Thursday, August 5, 2010

Trip Report - East Chicago

I wasn't there myself, but last Saturday a crew from the IRM Electric Car Department trooped over to the giant ArcelorMittal Steel complex in East Chicago to help prep a quintet of South Shore cars for transportation to our neighbors to the north, East Troy. These cars were owned by the National Park service until earlier this year but have been acquired by East Troy for operation there. Joe Stupar was kind enough to send along some photos of the cars; all photos below were taken by him.

Notice: These photographs are copyrighted and may not be reproduced without permission.

All five NPS cars at ArcelorMittal are coupled together on one of the storage tracks. Deepest on the track is car 23, which is unrestored. It is identical to IRM's car 28, built in 1927 by Pullman and heavily rebuilt by the South Shore with air-conditioning, picture windows, and an extra ~16' section inserted into the middle of the body.

Next on the track is trailer 203, also unrestored. This is a type not represented in IRM's collection. It was built by Pullman in 1927 and was later lengthened by the South Shore.

In the middle of the string is car 33, built by Standard Steel in 1929 and never lengthened. This car is in the best condition of the five and was backdated by the NPS some time back to its early-years appearance, most notably by removing the "humps" from the roof. Tarps have been fastened over parts of the roof to prevent leaking but overall the car is in good condition. This car is identical to IRM's car 34.

Car 6 was one of the original 1926 order for steel coaches from Pullman and is identical to IRM's car 8. This particular car was rehabbed and repainted by the NPS and is in generally good condition, but was not backdated like the 33 was.

The first car in the string is combine 107, built by Pullman in 1926 and later lengthened and rebuilt with sealed windows and air-conditioning by the South Shore. Like car 6, 107 was rehabbed and repainted by the NPS. It has been had some graffiti damage but overall is in good condition. This is another type not represented in IRM's collection.

Also stored at the steel mill is a pair of privately owned South Shore cars but they were difficult to access and are not going to East Troy. The five ex-NPS South Shore cars are now ready to move and at some point will travel on their own wheels to Wisconsin. Thanks again to Joe for sending these photos!


Anonymous said...

Shame that the NPS put what looks like a fair amount of work into some of those cars, and it's been pretty much wasted to date. One can only hope they'll find a better home behind the cheddar curtain, although one would expect sans pans and with a homeroad paint scheme.

About 12 years ago, there was a train of very nicely restored SS cars that made their way somewheres through Spaulding Junction, including at least one car with a fully restored smoker section.

Anyone recall the details of those cars and where they went ??

John C

David Wilkins said...

I think at least 3 or 4 of the South Shore cars currently at East Troy are still in their South Shore Paint and lettering. I rode a train of them about 2 years ago up there. I thought only the dining cars were painted in the "home road" scheme?

Anonymous said...

If East Troy is primarily a tourist railroad, can we keep the 33 and send them the 34? It is more "ready to run" on a 600v railroad

Kirk Warner said...

Are the NPS South Shore cars that have been stored at the IRM now owned by the IRM or does the NPS still own them?