Friday, February 13, 2009

"It's a Brill!" (A Little car will do ya!)

New York Central Tunnel Clearance Car X-8016. Prince Rupert 1958. Whilst living in Prince Rupert, I began contacting other rail fans through the advertising in Trains and Railroad Magazines. Through these connections, I traded negatives and photographs, recently uncovering a fistful of negatives from New Haven, New York Central, and Boston & Maine.

Our offering today is the former New York Central Brill car M-10, converted to a tunnel clearance car.

The J.G. Brill Company of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania began building street cars in 1868. A visit to the Historical Society of Philadelphia reveals some interesting cars built by Brill, including this hearse car, complete with black feathers!

The tunnel clearance car bristled with wooden feelers, like some rail mounted feeler gauge! According to documents I’ve read, the feelers were extended six inches beyond the expected dimensions of the largest cars to use the tunnel. If a feeler broke off, a detailed inspection would be initiated!

Unknown to me at the time, but recently revealed, Sperry Rail Services inspection car, shown here in Prince Rupert in 1958, was the sister ship to New York Central Brill car M-10. SRS 136, which I had the pleasure of visiting several times, was built as New York Central Brill car M-11!

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