Unexpected use for federal grant

By Aaron Isaacs, HRA editor

Frisco 4-8-2 #1501 (Baldwin 1923) and 1883 Frisco open platform coach #653 are displayed in Rolla, MO under an open air shelter. They had been cosmetically restored in the past, at least their exteriors had, but appeared to need some freshening up. Enter Nick Barrack, CEO of CSE Enterprises, which runs a construction company and a tour bus operation. The coronavirus has shut down parts of his business and put eleven of his employees out of work.

Frisco 4-8-2 #1501 and coach #653 in Rollo, Missouri. Robert David Grant photo.

Barrack immediately applied, and received, a federal Payroll Protection Program (PPP) loan. The loan could be forgiven if spent on payroll within 8 weeks. That deadline has since been relaxed, but that hasn’t changed the project described here.

Like many other PPP recipients, the 8-week deadline came too soon to restart normal business, so Barrack looked around for a good project and decided to spruce up the railroad display.

Coach #653 before. Robert David Grant photo.

1501 before. Robert David Grant photo.

They started by stripping up to eight layers of paint off the exteriors, sanded them and repainted them. But that’s far from the whole story. They discovered the coach needed major work inside. The ceiling was coming down.

The coach interior before work started.

Removing the sheet metal on the interior walls revealed rotted wood and paneling that they refurbished. They removed all the seats, flooring, headliner and wall panelling. All the windows were removed and rebuilt.

A section of bad flooring that had to be replaced.

Bad wood around the clerestory windows.

The restored coach components laid out on the floor. From left to right are the clerestory window frames, side windows frames, luggage racks, restroom fixtures, and walkover seats.

Paint was stripped from the clerestory windows, revealing etched glass that has now been restored. The walkover seats were disassembled, reupholstered, lubricated and repainted. The floor has been polished and stained. Besides a complete set of seats, the car has its original two stoves. PPG Protective and Marine Coatings donated paint, and repainting the exteriors will be the last step.

The restored interior.

The repainted exterior.

Repainting the 1501.

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