French Lick Scenic Railway RPCX 1720
RPCX 1720 was built as Atlantic Coast Line #247, a 1949 Pullman-Standard 54 seat, smooth-sided coach for use in the City of Miami pool. Constructed of cor-ten steel in Lot 6808, plan 7593, the 247 was painted in Illinois Central chocolate brown and orange colors as part of this service with cars from Illinois Central, Florida East Coast and Central of Georgia.
This car was sold to Amtrak in 1971, presumably as their 5479. It passed through at least one prior owner before ending up as part of the Indiana Railway Museum collection in the early 1980s. Identified and renovated as 52 seat table car car 1720 in 2019. The car was completely cleaned inside, and a new service area was constructed in the B end lounge. New FRA-2 exterior windows were installed and the car painted in French Lick Scenic’s Northern Pacific inspired two tone green.
The 1720 rides on General Steel Casting inside swing hanger, 5.5×10 tread-brake trucks, with wheel sets that are equipped with Timken and Hyatt grease and oil bath bearings. It is equipped with a 0-22 air-brake system, has an in date COT&S from February 2019, and has moved on the general railway system in the last 2 years. A half system of Head End Power (HEP) was installed as part of the upgrade, and the DC locker replaced with new products. Power is supplied from an adjacent power car, and is entrained with other HEP equipped cars. The car is equipped H81 HT Titelock couplers and Waughmat gear, common for lightweight passenger cars of this build date. Given that the museum already owned this car and it was found to be in largely sound shape, it great candidate for this conversion.
The interior work completed in 2019 by Crossroads Railcar creates an inviting environment for guests and a useful configuration for a variety of service demands – table car with a service area and restroom. The car seats 52 at adequately sized and spaced tables with chairs, and outlets with USB charging ports are located at each table to allow guests device usage for photos and GPS tracking throughout the trip. The unisex restroom features a Headhunter low gallon per flush porcelain toilet, which is collected into a freeze protected waste retention tank under the car, allowing for year round operation. This restroom in the former Women’s lounge retained the original porcelain corner sinks, a nice touch.
The stainless-clad service area is located in the former Men’s lounge along with the HVAC unit, and the overall construction is of a sanitary design, following applicable NSF (National Sanitation Foundation) practices and guidelines. Large storage and service areas make this car a good complement to diner lounge 1710, as there is also a service pass through to the main lounge of the car.