First-Class Coach, American Car & Foundry Co., Lot 1617, 1902
#701 was built as a first class coach by the American Car and Foundry Co. of Jeffersonville, Indiana in 1902. This car is one of four cars ordered for the DSS&A. Two of these cars were first class coaches (numbered 700, 701) and the other two were second class coaches (numbered 600, 601). #701 is of all wood construction, with four wheel trucks and an overall length of 61’0″. The interior of the car is paneled in Mexican mahogany and originally furnished with green plush high-back seats, steam heat, and illuminated by both electric and kerosene lamps.
#701 was originally used on South Shore trains No. 7 and No. 8, which ran between Duluth and Sault Ste. Marie. By July 28, 1938, coach No. 701 was no longer needed in passenger service. The car was converted to a boarding car and renumbered to 999. After the merger of the Soo Line and the DSS&A in 1961, the car was renumbered to D-999. The D-999 was removed from work train use about 1968 and moved to North Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, where it was used as a Soo Line B&B office. The car was acquired by Mid-Continent on April 30, 1975 and moved to North Freedom shortly thereafter. #701 is stored outside awaiting restoration.
The Duluth South Shore & Atlantic Railway was formed in 1886 through the merger of several smaller railroads. The mainline of the railroad extended from Duluth to Sault Ste. Marie with a branch line extending into the Keweenaw peninsula. Control of the railroad soon passed into the hands of the Canadian Pacific Railroad and much of the traffic was directed to the CP at the Sault Ste. Marie gateway. On January 1, 1961, the DSS&A ceased to exist when it was officially merged into the newly organized Soo Line Railroad.