More completed restorations

By Aaron Isaacs, HRA editor

Although we’re all shut down due to the virus, several restorations were completed recently. Always makes me feel better.

Fort Collins Municipal Railway Birney 25
As the last small city Birneys to run in North America, the Fort Collins cars were well known among traction fans. The all-volunteer Municipal Railway preserved and restored #21. Against strong Not In My Front Yard opposition, in 1984 they revived the Mountain Avenue streetcar line, now a preservation gem.

For quite a few years Birney #25 has been under restoration inside the city-owned original carbarn, located a couple of blocks from Mountain Avenue. Last December an addition to the operating carbarn was completed and #25 was moved there in March, awaiting a few final finishing touches. It should be returned to service later this year.

The Mountain Avenue carbarn. Left to right is the new addition, then cars 25 and 21.

Watauga Valley Railroad Historical Society: Clinchfield office car 100

Clinchfield 100 returned to service in December 2019 after a 30 years absence.

In June 2013, the Watauga Valley Railroad Historical Society & Museum purchased the Clinchfield 100 from its owner in Florida. Since its construction, the car has changed names and hands a number of times.

Car 100 (Pullman 1911) began life as an all-steel Atlantic Coast Line coach #985. Railroad. About 20 years later it was rebuilt as #100 by the ACL’s main passenger shop in Rocky Mount, NC into the dining car “Orlando”. It ran on the ACL’s main line between Washington, DC and Miami until 1951.

That year the Clinchfield bought it and converted it to an office car. Car 100 had its first official run in 1953 as the official car on the Clinchfield’s Santa Train, which it would do until 1983.

When the Family Lines System absorbed the Clinchfield in the 1970s, Car 100 was painted in the Family Lines grey, red and yellow color scheme. It was retired and transported to Jacksonville, Fla., in 1983 to be evaluated for use as a CSX fleet car. It was stored at the CSX West Jacksonville Office Car track for the next year, when it was sold to a private party. It was again sold to Florida resident Bill Beddell around 1985. In 1995, Car 100 was moved to the Aberdeen Carolina & Western in North Carolina and was subsequently moved again to the Lancaster & Chester in Lancaster, S.C.

In July 20, 2013, Car 100 was purchased by the Watauga Valley Railroad Museum in Jonesborough, TN and moved to the North Carolina Transportation Museum in Spencer, NC for restoration. It rolled out of the paint shop on January 14, 2014. CRR 100 has been under a 5-year restoration project that was completed in October 2019.

Hocking Valley Scenic Railroad: New York Central snow plow X625

We missed this one, which just showed up on Railway Preservation News. The Hocking Valley Scenic Railroad completed the restoration of NYC Russell plow X625 in 2018. Admittedly the lightning stripe color scheme is not historic, but it looks good.

Golden Gate Railroad Museum: Union Pacific RPO #5901

Despite being preoccupied with the very difficult move from the Niles Canyon Railway to Schellville, California, the Golden Gate Railroad Museum has just completed the restoration of RPO #5901.

Shelburne Falls Trolley Museum: Central Vermont caboose #4015

This tiny trolley museum unveiled its first steam road restoration. Caboose #4015 was built in 1925. The small print on the car’s side is accurate data from its maintenance card.

Durbin & Greenbrier Valley: Repainted Navy boxcar

As part of a recent campaign to spruce use the “dead” line on a spur in Cass, West Virginia, the D&GV is painting several ex-Navy 40-foot steel boxcars. The latest sports a rare Pittsburgh & West Virginia scheme.

Allentown & Auburn: Erie boxcar

Speaking of boxcar repaints, check out this Erie 40-footer.