Society is awarded a second NRHS grant Click for details
CP Coach #29
(Subsequently SP 1121, NWP 123, NWP MW 242)
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Parts Acquisition for Central Pacific 29
In October 2011 the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad Museum donated the floor assembly and wood beam trucks from B&O coach 20. This car is one of a pair researchers believe were built in 1868 by the Wason Manufacturing Company for the Central Railroad of New Jersey. The car bodies are in the original Wason configuration, while the trucks appear to be replacements with later-period pedestals and journal boxes.
Both of the cars were complete and in operating condition until February 16, 2003. That night the weight of accumulated ice and snow caused the collapse of the roof of the round house in which the cars were stored. Many of the railroad artifacts displayed in the round house were damaged. A roof truss assembly fell across B&O 20. Its car body was crushed beyond repair. The impact was so great that it snapped one truck's oak side sill and a two-inch-by-four-inch steel equalizer bar.
A complete disassembly and replacement of nearly all the wood would be necessary to restore the car. Because the museum still has B&O 21, which is a twin of the damaged car, and there was so much damage to other artifacts as well as the round house roof, the museum staff decided to not rebuild No. 20. The car was deaccessioned from the B&O Museum collection.
The Society's Board of Directors learned of the damaged car in September 2011. We made arrangements to photograph both cars a few weeks later. At that time the topic of acquiring the surplus parts was raised. The B&O Museum's Board of Directors agreed to our donation request.
In its disassembled condition B&O 20 consisted of a wooden floor frame with associated underfloor running gear, several piles of broken wood walls, the severely damaged clear story roof and the two wood beam trucks. The B&O Museum retained all internal fittings for use in the other car as well as the walls and roof. The floor assembly and trucks were donated for use on CP 29. The following components were attached to the floor:
- Couplers and draft gear - 2
- Steel beams for coupler draft gear - 2 pair; these extend inward to the needle beam
- Body center plates - 2
- Truss rod assembly with turnbuckle (original Wason style) - 2
- Queen posts (original Wason style) - 4
- Hand brake system - complete except for hand brake shafts, wheels and chain
- Westinghouse Air Brake system - complete
- Train air signal system - complete
The couplers are Buhoup 3-stem passenger couplers, which are a modification of the Janney design. The trucks have two different pedestal styles. Although both styles are later than the 1874 Master Car Builder pattern we want for restoring CP 29, they can be used on other projects.
Unfortunately all of the wood is damaged from the roof collapse or partially rotted from exposure to eight years of rain and snow.
The donated parts were given to the NWPRRHS, "as is, where is". Unfortunately the "where is" was a storage lot next to the B&O Museum in Baltimore, which is 2,825 highway miles away from Petaluma. We needed to prepare the car parts and arrange transportation.
Getting the car parts ready for loading would be straightforward: fly to Baltimore and start cutting. All debris would be put into a dumpster. How to get the parts back home was more of a problem. Estimates for a flatbed truck haul ranged from $7,600 to $10,000. The Northwestern Pacific Railroad offered to haul the car for free if we shipped by rail. Unfortunately we could not arrange low-cost shipment via CSX and Union Pacific. Our members donated the necessary funds for trucking the parts and additional money for the motel and air fare.
Society member DON MILLERICK and Directors STEVE ATNIP, JEFF MILLERICK and MIKE MANSON flew to Baltimore on January 25. The next day they met three Society members who live on the East Coast: STEVE KENDALL, DICK DONAT and JOHN TEICHMOELLER. Together this group began salvage operations on No. 20.
Dick, Steve and John brought hand tools. We rented a big fork lift, generator and gasoline-powered cutoff saw. All of these tools would be needed to dismantle the car for loading onto the trailer.
The car floor was stored upside down in a vacant, fenced lot outside of the museum grounds. It had not been disturbed by vandals, but was exposed to the weather for eight years.
The salvage work started with unbolting the original Wason queen posts. These are sorely needed for CP 29's restoration. We were able to unscrew one truss rod turn buckle but the other was frozen by rust, so we cut the truss rod. The air brake and train signal pipes also were cut, while brake linkages were disconnected. Then Jeff cut the wooden car floor assembly between the needle beams.
As each car floor half was lifted, many rain-rotted pieces of wood fell off. All of the leftover wood, metal scraps and trash were placed in a debris box for disposal.
The trucks were next to the Museum's nearby Car Shop building. They were covered by the remains of No. 20's clearstory roof. After the roof pieces were removed each truck was carefully raised by the fork lift and moved near the car floor.
The salvage work took place on Thursday and Friday. Saturday morning at 7:30 AM the truck arrived. Three hours were needed for loading then the truck left for Petaluma. It arrived the next Saturday at noon.
We were lucky that the weather was relatively warm (40º) and dry during the work hours. There had been freezing rain the weekend before and rain off and on during our time in Baltimore, but no rain or snow during the work sessions.
With the parts in Petaluma we began disassembling the two trucks. These will be rebuilt with new wood and new and refurbished metal components. A significant portion of the rebuilding cost is covered by a $3,300 grant from the National Railway Historical Society.
Videos of our salvage project in Baltimore and Petaluma can be viewed by clicking the video link above and they are on nwprr.net.
You may purchase a DVD or BluRay DVD by clicking here.
The Central Pacific Railroad purchased the car as coach #29 in June 1869. They rebuilt it in 1885 and later renumbered it to 1121 before its eventual sale to the NWP. The current opportunity to restore one of the few remaining NWPRR passenger cars, especially one of Civil War vintage, presents a project for the Society that truly is of national historic significance. We believe that Central Pacific Coach 29 will present an authentic companion car to someday pair with NWP Locomotive 112 in a Redwood Empire Visitor Center.
The Central Pacific Railroad bought CP 29 for $5,000, and used it until its sale to the NWP in 1912. After being renumbered to NWP 123 the car was shipped by steamer to Eureka and used as a coach until 1936, when it was assigned to Maintenance-of-Way service and renumbered MW242. Eventually it was detrucked and used for track gang housing in Ukiah.
"Dutch" Mucklow bought the car when it was retired in the late 1950's. He placed it on his property in Redwood Valley near the NWP station. CP 29 was used as housing for over 50 years. The NWPRRHS accepted it as a donation in memory of "Dutch" by his son and daughter-in-law Ken and Mary Mucklow. CP 29 now sits in Petaluma at a temporary work site generously donated by the De Carli Family Trust and Petaluma Trolley. It is located along the Petaluma & Santa Rosa Railroad main line and a block away from the NWP rail yard.
ACQUISITION AND RESTORATION BUDGET
The CP 29 CAMPAIGN consists of two goals: Acquisition funding and Restoration funding.
Acquisition Budget Goal: $14,000 Our initial target for Fall/Winter 2010 is to match the $4500 challenge grant given to the Society by the National Railway Historical Society AND to match another $2500 challenge grant by one of our members. Achieving those challenges will cover the costs associated with the following:
- Preparing and transporting CP 29 from Redwood Valley to Petaluma
- Purchasing and rebuilding a pair of wood beam passenger trucks.
Restoration Budget Goal: $50,000 Our target date for achieving a cosmetic restoration of CP 29 is July 2015. To assure steady progress toward that goal we would like to solicit donations to fund the following objectives:
- Roofing, flooring, wall framing, truss rods & queen posts, air brakes & rigging
- Exterior siding, window sash & glass, clerestory window sash and glass
- Interior paneling and trim, restroom, lights, heat, seats, hardware
- Stripping and painting interior and exterior, and signage (lettering)
- End platform reconstruction, including beams, steps, railings and couplers
- Procure skilled craftsmen (on a limited basis)
Total budget $64,000
Security of the "CP 29 Project" Loan and Donation Fund will be achieved through a separate bank savings account as well as detailed accounting of expenses, individual loans and donations. The Society's Headlight newsletter will update members on the campaign progress each issue.
To view the Contribution Form, click on the link below. To send in your contribution, print out the form, fill it in and mail it along with your check or money order to: NWPRRHS, P.O. Box 667, Santa Rosa, CA 95402-0667.
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This page was created on December 9, 2010
and last updated on March 4, 2017