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"Boonton" and Stillwell cars in tourist service
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   "Boonton" and Stillwell cars in tourist service
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   Author  Topic: "Boonton" and Stillwell cars in tourist service  (Read 656 times)
McAdoo WG
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"Boonton" and Stillwell cars in tourist service
 
« on: Sep 22nd, 2015, 2:05pm »
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Hello:
 
Would anybody know roughly how many ex-DL&W "Boonton" cars and ex-ERIE "Stillwell" cars remain in use on tourist roads?
 
From photos I have seen in the past, it seems as though there were more "Boonton" cars surviving in tourist services than "Stillwells".
 
Thank you in advance for any info you might be able to share......
 
Mc WG"


« Last Edit: Sep 23rd, 2015, 8:08am by CLASSB » Logged
Alan_Maples

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Re: "Boonton" and Stillwell cars in tourist service
 
« Reply #1 on: Sep 23rd, 2015, 5:27am »
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Kurt Bell, archivist with the Pennsylvania State Archives, tracks some of this information and a search on Railway Preservation News (rypn.org) may get you an exact answer.  A list he provided me shows thirty "Boonton" coaches and six combines in existance (as originally configured and not rebuilt as MU trailers).  Not all are serviceable.  My guess is that Stillwell cars probably total a dozen or less, with only a handful serviceable.
 
- Alan Maples


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McAdoo WG
Former Member
Re: "Boonton" and Stillwell cars in tourist service
 
« Reply #2 on: Sep 23rd, 2015, 8:32am »
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on Sep 23rd, 2015, 5:27am, Alan_Maples wrote:       (Click here for original message)
Kurt Bell, archivist with the Pennsylvania State Archives, tracks some of this information and a search on Railway Preservation News (rypn.org) may get you an exact answer.  A list he provided me shows thirty "Boonton" coaches and six combines in existance (as originally configured and not rebuilt as MU trailers).  Not all are serviceable.  My guess is that Stillwell cars probably total a dozen or less, with only a handful serviceable.
 
- Alan Maples

 
Alan:
 
Thank you......appreciate this info!
 
I see my original hunch was correct, that more "Boonton" cars survive today than "Stillwells".
 
I am saddened, however, that the number of existing "Stillwells" is far less than I thought.
 
I know that the "Skunk" ran Stillwells many years ago; they are probably now gone many years now.
 
The last "Boontons" I was "up close and personal" with were those in service at the IRM, back in 1978 (at that time, the last of those venerable cars had only been out of revenue service for seven years)
 
The last "Stillwell" I knew was one stationed at the NJT terminal (ex-DL&W) at Hoboken, where it was sitting just outside the trainsheds (along with a smooth side car)
 
Both cars were painted in NJT colors, obviously in some sort of non-revenue service.
 
This was back in the 1990's; both cars were still there about 2000, if my memory serves me correctly.
 
Hard to believe that, through the 60's, the "Stillwell" fleet was still a quite sizeable one, and still in daily revenue service.
 
A handful of the cars,  oldest of the type, with arched windows, were still in service as well, until the push-pulls entered service in 1971.
 
According to an article on E-L commuter service in the March, 1971 issue of TRAINS, a number of cars had already been sold to tourist roads (other surplus cars either converted to MOW equipment or scrapped)
 
The very last "Stillwells" were assigned to the Port Jervis trains, where they ran until replaced by new push-pulls in late 1974.
 
I grew up with both the "Boontons" and the "Stillwells", and have great memories of riding them as a youngster, back in the 60's.
 
In 1969/1970, some of the oldest cars were retired when replaced by 26 1939 vintage BUDD-built coaches from the AT&SF (some were used on E-L's "LAKELAND:, a Boonton line train); some of the ex-AT&SF cars were also assigned to the NY&LB.
 
Again, thanks again for your info.....
 
"Mc WG"


« Last Edit: Sep 23rd, 2015, 8:36am by CLASSB » Logged
NEFAN
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Re: "Boonton" and Stillwell cars in tourist service
 
« Reply #3 on: Sep 23rd, 2015, 9:21am »
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The Boonton line coaches were more popular with tourist lines due to the open vestibule construction. This made them seem older. With the exception of the California Western, there doesn't seem to be many tourist lines that were interested in the Stillwells. Also the retirement of the ex DL&W MU's later made these available to tourist operations.
 
Stillwells are still around (see Erie forum) but not many are in service.


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McAdoo WG
Former Member
Re: "Boonton" and Stillwell cars in tourist service
 
« Reply #4 on: Sep 23rd, 2015, 10:31am »
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on Sep 23rd, 2015, 9:21am, NEFAN wrote:       (Click here for original message)
The Boonton line coaches were more popular with tourist lines due to the open vestibule construction. This made them seem older. With the exception of the California Western, there doesn't seem to be many tourist lines that were interested in the Stillwells. Also the retirement of the ex DL&W MU's later made these available to tourist operations.
 
Stillwells are still around (see Erie forum) but not many are in service.

 
NEFAN:
 
You brought up the old DL&W MU's; I have seen many photos of these old childhood friends, showing them demotored and motorman's windows paneled over, hauled by either steam or diesel power.
 
(Didn't Blue Mountain & Reading obtain some of the old MU's?)
 
Even so, these former electric cars are still easily recognizeable for what they once were.
 
I know "Boontons" also survive at Steamtown.
 
You are right on the mark with the "Boonton" cars looking older than they are (and they ARE pretty dang old; the first entered service 100 years ago!); because of their open platforms, many railfans thought the cars looked like "Wild West" cars, earning them the moniker "Wyatt Erps".
 
That ANY of the cars remain in ANY sort of service today is not only testimony to their solid, rugged, no-nonsense contruction, but also, to the long-gone breed of dedicate shop men who maintained them decade after decade.......
 
"Mc WG"
 
 
 


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McAdoo WG
Former Member
Re: "Boonton" and Stillwell cars in tourist service
 
« Reply #5 on: Sep 23rd, 2015, 10:54am »
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Speaking of the "Wild West" appearance of the "Boonton" cars, I dug this old DL&W photo out of my files.
 
It is easy to see a steel "Boonton" car in this undated photo......
 
http://www.rr-fallenflags.org/el/pax/dlw-co3872agd.jpg
 
(courtesy: fallenflags.org)


« Last Edit: Sep 23rd, 2015, 10:55am by CLASSB » Logged
McAdoo WG
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Re: "Boonton" and Stillwell cars in tourist service
 
« Reply #6 on: Sep 23rd, 2015, 11:23am »
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Here's a "Stillwell" in tourist service, 1973 (no photo location given)
 
At the time of this photo, the last "Stillwells" on the E-L roster were being used exclusively on the Port Jervis line, where they would be replaced by new push-pull equipment during the following year.....
 
http://www.rr-fallenflags.org/el/pax/erie-c2564evl.jpg
 
(courtesy: (fallenflags.org)


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NEFAN
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Re: "Boonton" and Stillwell cars in tourist service
  The_Duck_816x612.jpg - 93581 Bytes
« Reply #7 on: Sep 23rd, 2015, 11:31am »
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on Sep 23rd, 2015, 10:31am, McAdoo WG wrote:       (Click here for original message)

 
NEFAN:
 
You brought up the old DL&W MU's; I have seen many photos of these old childhood friends, showing them demotored and motorman's windows paneled over, hauled by either steam or diesel power.
 
(Didn't Blue Mountain & Reading obtain some of the old MU's?)
 
Even so, these former electric cars are still easily recognizeable for what they once were.
 

 
The ex MU's are very popular on tourist RR's. Here are two on the Catskill Mountain RR. The motorman windows are still in place. I also rode many miles on these as a kid. It is good to see them still in service.


http://Forums.Railfan.net/Images/AllTourist/The_Duck_816x612.jpg
Click Image to Resize

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NEFAN
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Re: "Boonton" and Stillwell cars in tourist service
 
« Reply #8 on: Sep 23rd, 2015, 11:44am »
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on Sep 23rd, 2015, 11:23am, McAdoo WG wrote:       (Click here for original message)
Here's a "Stillwell" in tourist service, 1973 (no photo location given)
 
At the time of this photo, the last "Stillwells" on the E-L roster were being used exclusively on the Port Jervis line, where they would be replaced by new push-pull equipment during the following year.....
 
http://www.rr-fallenflags.org/el/pax/erie-c2564evl.jpg
 
(courtesy: (fallenflags.org)

 
Hmmm it reminds me of the tourist operation of the M&NJ but that was gone by the 70's. It did use Stillwell coaches though.  


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McAdoo WG
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Re: "Boonton" and Stillwell cars in tourist service
 
« Reply #9 on: Sep 23rd, 2015, 11:47am »
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NEFAN:
 
BEAUTIFUL photo!!!!!!!!
 
Those old cars really look snappy in that red paint.......reminds me of prewar LIONEL Pullmans.....
 
Great to see those historic relics still riding the rails today!
 
"Mc WG"


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NEFAN
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Re: "Boonton" and Stillwell cars in tourist service
  Gettysburg_2-8-0_76_Gettysburg_PA_90680_P.jpg - 79197 Bytes
« Reply #10 on: Sep 23rd, 2015, 11:50am »
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A friend of mine took this on the Gettysburg RR in the 80's. Note the Stillwell coach behind #76. Not sure where these wound up after passenger operations ended.


http://Forums.Railfan.net/Images/AllTourist/Gettysburg_2-8-0_76_Gettysburg_PA_90680_P.jpg
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McAdoo WG
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Re: "Boonton" and Stillwell cars in tourist service
 
« Reply #11 on: Sep 23rd, 2015, 12:04pm »
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NEFAN:
 
A nostalgic photo in many ways; those big "gas guzzlers" in the parking lot further date this photo!
 
Like the "Boonton" cars, the "Stillwells" were among the most distinctive pieces of rolling stock ever built....hard to confuse them with something else!
 
"Mc WG"


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McAdoo WG
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Re: "Boonton" and Stillwell cars in tourist service
 
« Reply #12 on: Sep 23rd, 2015, 12:53pm »
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Retired "Stillwell"= "stretch caboose"..........
 
Back in the 60's, the E-L converted eight assorted "Stillwells" into rider cars, to be used on pure mail/express trains and certain frieghts, in place of a caboose.
 
They carried deadheading crews and company mail; the cars were renumbered R21 through R30 (This series also included two converted lightweight RPO's)
 
This car, one of the first to be converted to rider car status, is seen at Dearborn St. station in 1966, when the E-L was still operating through trains between Chicago and Hoboken.
 
When retired from passenger service, the cars were stripped of their steam heating equipment and signal lines.
 
Stoves were installed for the comfort of the crews traveling aboard them....
 
http://www.rr-fallenflags.org/el/pax/erie-r21.jpg
 
(courtesy: fallenflags.org)


« Last Edit: Sep 23rd, 2015, 1:41pm by CLASSB » Logged
NEFAN
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Re: "Boonton" and Stillwell cars in tourist service
 
« Reply #13 on: Sep 23rd, 2015, 4:14pm »
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Stillwell coaches it appears were not very popular with the tourist lines.  
 
It also seems that the ex Reading (SEPTA) cars were also not picked up by tourist lines either. A few ex SP Harriman coaches were (California Western)  - I am sure there are others.
 
It seems the most popular now are ex DL&W MU, ex CNJ coaches and Boonton. These have similar appearance and look older.


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NEFAN
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Re: "Boonton" and Stillwell cars in tourist service
  ex_CNJ_coach_Whippany_Toonerville_Whippany_NJ_111480.jpg - 67049 Bytes
« Reply #14 on: Sep 23rd, 2015, 4:25pm »
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Here is an ex CNJ lettered for Whippany Toonerville in NJ.  
 
Similar appearance to DL&W MU and Boonton.


http://Forums.Railfan.net/Images/AllTourist/ex_CNJ_coach_Whippany_Toonerville_Whippany_NJ_111480.jpg
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McAdoo WG
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Re: "Boonton" and Stillwell cars in tourist service
 
« Reply #15 on: Sep 23rd, 2015, 4:32pm »
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on Sep 23rd, 2015, 4:14pm, NEFAN wrote:       (Click here for original message)
Stillwell coaches it appears were not very popular with the tourist lines.  
 
It also seems that the ex Reading (SEPTA) cars were also not picked up by tourist lines either. A few ex SP Harriman coaches were (California Western)  - I am sure there are others.
 
It seems the most popular now are ex DL&W MU, ex CNJ coaches and Boonton. These have similar appearance and look older.

 
 
NEFAN:
 
Agreed 100%.
 
I am surprised that any ex-CNJ coaches survive today, as so many were deemed surplus and were scrapped after the Aldene Plan went into effect in 1967 (all CNJ combos were retired en masse at the same time)
 
The NYS&W (once controlled by the ERIE) also rostered "Stillwells"; in the 1950's, these cars were replaced by new BUDD-built coaches; which, in turn, were replaced by ex-B&M coaches (the Budd coaches were sold to Saudi Arabia)
 
For decades,  and well through the 80's, the red-painted body of an ex-Susquehanna arch-window "Stillwell" was located in the NYS&W Edgewater yards, used as a yard office.
 
Sadly, for all their sturdy construction, the once-familiar "Stillwells" are indeed a rare and elusive treasure for rail buffs today.
 
It has been 44 years since the bulk of them were retired from revenue E-L service, and 41 years since the last of them ran between Hoboken and Port Jervis.
 
Like the "Boontons" that they were frequently coupled to during the 1960's, they were both unique and highly recognizeable, never to be forgotten by anyone who rode them....
 
"Mc WG"


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McAdoo WG
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Re: "Boonton" and Stillwell cars in tourist service
 
« Reply #16 on: Sep 23rd, 2015, 4:40pm »
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on Sep 23rd, 2015, 4:25pm, NEFAN wrote:       (Click here for original message)
Here is an ex CNJ lettered for Whippany Toonerville in NJ.  
 
Similar appearance to DL&W MU and Boonton.

 
 
NEFAN:
 
Another old childhood friend...thanks for posting this one!
 
Though, by the 1960's, the bulk of these cars carried the 1944-era "JERSEY CENTRAL LINES" legend on their letterboards, there were still a few holdouts well into the decade, that still carried the original "CENTRAL RAILROAD OF NEW JERSEY"
 
Some of these old CNJ veterans were still in use on "Main Line" (Raritan Valley Line)  during the early NJT years.....
 
"Mc WG"


« Last Edit: Sep 23rd, 2015, 4:41pm by CLASSB » Logged
McAdoo WG
Former Member
Re: "Boonton" and Stillwell cars in tourist service
 
« Reply #17 on: Sep 23rd, 2015, 4:47pm »
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Ex-CNJ combo #303, seen here at Scranton in 2003, is a rare survivor of the type, with all of them being removed from revenue service in 1967, when the Aldene Plan took effect, rerouting all CNJ passenger trains from Jersey City to Penn Station, Newark.
 
Note that the car still retains its original pre-1944 "CENTRAL RAILROAD" lettering.
 
These combos were unusual, in that they featured vestibules at the baggage end.
 
On many CNJ trains, these cars were operated with their baggage compartments facing towards the rear of the train.
 
I well remember this practice, pre-Aldene......
 
http://www.rr-fallenflags.org/cnj/cnj-cb303jpa.jpg
 
(courtesy: fallenflags.org)


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McAdoo WG
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Re: "Boonton" and Stillwell cars in tourist service
 
« Reply #18 on: Sep 23rd, 2015, 4:52pm »
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White-lined ex-CNJ combo #277, seen here at an unknown location, back in 1973.
 
Note "SAFARI" painted on the car sides: I believe this car saw some sort of fantrip/tourist service after retirement.....
 
http://www.rr-fallenflags.org/cnj/cnj-cb277akg.jpg
 
(courtesy: fallenflags.org)


« Last Edit: Sep 23rd, 2015, 5:39pm by CLASSB » Logged
McAdoo WG
Former Member
Re: "Boonton" and Stillwell cars in tourist service
 
« Reply #19 on: Sep 23rd, 2015, 5:11pm »
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"Stillwells"......as we best remember them..... (Clifton, NJ, 1961)
 
http://rr-fallenflags.org/el/loco/el916ajh.jpg
 
(courtesy: fallenflags.org)


« Last Edit: Sep 23rd, 2015, 8:14pm by CLASSB » Logged
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