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Baggage Car 2501
Baggage Car 2501
The most recent addition to the slowly growing passenger fleet of the ECI began life on the Great Northern Railway as a 1930's Round Roof Heavyweight Baggage Car. By the late 40's the flute sided Streamline Cars were running on the named passenger trains and the Round Roof Baggage Cars had begun to look out of place.
Great Northern examined its fleet and selected several of the older cars to receive modifications. A part of this program included new trucks and the adding of aluminum fluting to the lower portion of the car in order to better tie it in with the modern
Streamline look. The car was then repainted into the Great Northern Big Sky colors. This program added new life to a number of the older Baggage Cars until passenger service began its decline in the late 50's.
As the need for passenger equipment declined, a number of these modernized baggage cars found themselves being sold as was this one. The Great Northern Big Sky pattern disappeared under a coat of B&O Dark Blue as the car found itself working the declining service on a B&O subsidiary and by the birth of the Chessie System had been declared surplus and was now in service on a Southern feeder line in the south. The colors had once again changed to Southern Green and the general condition of the car had begun to suffer. Although still sound, the last two paint jobs had been applied over the original paint scheme and was now beginning to crack, flake and peel letting parts of the original paint show.
Never making the transition to Amtrak, our car would spend several years parked on an overgrown siding at Atlanta, GA where it would eventually be sold to the ECI in May of 1991 as part of a parts package deal. The 301 arrived on the property in the middle of June '91 and was promptly shopped with a volunteer crew starting the process of stripping off the layers of old paint while the maintenance crew began the examination of the car body and running gear.
After a general refurbishment, wearing new ECI colors and riding on rebuilt trucks, the 301 was renumbered to 2501 to fit in with the ECI numbering system. It is an appropriate addition to the ECI's passenger fleet for whatever the work there is to be done...
Photos by Roger Hensley