Mid-Continent Railway Museum is happy to announce the museum has been awarded a $1,500 grant from the Tom E. Dailey Foundation. This grant will assist Mid-Continent with creating reproductions of the original coach seat design to appear in the historic East Jordan & Southern #2 passenger car, the oldest railcar in Mid-Continent Railway Museum’s collection.
EJ&S No. 2 was originally built in 1864 as coach 112 for the Grand Trunk Railway of Canada. It was purchased in 1902 by the EJ&S and was operated on that railroad until abandonment in 1961. After purchase by a private party, the coach was donated and moved to the Mid-Continent Railway Museum in 1963. Exterior restoration is nearly complete after five years of volunteer work. Attention is now turning to the car’s interior. Blinds and window sash have been reproduced and refinishing of the interior is now in progress.
The next step in the restoration, and the most costly, is the production of replacement seats. Reproduction coach seats are required because all seats were removed when the East Jordan & Southern ended regular passenger service in 1946.
The seat ends are ornate cast iron of a design patented by George Buntin which is different than the seats found in other cars at the museum. Volunteers plan to build the wooden frames for the seatbacks and seat bottoms. Finally, upholstery work will be done professionally by a skilled contractor. This grant from the Tom E. Dailey Foundation will help begin the process of making the seatbacks and bottom cushions. After work on the wooden frames for the seat cushions is completed in 2021, the upholstery will be done in time for seat installation in 2022.
East Jordan & Southern #2 was among the first cars acquired by Mid-Continent Railway Museum and was used as a ticket office during the museum’s first year of operations at North Freedom as seen in this 1963 photo. The car is currently receiving a comprehensive restoration in Mid-Continent Railway Museum’s Car Shop. Ron Jones photo.
ALSO SEE: Mid-Continent’s Equipment Roster page for EJ&S #2
Even with the somewhat shortened restoration work season volunteers made significant progress on No. 2. Starting with the exterior, the west side letter was completed with the filling of screw and nail holes, sanding and priming. The east side letter board required patching, installation, and fabrication of the north end extension which was missing. That was followed by filling, sanding and more priming to complete the letter board. The north end drip boards were also installed.
North end of No. 2 showing new drip boards at edge of roof.
The east side of the EJ&S #2 with the letter board completed.
Three of the four platform steps have been taken apart and are in the process of being rebuilt. Work was also started on cleaning up the trucks. We were surprised to fine remnants of pinning striping probably dating to the 1902 refurbishment by Hicks Locomotive and Car.
North end truck. Note pin striping with the blue tape protecting more.
In the last half of the summer work moved to the interior. The east side wall boards had previously been dismantled. The paint was stripped from the boards and the wall is in the process of being rebuilt.
East side interior. The wall is rebuilt below the window sill and work was started above the window sill.
Much of the paint on the west side wall has also been removed although the wood needs to be cleaned up with chemical stripper. Also work was done on the floor to replace some bad wood and missing boards.
West side interior. Pink primed board is a new replacement.
Finally, all the clerestory windows were removed. The stained glass will be remounted in new frames during the winter months.
I have plenty of work to do a home over the winter. Hopefully we will have more in shop work time next year.
The Mid-Continent Car Shop is just about done for the year so this is a final post for the EJ&S No. 2 for 2019. We made some good progress this year as you can see from the photos of both sides of the No. 2. The east side work was finished off except for the letter board and it now has two coats of primer. The west side had new siding, board and battens, and window lintels installed, and the letter board was reinstalled. This side also has two coats of primer now except for the letter board which still needs to have some screw and nail holes filled.
EJ&S No. 2 east side – October 2019. Peter B. photo.
EJ&S No. 2 west side – October 2019. Peter B. photo.
The completion of the exterior (except for the roof) is now in sight. Next year we look forward to having the finish gloss paint on and the lettering applied.
Work on the East Jordan & Southern #2 continues at a steady pace. This past weekend we had a great turnout during the work session, allowing us to work on several projects including the EJ&S #2 which was led by Pete B. and Bill. F.
Work focused on the west side of the car. Tasks included installing the window sills, window lentils, and the panels between the windows. New window stops for the west side of the car were also produced and all the pieces primed.
Pete B. making more progress on the EJ&S #2. Bill Buhrmaster photo.
New exterior window stops 6/30/2019. Peter B. photo.
Upper siding panels installed and primed 6/30/2019. Peter B. photo.
In the May work session we decided to remove the west side letter board, siding above the window sill and the window sill. Work was then started on fabricating new window sill material.
During the June 14 and 15th work session work on the window sill was completed. This included fastening an inner trim piece to the sill and then attaching the sill to the belt rail. The next steps include installing new siding above the window sill and re-installing the top fascia and letter board.
Peter B. Restoration Department
West side of EJ&S #2 with window sill installed. 6-15-2019. Peter B. photo.
Newly made and installed trim piece that serves as a sort of weather strip for bottom edge of window. Peter B. photo.