Wednesday, June 10, 2015

CSX Office Car Special


Screen Shot from Folkston Virtual Railfan Web Cam

Was watching the Folkston webcam and listening to the scanner Friday evening and heard the defect detector (DD) north of town announce a train that had all the characteristics of Amtrak but I knew it couldn't be. Train number P901-29 There was some interesting chat and pretty soon it came into view with locomotive 9998 lead followed by passenger cars. I asked what it was and the folks in the chatroom said it was an OCS. I looked it up and discovered it was the CSX Office Car Special. When it went through the DD south of town at A610.6 I copied the following: No defects, #1 track, length 1980 ft., 74 mph and 58 axles. Lead engine was 9998, an EMD F40PH-2 (one of four at CSX).

A couple of neat videos.  Note the last car with the huge window on the back. That is the theater car and the second video shows it from the inside.

The following information on the individual cars from here:

Georgia - Theatre / observation car - Originally built as a 58 seat coach for the Crescent by Budd in 1953.  Named the Georgia in 1993.  Car was rebuilt as a track observation car by Waycross shops.

Kentucky - Power car - Built about 1950 by Pullman-Standard as a dining car.  L&N acquired the car and rebuilt as an electrical power car about 1980.  This car also contains four office car-quality staterooms and a small lounge.

Youngstown - Crew car - Built in 1954 by Pullman for the Erie Railroad as a five double bedroom / 10 roomette sleeper.  The car was originally named the "Spirit of Youngstown.  Youngstown was conveyed to Conrail on April 1, 1976 and renumbered to CR 11.  Passed to CSX in 1999.

Mississippi - Sleeper - The Mississippi was built in 1923 by Pullman as a tourist car.  The Southern acquired the car in 1954 and converted it into a coach.  Conrail acquired the car in 1983 amd renumbered it CR 24. It was converted into an eight stateroom sleeper car in 1980 and renumbered CR 8.  Passed to CSX in 1999.

Waycross - Sleeper - Built by Pullman in 1926 as a private car and owned by W.R. Kenan, president of the FEC.  Purchased by C&O in 1943 and later included in the track teometry train for road inspections.  After creation of CSX, the car was renamed Waycross and modified into three one bedroom suites.

New York - Observation / diner - Car was built in 1925 by Pullman as a parlor observation car for service on New York Central's Empire State Express.  Renamed the Hudson River, it served the Empire State Express into the early 1930's when a large rear platform was constructed to accomodate President Franklin D. Roosevelt's wheelchair.  In 1942, the car was renamed Kalamazoo River and it served on the Twilight Limited.  In 1952 it was converted to a track inspection car No. 30 and then renumbered to 76 by Penn Central in 1976.  The car was part of the funeral train for slain presidential candidate Robert Kennedy.

Greenbriar - Lounge/Diner - Built by Pullman for the Illinois Central about 1915-1920.  CSX predecessor SCL acquired the car in 1985.  The car was completely rebuilt at Waycross shops with a dining seating capacity of 24, lounge seating capacity for 12 and a stand up bar.

Tennessee - Cafe/lounge/diner - Built by Pullman as a 52 seat coach in 1957.  Car was originally named the Southerner and used in a variety of excursion services prior to being acquired by CSX in 2008.  Interior was rebuilt at Waycross shops to simulate a former L&N car, #3001.

Ohio - Diner - Built by Budd in 1948 as a diner/theater car with a seating capacity of 52.  The car was originally intended for use on C&O's new daytime streamliner, The Chessie.  Car was purchased by CSX in 2008, refurbished and renamed Ohio.

Michigan - Meeting car - Built by Budd in 1951 for the PRR as a lightweight parlor/drawing room car named the Baron De Kalb and assigned to The Senator.  It was later used for first class service on the Boston-New York-Washington corridor.  Rebuilt by Penn Central into a galley/club car in 1968.  Acquired by Conrail in 1976 and converted to a meeting/boardroom car in 1980.  It became part of the CSX fleet in 1999 and was renamed Michigan.

West Virginia - Observation - Built as an Army hospital car in 1953 by St. Louis Car Company, this car was later acquired by Chessie System.  The car has a small lounge, two roomette style sleeping rooms and a large open room.  For all but two days each year, the car serves as a conference/reception car.  The weekend before Thanksgiving, the West Virginia is transformed into Santa's "sleigh" as tons of gifts are loaded aboard and distributed along a 110 mile route through Appalachia.


  1. Great post with lots and lots of info! Liked the videos, too! You certainly get a different view riding in that Office Car. Seems strange, but I bet it is nice.

  2. Thanks. Going to a dedicated post on the Christmas train tomorrow or Friday. Don't want to spoil you. :-)