has many uneven and soft places and in general poor condition. We currently have maybe 15% of the floor removed and are working on options to replace it as necessary. The carbody is almost entirely constructed of stainless steel and in very decent shape on the other hand. The immediate plan is to refinish the interior for possible use this summer. If time permits the exterior will get the same treatment. A general overview of the project work order includes:
Baggage doors repaired/replaced
Fixed gates for doorways installed
110V transformer and 110V circuits installed for interior use
Interior prep and paint work
Countertop and bar installation
Necessary safety appliances applied/qualified
Light mechanical repairs
Stainless prep work/vinyl removal
Roof vents painted
Exterior paint and lettering
And any other items found along the way.
As project manager with Matt Lee, we are excited to begin this project with the intention of meeting our relatively sensitive timeline of this coming May. With your help I am sure it is within reach and look forward to working with you on making an impact on the 2022 operating season in a new way