Purple Heavyweight car

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I work in Scranton Pa. home of Steamtown. I like to have lunch at the Mall's food court overlooking the railroad yard. Today I noticed for the first time, a batch of old heavy weight cars. To my surprise there was a purple heavyweight coach. I could only see it from a distance, the body was purple with a black roof. There was white lines over and under the windows. All of the windows were boarded up. These cars were brought in for restoration. It did not say Atlantic Coast Line on it. The name was painted over in dark puple. There was a number on it. It was toward the end of the car, not the middle. The number from what I could tell from a distance was 1002.

My question is does this sound like a ACL heavy weight passenger car or was there another railroad which used purple. I don't claim to be a expert on passenger cars. The ACL is my favorite line. It would be exciting to me if one of these cars was brought to my town. It is in decent condition. The paint is naturally faded, as well as the roof. But the overall condition is better than the other cars that were brought in with it. I would be interested if anyone knows of this cars history. Were many of these cars painted purple? Thanks.

-- Jim Simoncelli (bluecomet832@webtv.net), August 10, 2001


I was able to take a picture of the passenger car yesterday. I have sent a picture to Mr Goolsby to get his thoughts on it. If anyone would like a picture, I would be happy to send one to you to get your opinion. To respond to the last comment. The ends to me look rounded on the roof and there is a small square window on each end of the coach windows. One side of the car windows is boarded up. The other is intact. I can't seem to get a answer from anyone at the park of who owns this car and where it came from.

-- Jim Simoncelli (bluecomet832@webtv.net), August 18, 2001.

Hmmm-1062 was not one of the cars which was rebuilt by Emerson shops. Just a thought-was the roof straight or did it slope at the ends? Was the roof rounded at the ends? How many vestibules-1 or 2?

-- Michael W. Savchak (Savchak @MNR.org), August 15, 2001.

The purple passenger car mystery continues. I decided to go to Steamtown today and try to find out more information. I tracked down a ranger and asked him if the purple passenger car in the rail yard was a ACL. He said that Steamtown does not own any ACL cars but this past weekend they had a exhibit, which I knew nothing about. The group of cars at the end of the yard which I was talking about was from a private collection. He did not know whom the collection was from. I asked him if I would be able to take a look at it close up. He said the railyard is functional and no one is permitted in it. As I walked back to my car frustrated I could see a road that the maintance crew uses. I decided to go that route with my car to get a better look. To my surprise, I had seen the car number wrong from a distance. The number is 1062. The other side was in better shape. All of the windows on this side was in tact. To me this looks like a ACL coach car. The stripes above and below the windows are faded yellow. The ranger did not think the cars would be around for long. I am going to try to take a digital picture of that car. The car behind it has a cover on it, who know what that could be. I will continue to hunt for answers. Thanks.

-- Jim Simoncelli (bluecomet832@webtv.net), August 15, 2001.

I called Steamtown today to see if they could tell me where the puple passenger car from. I finally got a ranger on the phone. He did not know the answer. I was not too surprised. If I get a chance with my digital camera I will try to take a decent picture. Steamtown generally only accepts vintage passenger cars from the steam era. They run excursions with beautifull Lackawanna and Central Jersey Heavyweights. They have many vintage heavyweights from a multitude of lines. I can't believe no one at Steamtown as a clue where this car originated. I know it is unlikely it is a ACL but I am curious to know where this purple passenger car came from. I will let you know if I find out any other information. Thank you for the responses.

-- Jim Simoncelli (bluecomet832@webtv.net), August 13, 2001.

It would a stretch of immense proportions if the purple on this car was left over from ACL days - one reason the RR dropped the color is that it faded so badly, and after 40-some-odd years, an original ACL- painted car would surely have faded away entirely. As to who else might have painted it in purple, I don't know - the Waccamaw Coast Line painted diesels in an ACL-knockoff scheme in the 1980s, and WCL did have a bunch of passenger cars, but I am not sure if any of their cars got the purple treatment. Jim, if you can get a photo and send us a scan, that might help solve the mystery.

-- Larry Goolsby (LGoolsby@aphsa.org), August 13, 2001.

Wishful thinking! Everyone is sentenced to the punishment of re- reading Larry Goolsby's book on the ACL Passenger Service and then repeating 100 times-"Purple went out in 1957-replaced by Pullman Green".

The ACL coaches in the low 1000 series were never re-constructed and remained as clerestory cars until their conversion to razor blades. The ACL rebuilt several series of coaches. Cars 1039-1049 were rebuilt as 52 seat cars, but the rebuilding was not extremely extensive, and the cars did not get wide windows, fluorescent lights, etc. Three of these cars were painted in IC colors for use on the Seminole-1039,1040,1041. 1040 was an early casualty. The cars were built 1923 by Bethlehem shipbuilding. Cars 1094-1101 were rebuilt in 1939 for the Vacationer-54 seats. These cars had steam ejector AC and could be identified as such by the large roof hatches on one end of the car. Cars 1066,1070,1071,1074-1089,1110-1115 were rebuilt by Emerson shops in the period 1950-1953 and were given streamlined car bodies, wide windows, Electro-mechanical AC, fluorescent lights, etc. Cars 1116-1130 were built by Bethlehem Shipsbuilding in 1938 for use on the Vacationer and other trains. at 78 tons, these were the heaviest cars built! Steam AC(thus the large hatch on the roof at one end of the car, small windows,56 seats. Car 1131 was rebuilt from Pullman baggage dorm "Donner Lake", ex Pullman K-100 Baggage dorm kitchen car in 1942.

A good clue-check the roof and windows. If the windows are narrow- there should be a large ac hatch on the roof over one vestibule. That would be a sure sign of a steam ejector AC heavyweight Coast Line coach.

I think the Buckster is right. CB&Q had several classes of round roofed coach-both for commuter service and secondary service.

-- Michael W. Savchak (Savchak @MNR.org), August 13, 2001.

The ACL did have cars in the 1000's series, however, the A-15 modernized coaches were numbered 1039-1131

-- Ron Dettmer (roscaler@cs.com), August 13, 2001.

I just wanted to clarify the stripes on the car. I was at a distance and it is possible that the stripes are yellow. It was a cloudy day today and it may have appeared white to me. The car is faded. I am sure it affected the stripes on the car. I will try to contact Steamtown on Monday to see if they could tell me if it is a ACL car. One thing is clear, it is a purple car with a black roof and stripes over and under the windows. I wish it was more in the open than in a cluster of passenger cars, so I could take a better look. I will see if I can get more infomation on it. Thanks.

-- Jim Simoncelli (bluecomet832@webtv.net), August 10, 2001.

I'm no expert on this, but ACL did have some purple heavyweights and they did have a cars in the 1000 series. Colors sound right, although the stripes would have been yellow, not white. I thing it's at least possible this was an ACL car.

-- Scott Orr (scottorrtv@yahoo.com), August 10, 2001.

I do not believe this or these are ACL cars. They could have been part of the "Purple Martin Train" exhibit of Burlington #3007 and tons of passenger equipment that resided in Atlantic, Iowa for years until the original owners finally had to dispense with all the equipment; however, I cannot remember the roofs on the PM equipment being black but silver. So?

If you get a closer look at the car, check out the pix at this site: http://www.simpson.edu/~tinder/Sep9PMBooneRBB/Sep9.html and see if anything looks familiar.

Anyone else?

-- Buck Dean (bdean@jngray.com), August 10, 2001.

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