P3 Coach 531 history

NW Mailing List nw-mailing-list at nwhs.org
Thu Jun 18 11:34:08 EDT 2020

As a follow-up, I was able to find pictures of #531 as owned by Hardin
Southern, lettered for N&W, which suggests that was how the car was
painted when they acquired it. I eventually found a picture of 531 in
the N&W Historical Society Archives from 1992, lettered N&W but with
ARCX (Atlanta Rail Car) reporting marks. 
https://www.nwhs.org/archivesdb/detail.php?ID=17583 [1]

Marty Flick

	-----------------------------------------From: "NW Mailing List" 
To: "NW Mailing List"
Sent: Tuesday May 19 2020 7:52:59PM
Subject: Re: P3 Coach 531 history


 The passenger car data has a lot of massaging to be done on it, it is
all new, done by a volunteer, and it will take time to get there.

 Meanwhile, the 531 was stored after the end of passenger service,
potentially, I assume, to be converted as needed for a commuter car.
The commuter service ended in the last half of 1981 and the remaining
equipment was brought to Roanoke.

 Then the 531, 536, 539 and 540 were selected to be converted to open
window lightweight cars, or “OWLs” as they were referred to at the
time, they rolled of the shops in May 1982 and were run on a test run
down the Winston Salem line to see if they were OK. I saw the train in
the station that morning.

 They served in the excursion trains for a number of years, and with
the upgrading of the excursion train to all air conditioned equipment
in 1991, two OWLs, 531 and 539 were retired and donated. 539 was
donated to Watauga Valley Chapter NRHS, who proudly operates it to
this day, fully a/c and closed windows. 

 The 531 went to Atlanta, I am not sure I remember exactly who. I
believe they did install a/c and windows, but apparently did little
preservation work, and it ran some on a short line for a time in the
mid to late 1990s, then it was sent to Tennessee Valley Railroad
Museum, who did little to the car besides store it for the most part.
TVRM had no use for the car, and no money to budget to it. They were
first attempting to sell the car back in 2013, Roanoke Chapter
considered it, but it was priced too high for its condition. The
entire floor would need total replacement, as well as a lot of side
sill work and other work. 

 As far as I know, it is still sitting at TVRM. The purchase price,
the cost of movement and then rehab put it out of range for almost
anyone. Even a give away, the cost of a move may well be prohibitive,
and it may not even be moveable by rail at this point.

 Ken Miller

 > On May 19, 2020, at 5:35 PM, NW Mailing List  wrote:
 > I'm trying to find ownership history of P3 coach #531. The history
on the N&WHS website's roster page reads a little funny: "Converted
1982 at Roanoke Shops for excursion service; no air conditioning;
installed raise window sash. 1991 sold donated 1973 to Cass Scenic
Railroad., Atlanta, GA"
 > According to a roster by Jim Cochran in the May/June 1996 Arrow,
the car was donated to Atlanta Rail Car Company in 1991 for use in the
NS steam program, but my searches for the car under this ownership
haven't turned up anything.
 > Recent pictures show it owned by TVRM, but I couldn't find it
listed on their own website.
 > Does anyone have more complete information? I assume like a lot of
the N&W cars it was converted to open window for excursions while
still lettered N&W in the 1980s, then was sold or donated in the early
90s to be rebuilt to meet the new standards for the excursion train in
its later years, but how was it painted and lettered after rebuilding
for the early 90s excursions?
 > Marty Flick
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