#1609 "Snack Car" Details? Heritage?

Discussion in 'Heavyweight Cars' started by TAG1014, Nov 11, 2009.

  1. TAG1014

    TAG1014 Frisco.org Supporter Frisco.org Supporter

    Anyone have any details, other photos, diagrams of this car? All I know about the car is from this unmarked photo, which looks to be a company roll-out shot after a shopping or repainting. The only mention of it any of my records is an entry in the 1943 ORPTE (Reprint). Not in the Historical Record or diagram book.


    slsf 1609 snack car.jpg
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 11, 2009
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  2. FriscoGeorge

    FriscoGeorge Frisco Employee

    I don't know for sure, but I remember my Dad talking about a "commissary car" that he bought snacks and cigarettes from during his basic training at Ft. Leonard Wood in 1950. He arrived in Newburg aboard a Frisco troop train in 1950, and while the soldiers were waiting to be bused to the Fort he said they were allowed to go to the "commissary car" or get off the train to eat. This could be the car he was talking about.:rolleyes:
  3. TAG1014

    TAG1014 Frisco.org Supporter Frisco.org Supporter

    This might have been something like a WW II comissary car, but I would have thought that (A commisary car to supply diners) would have been a baggage (Maybe a box or express) car fitted just for supplies.
    I knew a man who ran a commisary car on the Union Pacific. His job was like a supply clerk and his car was an old baggage car. 1609 is a passenger carrying car, I believe more related to the buffet or buffet lounge cars.

    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 11, 2009
  4. Frisco2008

    Frisco2008 Member Frisco.org Supporter

    Somewhere (here,Mike Condren's site, or the Library) there is an article about two(?) cars which were modified to hold "snack machines" (vending machines.)

    Wha tI remember most is that the center four windows on one side were covered over to provide the floor space for the vending equipment.

    I believe that's what we have here.

    Glenn in Tulsa (well, temporarily in Houston)
  5. TAG1014

    TAG1014 Frisco.org Supporter Frisco.org Supporter

    That was coach 1064 that had the vending machines installed. They called it "Rail-O-Matic" on the 1963 and 1964 passenger car list. I don't think it was sucessful. After that or during that period, the chair-buffet-lounge cars (1650-1651-1652) were all modified to coach-buffet-lounge cars and the diner-lounge cars (1550-1551) were modified to buffet-lounge cars. These cars handled the train food service until the end of passenger era. The above streamlined cars were backed up by HW buffet cars 1601-1602-1603.

  6. kenmc

    kenmc KenMc Frisco.org Supporter

    Snack car 1609 and other(s) were used on 807 and 808 "The Sunnyland" along with Buffet-coaches in the post-WW2 period until discontinued in the mid-1950's. They were distinctive in having several middle window sets blanked on one side and the other side looking just like a full coach. There are photos of the Sunnyland in either the Last of Steam or the Search for Steam, plus Joe Collias's book that show this car on the train.

    Years ago Arthur Johnson drew a diagram for me of the floor plan of this car. I tried to find it last night but will obviously have to deepen my search considerably.

    Ken McElreath
  7. TAG1014

    TAG1014 Frisco.org Supporter Frisco.org Supporter

    You can see those blanked windows through the car opposite side from the photographer in the picture below. The snack or buffet car in Collias' "Frisco Power" page 135 looks like one of the cars that had windows blocked in the "left front" end of the car (Could be 1602, 1607, 1610 or 1611). On further review, I have found 1609 in the diagram book. It has been scratched off the drawing with 1601 and 1606, meaning it's been taken out of service. That drawing however shows monitor roofs on the cars. More questions...


    PS: Not really having anything to do with car 1609, the pictures of the "Sunnyland" in "Frisco Power" pages 129, 135 and 169 are truly some masterpieces of the rail photgrapher's art!
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 16, 2009
  8. arkrail

    arkrail Member Frisco.org Supporter

    Can someone provide more details about coach 1064 and its use as a vending machine car? Was this use on the Will Rogers between St. Louis and Springfield? Official Guides show this service starting about September 1963 and lasting until perhaps June 1964. Food service cars had been removed from the Will Rogers quite a bit earlier (late 1950s ?) and replaced with box lunches available at points along the way. The vending machine car allowed the "box lunch" arrangement at Newberg to be eliminated, but there was no appreciable change in the train schedule. Was there more than one of these vending machine cars? If not, it was necessary for the westbound Will Rogers to make it to Springfield relatively on time in order to get the car off and back onto the eastbound train.

    Hopefully someone has a passenger department circular detailing the use of this car and this very brief experiment of the Frisco into automat type cars.

    Bill Pollard
  9. Karl

    Karl 2008 Engineer of the Year Frisco.org Supporter

    The Frisco Museum had a brief article about this car. I believe that it was the only one configured in this manner.


    At Chaffee, one of the local cafes sold boxed lunches, drinks, and snack to thye passengers during its station stop. During the early 60's, trains 107 & 108 carried a snack car or buffet-chair car for food service.
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2015
  10. arkrail

    arkrail Member Frisco.org Supporter

    Thanks for the link to Mike Condren's archive of the All Aboard (Frisco Museum) magazines. Reviewing the Frisco's original All-Aboard newsletter, this restoration of food service on the Will Rogers began as a buffet coach added on August 1, 1963, and then converted to the Rail-O-Matic vending machine car on September 20, 1963.
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2015
  11. pbender

    pbender Member Frisco.org Supporter

    There are a couple of photos of 1601 floating around:

    They both show the other side of the car, compared to the photo of 1609 in this thread.

    1601 has the monitor roof modified with air conditioning ducts. I've actually started to model this car, but I think I just have the ductwork finished.... I should get back to that project.


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