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PENNSYLVANIA RAILROAD
N5C CABIN CAR (CABOOSE) NO. 477823

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Some preliminary interior work was accomplished in 2002, but it was not until 2003 that exterior restoration progressed at an encouraging pace. The steel blanks that had been welded over six porthole and eight cupola windows were laboriously removed using electric grinders fitted with steel cutting wheels. Work on each steel blank took approximately three to four hours, including removal and grinding and polishing to a smooth surface the remaining weld flashing.
After removing the blanks that covered the four small, triangular-shaped cupola side windows, it was discovered that the original PRR window frames were still in place, but with damaged glazing. The triangular frames were taken out, cleaned, repaired and fitted with new glazing and replaced. The four large forward and rear-facing cupola windows required the fashioning of new frames as the originals no longer existed. Additionally, four new custom-built sliding windows were set in place on both sides of the cupola.
All of the existing 12 portholes were opened up, cleaned and fitted with new glazing and weather-stripping. The two entry doors also originally featured portholes, but were unfortunately retro-fitted with sliding aluminum windows during the Conrail era. A future goal is to return the portholes to the doorways as originally intended.
Additonal features, added on by Penn Central and Conrail and not original to the car as built in 1942 were removed, such as the electric marker lights, fuel-fill pipe for the PC-era kerosene stove and the "mud-flaps" that had been welded to the end platforms. An original PRR coal-fired stove will be installed in place of the modern stove.
In the Fall of 2003 the Cabin Car received it's final coat of paint. No. 477823 is now painted and lettered in a style that is historically accurate to Pennsylvania Railroad standards of the 1954 - 1961 period, complete with "shadow keystone" and Northern Region designation. The Chrome Yellow-painted cupola denotes that the car was assigned to PRR's system-wide pool service. Funding for the exterior restoration of Cabin Car No. 477823 was provided in part, by a grant from the A.P. Kirby, Jr. Foundation.
Restoration of the interior of the caboose was an ongoing project during 2004, and was again funded in part by a grant from the A.P. Kirby, Jr. Foundation. Rotted, water-damaged Masonite walls and ceiling materials were replaced.
Interior looking east

 

Damaged cabinets and lockers were repaired or rebuilt; missing seats were constructed; a portion of the rotted floor was replaced, and an original PRR pot-bellied coal-fired caboose stove was fitted in place of the Penn Central-era kerosene-fueled stove.

 

The interior has been painted in the Standard Pennsylvania Railroad colors of PRR Green and Cream enamel that are historically accurate for a N5C Cabin Car during the 1954 - 1961 era. A few more details need to be finished off...but this has been a project that has successfully restored Cabin Car No. 477823 to its appearance during the final glory days of the Pennsylvania Railroad in the late-1950's.
Interior looking west

 

 

 

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