• Trolley side woodwork needed in Massachusetts !

  • General discussion about fallen trolley and interurban lines in North America, past and present.
General discussion about fallen trolley and interurban lines in North America, past and present.

Moderator: Aa3rt

  by 3rdrail
 
We made our expedition to Sisson's Diner last Thursday, where we had a great dinner and had the pleasure of meeting the diners owner, Nick Rentumis. Nick would very much like to restore this old Number 229, Wason-built, trolley of the old Middleborough, Wareham, and Buzzards Bay Railway Company which had been made into a diner many years ago. Nick's idea is to keep it as a diner, but to bring back it's trolley appearance as much as possible. He needs one side of the car, as close as possible to the side that currently exists (see photo from link below) to make it look more like a trolley and less like a building. My eye-ball estimate is that it is about a 45 foot long car with ten large side windows and doors at each enclosed vestibule. If anyone has any ideas where such siding might be gotten, call him at (508) 947-7211. Otherwise, the diner is a great place to eat with a wonderful electric railway heritage !

http://photos.nerail.org/showpic/?20070 ... 718222.jpg

  by Gerry6309
 
Paul:

I assume he is referring to the side of the car away from the street, where the dining area interfaces with the kitchen. The body seems to have been lengthened during its operating days - note that the six center window are narrower than those at the ends. Normally cars are delivered from the factory with all equal windows. It probably started out as a six window, 20 foot body, lengthened perhaps to 32 feet. (Based on your overall forty foot estimate) There looks to be significant deterioration in the roof and that is where I think the owner should start any efforts. The car most likely has a "steamcoach" roof under the tar paper. To restore that roof to its original appearance would vastly improve the appearance of the entire structure and protect it from further deterioration. I suspect the original body is over 100 years old, based on the convex-concave panels. Its encouraging that the owner wants to improve it. Not many of that breed left!

  by 3rdrail
 
Hi Gerry !
Interesting observation as regards to the windows. The car has seen extensive "covering over" of almost everything inside and out during it's diner lifespan. I give Nick credit, in that he has already started removing the junk that covered a beautiful original. (The interior side panelling that he has gotten down to and refinished is absolutely exquisite !) As regards to the roof that you see in the photo - that also is a cover. The car's clerestory roof lay underneath. Judging by looking up at it from the inside, my guess is that for a car this age, it looks in reasonably good shape. I was told that the cars flooring and frame is in excellent condition, and Nick was quite taken upon examining the meticulous workmanship done by Wason down there years ago, when he had the underside exposed during renovation. He's got the number uncovered at the headlight end interior (last booth). And yes, he's looking at the other side that you have mentioned. Currently, the kitchen, etc. comes off that side from the left end to somewhere about 2/3 down the length of the car. I discussed perhaps doing a different arrangement next time around by making the diner more of a "T" shape, with the kitchen coming out at about 1/4 down the length from both ends, allowing both ends to keep their original appearance. He impressed me as being sensitive to the historical nature of the car and willing to invest time and money into what amounts to a celebration of the car's history, and not just getting by as another fast food joint. :-D

  by sixflagscoasters
 
I think people would much rather see the car get restored to ride on the rails again, and not be a diner.

I think more people would be willing to help in the restoration of an old trolley if it was going to become a restored working trolley or even just a restored static display model if the working parts (trucks/motors, etc..) cannot be found.


But if you are not willing to make it a working or static trolley, but restore it to become a diner, I guess that is better than not restoring the trolley at all.

But I would love to see the trolley back on the rails, but I know that would involve a lot more money and work.

  by Gerry6309
 
sixflagscoasters wrote:I think people would much rather see the car get restored to ride on the rails again, and not be a diner.

I think more people would be willing to help in the restoration of an old trolley if it was going to become a restored working trolley or even just a restored static display model if the working parts (trucks/motors, etc..) cannot be found.


But if you are not willing to make it a working or static trolley, but restore it to become a diner, I guess that is better than not restoring the trolley at all.

But I would love to see the trolley back on the rails, but I know that would involve a lot more money and work.
I agree to some extent, but the three major museums in New England are up to their necks in the cars they already have. BSRA and Shelburne Falls are focused on single cars, so if a private owner wants to preserve the car as a diner, and invest money and time to do it right - more power to him. The car is interesting in its construction (and possible reconstruction) and is quite ancient. Its original operator has no real successor, so it is truely a last relic. I hope the guy is successful in his efforts, and he deserves all our support and encouragement.

  by 3rdrail
 
I agree 100 %. In order for this car to ring rail again, it would need trucks, motors, electrical components, etc. In spite of it's uniqueness, it would then be "another museum piece". I think that in it's own current rite that it is great and unique. A trolley-restaurant could be place where fans meet and eat during railway shows and railway club exhibitions as a "theme" destination. Many diners were built to look like trolleys, but in actuality, few (if any) actually are. This one was, and to have it exist in 2007, is extremely fortunate for the trolley buff.

  by 3rdrail
 
The overall dimensions of the Number 229 make me wonder if this is actually an interurban. As we discussed, it has the large windows and body size. Anybody familiar with M W & B B Ry equipment ? Photos ?

Some more photos:

http://photos.nerail.org/showpic/?photo ... ate&page=1

http://photos.nerail.org/showpic/?photo ... ate&page=1

http://photos.nerail.org/showpic/?photo ... ate&page=1

http://photos.nerail.org/showpic/?photo ... ate&page=1

http://photos.nerail.org/showpic/?photo ... ate&page=1

  by Gerry6309
 
Boston to the Berkshires indicates the line was taken over by the NB&O in 1905. The care were renumbered by adding a leading 2 by the Union when they gained control. Sisson's car is probably from sometime in the late 1890s and was likely lengthened when the NB&O took over to match its newer cars. The interurban designation is a matter of opinion. Paul's toonerville car is close to describing its original operation abd size. :) The route was abandoned north of Wareham in 1923, with the reamainder gone with the rest of the NB&O in 1927. There is a picture of a similar 18' car in B to the B though of other ancerstry.