It takes quite a bit of work to transform one of these flat cars into the excursion cars you ride!

 

The newest excursion car started out as a DODX 12 wheel -  100 ton flatcar that the Museum acquired from Camp Lejune, NC.  These cars where built to haul tanks and other heavy equipment for the DOD. It was stored with 2 others at an offsite location for about 10 yrs.

 

The cars where craned and trucked over to our new location where they would be re-evaluated for condition and begin restoration and transformation into a new passenger excursion car.  Here, you can see the deck was White Oak lumber that held up in some places but not in others.
The old oak was removed, the frame and supports where cleaned and primed to protect.  New pressure treated lumber was installed.  Here some of our volunteers are busy installing the new decking.
Here you can see the installation of the side posts into some of the stake pockets for supporting the future side walls.  Also, this is great picture of the 3-axle trucks, they have an interesting cantilever articulation for good load distribution over all axles regardless of the track.
Treated plywood is installed first to the side posts, to provide some strength and to protect passengers by keeping hands and legs inside the car.
The cement board is installed on the outside for a durable weather resistant exterior and the top railing is nailed down to give a finished look.
Saftey gates were fabricated and installed to every entrance and exit, a fresh coat of paint covered the cement board, and Christmas decorations for the car's first revenue run at NHV on Dec 3 2006.
Some finishing touches; the car frame is finished with a fresh coat of black enamel. The car served through the 2007 and 2008 seasons without a roof.  Beautiful for those days when the weather was just right, but could be brutal on those days that were a bit hot or if inclement weather arrived.
After the 2008 season ended, a roof for the car was started.  A group of volunteers known as the Wednesday crew were given the task.  A bit of tear-down to get to the car body post pockets and then new framing to support the roof.
Photo credit: Robert Middour
After framing, trusses were fabricated to support the roof.
Photo credit: Robert Middour
Nearing completion, plywood, trim, and roofing felt installed.
Photo credit: Robert Middour
 Ready to roll for May 2009

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