Keeping the Past in Motion
Mack Rail Motor Car
While Mack is famous for its highway vehicles, the company did engage in the construction of rail motor cars and locomotives as late as the 1950’s. On January 25, 1922, Mack completed a Model AB gasoline engine powered motor car engine/chassis that was then equipped with an omnibus body by the Brill Company. After an initial tour of duty with the Pittsburgh, Lisbon & Western, the car was sold by that carrier on July 1, 1924 to the Chestnut Ridge Railway, New Jersey Zinc’s plant system in Palmerton, PA. The car, numbered 51, was ultimately modified to facilitate its use by that carrier’s maintenance of way force (see photo by Randy Kulp of 51 in Chestnut Ridge livery.) Our group acquired the car in 1987 and commenced its restoration to its original passenger carrying configuration, including the replacement of the wide door that had been installed on the driver’s side of the vehicle to ease handling of tools and materials. The next photo (by Doug Peters) shows the car at its current home, the Phillipsburg Railroad Historians Museum, with the car body and seating restored.
The group provided financial assistance for the Lehigh & New England Preservation Society to acquire, from a grain elevator in Indiana, the last surviving LNE diesel. The unit is an Alco S1 switcher built in Schenectady in September 1948 and serving as No. 611 (see Dave Augsburger’s 1960 photo) until company operations ceased in 1961. The next photo (by Kermit Geary, Jr.) shows the unit as it recently arrived at the Allentown and Auburn Railroad restoration shop facility in Topton, PA.
Information as to how you can donate to this worthy preservation project can be found here: LNE Donation Form.
February 2019 update: A film showing 611's restoration work can be found at the following link:
Lehigh Valley Transit No. 1030
In 1941, Lehigh Valley Transit obtained from the Indiana Railroad a club car for utilization on the famed Liberty Bell service from Allentown to 69th Street Terminal in Philadelphia. (The cream colored car on the far left in the Randy Kulp photo. Randy also took the top of page LVT photo.) The car was converted to conventional seating in the late 1940’s. The Liberty Bell route ended operations in 1951. In 1952, the car was acquired by the Seashore Trolley Museum, Kennebunkport, ME. In 1975, our group organized a fund raiser to restore the 1030’s exterior and recreate the club interior. The project was successfully completed in 1976, and we have continued to contribute toward repainting.