Slow, painstaking restoration work has been taking place over the last 12+ years as volunteers and donations allow. Much has been done to stabilize the car and begin to return its original beauty. The Newtown Square Pennsylvania Railroad Museum thanks everyone who has helped in this effort and all those who we hope WILL help today and in the future.
PRR Car #1444 took quite a journey before getting to Newtown Square. After 1928, wooden passenger cars owned by the Pennsylvania Railroad ceased to be used in regular passenger service. Some were scrapped outright, some were converted into business cars, inspection cars or other utility cars, and some were sold to other railroads.
While some of the history of this car remains to be rediscovered, it is known that the car, after use by the Pennsylvania Railroad, was owned by:
- The Canadian National Railroad
- American Railroad Equipment Association
- Henry Ford Museum in Detroit / Greenfield Village – Village Railroad
The car was in poor condition by the time it was decommissioned and eventually donated to the Newtown Square Pennsylvania Railroad Museum. After it arrived it was stabilized, and temporary roof put on and interior details began to be uncovered and restored. The interior woodwork had at one point been sandblasted; so much of the original ornate carving has been lost. However, enough remains to get a good flavor of the beauty the car once had. The seats were restored to original condition next – a detail that while some would think would be the last thing to be done, museum founders Sam Coco and Jack Grant believed that people needed to get a taste of how stunning the car could be when completely restored. They certainly give you that flavor of what the car will be again!
The Newtown Square Pennsylvania Railroad Museum hopes that you will watch the progress of this car as it is restored to its 1902 condition – when passenger service still ran along the Newtown Square branch of the Pennsylvania Railroad. Please help if you can – either by making a donation below (or in person) or volunteering some of your time and talents to the project.
As the only surviving “PK Class Car” left, it is a beautiful and now one-of-a-kind piece of history which we are honored to share with our local community, all the “PRR fans” out there and everyone who comes to visit us.