Friends of the 261 expands fleet, acquires buffet-dining car

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The former Pennsylvania Railroad buffet-dining car Henry Hudson was acquired by Friends of the 261 by Paxrail. 
Justin Young
MINNEAPOLIS — The Friends of the 261, owners-operators of Milwaukee Road 4-8-4 No. 261, has acquired former Pennsylvania Railroad buffet-dining car Henry Hudson from Paxrail. The car is fully Amtrak certified and will go into service immediately. Current plans are to reconfigure the car this winter into a first-class lounge car.

Budd built the car in 1952 for the Pennsylvania Railroad’s Congressional and Senator service between New York and Washington as parlor car No. 7139, Henry Hudson. It originally had 29 parlor seats and one drawing room; an airline type galley was later installed. It went to Penn Central in 1968 and was acquired by Amtrak in 1971 and numbered 3639. It was re-numbered 3320 in 1973 and converted to a galley-lounge car. In December 1983 Amtrak converted the Henry Hudson to head end electrical power as cafeteria car No. 8703.

Amtrak put the car up for sale in 1995. After being sold the car ran in charter service through Mid-America Railcar, wearing the names Henry Hudson and Keystone Grill. Paxrail acquired the car in October 2013 and renamed it Warriors Rest.

It is currently configured as a buffet-diner and features booth seating for 32. The car has a full length serving buffet, steam table, microwave, freezer, ovens, and extensive refrigeration and storage space.

The Friends is running a “Vote for a Name” contest for the car. The group is asking donors to select a name from a list of original Milwaukee Road lounge car names. The winning name will be announced during Milwaukee Road 261 Fall Color Excursions on the Twin Cities & Western and Minnesota Prairie Line on Sept. 30 and Oct. 1.

More information is available online.

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