Apollo Dining Car Dedicated
(The Daily News, Nov. 1st 2016)
A long-time dream of Medina Railroad Museum founder and curator Marty Phelps has been to have a dinner train, indicative of the heyday of railroading, along with recreating a 20th Century Limited car.
Last week, that dream was realized with the dedication of the Congressman Thomas M. Reynolds dining car at the museum.
The car was named for Reynolds who, when he was in office, secured significant funding for the Railroad Museum, which allowed for the purchase of the dinner train, a coach car, two E8 locomotives painted in the signature lightning strike pattern, a sleeper car and a power generator car.
The dining car and several like it were originally built for the Chesapeake and Ohio Railroad in 1950. When they arrived, the railroad didn't want them, and two went to the New York Central and were named the Commodore Vanderbilt and The Detroiter.
The Museum's car, formally called the Apollo, was then sold to the Illinois Central Railroad, which ran it for six or seven years and then sold it to a private owner.
During that time the interior was refurbished by the Washington State Dinner Train Company.
The Medina Railroad Museum bought it from a train broker in Toronto in 2011, and has painted it in the colors used by the New York Central on their 20th Century Limited trains, which once provided what many considered the nation's finest railroad passenger service.
The Thomas Reynolds car seats 68 for dining and is already in service for the Museum's fall wine and foliage trains. It is nearly sold out for the Polar Express trains.
Reynolds said he has never had a train dedicated to him before, but he was excited to see the Medina Railroad Museum continue to promote all the history of railroading.
"I can't think of a better entity where you can see history told and have a chance to live it," Reynolds said.