NP 1663

1910 Northern Pacific Railway Dining Car 1663
Restoration Project

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General Description

General Layout
    This car was made to be a self contained restaurant car. All food storage, food preparation, eating utensils, table fittings, dish washing equipment, and furnishings were kept in the car. There was seating for up to 30 people at one time. The car is laid out in the general form adopted for dining cars of this size.


    The framing of this car is a composite of wood and steel. The center sills and side sills have a steel plate sandwiched between two pieces of wood. The 4 intermediate sills and the ends sills are wood. At the side sills and end sills there are wood posts that form the walls. Built into the side walls of the car are two trusses. A wood truss is designed as a compression truss. This wood truss is let into the wall posts and fastened to them. The second truss is a steel truss in tension that is let into the inside of the wall posts. On top of the wall posts there is a wood plate. Fastened to this wood plate are iron car lines that span from side wall to side wall. There are wood roof ribs bolted to these car lines. A wood clear story sill is fastened to the wood ribs that are bolted to the iron car lines. This clear story sill supports the rest of the wood clear story sill. On the ends of the car there are vertical wood posts located to the end sill and an end plate. Throughout the basic frame there are spacers in the walls and cross ties in the sills. These components form the basic framing of the car body. To hold all of these components together there are draw rods, bolts, lag screws, and conventional wood screws.
    In addition to the body framing, the car has been rebuilt with a steel frame for added strength. This new steel frame has cast steel bolster and queen posts. There are rolled structural “H” beams that span from bolster casting to bolster casting.  Four truss rods also span from bolster casting to bolster casting and pass over queen posts at the needle beams.

Exterior Coverings
    The exterior of the car is sided in tong and grove lumber applied vertically. At each window there is a separate window sill. The windows have a raising storm sash and a raising inner sash. At the top of the side walls is a horizontal letter board. The roof decks are covered in tong and groove lumber in the straight sections. At the ends of the car the roof decking is made of thin slats that are fitted together to form the compound curves of the roof ends. On top of the roof decking is a tin coated steel roof covering that is soldered together. In the clear story are small windows that opened into the car. When the car was upgraded at the Como shops in 1935 and air conditioning was added,  the glass panes were removed and frames covered to facilitate the A/C ducts which were added to the roof.

     Entering the car through the front train door there is a vestibule.  In this vestibule there is one exit doors on the side of the car with steps.  A partition with a door to the kitchen directs patrons to the left side of the car where an entry door to a hall way provides access to the car body.  As the patrons make their way down the hallway there are three windows located on the left side of the car.  The other side of the hallway separates the kitchen from the hall way.  At the front end of the hall way there is an equipment locker.  At the rear end of the hall way there are cabinets for beverages and other supplies.  At this point the patrons move to the center of the car into a central vestibule.  At the front of this central vestibule is a buffet cabinet for the use of waiters in the car. On the right side of the car in the central vestibule are food and wine lockers and the entry to the kitchen.  Entering the kitchen through the pocket door, there is a pantry with cabinets and counters for use by the waiters. On the other side of the pantry counter is the food preparation area. There are stoves, ovens, coolers, water heaters, sinks, and dish cleaning equipment. Back in the central vestibule and moving to the rear of the car you enter the seating area. There are 5 tables on each side of the car.  Seating was for 4 people per table on one side of the car and seating for 2 people per table on the other side of the car. 

Exiting the seating area at the rear of the car the patrons enter another vestibule that contains a buffet, lockers for linens, and the "Baker" heater for the car. 

Exiting this vestibule to the rear the patrons would enter the rear entry vestibule. In the rear entry vestibule there is a center train door for access to the rest of the train and a door on each side with steps for exiting the car.

    The mechanical equipment under the car is missing. In the kitchen, the cooking and other food preparation equipment is missing. The coolers and freezers are still in the car.

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