The much anticipated arrival of the recently donated New York Central Business Car "America" took place on Sunday September 15th when the car was delivered by CSX to the Clark receiving yard and subsequently moved into our yard by a Midwest operating crew,

This special edition of Marker Lights will give you a first look before the car is open to tours during our upcoming October open house. 

The car itself is in excellent condition with some minor repair work needed on the roof and some touch up painting on one side panel. The interior is need of a thorough cleaning, not being used for a number of years. Widow treatments and linens all need to be dry cleaned and the carpeting needs scrubbing.

Although the car needs to be powered up to test the utilities and kitchen appliances, we do know from the inspection performed in Los Angeles that the air conditioning is in need of repair. The system has zone controls for each individual area of the car. 

There are flat screen televisions mounted throughout the car connected to a directional exterior antenna for satellite cable and the observation room boasts a Bose sound system. Besides DVD players and VCRs, there is evidence that the car was also connected to satellite radio. 

The kitchen comes equipped with a full size refrigerator freezer as well as a combination washer and dryer, a microwave oven and a trash compactor. The refrigerator does need to be replaced and some reconfiguring of the kitchen area is in order to enable better use of space. The kitchen floor is carpeted, and that will probably be replaced with laminate flooring for better wear and ease of cleaning.

One major repair that we are aware of that requires attention is replacement of the window seals in the many of the windows. The double paned windows are clouded on the inside making it hard to see clearly. 

After the special open house event by ASR this weekend the car will be moved into stall 1 of the roundhouse where a thorough inspection of the car inside and out will be performed. At that point we can begin emptying the car and evaluating what needs to be replaced and what only needs to be cleaned or repaired. Hopefully the majority of the work can be done by volunteers. The air conditioning and heating system will have to be looked at by a qualified service man. 

Everything that we do to the car is with the intention of sending it out for excursions to earn money for the organization. The large lounge chairs in the observation room will more than likely be swapped out with those currently in Mt. Baxter to accommodate more seating. Although the intent is to maintain as much of the history and antique feel of the car, some changes will be necessary to make the car more desirable for Amtrak excursions. Many changes have been made over the years and whatever we do now will be part of the car's evolution.

The first look upon walking through the door at the observation room shows the entertainment center at the far end and some nice comfortable swivel chairs surrounding a game table. The entertainment center includes a small refrigerator and a bar that included an opened bottle of Wild Turkey. Ornate decorations cover the walls above the windows and the ceiling.