Wednesday, February 10, 2021

Trucks for the Parlor Car

The parlor car in 2016 on Whidby Island 
Parlor car 1799 was built by Pullman in 1901 and is typical of an extra fare day service car of the era.  It and an identical car were the Northern Pacific's very first true all parlor car.  It was donated to the Museum in 2018 and moved to Snoqualmie from Whidbey Island.  It had been used as a seaside cottage for more than 70 years, but is now destined to return to its former configuration as a Northern Pacific Railway parlor car.

The trucks arrive on a truck
When the car was reconfigured as a cottage, the trucks - frames that support the suspension, wheels and bearings - were removed and scrapped.  The original trucks were a standard design developed by the Master Car Builders (MCB) Association, and were of composite wood and steel construction.  This same truck design is found under chapel car 5 Messenger of Peace, and Spokane, Portland and Seattle coaches 213 & 218.  It is a design that was replaced by the late 1910s with all steel cast trucks.

The trucks were unloaded by
simultaneously lifting  all three axles

The Museum is delighted to share that Steven Butler and Morton Machine Works donated a pair of 1900s-vintage MCB trucks to the project.  The former Great Northern Railway baggage car trucks were located at the Texas State Railroad Museum and arrived by highway truck last Sunday morning.  This 25 ton load arrived on time after a four day drive from Palestine, TX.

Both trucks were unloaded in 45 minutes
The fine folks at Imhoff Contractor and Crane Service of Snoqualmie made quick work unloading the "new" parlor car trucks.  They were unloaded onto the Museum's main track and moved into the Conservation and Restoration Workshop where they will be rehabilitated in anticipation of installation under the parlor car later this year.

The transportation and unloading of this pair of MCB trucks was funded in part with individual donations, and grant funding from the Washington Heritage Capital Projects Fund of the Washington State Historical Society.  Work is being guided by research funded by the National Trust for Historic Preservation conducted by Mr. Kyle Wyatt, former Curator at the California State Railroad Museum.  Special thanks to Steven Butler for donating these important components to the parlor car.

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