36-Seat Heavyweight Dining Car
Pennsylvania Railroad Shops – circa 1925
The Broadway Limited
Spirit of St. Louis
Pennsylvania Railroad – 1958
What is a 1920s dining car from Pennsylvania doing at a museum in Los Angeles? Travel Town founder, Charley Atkins, worked every angle he could think of to get railroad companies to donate retired rolling stock to the Museum. One such effort revolved around the creation of a “Coach of Fame” exhibit that would honor select people ‘who have contributed to the romance of railroading.’ The exhibit idea was being spearheaded by a retried railroader named C.J. “Jeff” Keenan from Portland, Oregon. The President of the east-coast Pennsylvania Railroad liked the idea and arranged for surplus dining car 4418 to be donated for the project. The car was stripped of its interior furnishings and kitchen equipment, given a fresh coat of paint, and moved to Los Angeles in March 1958. Sadly, Charley Atkins passed away (at Travel Town) in August of that same year and work on the exhibit languished. Despite continued encouragement by Charley’s successors, Mr. Keenan was never able to produce the exhibit. By 1963 the display car was still empty and was subsequently transformed into a venue for birthday parties and meetings. The car continues to serve that function today and is available as a popular rental space for parties, family gatherings and other group functions at Travel Town.
Consider making a donation to help our museum volunteers restore the trains and improve your Travel Town experience!
The rail lines of great Pennsylvania Railroad once connected New York and Philadelphia with Chicago, St. Louis, Cincinnati, Indianapolis, Pittsburgh, Atlantic City, and Washington, D.C. In 1938, the Pennsylvania Railroad carried 3,000,000 passengers and operated 194 dining cars to feed them en route! The regular equipment of one dining car included 1,945 articles of table and kitchen ware and 1,609 pieces of linen. Eight to ten million pieces of linen a year were laundered for the Pennsylvania’s cars.