How did ex-UP 7012 get numbered UPP 7011?
We are always involved in "dome" car research, and never pass up a new lead. Tracking of all 237 dome cars ever built can be nearly a full-time job.
In the summer of 1999, a dome car identifed only as an ex-UP of Pullman Standard construction was listed for sale at D. F. Barnhardt RR Equipment. This re-energized a UP "research" project (again) to determine it's proper ancestry.
The car was Blue Mountain & Reading #3 "Catawissa", painted Pullman dark green.
BM&R purchased the car (painted an off-shade of UP yellow) through D.F. Barnhardt from an estate sale of a John P. McGoff in Williamston Michigan.
Since we were now dealing with a deceased party, tracking was more difficult, but we found the car had been purchased with assistance from Robert Leipprandt/Global Communications.
From there the car tracked back to Merrill Ervin, who had purchased the car as #707 at the Auto Train auction in 1981, and VOILA, the car was ex UP 7011!!
BUT WAIT A MINUTE!
UP 7011 was running around in the UP business fleet as the "Missouri River Eagle"!!!
Records indicated that UP 7011 was sold at the Auto Train auction to Anbel corp and subsequently made it's way thru a chain of owners to UP.
What the ??????
A talk with Charlie Lowe (shown as an owner in the history of the "Missouri River Eagle") verified that the "real" 7011 was the car that went to Anbel at the 1981 auction. HOWEVER, the Bankruptcy Judge felt (as he did with a number of bids from Ken Nichols/Anbel Corp) that the bid was too low, and the car was NOT awarded to Anbel. The "real" 7011 was awarded to Mr. Merrill Ervin, of Kankakee, IL., which validated that the car for sale was the REAL 7011!
WHAT ABOUT THE "7011" MISSOURI RIVER EAGLE?
OK - back into the murky halls of history. The car was purchased after the bankruptcy of Transcisco Tours in 1993. Transcisco had operated the car on the "Sierra 49er" service from Oakland to Reno, then leased the car to Kalamazoo Lake Shore and Chicago to run on the "Wine Country Dinner Train". KLS&C had a long term lease on the equipment, and UP was forced to use legal means to take possession of the car(s) (there were more cars than just this one involved).
Transcisco had purchased the car as Scenic Rail Dining's 7011 "Mountain View" (now we know where UP got the number).
Scenic Rail Dining had had the car converted to a diner by Northern Railcar in 1989, and had purchased the car from Charlie Lowe!
Charlie confirmed he had purchased the car through his company "Hartwell Lowe Corp." and it was renumbered as HLCX 1898 "Marion Mattison" (the number was the year Charlie's mother was born, and the car was named for her). Charlie had purchased the car through Les Kasten during 1984.
Kasten had bought (brokered) the car from the James E. Strates (circus) Shows Inc. of Taft, FL.
Strates Shows had purchased the car at the 12/08/81 Auto Train corp. auction in Sanford, FL. Communication with anyone at Strates Shows was difficult (this was a CIRCUS, not a major button-down collar corporation), and we were kinda back into that "who got what" at the AT auction after the bankruptcy judge overruled so many of the car awards.
Many of the UP cars ended up laying around and being vandalized and eventually scrapped in Sanford FL instead of going to the owners shown in"official" records. Persons with firsthand details on those cars are REALLY asked to communicate with us as there are still "fuzzy" details we'd like to confirm - PARTICULARLY the status of UP 8001!
So, now, was there a way to REALLY tie down the number on this car?
It turns out that after the car arrived in Milwaukee to head over to Northern Railcar for the Scenic Rail Dining re-build, Phil "VistaDohmen" had his trusty camera along on a trip and shot pics of the car, including closeups (thank God)!
Did the pictures showed the partially taped over Auto Train#? - yep - 708!
Auto Train roster 708? Sure enough! - the former UPRR 7012!
As an additional monkey wrench in the works, the UPP 7011 has visible traces of UP style numbers inside some of the cupboards under several layers of paint, and they are 7011! Is it possible that they are from the Northern Railcar rebuild and renumber? Possible. Also possible is that either the Auto Train records as to which UP car got which Auto Train number are wrong, or that the records were done correctly and the paint shop screwed up! Will we ever know? We'll sure keep looking!
These puzzle pieces were constructed over a 12 year period, all verified with the partys named and many-many-many phone calls, and this information was forwarded to the UP.
Will they renumber the Missouri River Eagle?
Will they purchase the supposedly "REAL" 7011 and add it to their fleet? - NOPE - Car was sold 9/24/99 to "Ferrocaril Mexicano"