RDG Co. Grill Car, Class DC1a, #2060
Background & History
In the late 1940s the Reading Company made a major effort to upgrade its most important passenger trains by rebuilding and modernizing older coaches in the railroad’s own shops in Reading, PA. The rebuilt cars had wide picture windows, roller bearings, air conditioning and a stylish 1940s interior, reminiscent of the streamliners in vogue on other railroads. The first trainset to be redone was the “Wall Street,” which entered service on March 1, 1948 running between Philadelphia and Jersey City. The second new train was the “Schuylkill” which began running on November 14, 1948 and included car #2060 as its most important piece. The 2060 featured a small but complete cooking area, lunch counter and a pair of dining tables and the remander of the car had regular reclining coach seats. All of this was perfect for serving light meals and providing a comfortable ride on the “Schuylkill’s” twice daily roundtrips between Philadelphia and Pottsville.
Car #2060 started out as standard coach #1337, one of the many class PBm coaches built by the Harlan & Hollingsworth subsidiary of Bethlehem Steel in Wilmington, Delaware in 1922. The 1948 rebuilding changed the number to 2060 and the classification to DCLa, the only one of its type on the Reading. In the early 1960s, as highway competition took its toll on the Reading’s passenger services, the “Schuylkill” was downgraded and car 2060 was reassigned to the “Wall Street”. The reclining coach seats were replace by more tables, thus making the car a full diner. Even this did not last long and by the 1970s, the 2060 had been sold for scrap and the carbody moved to Fountain, PA where it became a roadside diner.
Remarkably though, the carbody was altered very little and the interior is almost completely intact. In 2002, new owners of the Fountain diner property decided to rid of their old railroad car and through a series of events (see RCT&HS 2003 news story), the 2060 carbody was donated to the RCT&HS and trucked out immewdiate harm’s way. The RCT&HS now needs to raise $5,000 to transport the 2060 back to our new Hamburg museum site and begin restoration work. Full restoration of the 2060 to operating condition will be a multi-year project, but we look forward to someday riding and dining in stylish comfort as the 2060 once again glides along its ORIGINAL!! route up the scenic Schuylkill River valley to Pottsville. Click here if you would like to make a donation towards the restoration of this car.
|(last updated: 8/03)|