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Hybrid: 1910

Circa 1910. "Passenger (observation) locomotive train car of New York Central R.R." 5x7 glass negative, George Grantham Bain Collection. View full size.

Circa 1910. "Passenger (observation) locomotive train car of New York Central R.R." 5x7 glass negative, George Grantham Bain Collection. View full size.


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Not as classy as the Dutch Camel VIP wagon

The Utrecht railway museum in Holland has a very classy diesel VIP railcar built in the 50's. The driver sits up top, which is why its called the 'Kameel' - camel. The passengers can sit right up front. There's a toilet and kitchen in the middle, and, if I remember correctly, an entire boardroom table at one end. Here's a link (in Dutch).

The Cleveland

The "Cleveland," built at the Collingwood, Ohio shops of the Lake Shore and Michigan Southern RY, part of the New York Central System in July of 1905 as a 4 cyl compound locomotive. Rebuilt to 2 cyl in 1908; the number 30 was dropped in 1922. The inspection cab was removed in August, 1930, and it was renumbered as #1011 class C-30. It was later used as a heating boiler in Dunkirk, NY until scrapped in 1948.

risky business

In addition to the risk of a boiler explosion, a thrown rod could penetrate the passenger compartment and cause no little damage and injury.

Cooler than you think

As heavily lagged (insulated)as the boiler would have been, it probably wouldn't have been much warmer inside than out.
You can find photos of running steam locomotives with snow piled on the boiler shell.

Steam Dummy on Steroids

It's like a steam dummy in the process of molting into a full on locomotive. Steam dummies were built to look like streetcars, as a replacement for horsecars before electricity became available, or if ridership didn't warrant the expense of a cable car. This thing on the other hand looks like a locomotive rear-ended a coach and they just went with it.

Leading brakes

I've never before seen brakes on the leading truck of a steam locomotive.

Things slightly rearranged

Interesting placement of the bell.

At least they kept the turbo-generator outside an as far away from the crew as possible. Those things are noisy!


Hey Olde Buck - thanks for the great information in your post! There's no substitute for experience.

Look alive, here comes the brass!

Sub-lettered for NYC subsidiary Lake Shore & Michigan Southern, no.30's only purpose is hauling around the "brass". Sometimes alone, often pulling several official cars, these inspection engines ranged all over the system with a hand-picked engine and train crew. Most large and mid-sized railroads had them. These engines had extra lagging on the boiler to make the cab bearable.

Inspection engines were popular from about 1870 into the 1920's. After the Great War, inspection engines fell from favor, replaced with larger conventional locomotives pulling an officials train, still with plenty of spit and polish and hand-picked crew.

And, for a real ride:

A low water boiler explosion would certainly give the passengers an experience!

It it me, or is it warm in here?

Someone please turn on the air conditioning. That must have been a warm ride right over the boiler.

That is so cool

I've never seen such a car/engine! Cool. I wonder how hot it was, sitting next to the boiler?


Seems it would get a bit warm in the "observation lounge"

Hot ride

This is a New York Central RR inspection locomotive. "Top brass" would ride this locomotive and get a "first hand" account of the track condition and other rail related structures.

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