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Clinchfield Business Car

HISTORY

Car 100 began its long life in 1911 when the all-steel coach was built by the Pullman for the Atlantic Coast Line Railroad. Originally, the car was known as the ACL #985. Around 20 years after its construction, the car was rebuilt by the ACL’s main passenger shop in Rocky Mount, NC into a full-operating dining car and named the Orlando. Until 1951, the Orlando operated on the ACL’s main line between Washington, DC and Miami.

It was early in 1951 that officials with the Erwin, TN-headquartered Clinchfield Railroad decided that the railroad’s original office car was getting just too old to keep in service, and began their search for a replacement. In May of that year, the Clinchfield purchased the Orlando, which had become unserviceable, from the ACL and brought it to Erwin to undergo major renovations from the ground up. After almost two years of restoration work, completed under the direction of Clinchfield Chief Mechanical Officer P.O. Likens, the Clinchfield Railroad had its new office car, which was christened Car 100. When the Family Lines System absorbed the Clinchfield Railroad in the 1970s, Car 100 was painted to reflect the Family Lines grey, red and yellow color scheme. Car 100 was later retired and transported to CSX headquarters in Jacksonville, FL in 1983 to be evaluated for use as a fleet car. It was stored in Jacksonville until sold to a private party in Tampa, FL. Car 100 was then again sold to Florida resident Bill Beddell around 1985. Ten years after this, Car 100 was moved to the Aberdeen, Carolina & Western Railway in North Carolina, only to subsequently be moved yet again to the Lancaster & Chester Railroad in Lancaster, SC.

In June 2013, the Watauga Valley Railroad Historical Society & Museum purchased Car 100 from the L&C, renamed it the Clinchfield, and assigned it AAR reporting mark WATX 100 in honor of its Clinchfield Railroad legacy. The car received major restoration work at the North Carolina Transportation Museum in Spencer, NC and is now undergoing final improvements required for AMTRAK certification that will allow its use in mainline excursion service.

Clinchfield Photo Gallery: Historical | Restoration

Crescent Harbor Sleeper/Lounge

HISTORY

The Crescent Harbor is one of three remaining sleeper / lounge passenger cars built by Pullman for the Southern Railway's Southern Crescent passenger service. Delivered in 1949-50, this particular car plied the rails between New York City and New Orleans during the "golden days" of rail travel. Having been out-of-service since 1979, Crescent Harbor was recently returned to rail service through a major restoration project by WVRHS&M, from whom it received AAR reporting mark WATX 2351.

Crescent Harbor's two sister cars, while they exist, require extensive work before they could become roadworthy.

Crescent Harbor Photo Galleries: Rail Service | Restoration

Moultrie Lightweight Dining Car

HISTORY

In March and April of 1950, Pullman-Standard produced ten 36-seat dining cars with the following names: Atlanta, Birmingham, Cordele, Fitzgerald, Greenville, La Grange, Moultrie, Plant City, Talladega, and Tarboro. In May of that year, the RF&P received the 36-seat diner Henrico completed by the same car builder. Also in 1950, the Florida East Coast Railroad took delivery of two P-S built diners of the same series, the Fort Ribault and the Fort Drum. The body shell for one additional car of this type was built by Pullman-Standard in 1957. This work was completed at Atlantic Coast Line shops in December 1959 and the car was named Naples.

The Moultrie, originally owned by the ACL, operated on New York to Miami trains until 1971. With the formation of AMTRAK, the diner continued Florida service until 1981 when AMTRAK sold the car to a short-line dinner train operation in Virginia. The Watauga Valley Chapter NRHS purchased the car in 1989, completely upgrading the mechanical systems to AMTRAK standards and fully renovating the interior. It was assigned AAR reporting mark WATX 400.

The builder’s photo of the Moultrie may be seen in the Official Pullman-Standard Library, volume 7, Southeast Railroads. The Moultrie was selected out of the ten diners noted above to carry the builder’s photo for Pullman-Standard.

Moultrie Photo Galleries: Rail Service | Restoration | Excursion Service

Powhatan Arrow Coach

HISTORY

In April of 1946, the Norfolk & Western Railway ordered ten 58-seat coaches for the Powhatan Arrow and Pocahontas from Pullman-Standard. The cars were delivered from October through December of 1949. They were built with smooth sides and painted in N&W’s tuscan red and black. Car numbers were numbered 531 to 540. Out of the ten cars in this series, eight cars are still in some type of operation. The #539 operated between Cincinnati, Ohio and Norfolk, Virginia. After the N&W passenger service was discontinued in 1971, the car was put into commuter service in Chicago for several years and then retired for storage until 1982 when it was selected for operation in the Norfolk Southern Steam Program. In 1992, the Watauga Valley Chapter NRHS received the coach from NS and completely restored this beautiful example of the glory days of rail passenger service. It was named the Powhatan Arrow and received AAR reporting mark WATX 539 in honor of its service on the N&W.

Powhatan Arrow Photo Galleries: Rail Service | Restoration | Excursion Service

St. Augustine Coach

HISTORY

This coach was built in 1954 by Pullman-Standard for the Florida East Coast Railroad and named the St. Augustine along with three others: Coca-Rockledge, Hollywood, and Miami. The St. Augustine saw service on the Dixie Land route between Chicago and Miami. The car also saw service on the New York to Florida train until 1971. With the formation of AMTRAK, the St. Augustine continued operation on trains out of Chicago, New York, and Florida. In 1981, AMTRAK sold the car to a short line tourist operation in Virginia. The Watauga Valley Chapter NRHS purchased the car in 1986; completely upgraded the mechanical system to AMTRAK standards; fully renovated the interior; and renamed it the Clinchfield. It was assigned AAR reporting mark WATX 500. In 2013, the Watauga Valley Railroad Historical Society & Museum, in keeping with its mission to maintain historical accuracy whenever possible, restored the car's name to its original St. Augustine.

St. Augustine Photo Galleries: Rail Service | Restoration | Excursion Service

Other Historic Railroad Cars

CLINCHFIELD #5586 - This box car was built April, 1954 for the Clinchfield Railroad. It was in road service on the Clinchfield until 1978 till it became a grocery salvage car for a food distributor in Johnson City, TN for cross town switching. #5586 was retired in 1986 and was headed to the scrap line by CSXT. In 1988 the Watauga Valley Chapter NRHS contacted the railroad about the possibility of purchasing the box car. The railroad agreed and the car was sandblasted and repainted by Corbin Rail Service in Erwin, TN to its original Clinchfield levy before its trip back to Jonesborough in 1988. The #5586 services as our work shop at the Spring St. Coach Yard today.

VIRGINIAN #322 - The VGN #322 was built for the Virginian Railroad and operated on Virginian mainline from Princeton, WV to the Tidewater of Norfolk, VA. After the N&W and Virginian Merger IN 1957, the #322 was cutback to local mine run service out of Princeton. In 1984 the Norfolk Southern decided to retire the caboose and put it into Storage. The #322 was donated to Watauga Valley Chapter NRHS in 1988 and was shipped to Jonesborough, TN. VGN #322 was sold to the Roanoke Chapter NRHS in 2005 for a display piece at the Roanoke Virginian Passenger Station Restoration project.

C&O #903103 - This caboose was built in 1968 for the Chesapeake & Ohio Railroad and used system wide on all kinds of different trains. In 1978, the #903103 was selected to be part of nine cabooses selected to be repainted as an orange "HANDLE WITH CARE" caboose to remind employees to handle their freight in a careful matter. In 1986 the caboose was put in the storage line in Louisville, KY awaiting disposition by CSXT. The railroad sold the #903103 to Watauga Valley Chapter NRHS in 1989; it services as the Spring Street Coach Yard Office.

SOUTHERN #X450 - The #X450 was built in 1970 by Garant Corp in Spartanburg SC for the Southern Railway which placed it in service all over its system. In 1990 the Norfolk Southern, which inherited the caboose, decided to retire it. It was donated to the Morristown, TN Waste Treatment Center, which planned to use it as a classroom focusing on environmental issues. The classroom was never established and the caboose sat for years, subject to vandalism. The Watauga Valley Chapter NRHS purchased the #X450 from the Morristown Waste Management Center in 2005 and moved it to Jonesborough via flatbed trailer. Restoration of the caboose was completed in Summer 2016 and it now sits proudly on display next to the Chuckey Depot and Museum in Jonesborough, TN.

Photo Gallery: Other Historic Railroad Cars

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