Behind the Scenes: Exterior Restoration of Coach #6217
The 6217 was originally built in 1947 by the Budd Company as a 52-seat coach for the Seaboard Air Line Railroad. It was rebuilt into a 60-seat coach by Amtrak in the 1970’s and was acquired by CVSR in 1996. After many years of regular use by CVSR, the exterior of the 6217 needed significant exterior upgrades. The stainless steel exterior was worn and faded and the colors and lettering on the window band did not follow CVSR’s brand identity guidelines.
Restoration by Midwest Railway Preservation Society
Exterior restoration work was completed by the Midwest Railway Preservation Society and included the following:
- Cleaning and degreasing underside of carbody and trucks;
- Paint the underside and trucks with industrial enamel gloss black paint;
- Strip existing faded window band paint;
- Steam pressure wash, chemically wash, and polish stainless steel fluting to restore to as built appearance;
- Paint window band to current CVSR scheme;
- Paint name boards and number boards to current CVSR scheme maintaining the original car number; and,
- Apply CVSR branded logo to match the rest of our fleet.
CVSR welcomed the 6217 back to the fleet in April and it will be used on event trains, Steam in the Valley and Polar Express consists. It also substitutes for 80-seat coaches during Day Out With Thomas and during regular maintenance.
The exterior restoration of the 6217 is of particular interest to one of the project’s funders, the John H. Emery Rail Heritage Trust. The Emery Rail Heritage Trust was established by the late John H. Emery, a long time Chicago resident and avid rail enthusiast who loved to ride trains around the world. John’s mission was to help preserve rail equipment and infrastructure that will allow future generations to share his experiences during what he considered the “Golden Age” of railroads, from 1920 – 1960. The 6217 is CVSR’s most complete intact representation of a 1950’s era long distance coach; this project has helped bring the exterior back to what it looked like during its heyday.