The Rochester & Genesee Valley Railroad Museum has been working to refurbish their set of ex-New York Central stainless steel coaches, getting them ready to carry passengers once more. These cars were part of a 1941 order with Budd to re-equip the “Empire State Express” (ESE), which debuted that fateful December 7. Since the museum acquired the cars more than 20 years ago, the coaches enjoyed a second career in seasonal excursion service. The cars were then moved our museum restoration facility in 2007, where we have been working on them ever since. Over the past several weeks, the work on the interior restoration of ESE Car #1 (NYC #2567) has continued in earnest. Progress has included:

  • East lower wall was removed including window sills and arm rest.
  • Removal of steam heat on east side of car.
  • Removal of 95% of the arm rest angle iron on both sides. There is only a 4′ section left at the northeast corner left to remove.
  • Grinding smooth of all of the welds on the west side.
  • The channel where the heat goes on both sides has been scrubbed and cleaned removing 68 years of accumulated dirt. The job is 90% complete with just some touch up required on both sides of the car at the north end and in the restroom.

To illustrate what has been done and as a tool to show progress in the future, we have started a picture album on the museum’s Flickr site and have uploaded some pics of the progress over the past several months. The pictures are ordered from newest to oldest, and can be viewed here. As we make more progress, we will upload new pictures. We always welcome new hands to help, please contact us if you’d like to learn more!