Forum for the discussion of the Budd Company and Budd-Thyssen through bankruptcy. Wiki:

Moderator: John_Perkowski

  by alindgren
We're lucky enough to be leasing two converted railcars as office space here in San Francisco, and are looking forward to renovating them to more historical accuracy. If anyone has any information that could be helpful, including recommendations for books, craftsmen or professionals, historical photographs (especially of interior), or really anything, it would be greatly appreciated.

Here's the information I have so far:

Former AMTRAK #3870
New York Central Streamliner
Originally built by the Budd Company in 1947 as 58 seat tavern-observations cars. They are unique because of the round end observation car commonly referred to as a "Boat Tail" Observation.

Thank you!

  by jhdeasy
The two observation cars there on isolated track in San Francisco are the former New York Central 60 (later Amtrak 3870) built by Budd in 1948 as a parlor observation and the former Seaboard Air Line 6602 (later Seaboard Coast Line 5842 and later Amtrak 3342) built by Budd in 1947 as a tavern lounge observation.

3870 is the car with the vestibule; 3342 does not have a vestibule.

3342 on Amtrak's Panama Limited in 1976 ... amaltd.jpg

3342 on 9/7/1972, location unknown

I rode a few trips on 3342 (and sister cars 3341 and 3345) when they were assigned to Amtrak's Empire State Express circa 1974.
  by ZephyrHogHead
where in the city are these cars located? next time i go down to oakland for work it would be fun to go over to the city and get some shots of these cars. thanks in advance for the info.
  by John_Perkowski
If you contact the Illinois Railroad Museum in Union, IL, they should have the original plans for these cars...

I think one of those cars was assigned to the Starlight for a while. I sure remember watching from Refugio SB in Santa Barbara County as a teen an SAL obs just like that... and then, on my 16th birthday, riding it with Mom and Dad (that was my birthday present!)
  by jhdeasy
ZephyrHogHead wrote:where in the city are these cars located?

Near the corner of 16th Street and De Haro Street .... at the foot of Potrero Hill.
  by rohr turbo
Looking at Google Maps, it appears these two cars are landlocked (disconnected from any spur or trackage). Is there any thought that they will ever roll again, or are they static forever?
  by jhdeasy
As I previously mentioned, they are on isolated track - rails that are not connected to the railroad network. I suspect their current owner has no plans for them to roll again. However, in the event someone was to buy them and wanted to relocate them or to make them operational, a crane and adequate over the road heavy haul equipment could be used to pick them up, transport them over the road and reunite them with live rails. I'm aware of many such movements of passenger cars in the 22 years that I have been a PV owner.
  by Gilbert B Norman
Here is some idea of what the interior of the NYC Parlor Obs looked like. ... Train-Trip

Simply remove the tables and in their place put Burnt Umber Parlor chairs that were as deep cushioned as any i have ever sat in. Also replace with people more "dressed for the occasion' as any "Mad Men" afficiandos who were "there" in real life will affirm.
  by jhdeasy
I would recommend the book "Passenger Car Library, Voume 2, New York Central & Eastern Railroads" , by W. David Randall, published by RPC Publications; this large format spiral bound book is now out of print, but it can be found in previously owned condition. You will find interior & exterior builder's photographs and drawings of all NYC equipment (and that of other eastern railroads) built by Budd.
  by goodnightjohnwayne
When 3870 was in Amtrak service, it was modified to a 40 coach seat configuration, with 15 non-revenue seats in the observation end. My guess is the Amtrak era layout of the car might best represent the current configuration, or perhaps it might help you track the various revisions. I personally wouldn't get too hung up on the original parlor-observation configuration.