Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Stoby's Restaurant

 We have received pictures of another Arkansas diner from blog reader Bill Pollard, who has now been appointed as our Arkansas bureau chief.  This diner is still in business, and Bill writes:

Here are photos of the ex Illinois Central car, currently in use as part of the dining room of Stoby's Depot & Restaurant, a popular sandwich shop in Russellville, Arkansas.  This car was built as IC coach 3661 in 1918.  It was completely rebuilt by the Centralia shops in 1948, receiving roller bearing trucks, tight-lock couplers and a new "modernized heavyweight" appearance which allowed operation on streamlined Illinois Central trains between Chicago, Memphis and New Orleans.  It was also renumbered 2697 at that time.
The car was purchased by the Rock Island in July 1972 for conversion to maintenance of way service.  In this usage, it became RIMW 196695, but continued to wear its IC orange and brown paint.  The car was in the Biddle (Little Rock) yard when the Rock Island shut down, and was sold at auction in 1981.  Moved to Russellville, it was incorporated into Stoby's restaurant, attached to a building designed to be architecturally similar to Missouri Pacific stations.  The restaurant sits across the mainline from the actual MP station in Russellville (now a community center and museum).

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