Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Same Seat, 73 Years Later!

Dick George chartered a railfan trip on the Indiana Railroad just before it went out of business in 1940.  Three of the modern lightweight highspeeds were used: cars 65, 57, and 58.  Here he is seen on the left riding lead car #65 on May 19, 1940.  Of course, the 65 is the only one of these cars to be preserved in its original configuration.

Now we fast-forward an amazing 73 years.  Dick George is riding the same car, same seat at the Illinois Railway Museum on September 22, 2013.  He was riding IRR 65 to help kick off fundraising to help pay to reupholster the seats in the car.  Seated behind Dick is Thomas G. Hoback, President and CEO of the modern Indiana Railroad.

Funds are needed to reupholster these seats and can be mailed to "Illinois Railway Museum, P. O. Box 427, Union, Illinois 60180-0427."  Please specify on your donation to direct it to the Indiana Railroad No. 65 Restricted Fund.

Thanks to Jon Fenlaciki and Norm Krentel for arranging all this and sending us the pictures!

Details: After the Indiana Railroad abandoned service in 1940, the 65 was sold to the Crandic in Iowa, largely due to the efforts of IRM founder Howard Odinius.  The Crandic replaced the original seats with what were essentially bus seats.  IRM had wanted to install the correct seats from the beginning, of course, and a set of the correct type were acquired from one of the ex-WB&A cars on the CA&E, when that line went out of business in 1962.  But after all these years, the current seats are badly worn and need new upholstery. 


Anonymous said...

I was wondering if he was still around. He's a neat guy, and it's amazing to come across an actual rider of the IR Highspeeds at this late date.

Bruce Duensing said...

I remember Dick being featured in several films focused on the Indiana Railroad transferred to DVD. What a wonderful historical event in it's own right. He is an exemplar in the appreciation of the "Tractions"

Anonymous said...

This is something for the halls of the Smithsonian! Great history!

John Csoka
Missoula, MT