D&H Baggage Car #405
In our quest to determine the fate of all of the property of the Delaware & Hudson Railway, we have found a real gem that in our estimation deserves special attention. Such is the case of Delaware & Hudson Railway baggage car #405.
Baggage Car #405 started out life as one of 25 cars ordered from American Car & Foundry and delivered in October of 1957. Within a few years, the express business was lost to trucks and the new baggage cars were no longer needed. Between 1962 and 1964, 10 cars went to the Missouri Pacific (MP) and 15 to the Gulf, Mobile & Ohio (GM&O). Car #405 went to the GM&O and was renumbered #457.
In 1972, the GM&O merged with the Illinois Central (IC). Since the advent of Amtrak in 1971, the express baggage cars were again in the dilemma of not being needed for their original purpose. Car #405 soon found itself used for storage by the IC signal department.
The car was acquired by the Monticello Railway Museum in 1995. Members had been keeping an eye on it and were interested in getting it. When the IC was cleaning out the facility at Urbana, the museum was told they could look at the items to be discarded in case they could use anything. When asked about the baggage car, they were told it was scheduled for scrap and it was too late to change the order. However, the museum had a friend at the IC, and arrangements were made to buy it for scrap value.
The pictures below show the car as it arrived and after initial clean-up in 1995.
The car is now used to hold various displays and has had a heating and cooling unit installed. All the interior partitions and heating coils were removed and the electrical panel moved from the side of the car to the end. The air handler is visible over the door and brake wheel to right of door. The floor never looked so good (even when new) and the bathroom facilities were relocated in a more private place (another building). These shots were taken between exhibits so the display boards are blank in these photos.