Erie #2328

Our distinctive arch window coach from the Erie Railroad was one of a large number of coaches that made up the railroad’s commuter fleet used in suburban New Jersey and Cleveland. Built by the Standard Steel Car. Co. of Hammond, Indiana in June, 1926, the car follows the distinctive design created by L.B. Stillwell, a pioneering electrical engineer who consulted for the railroads. The New York, Westchester & Boston (subsidiary of the New Haven) had a fleet of electric MU cars built following the Stillwell design in 1912. The Erie ordered similar cars nearly 20 years later, looking forward to the day when they might electrify their suburban commuter operations. The Erie Stillwell cars were built without electrical gear, but left the provision for conversion in the future.

Our car was retired from regular service in the mid-1950s, gutted and completely rebuilt as a “camp car” to house railroad personnel working at remote construction projects along the railroad. It was assigned to company service and was renumbered 489008 under Erie Lackawanna. Meanwhile, many of its brethren continued to serve New Jersey commuters up until the early 1970s. Our car survived into the Conrail days, only to be deemed excess and sent to scrap in 1982. IT sat in the Schulman & Sons scrap yard in Elmira, New York until it was discovered by volunteers from the Rochester & Genesee Valley Railroad Museum in 1985. The Schulmans were gracious enough to donate the car to our organization for preservation, but we still had to rebuild the brake system to make it ready for movement over Conrail to our museum. After nine months of searching, the proper parts were found to repair the brakes, and it left Elmira in June 1986.

Upon arrival at Industry, substantial metal work replaced rusted and rotten side panels. Other areas were repaired and patched, while volunteers evaluated the interior. Presently, the car is a candidate for a multi-year restoration and rebuilding.

Technical Data

  • Stillwell Coach
  • Built June 1926
  • Erie 2328
  • EL 489008
  • Conrail, retired 1982
  • Donated 1986
  • Weight 45.5 tons
  • Length: 60′-6
  • Capacity: Seats 86