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DELAWARE, LACKAWANNA & WESTERN RAILROAD
SUBSCRIPTION CLUB CAR NO. 2454

Delaware, Lackawanna & Western MU Subscription Car #2454

Delaware, Lackawanna & Western MU Subscription Car #2454

The Whippany Railway Museum (WRyM) has acquired former Delaware Lackawanna & Western (DL&W) MU Subscription Club Car No. 2454 (ex-Erie Lackawanna / NJ Transit No. 3454). The acquisition was arranged with the cooperation and donation of the car to WRyM by the United Railroad Historical Society of New Jersey (URHS).

Through the efforts of long-time WRyM supporter Frank Reilly, a very substantial grant has been gifted to the Museum which is being directed towards the complete restoration-to-operation of this historically significant railcar that comes to us with an abundance of NJ transportation history.

The DL&W club cars dated from 1912, and operated in steam locomotive-hauled service before being rebuilt for New Jersey suburban electric MU (Multiple Unit) service in 1930. Also known as "Subscription Cars" on the DL&W, they catered to the "gentlemen's club" set. In order to ride in the car, an individual had to be sponsored and voted in by the other members, so the membership would have had a air of exclusivity. Members paid an extra fare each month, which was turned over to the railroad to pay the expenses of operating the car. DLW Club Car 1900
DLW Club Car D

DLW Club Car 3454 0 2451 at Hoboken c-1930 - 1931 MU w-stained glass windows
DL&W MU Club Car #2451 at Hoboken c-1930. Photo shows how #2454 would have appeared at the same time. Note original 1912-era stained-glass upper windows still in place at this late date
The five original DL&W MU subscription / club cars (Nos. 480 - 484) were built new for the Lackawanna by Barney & Smith in 1912 as steel body, open platform subscription cars. They were not rebuilds from earlier main-line parlor cars. No. 2454 was originally DL&W No. 484. Throughout 1930, American Car & Foundry Co. converted the original open platform club cars into vestibule-equipped club cars and fitted them out for electric MU service, the same as all the other high-roof MU trailers that started life with open platforms.
DL&W No. 2454 was assigned to the Hoboken to Gladstone Branch run... on a train known as The Millionaire's Express . The Gladstone club car was the only one that had a porter, and it was the only Lackawanna MU car that received air conditioning. It was cool air vented out of the ceiling via ducts from ice bunkers filled with huge blocks of ice. DLW Club Car 2454 3454 Hoboken c-1966
EL MU Parlor 3454 at Hoboken 12-24-1973 Dan McFadden
Erie Lackawanna MU Subscription Club Car #3454 at Hoboken, Christmas Eve, 1973.
Photo: Dan McFadden
After the October 1960 merger of the DL&W and the Erie Railroad, which created the Erie-Lackawanna Railroad, No. 2454 was renumbered as 3454, the number which it carried until the end of its operating career in 1984.

Some memories of riding onboard the 2454 / 3454 are provided below by New Jersey commodities broker-turned-steam-excursion-entrepreneur Ross Rowland:

EL Conrail MU interior repainted Dec
Erie Lackawanna standard MU commuter coach interior.
Photo: Bill Young
“When my family and I first moved to Bernardsville in the spring of 1968 I noticed that one car on the 7:45 am train had air conditioning while the entire rest of the fleet depended upon little fans near the ceiling to move the hot air around and provide at least a little relief from the heat. The cars all sat in the Hoboken yard all day in the hot summer sun and were plenty hot each evening for the commute home.
I asked around about how one could avail themselves of joining the one subscription car that had the A/C and was told that it was a private commuters club whose members were a " whose-who" of Wall Street senior leaders and heavy duty political figures from the NJ "establishment" and that one could only join if sponsored by 2 members and that there was a 3 year waiting list. EL Conrail MU Parlor 3454 interior B Hoboken 1 13 1978 Dan McFadden
EL Subscription Club Car #3454 interior showing A/C duct at ceiling.
Photo: Dan McFadden
EL MU Parlor 3454 Door Gladstone 9 17 1972 Dan McFadden
Entry door to EL Subscription Club Car #3454, Gladstone, NJ Sept. 17, 1972.
Photo: Dan McFadden
A few weeks later I discovered that one of my largest commodity futures customers (at Merrill Lynch) was a long standing member of the car and he agreed to " sponsor" me and find the 2nd. sponsor. I was soon elected to membership and began enjoying the commute home a lot more all summer.

If I recall correctly I was the first new member in the previous 7 years, and from my memory I was (at age 28) at least 25 years younger than the next youngest member. I was rather used to being the "kid" in the crowd as all the members of the futures exchange where I worked were in their 60's-70's.

The car was divided near the middle with one end being non-smoking and reserved for members guests. The rules allowed us to bring a total of 4 guests aboard per year (one at a time) and guests were required to ride in the non-smoking/guest end. There were no women members. EL Conrail MU Parlor 3453 interior E Hoboken 12 16 1977 Dan McFadden
Interior photo of companion EL Subscription Club Car #3453 showing the non-smoking end of the car.
Photo: Dan McFadden
EL Conrail MU Parlor 3454 interior A Hoboken 1 13 1978 Dan McFadden
Interior of EL Subscription Club Car #3454, showing card tables.
Photo: Dan McFadden
The other end was set-up with rattan seats and 2 card tables. Every day there were 2 bridge games on the way into Hoboken and each night there were 2 gin-rummy games on the way home. Both games had regular players and scores were kept and everyone settled up on the money Friday nights coming into Basking Ridge. The players were in fact a "whose-who" of Wall Street and included Mr. Percy Chubb, II - CEO of Chubb Insurance Webster Todd, Director - Metropolitan Life Insurance Company; Cyrus Vance, Deputy Secretary of Defense under President Lyndon Johnson and later Secretary of State for President Jimmy Carter; C. Douglas Dillon, Wall Street financier and former Treasury Secretary under President John F. Kennedy; etc.,etc. I never tired of enjoying some of the squabbles that would develop between them on settlement night when they'd frequently argue strongly over pennies when during their average workday they dealt in millions!!!
Percy Chubb II
Percy Chubb, II
Cyrus Vance
Cyrus Vance
C. Douglas Dillon with JFK
Douglas Dillion with President Kennedy
I recall one day Webb Todd brought his daughter Christie aboard for the ride into Hoboken and she sat next to me (I rode in the non-smoking end mornings to read the paper in library silence, and this end was the only space females were permitted) and I remember being very impressed with her. It did not surprise me in the least when she went on to become New Jersey's Governor years later. Gov. Whitman
Former NJ Governor Christine Todd Whitman

We were blessed to have as a faithful attendant , Mr. Bob White who worked the car for many years. Each member kept a bottle of his favorite hooch in Mr. White's galley and he knew just how each member liked his drink prepared for the journey home. Mornings he served coffee / tea and crumpets. Each year at Christmas a generous collection was taken and Mr. White did quite well. He was a total professional in every sense and added a great deal to the pleasure of the car.

My memories of riding the club car are extensive, fond and lasting. I always enjoyed the sounds of the mahogany wood paneling creaking as we'd go through the turnouts in Hoboken and the wonderful conversations overheard during the serious card games between those titans of Wall Street on all manner of topics.

The ability to enjoy a scotch & soda along with a good cigar, served by a true professional in the comfort of an air conditioned car in the blazing heat of summer, was truly wonderful and will always be remembered as such

Each morning during the summer the car's ice lockers (slung underneath) would be filled with large blocks of ice to keep the A/C going strong all day as the car sat in the summer heat in the yard. Mr. White would draw all the window shades to keep out the sun's rays and not lift them until he was on his way into the shed to receive guests. The car was always nice and chilly when we left Hoboken no matter how hot the day.

And all this for the incredible price of $120. a year !!!
Great memories....sadly never to be repeated!!”
Ross Rowland
Ross Rowland 4
Ross Rowland

EL 3454 NJT MU parlor at Maplewood 8 11 1984 SPH
#3454 Subscription Club Car at NJT Retirement Celebration, Maplewood, NJ Aug. 11, 1984
Photo: Steve Hepler
No. 3454 was the featured lead car during NJ Transit's "Lackawanna Electrics Retirement Celebration" in August 1984 at Maplewood, NJ, and once again during the Tri-State Railway Historical Society's "Farewell to the DL&W MU's" excursion on August 19, 1984. The 3454 "closed the show" so to speak by being placed at the head-end of the very last NJ Transit 1930's-era electric MU train from Hoboken to Dover, NJ on August 24, 1984.
lackElec 19 MU Retirement Special 12 celebration at Maplewood 8 11 1984 SPH
NJT MU Retirement Celebration, Maplewood, NJ Station Aug.11, 1984
Photo: Steve Hepler
LackElec 40 Tri State NRHS Farewell 14 to MU Millington Trestle w 3454 in lead 8 19 1984 SPH
#3454 Subscription Club Car leads the Tri-State NRHS' Farewell To The DL&W MU's excursion over the Millington Trestle on Aug. 19, 1984.
Photo: Steve Hepler
lackElec 57 Last Day F of 3000DC service Last MU run at Hoboken w 3454 on head end 8 24 1984 SPH
Subscription Club Car #3454 at Hoboken Terminal prior to the departure of the last DC-powered electric train to Dover, NJ Aug. 24, 1984.
Photo: Steve Hepler
LackElec 60 Last Day I of 3000DC service Last MU run at Hoboken w 3454 on head end 8 24 1984 SPH
#3454 wears commemorative "Last Run" signage at Hoboken Terminal, Aug. 24, 1984.
Photo: Steve Hepler
LackElec 66A Last Day burst banner Dover 8 24 1984 Scott Snell
Caption: #3454 bursts through a "Last Run" banner upon arrival at Dover, NJ Station, Aug. 24, 1984.
Photo: Scott R. Snell
LackElec 67A Last Day Dover Station 8 24 1984 Richard Hart
3454, with all lights ablaze just after her final arrival at Dover, NJ Station, Aug. 24, 1984.
Photo: Richard Hart
LackElec 67B Last Day crew L R Mike Farrell Charlie Farrell Dick Dilger Al Kelly Dover 8 24 1984 Richard Hart
#3454 poses at Dover, NJ with her final crew during the night of August 24, 1984. Left-to-Right: Mike Farrell; Charlie Farrell; Dick Dilger & Al Kelly.
Photo: Richard Hart
 

The full restoration of this notable rail car was a long-term project. For the exterior of the car the Whippany Railway Museum utilized the services of Star Trak, Inc., located at the URHS restoration facility in Boonton, NJ. The first task was to remove all the earlier paint layers and coat the carbody and roof in primer paint. The lower, rotted portions of steel along the bottom and ends of the car were cut out and refitted with new metal work. Repairs were made to a minor leak in a portion of the copper-clad roof. The decayed steps and vestibule platforms were removed and rebuilt. Museum volunteers also cleaned the car’s underbody components.

DLW Club Car 3454 8B 4 17 2014 SPH
#2454 / 3454 enters the URHS / Star Trak shop at Boonton, NJ to begin its multi-year restoration. April 17, 2014.
Photo: Steve Hepler
DLW Club Car 3454 52 primer Boonton 5 19 2014 SPH
May 19,2014. Photo: Steve Hepler
DLW Club Car 3454 8H side Nov. 8 2011 SPH
Photo: Steve Hepler
DLW Club Car 3454 88 side sheets removed 8 6 2014 Ray Clauss
Aug. 6, 2014. Photo: Ray Clauss
DLW Club Car 3454 124F new steel 10 10 2014 SPH
Oct. 10, 2014. Photo: Steve Hepler
DLW Club Car 3454 101 work progress 8 28 2014 SPH
Aug. 28, 2014. Photo: Steve Hepler
DLW Club Car 3454 32 Roof B end 5 8 2014 SPH
Caption: May 8, 2014. Photo: Steve Hepler
DLW club car 3454 132B old steps 4 20 2015 SPH
April 20, 2015. Photo: Steve Hepler
DLW club car 3454 142 front end 7 13 2015 SPH
July 13, 2015. Photo: Steve Hepler
DLW Club car 3454 new steps installed Aug. 4 2016 SPHcropped382
August 4, 2016. Photo: Steve Hepler
DLW2454 Brake Component Before Needle Scale 9 3 2015 AW
Brake Component prior to the removal of rust and grime. September 3, 2015. Photo: Alan Wishengrad
DLW2454 Brake Component After Needle Scale 9 8 2015 AW
Brake Component after the removal of rust and grime. September 8, 2015. Photo: Alan Wishengrad

 

       
A refurbished window frame complete with new glass. April 20, 2015. Photo: Steve Hepler
While the body repairs were underway, Museum volunteers removed all window frames, refurbishing them and fitting them with new glazing. A notable feature of No. 2454's original 1912 construction is the stained-glass window panels above each large passenger window. Some time after the 1930 rebuild of the car for electric MU service, the stained-glass windows were plated over to give the car a more “modern” appearance. Museum volunteers removed this plating and found that the original 1912-era wood framing and stained glass panels were still in place and intact. The wooden frames for the stained-glass unfortunately did not age well and were all removed and totally re-fabricated.
EL Conrail MU Parlor 3454 at Gladstone Yard 1 8 1977 Dan McFadden 
EL (Conrail) MU Subscription Car #3454 at Gladstone, N.J. Steel plating was installed to hide the original stained glass window panels to give the car a more "modern" look. January 8, 1977. Photo: Dan McFadden
DLW club car 3454 116 stained glass 9 15 2014 AW Large 
Original 1912-era stained glass window panels and wood frames still intact after 1930's plating was removed. September 15, 2014. Photo: Alan Wishengrad
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Newly fabriated wooden window frame with original 1912-era stained glass panels. October 21, 2014. Photo: Steve Hepler
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Refabricated upper stained-glass window panels being installed. April 2, 2015. Photo: Steve Hepler

 

Also unique to the Subscription Cars were their diamond shaped windows. Several of them had been vandalized and their frames had deteriorated. Museum volunteers removed the original frames and fabricated replacement ones. New glass matching the original was cut to replace those panes which had been destroyed. Museum volunteers then reinstalled these signature windows. Finally, the interior framing around the windows was rebuilt and installed. DLW2454 damaged diamond window 5 12 2014 FR cropped 
One of the diamond windows prior to restoration. May 12, 2014. Photo: Frank Reilly
 DL&W Subscription Car diamond windows ready for installation
New diamond window frames with glass ready for installation. July 28, 2017. Photo: Alan Wishengrad
 Bob Hayden & Vic Ferretti install one of the diamond windows
Whippany Railway Museum volunteers install the new diamond windows. August 1, 2017. Photo: Terence Mulligan
2454 Diamond Window Interior Before 8 30 2020 AW
Diamond window before installing the rebuilt interior framing. August 30, 2020. Photo: Alan Wishengrad
 2454 Diamond Window Interior Framed 8 30 2020 AW
Diamond window after installing the rebuilt interior framing. August 30, 2020. Photo: Alan Wishengrad

 

With the repairs to the rotted sections of the sides and vestibules completed, the new steps installed and the windows reinstalled the next task was to fully repaint the exterior of the car. DLW_Club_Car_3454_254_motorman_end_May_2_2016_P_Steve_Hepler        
Engineer's end of car after body repair and installation of new steps. May 2, 2016. Photo: Steve Hepler

The standard color scheme for Lackawanna MU equipment was dark green (Pullman green) sides and ends with a black roof and black underbody. The lettering and car number were yellow.

 

DLW_Club_car_3454_399_motorman_end_w-painted_roof_Oct._18_2016_P_Steve_Hepler         
Engineer's end of car with roof painted black. October 18, 2016. Photo: Steve Hepler
In repainting the Subscription Car, first the roof was painted black. Next, all the window glass was masked. The car’s “letterboards”, the areas on the car sides above the windows, were then painted yellow, as were small areas on each side centered under the windows. Stencils for the lettering (LACKAWANNA) and the car number (2454) were then affixed in the yellow-painted areas.
DL&W MU Subscription Car 2454 with masking of windows in progress 
Car after masking of the windows. June 5, 2018. Photo: Mike Dodge
 DLW_Club_Car_3454_625_Ray_Clauss_looking_at_stencils_in_place_July_12_2018_P_Steve_Hepler
Applying the stencils for the lettering. July 12, 2018. Photo: Steve Hepler

With the preparation work finished the car body was ready to be painted. The first step was the application of a primer coat, which when dry was then lightly scuffed. After wiping down the car, two coats of green paint were applied. Once dry, the stencils were removed, revealing the lettering and number.

 

DLW_Club_Car_3454_646_motormans_side_black_primer_application_light_sanding_July_17_2018_P_Steve_Hepler      
DL&W #2454 after the application of the black primer coat. July 17, 2018. Photo Steve Hepler
 DLW_Club_Car_3454_655_Sammy_John_wiping_down_car_prior_to_painting_July_21_2018_P_Steve_Hepler
Wiping down the car prior to the start of applying the final coats of paint. July 21, 2018. Photo: Steve Hepler
DLW_Club_Car_3454_682_Ray_starting_second_coat_July_21_2018_P_Steve_Hepler     
Lackawanna #2454 getting the second coat of paint. July 21, 2018. Photo: Steve Hepler
 DLW_Club_Car_3454_707_Ray_removing_number_stencil_note_mirror_image_July_23_2018_P_Steve_Hepler
Removing the stencils to reveal the car's lettering and number. July 23, 2018. Photo: Steve Hepler

Following the completion of several detailing tasks, the exterior of the car looked as it had at the start of electrified service on the Lackawanna in 1930.

 

 DLW_Club_Car_3454_751_Sammy_detailing_handrails_July_31_2018_P_Steve_Hepler
The vestibule handrails receive a coat of black paint. July 31, 2018. Photo: Steve Hepler
DLW_Club_Car_3454_755_outdoors_Aug_6_2018_2018_P_Steve_Hepler 
Delaware, Lackawanna & Western MU Subscription Car #2454. August 6, 2018. Photo: Steve Hepler

 

Once the exterior work on the car was completed, the time had come to move it from Boonton to Whippany so the interior restoration could be started. In September, 2019, a few weeks past the 35th anniversary of it leading the last MU train into Dover, the Lackawanna #2454 was again under the wires as it traveled the Denville to Morristown segment of its trip to the Museum.

 DLW_Club_Car_3454_834_move_at_Denville_Sept_19_2019_SPH
Having arrived at Denville, Lackawanna #2454 waits on the Boonton Line as a New York bound train passes. September 19, 2019. Photo: Steve Hepler
 DLW_Club_Car_3454_838_move_East_on_Morris___Essex_at_Denville_Sept_19_2019_SPH
After 35 years Lackawanna #2454 is once again under the wires as it leaves Denville for Morristown. September 19, 2019. Photo: Steve Hepler
 DLW2454 20190919K CedarKnollsNJ MichaelSDodge
Having left the NJ Transit line at Morristown, DL&W #2454 travels the Morristown & Erie on the way to Whippany. September 19, 2019. Photo: Mike Dodge
 DL&W MU Subscription Car upon its return to Whippany
Lackawanna #2454 upon its arrival at the Whippany Railway Museum. September 19, 2019. Photo: Steve Hepler

 

With its arrival at Whippany, work on restoring the interior got underway. Restoration began with WRyM volunteers removing the carpet and clearing the car of debris. The interior finish of the car was constructed of mahogany, much of which was in remarkably good condition considering the three decades of non-maintenance and exposure to vandalism and the elements, although the interior doors needed to be rebuilt and many of the window surrounds and other finishing pieces needed to be replaced. In a process which took four months, all of the interior's cracked and soot covered varish was stripped and the wood refinished. Meanwhile, the damaged panels forming the car's air-conditioning duct were replaced and followed by the prepping and repainting of the car's ceiling.

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The interior of Lackawanna Subscription Car #2454 prior to the start of restoration work. November 8, 2011. Photo: Steve Hepler.
Dave Stein and Sean Toris removing carpeting from Lackawanna 2454 
Volunteers remove the old carpet from Lackawanna #2454. May 24, 2014. Photo: Alan Wishengrad
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The interior of DL&W Subscription Car #2454 ready for its restoration. September 21, 2016. Photo: Steve Hepler.
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Stripping the interior mahogany of the old coats of finish is underway. February 28, 2020. Photo: Steve Hepler.
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Interior wood ready for the application of new varnish. March 21, 2020. Photo: Steve Hepler.
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Appling new varnish to the interior wood of Lackawanna #2454. May 28, 2020. Photo: Steve Hepler.
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The repainting of the ceiling of car. July 23, 2020. Photo: Steve Hepler.
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The Men's (Smoking) section of the car after the completion of the wood restoration and repainting of the ceiling. July 27, 2020. Photo: Steve Hepler.

 

Nearly all of the metal fittings, both large, such as the baggage racks and lighting fixtures, and small, down to the match strike plates, had been removed over the years, requiring replacements to be acquired or manufactured. With the refinishing of the interior mahogany completed, all of these various pieces were reinstalled. Interior lettering was then applied. At this same time the car's electrical service was converted to be compatable with modern HEP systems and the interior of the car was rewired, down to each of the annunciators which were used to alert the car's porter that a member wanted service.

DL&W 2454 baggage racks before and after sand blasting 
Baggage Racks for Lackawanna #2454. The one on the right is prior to restoration while the one on the left is ready to be repainted. May 27, 2016. Photo: Alan Wishengrad.
Restored light scone fixture for the interior of Lackawanna MU Subscription Car 2454 
A newly made replacement light fixure for Lackawanna Subscription Car #2454. June 7, 2016. Photo: Terence Mulligan.
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A Museum volunteer installs window latches. September 10, 2020. Photo: Steve Hepler
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A Museum volunteer installs one of the fan motors. November 30, 2020. Photo: Steve Hepler
 
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Reinstalling Lackawanna #2454's baggage racks. January 10, 2021. Photo: Steve Hepler
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The subscription car's interior number in gold-leaf lettering. March 4, 2021. Photo: Steve Hepler.
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Lettering on the window of the entrance doors reminded passengers that the car was for "Members Only". March 3, 2021. Photo: Steve Hepler.
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The control panel in the operator's compartment. May 17, 2021. Photo: Steve Hepler.
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Museum volunteers install replacement wiring for the car's annunciators. December 29, 2020. Photo: Steve Hepler.
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The rewiring of the car progresses with the installation of new lighting hardware. January 27, 2021. Photo: Steve Hepler.

 

The original heating system was was designed to operate on DC power. This set-up was replaced with one able to operate with on AC power. The radiators were installed within the original floor mounted heating ducts, thus maintaining the original look. The metal plates covering the system were repainted and reinstalled. Pieces of DL&W 2454's original heating system after their removal from the heating ducts 
Pieces of Lackawanna #2454's original heating system removed from the floor duct. November 30, 2019. Photo: Alan Wishengrad.
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Installation of the new electric heaters into the original floor ducts. November 30, 2020. Photo: Steve Hepler.
New heater installed with part of original grate reinstalled in DL&W Subscription Car #2454 
New heater installed with two of the original grates restored and reinstalled in DL&W Subscription Car #2454. December 10, 2020. Photo: Terence Mulligan.
The concrete floor of the car was resurfaced, and a 1910-era railroad-design carpet was manufactured and installed in the main sections. The entranceways, galley and restrooms received new, dark-green linoleum. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA          
A Museum volunteer grinds the floor of the car to smooth the concrete surface. April 26, 2021. Photo: Steve Hepler.
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Installation of the new carpet. April 28, 2021. Photo: Steve Hepler.
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Installation of the carpet. April 28, 2021. Photo: Steve Hepler.

 

When in service, another distinctive feature of the Subscription Cars were their individual wicker seats. When received by the Museum, a few of the original chairs were still in Lackawanna #2454. One was shipped to a firm located in New Dehli, India, which was able to use it as a template to make the forty exact replicas needed for the restoration.

 
EL3453 19680400 HobokenNJ 
Interior of one of the Subscription Cars. Photographed at Hoboken, NJ, April, 1968.
DLW2454 20140417J BoontonNJ SteveHepler 
A pair of the original wicker seats left in Lackawanna #2454. April 17, 2014. Photo Steve Hepler.
DLW Club Car 3454 224 prototype chair in India Dec 22 2015 P Vikas Khurana 
The prototype reproduction wicker chair in India. December 22, 2015. Photo: Vikas Khurana.
Lackawanna #2454 interior with new chairs 
The interior of Lackawanna #2454 with the reproduction wicker chairs. May 23, 2021. Photo: Steve Hepler.

 

While the interior work was underway, a few finishing touches to the exterior were also addressed. A correct headlight, donated to the Museum, was refurbished and installed and the car's marker lights were repaired and rewired.

Donated DL&W MU Sealed Beam Headlight for 2454 Restoration 
Donated Pyle National Headlight for the restoration. October 27, 2019. Photo: Steve Hepler.
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Installation of the restored Sealed Beam Headlight. November 10, 2020. Photo: Steve Hepler.
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One of the marker lights after repair and rewiring. May 17, 2021. Photo: Steve Hepler.
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DL&W Subscription Car #2454 with headlight and marker lights lit. May 1, 2021. Photo: Steve Hepler.

 

On June 20th, 2021, DL&W #2454 returned to service following a celebratory dedication ceremony featuring an appearance by the Lackawanna Railroad's iconic Miss Phoebe Snow. Now visitors to the Museum will have the opportunity to experience how some of New Jersey's wealtiest businessmen commuted from their suburban homes to New York City. The restoration of this car helps to further the Whippany Railway Museum's mission to preserve New Jersey's railroad history.

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Miss Phoebe Snow. June 20, 2021. Photo: Steve Hepler.
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Miss Phoebe Snow christens Lackawanna Subscription Car #2454. June 20, 2021. Photo: Steve Hepler.
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Dedication Ceremony for the return to service of Lackawanna #2454. June 20, 2021. Photo: Steve Hepler.
DLW 2454 First Day 00A June 20 2021 P Steve Hepler 
Visitors to the Museum getting the opportunity to experience firsthand a significant piece of New Jersey's railroad history. June 20, 2021. Photo: Steve Hepler.

 

The Museum is grateful to the efforts of the numerous individuals and organizations without whom the restoration of this car would not have been possible. We are especially grateful to Frank Reilly of the New Jersey County Transportation Officers Association and Captain Bill McKelvey of Liberty Historic Railway for their role in providing the funding needed for the successful completion of this project. We thank Star Trak, Philip Paris Restorations, AA Metal & Glass, Frank Minorowicz and Vikas Khurana at Interex Company for their expertise. We also thank the many Whippany Railway Museum volunteers who contributed countless hours of their time to the restoration of this car. We also wish to thank the many good people at URHS. We appreciate their arranging the transfer of the Lackawanna #2454 to WRyM and offer them a big round of applause for, without their efforts, it is very likely that this car would have been lost to the scrapper many years ago.

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Whippany Railway Museum
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