ACL Tavern Lounge Cars : LUSENET : ACL and SAL Railroads Historical Society : One Thread

For several years, starting in 1940, a passenger special called the East Wind ran a daily Washington DC-Bangor ME route using equipment of the sponsoring lines: PRR/NH/B&M. The first-year roster included a "tavern'lounge" car of seemingly unknown origin. Given that the 1941-2 East Wind consists did include leased ACL 36-seat diners, I wonder if the tavern-lounge cars of the 1940 consist also came from the ACL? Few photos of the East Wind exist, and nobody seems to know the origin of the 1940 tavern-lounge cars.

Pictures of the East Wind show this car to have an arch roof with large built-in ventilator grilles over the galley end; the galley itself had a single small window, whereas regular diners had four. The Wayner Publications book, Passenger Train Consists of the 1940s, lists (p. 6) ACL tavern-lounge car (lightweight) #254 on the 11/27/41 southbound ACL Train 91, the Tamiami Champion. Is this the car I'm looking for?

I'm awaiting the publication of the new book on postwar ACL passenger cars this Spring, but can somebody meanwhile point me to a photo or specs on ACL tavern-lounge 254 or other cars of that series? I'm replicating the 1940 East Wind in HO, and am stalled on this one car. Any info. gratefully accepted - this has been a real needle in a haystack!

-- Ross D. Hall (, February 20, 1999


The East Wind leased ACL heavyweight cars. The lounge cars in question would have to have been from the ACL group named North Carolina, South Carolina, and 4 others in the same class, rebuilt from heavyweight coaches. They would not have been from the 250-257 lightweight tavern-lounge-obs cars, which always ran in Champion and Fla. Special service. I had a letter years ago from someone in the B&M HS who knew all about the leased cars and that group would be a good source to contact. My ACL passenger book should be out by May and will have photos of the heavyweight lounge cars above (in ACL paint).

-- Larry Goolsby (, February 22, 1999.

I was always under the impression that the "East Wind" was a heavy- weight train and all the cars were painted except the leased cars. I doubt that the ACL would lease out a new lightweight car to some other railroad.The ACL did have HW lounge cars that "could" have been on the EW. According to the PRR painting and lettering book,PRR rebuilt two P70's into class PLC70 lounge cars for this service.This could be your answer. I would check with the PRR,NH and BM Historical societies.

-- Joseph Oates (, February 21, 1999.

You're in luck! Get hold of a copy of Joseph M. Welsh's book BY STREAMLINER, NEW YORK TO FLORIDA, (Andover Junction Publications, 1994) and your wish will be granted. You'll find a good b & w photo of sister car 256 on page 101 and shots of identical cars built to the same plan for the Florida East Coast. You may already know this, but these tavern-observation-lounge cars were all blunt-ended for mid-train service, and the ACL cars had full-length purple letterboards with silver-grey lettering. They also sported black roofs and full-width diaphrams on the forward end, at least early in their careers. The purple began to be phased out in 1957. ACL's cars arrived in Dec. 1940 from Budd for use on the Champions. ACL's placement of these cars mid-train was more the norm than the exception, thus the functionality of the blunt end. ACL decals for these type cars are available through the Society. Hope this helps. Good luck.

-- Bob Venditti (, February 21, 1999.

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