When MEC #333 was originally ordered from Pullman in 1924 it was built for a R.T. Crane
. Up until now I had never read anything about him (take careful note of the date of death....further investigation shows that naturally someone who died in 1910 couldn't have ordered a rail car built in 1924). Having made the error noted in the parenthetic here is a company history
with a lengthy feature of R.T. Crane, Jr. who, naturally, is pictured standing on the steps of his railcar (a wood sided predecessor to Nituna
As I have said before in similar topics the quality of information on the internet continues to improve every year. Here for the first time in this thread or anywhere in the railroad preservation community (online) that I have ever seen are two black and white photos
of the interior of the car.
from the Bangor Daily News written during the transition period between U.S. Filter and Guilford Transportation. This article lists the build date as 1923.
Another post here
gives specifications of length (83 feet) and weight (91 tons) which I don't ever recall seeing anywhere else.
This interesting blog indicates that Nituna
was renamed as Lone Tree
by R.T. Crane's widow after he died. This story is in fact impossible as Nituna
had been sold to the Maine Central Railroad Company in 1929 and Richard T. Crane, Jr.
died in 1931
Proceeds from R.T. Crane, Jr.'s death are discussed
in the Chicago Tribune in 1935 included among the household staff were "Henry Baismore, cook on Mr. Crane's private railroad car Nituna, $9,841; and George W. PIckett, porter on the car, $14,613."
Another detail possibly in dispute is the acquisition date which Mr. VanBokkelen
gives as 1939 (not 1929 as originally quoted) meaning that the blog entry regarding renaming is in fact possible. I suspect the original article (about Eagle-Bay
, ex-CR #4 America
) quoted in this thread may have been incorrect.
Brief research regarding the car's original name, Nituna
reveals a commonly held definition
of a Native American use as "(my) daughter". At this point there does not appear to be any definitive tribal language of origin established for the word.