When I arrived at the Lancaster & Chester Railway in South Carolina today for a field trip that's part of the Railway Passenger Car Alliance meeting, I saw a car whose lines looked oddly familiar to me. Later, at a photo stop at Fort Lawn, S.C., I recognized the tail car after rare mileage trip organizer Bart Jennings prompted me: Clinchfield Railroad office car No. 100.
The car was painted all Pullman green and its CRR markings were faded, but visible in the right sunlight. The L&C special from Lancaster to Chester included a Milwaukee Road-painted office car, a Seaboard Air Line Sun Lounge, and private cars Golden Tower and J. Pinkney Henderson. The last time I saw CRR 100 it was in Family Lines paint — French gray, red, and yellow — on the tail of northbound time freight No. 97. This was in the early 1980s when John Thomas was General Manager of the railroad. It was great to see and old friend again!
The Railway Passenger Car Alliance meeting is underway today through Sunday at my home museum, the North Carolina Transportation Museum at Historic Spencer Shops. About 200 people are here for seminars, field schools, and opportunities to network. The highlight is an after dinner speech by Norfolk Southern Chairman, CEO, and President Wick Moorman.