Project Description

Restoration to operational condition in current (Alaska) paint scheme.  Car will also be used to display artifacts from dining cars of many railroads
Current efforts include
replacement of fogged windows
removal of steam lines / equipment
replace buffer plates and stems
get diesel generator working
air conditioning system
buff out current paint
tables and chairs
thorough cleaning of kitchen
thorough cleaning of dining area
identification and replacement of missing parts
tubular diaphragms
replacement of some original U.P. china and silver pieces
C.O.T. & S. of brake system


built by A.C.F. in lot number 3032; floor plan 7667157
delivered to the Union Pacific in April 1949
sold to Alaska Railroad 1971
sold to Monad Railway Equipment 2001
sold to Arizona Railway Museum May 2003

Progress Photos

Car in service w/Alaska RR.   Interior of car prior to sale to ARM.
Exterior of car prior to sale to ARM.   Interior of kitchen prior to sale to ARM.
Interior of dining area 12/2006.   Interior of dining area 12/2006.

Fund Raising

We are actively seeking funds for the restoration of the dining car. The museum received the Boeing Corporation "Crystal Vision Award" which comes with a $ 30,000.00 check to be used to get this project started. This has allowed us to purchase the car. We now need funds for the restoration. Our goal is $ 60,000.00. Donations can be sent to :

                                                        Arizona Railway Museum
                                                        Dining car fund
                                                        P.O. Box 842
                                                        Chandler, AZ. 85244

June 23, 2011

The exterior end door lights at both ends of the car have been repaired and new bulbs installed. The interior hall light at the kitchen end of the car was repaired with a new socket in the fixture and it is now working. Work started on the exterior of the car body. The kitchen hallway is paint stripped and will have new paint, panels and wall coverings applied.

Steam line valve handles removed on both ends of car. George Barker repaired the end gate on the dining room end of the car. On Friday January 21 Mike Odekirk sandblasted the ends, trucks and undercarriage. The following day Ken Rhoads primer painted the trucks. Corroded spots on the sides and ends of the car have been cut out and replacement panels ordered. Jane Barton is stripping the kitchen end hall way. Removing the funky wall paper from the window side wall and paint on the other walls. The side dutch door has been freed up and now operates top and bottom independently. Bart fabricated new parts for the deck plates and George barker welded them in place. George also removed the old diaphragm spring planks from both ends. The lower 12 inches of the car sides were wire wheeled and sanded, bondo applied, sanded again and then primer painted by Ken Rhoads.

The hallway walls and ceiling have been stripped, sanded, bondoed and repainted. The air gauge has been paint stripped, it is brass, and remounted. The exterior side wall under the windows has had the stainless steel panels replaced with new. The corrosion on the exterior side panels has been cut out and new aluminum panels installed. The panels were then bondoed and primer painted. The finish paint has been applied to the undercar appliances and the lower part of the car side. The wood racks on the kitchen floor were removed and cleaned. While they were out the stainless floor was also cleaned. Buffer plate stem rods have been installed on the ‘B’ end of the car. Parts to assemble rods for the north end have been sourced and are ready for welding. Jeff Crosby replaced the heating elements in the water heater as the old ones had become non-functional.

George Barker welded new buffer stem rods for the ‘A’ end of the car. Bart made new window sills for the kitchen end hallway and installed them. The contactor coil on the motor-generator starting panel decided to burn out. With a puff of smoke and a big RATS we had an issue. The fact them we had spent considerable time and effort last year to fix the diesel generator paid off. We ran the diesel to power the car for 2 days and it worked perfect. Rudy Morgenfruh was able to change the coil the following week with a spare we had in the green boxcar. The new coil is rather noisy so it will need some additional work on the mechanics. The crew of Craig Shields, John Julian, Jane Barton, Dave Luca, Kenny Rhoads and Bart painted the dining car in Union Pacific colors. Lettering and detailing to follow. The refrigerators quit working and the defect was found to be a broken capillary tube to the pressure switch. Paul Mickel was able to solder the parts as there was enough material available. The break caused all of the Freon to be pumped out of the system. Prior to installing new refrigerant I had him change the filter dryer units. It is now recharged and operational.

The car has been painted and lettered. New buffer plates were designed by Bart; Craig ordered the parts from Amber Steel and George Baker welded everything. Plates have been installed. Exterior work is probably over until cooler weather returns.

August 22, 2010    Project Photos 8-2010

In January new brushes were installed in the motor generator. The MG set was running O.K. but the sound had changed and we determined it was due to brush wear. Because of this the motor alternators were checked and found that new brushes are also needed. Have ordered new brushes but the car can still be operated until the new brushes arrive with the exception of motor alternator number 2. The alternator side brushes of number 2 were removed and sent to Helwig Carbon to determine what we need. The steward’s desk area has been cleaned; the stuff that was in the cabinets sorted and taken to the appropriate storage car. Built replacement locking rods for the double door electrical locker and installed them. Rods were missing on the car when it was received.

In March the new brushes installed in both motor alternators.

The 32 volt battery charger that had been bolted in to the dome car electrical locker but not in use was removed and temporarily wired to the dining car to assess its possible use. At this point we found that the fuse on the input side is too high in failure amperage (15 amp) and will be changed to a lower value (looking at 10 amps). We also considered the addition of a fuse to the output side to limit the current draw to 40 amps. Later we modified the 32 volt battery charger with the addition of an on / off switch.

With the arrival of summer we had Paul Mickel check the air conditioning system Freon levels and found them to be O.K. Bart installed the new corner pieces, fabricated by WC Machine, in the southeast corner of the light ring in the dining room. He also removed the light ring on the south end so it could be installed against the ceiling. Previously had a half inch gap due to no screws in the top portion. We ran the diesel generator under load for 6 hours on July 4. It smoked a bit for the first hour but cleaned up and ran well. This is the first serious load test, we had previously just started to keep the battery charged.

In July the refrigerator system quit cooling. Found a broken solder joint and had Paul Mickel do the repairs and add Freon. System is operating again.

December 21, 2009

The new air conditioner compressor installation has been completed and tested. The new unit works well. Testing revealed that one of the thermal expansion valves on the overhead evaporator was not working. This in effect meant the A/C system was only operating at 50 percent of capacity. The defective valve was removed, with great difficulty, and a new one sourced. It appeared to be the original 1940’s valve. The 32 volt power supply has been repaired again. This time we found a cold solder joint on the regulator board. Added 3 ½ gallons of water to the batteries. The Dinner in the Diner event went well. Friday and Saturday night sold out the diner and on Saturday night the Turquoise Room was also sold out. While preparing for the event we noted that the motor generator was acting strange. Investigation revealed the brushes to be in need of replacement. Shims were fabricated to get us through the dinner event. Rudy has a set of brushes and will try to source replacements.

March 10, 2009

Work has started on the rebuilding of the air raising system for the water tank. Hal Whitehead rebuilt the tapered valves and Paul Mikel is working on both the air and water piping. The air conditioning system was turned on after being in winter hibernation. If came right up and is working well. The remaining task is to replace the original auto / manual switch functions. Still searching for the correct switch.

March 5, 2009

Rudy Morgenfruh worked on the air operated door at the dining room end of the car. He found 2 broken micro switches and a defective capacitor. These have been replaced and the door is now operating on the sir circuit. It does not work every time the plate is pushed. We will continue to work on it. Projects for the coming year include painting the stewards end of the car; Installing the water fill piping with the air connection to allow operation on the rails; moving the 240 connectors to the ends of the car and adding 240 to 120 transformers. The “Dinner in the Diner” event was held December 12 & 13. Raised over $1,750.00 for the diner project.

October 16, 2008

Work continues on the air conditioning system. The filter dryer unit has been instated with isolation valves. This will allow replacement of the cartridge filter with minimal loss of Freon. The system was fully evacuated and pressurized with nitrogen to check for leaks. The shaft seal on the compressor was found to be bad. This seal has a neoprene element that is not compatible with the MP 39 Freon we are using. We are having a new seal made of Teflon fabricated by WC Machine. The water pump for the wet condenser spray system was leaking around the shaft seal. Ken Dickinson removed the pump and has sourced a repair kit.

September 17, 2008

Work continues on the air conditioning system. With the coming of the monsoon season we discovered a couple issues in the system. While running in normal operation the system will shift from high cooling to low cooling and back on its own. There are 2 thermostats to monitor this. It was noted that at times the system did not switch back to high even though the temperature inside called for it to do so. We believe this to have been caused by moisture in the system freezing and blocking the freon flow. In tracing this down it was discovered there is no filter / dryer unit in the freon loop. The museum had one of these units available from parts stock and it will be installed with valves for isolation to allow the filter cartridge to be changed in the future. The system was pressurized with nitrogen to check for leaks. One leak was found at the shaft seal on the compressor. The prototype blind has been installed in the dining room. All looks good and the rest of the blinds are on order.

August 9, 2008

We received the grant check from the Union Pacific Railroad in the amount of $5,000.00 to be used towards fixing the air conditioning on the car. Quite a bit of work has been completed and the system is functional. Next step is to install the pilot lights and write a procedure on how to operate. The new compressor for the refrigerators has been installed. The system was pumped down to save the Freon. While it was empty a new dryer and filter were installed. A new dual pressure switch has been installed on the A/C system and will be calibrated the next time Rudy comes to town. This is scheduled for August 26. The blinds for the dining room have been sourced but will not be ordered until they go on sale.

January 6, 2008

In preparation for a number of holiday events the diner was moved to track 5 and coupled to the lounge car. This removed the connection to the evaporative cooler. It also showed up how much dust and dirt is pulled in by the cooler. The car received a thorough cleaning and wipe down after the move. To facilitate movement through the car when open for display and to make working easier a set of steps was built and attached to the “A” (north) end of the car. The circuit for the water heater was traced out and found the heater was only provided power when the diesel generator was running. Another pair of wires was run from the motor generator input to the breaker box for the heater. The hot water in the kitchen is now working. The input air cavity at the “B” end of the car was opened up, cleaned and new filters installed. On November 28 we had our first “Charter” of the diner. The senior citizens group from Mountain View Lutheran Church in Awatukee had lunch on board. Don Randolf was able to get the audio system working. Joe Padberg donated a receiver to make this workable. A number of years ago Hal Whitehead donated 6 pieces of Tex Wilson artwork depicting jobs on the railroad. Craig Shields framed these and they have been hung on the dining room. There are 12 pieces in the collection, Tom Klobas has written Tex requesting donation of the additional 6 pieces. Tex agreed to a 50% discount. On the December 15th the Eagle Scout award ceremony for Richard Poyer’s son was held at the museum with breakfast in the diner. December 21st and 22nd a fund raiser for the diner was held. The spaghetti diner netted over $2,400.00. A lot of work by a lot of members resulted in a fine event. Andy Szabo provided the metal trim pieces for the area around the stewards desk. These pieces were missing when the car arrived. Andy is now working on the covers to replace those missing on the electrical junction boxes under the car. This spring we hope to have the diesel generator issues resolved, the refrigerators working and the air conditioning working.

November 15, 2007

Bart and Don Randolf removed the kitchen exhaust fan motor. The motor stopped running and it was determined the brushes were bad. Jerry McGonigle was able to source new brushes. On installation it was found that the brush holder on the back side of the motor was loose. To repair this the motor had to be removed. After removal more defects were found and the motor was taken to Arizona Armature for a complete rebuild. With the motor removed Jane Barton was able to clean the exhaust housing. 60 years of accumulated grease is a real mess. Over an inch thick in some areas it appeared the unit had run for years with no filters. On 11-03 the motor was replaced and now runs just fine. The duck boards in the kitchen have been cleaned and degreased. After cleaning they were given a coat of Thompsons water seal. Some of these had missing feet which were replaced by Craig Shields. The car received a donation of 2 steam table type food warmers. These had the wrong plugs and missing knobs. Don Randolf is going to source the proper replacements. Jim Carpi acquired the proper material for the missing trim pieces in the dining room and installed them. The generator roll out extension tubes have been loosened and removed from their storage racks. They were installed on the car and everything lubricated. The generator locking pins have also been lubricated and are functional. Batteries were checked on 11-05-07 and found to be low on water; serviced batteries with difficulty. Hal Whitehead has found a device which may make the battery service much easier; Tom Klobas is investigating. We have acquired a set of the electrical drawings for the car as built. These were obtained from the National Museum of Transport in St. Louis. We know that the Alaska Railroad made some changes to the car but these prints will get the trouble shooting process a long way towards full functionality. A tee and shut off valve have been installed in the water line between the tanks and the car. This has the effect of providing water to the interior via a garden hose until the water fill / air pressure system is functional.

May 2007

Rudy Morgenfruh came over from Anaheim on January 16 and 17. Considerable discovery was made in regards to the electrical systems. The Motor generator is now able to be used. An on / off switch was installed in the contactor coil circuit to allow us to plug in the car and shut off the MG set if needed. All of the duplex outlets in the kitchen are functional and their circuits labeled. The evaporator fans in the refrigerators are working. The refrigerator compressor and motor circuits are identified. The units work but there is no Freon in the system. The air conditioner motor, compressor and water pump operate but once again there is no Freon in the system. We have located a replacement electrical panel for the air conditioner. The current panel has worn contactors and the plan is to replace with original type. The system will need a Freon conversion from the current R-12.

The diesel generator runs well but does not put out voltage. We believe the generator is 32 volt AC 3 phase. It is rectified for the 32 volt DC and also goes to a set of step up transformers to get 240 / 120 volts AC for the lighting circuit and the kitchen circuits. Rudy was able to obtain a manual for the generator from Kato Manufacturing. After doing the required reading he believes we have one or more defective diodes on the output regulator. The solid state inverter is also working but requires and steady DC source. The inverter circuit will not run off the ground power 32 volt supply alone. The batteries must be in the circuit or the motor generator running. The new high amperage 32 volt battery is installed. This was made possible in part by a grant from the Arizona Historical Society.

All windows have been replaced with double pane, grey laminate safety glass. The diner has been moved to track 2 and an evaporative cooler set up on the dining room end of the car. It is hoped this will provide enough cooling to work on the interior for the short term. The prototype window shade / blind has been successfully installed in the hallway. Materials and funding for additional blinds is the next step.

July 23, 2006

New carpet has been installed in dining room area of car. Andy Szabo had a new threshold manufactured by Phoenix Metalcraft. Ken Dickenson has removed one pane of glass from one of the dining room windows to be used as a pattern. Chandler Glassworks has given us a quote of $ 1,551.20 for 24 panes of glass. This will do all the windows in the dining room with double pane gray laminate safety glass. This amount is within the gift give by the Kokopelli Questors. ($1,800.00) Glass was ordered and has been delivered. Jim Wallin worked on the generator. He changed the oil, oil filters, fuel filters and water separator and purchased a new starting battery. Using a gas can he was able to start the generator and run for a short period of time. The output was measured at 34.5 volts. 40 gallons of fuel was put in the tank on 7-15-2006 in preparation for a start up and long run time to allow check out of other systems.

Photo of new carpet in the Diner.

May 18, 2006

Curtain hangers fabricated by Phoenix Metalcraft received. Jane Barton and Janet Dittmer installed the hanger brackets and the new curtains. Russ Lassuy and Matt Imbrogno have been removing the steam lines from under the car. Bill Coking has been working on the exterior of the car. He is rubbing out the oxidized paint (3 applications) and waxing the surface. He got some help from 2 guys on Boeing day. Plan to complete the west side in the next couple weeks. New carpet for the dining area received as donation from Deanne Huth. Carpet installer will be on site Monday (May 15) to start. Purchase of a battery identified as the high priority for a grant; suggested NRHS grant and/or AHS grant. Have installed swamp cooler at south end of car as temporary system. The Kokopelli Questors of Sun Lakes presented the museum with a check for $ 900.00 to be used to replace windows in the dining area. This is only the first payment. They pay half up front and then reimburse for the second half. They have asked for another project; have given them the opportunity to raise funds for new window blinds.

April 2, 2006

Cleaning of the cook stove and charcoal grill has made great progress. The stovetop has been painted with high temp black paint. A full complement of chairs has been acquired for the dining room. These were obtained from Nighthawk Restaurant Supply in Chandler. The purchase was funded by donations from Craig Shields, Russ Lassuy and Jane Barton. Sample fabric for the window curtains is on hand. First pass on the curtain hanging method has been fabricated by Phoenix Metalcraft. Tested and it did not work. Diner is seeing service as a lunch room for volunteers on Saturday. Ceiling light fixture at dining room entry door sourced, wired and installed. Center pin floor plate cover screwed in place. Original style thermostats have been installed (not wired) in dining room. Second pass prototype mounting for curtain rod fabricated and tested. Andy Szabo has the prototype rod holder to build enough for the car. Obtained quote from David Thebodo for 32 volt battery from Surette; $ 1,800.00 delivered.

January 26, 2006

The charcoal grill area in kitchen has been cleaned. The main cooking area stove top has been removed for cleaning and ash removal in areas previously not reachable. New smoke jacks fabricated by W.C. Machine and the mounting liner from Phoenix Metalcraft were installed by Andy Szabo. Phoenix Metalcraft also fabricated 2 register covers for the intake air duct in the kitchen; these have been installed. Russ Lassuy has started the installation of the water fill ports for the pressurized water tank. This will require the removal of the insulating boxes and re-piping of the air lines. During this work a portion of the steam heat piping will also be removed. At some point all of the steam stuff will have to go. Member Jim Carpi donated a starter contactor for the motor generator. This unit was removed from a former Union Pacific coach. Jim transported the unit from St. Louis to Los Angeles. The unit came to Arizona on the return trip of the Vista Canyon from San Diego. Over the Christmas Holiday all of the windows on the east side of the car were broken by vandals. A police report was filed. The broken hallway windows were removed and the broken glass replaced with a single pane of grey tint lexan. This was a good learning experience on how these windows are constructed and installed. On Saturday January 7, 2006 we were visited by Judy Mente and Wynne Ryder of the Kokopelli Questors. This group has supported projects for the museum in past. They toured the dining car in search of a project to support this year. In follow up discussions they have chosen to fund the replacement of 8 windows in the diner. The six on the east side that are broken and the 2 on the west side that are fogged plastic. A letter has been written to them regarding our 501-c-3 status and commitment that we would be able to complete the project within calendar year 2006 to comply with their organizations guidelines. The letter also contained a copy of the quote from Chandler glass and copies of the diner interior photos. A donation box has been placed in the dining area of the car.

November 12, 2005

Work on the interior of the car has started. Dining area carpet has been vacuumed and a general dusting of the area completed. Have acquired a full complement of tables for the dining room and installed them. Stan Garner donated 10 chairs and David Luca transported them from Los Angeles to Chandler. They have been placed in the car. Found a source for 2 inch air filters and have ordered for dining room blower, kitchen intake and exhaust. Received donation of a Union Pacific potato can and some kitchen utensils used in the diner on trains 105 / 106 the “City of Portland” from Bill Hatrick. Our diner was used on that train. Blower fan motor for the 32 volt power supply has been repaired and power supply returned to service. A detailed project plan has been written as a working document. The plan will be updated as projects are completed or additional are discovered. A photo book on the diner and a framed floor plan has been put together and are on display in the dining room. Also in the dining room is a display of the museum china with flyers for purchase. The degreasing of the kitchen has started. Most of the countertop surface and cabinet faces have been cleaned. The charcoal grill and stove have had the ash removed and the ash pans cleaned. The gravity feed water tank has been filled and a couple small leaks observed. Work will begin on the water fills for the under car pressure tanks soon. Russ Lassuy did some temporary piping on the air system to enable work on the end door. The air operated sliding door on the dining room end of the car is functional. It does not operate perfectly every time but it does operate on air. The threshold plate has been removed from under the door. Rust and scale have been chipped away to allow the door to move freely. Plates have been screwed to the floor in the hallway end of the car to eliminate the tripping hazard caused by broken linoleum. Handles for the electrical locker doors have been acquired and installed. New pencil latch push plates were fabricated by Phoenix Metalcraft and installed. David Thebodo is still working on getting a 32 volt battery donated. A replacement starter contactor for the motor generator has been found on an ex-Union Pacific coach owned by member Jim Carpi. The car is located in Madison Illinois. Jim will remove the contactor and either ship or transport to Chandler.

October 19. 2005

Now that the temperature is in the tolerable range work has started on the dining car. The dining room area has been vacuumed a number of times and is looking presentable. Legs have been located for the four tables that were not installed when the car arrived. This put 11 original Union Pacific tables in the car, a 12th table has been installed but we had to use one from an Amtrak diner that was scrapped a number of years ago. It is believed to be of Southern Pacific origin.  

Surface cleaning of the kitchen has been completed and a start made at some serious grease removal. Coming across the desert in 118 degree heat softened long hidden grease and it ran in streaks all over. Removal of air filters found more grease and filth.

 We have been able to get ground power to the car utilizing a portable 32 volt D.C. power supply. At this point we have 2 motor alternators running which gives us lighting in the dining room. The D.C. power also runs the blower fans and exhaust fans in the kitchen as well as the overhead lighting.

 Work continues and all hands are welcome.

September 10, 2005

The dining car has finally arrived.

Photo of car as delivered to ARM.

The car was picked up at Monad Railway Equipment, La Mirada, California by the BNSF Monday August 8, 2005 and car was in Phoenix on Friday. Transferred to Union Pacific on Saturday, came down branch on Monday and delivered to museum on Wednesday

 Initial inspection showed everything to be as advertised. Put power to car using 32 volt supply and found lights and blowers to be functional. Acquired a loaner copy of Amtrak mechanical manual for heritage cars, it has information on some of the systems used on dining car. Mike Margrave is having manual copied for museum library.

Found power supply cooling fan to be defective. Removed and sent out to Precision Electric for repair.

Initial checks also found battery to be defective. 

First pass at a missing parts list developed and emailed to car parts guys.

Executive overview of project plan completed and emailed to board of directors.

Detailed project plan in development.

Plan to start doing real work when the temperature gets into the 80's.