901 West Pratt St., Baltimore, MD 21223
Phone:410-752-2490
Detailed Information

Name: BOMX #143, Blue Drucker

Other Numbers: PRR No. 8241 (Alliance Inn), PRR No. 8241 (Jacob J. Vandergrift), PRR. No. 1503, PC No. 1503, SEMTA No. 103 (Pontiac), MARC No. 143

Railroad of Record: Baltimore & Ohio Railroad Museum

Type of Car: 21-Roomette Sleeper Car; Passenger Coach

Manufactured by: BUDD Company

Date Built: 1949


In 1949, the Pennsylvania Railroad ordered fifty class PS21B sleeper cars. Each was built as a twenty-one roomette and numbered 8241-8290. Each was given the name of an inn and dubbed the "Inn Series." The chosen livery was the traditional tuscan red body with gold lettering. The first in its class, No. 8241 was named Alliance Inn. In August 1958, the Alliance Inn was renamed Jacob J. Vandergrift.

In 1963, the Pennsylvania Railroad sought to replace its aging P-70 coaches for the New York World's Fair. They went to work and rebuilt forty-eight cars as passenger coaches, renumbering them 1500-1547.When PRR No. 1503 emerged from the shops, it had sixty four seats and a small twelve seat lounge at one end. The car featured a simple stainless steel body with standard PRR logos on each end and no longer had a specific name. On October 9, the rebuilt coach began serving the area between New York and Washington, D.C. The fair took place over two separate six-month seasons, April - October of 1964 and 1965.

On February 1, 1968, the Pennsylvania and New York Central Railroad merged to form what would be known as the Penn Central Transportation Company (PC). The coach was re-designated as PC No. 1503. On June 5, Robert F. Kennedy, a leading candidate for President of the United States, was assassinated at the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles. Kennedy passed away the following morning. His body was placed in St. Patrick's Cathedral in Manhattan.

On June 8, a twenty-one car funeral train was assembled. The train was bound for Washington, D.C. Kennedy was placed in the trailing car: PRR No. 120, Philadelphia. In the thirteenth position on the train was PC No. 1503. Due to the thousands of people who turned out to see the funeral train pass, the train arrived four hours late.

In 1976, Southeast Michigan Transport Authority (SEMTA) purchased twelve of the PC 1500 series coaches. Former No. 1503 was re-numbered to 103 and renamed Pontiac. It was purchased by the Maryland Department of Transportation in 1979 and rebuilt with Head-End-Power by General Electric in 1980. In 1994, electric sliding vestibule doors were added by Transportation and Transit Associates (TTA), to comply with Americans with Disabilities Act.

The No. 143 serviced Maryland Area Rail Commuter (MARC) as a part of their heritage fleet. Rebuilt to hold eighty two seats, the car was used as a commuter coach for many years. The No. 143 was retired in 2001 and stored at their Brunswick, Maryland facility until it was donated to the B&O Railroad Museum in 2005. The car was re-designated as BOMX No. 143, Blue Drucker in 2013. The coach is used daily to transport museum visitors on the Mile One Express.

 


 

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