Car #29/123

CP Coach #29

(Subsequently SP 1121, NWP 123, NWP MW 242)

Parts Acquisition for Central Pacific 29

In October 2011 the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad Museum donated the floor assembly and wood beam trucks from B&O coach 20. This car is one of a pair researchers believe were built in 1868 by the Wason Manufacturing Company for the Central Railroad of New Jersey. The car bodies are in the original Wason configuration, while the trucks appear to be replacements with later-period pedestals and journal boxes.

Both of the cars were complete and in operating condition until February 16, 2003. That night the weight of accumulated ice and snow caused the collapse of the roof of the round house in which the cars were stored. Many of the railroad artifacts displayed in the round house were damaged. A roof truss assembly fell across B&O 20. Its car body was crushed beyond repair. The impact was so great that it snapped one truck’s oak side sill and a two-inch-by-four-inch steel equalizer bar.

A complete disassembly and replacement of nearly all the wood would be necessary to restore the car. Because the museum still has B&O 21, which is a twin of the damaged car, and there was so much damage to other artifacts as well as the round house roof, the museum staff decided to not rebuild No. 20. The car was deaccessioned from the B&O Museum collection.

The Society’s Board of Directors learned of the damaged car in September 2011. We made arrangements to photograph both cars a few weeks later. At that time the topic of acquiring the surplus parts was raised. The B&O Museum’s Board of Directors agreed to our donation request.

In its disassembled condition B&O 20 consisted of a wooden floor frame with associated underfloor running gear, several piles of broken wood walls, the severely damaged clear story roof and the two wood beam trucks. The B&O Museum retained all internal fittings for use in the other car as well as the walls and roof. The floor assembly and trucks were donated for use on CP 29. The following components were attached to the floor:

  • Couplers and draft gear – 2
  • Steel beams for coupler draft gear – 2 pair; these extend inward to the needle beam
  • Body center plates – 2
  • Truss rod assembly with turnbuckle (original Wason style) – 2
  • Queen posts (original Wason style) – 4
  • Hand brake system – complete except for hand brake shafts, wheels and chain
  • Westinghouse Air Brake system – complete
  • Train air signal system – complete

The couplers are Buhoup 3-stem passenger couplers, which are a modification of the Janney design. The trucks have two different pedestal styles. Although both styles are later than the 1874 Master Car Builder pattern we want for restoring CP 29, they can be used on other projects.

Unfortunately all of the wood is damaged from the roof collapse or partially rotted from exposure to eight years of rain and snow.

The donated parts were given to the NWPRRHS, “as is, where is”. Unfortunately the “where is” was a storage lot next to the B&O Museum in Baltimore, which is 2,825 highway miles away from Petaluma. We needed to prepare the car parts and arrange transportation.

Getting the car parts ready for loading would be straightforward: fly to Baltimore and start cutting. All debris would be put into a dumpster. How to get the parts back home was more of a problem. Estimates for a flatbed truck haul ranged from $7,600 to $10,000. The Northwestern Pacific Railroad offered to haul the car for free if we shipped by rail. Unfortunately we could not arrange low-cost shipment via CSX and Union Pacific. Our members donated the necessary funds for trucking the parts and additional money for the motel and air fare.

Society member DON MILLERICK and Directors STEVE ATNIP, JEFF MILLERICK and MIKE MANSON flew to Baltimore on January 25. The next day they met three Society members who live on the East Coast: STEVE KENDALL, DICK DONAT and JOHN TEICHMOELLER. Together this group began salvage operations on No. 20.

Dick, Steve and John brought hand tools. We rented a big fork lift, generator and gasoline-powered cutoff saw. All of these tools would be needed to dismantle the car for loading onto the trailer.

The car floor was stored upside down in a vacant, fenced lot outside of the museum grounds. It had not been disturbed by vandals, but was exposed to the weather for eight years.

The salvage work started with unbolting the original Wason queen posts. These are sorely needed for CP 29’s restoration. We were able to unscrew one truss rod turn buckle but the other was frozen by rust, so we cut the truss rod. The air brake and train signal pipes also were cut, while brake linkages were disconnected. Then Jeff cut the wooden car floor assembly between the needle beams.

As each car floor half was lifted, many rain-rotted pieces of wood fell off. All of the leftover wood, metal scraps and trash were placed in a debris box for disposal.

The trucks were next to the Museum’s nearby Car Shop building. They were covered by the remains of No. 20’s clearstory roof. After the roof pieces were removed each truck was carefully raised by the fork lift and moved near the car floor.

The salvage work took place on Thursday and Friday. Saturday morning at 7:30 AM the truck arrived. Three hours were needed for loading then the truck left for Petaluma. It arrived the next Saturday at noon.

We were lucky that the weather was relatively warm (40º) and dry during the work hours. There had been freezing rain the weekend before and rain off and on during our time in Baltimore, but no rain or snow during the work sessions.

With the parts in Petaluma we began disassembling the two trucks. These will be rebuilt with new wood and new and refurbished metal components. A significant portion of the rebuilding cost is covered by a $3,300 grant from the National Railway Historical Society.

Videos of our salvage project in Baltimore and Petaluma can be viewed by clicking the video link above and they are on

You may purchase a DVD or BluRay DVD by clicking here.

Introduction and History of Central Pacific Coach #29

The Central Pacific Railroad purchased the car as coach #29 in June 1869. They rebuilt it in 1885 and later renumbered it to 1121 before its eventual sale to the NWP. The current opportunity to restore one of the few remaining NWPRR passenger cars, especially one of Civil War vintage, presents a project for the Society that truly is of national historic significance. We believe that Central Pacific Coach 29 will present an authentic companion car to someday pair with NWP Locomotive 112 in a Redwood Empire Visitor Center.

The Central Pacific Railroad bought CP 29 for $5,000, and used it until its sale to the NWP in 1912. After being renumbered to NWP 123 the car was shipped by steamer to Eureka and used as a coach until 1936, when it was assigned to Maintenance-of-Way service and renumbered MW242. Eventually it was detrucked and used for track gang housing in Ukiah.

“Dutch” Mucklow bought the car when it was retired in the late 1950’s. He placed it on his property in Redwood Valley near the NWP station. CP 29 was used as housing for over 50 years. The NWPRRHS accepted it as a donation in memory of “Dutch” by his son and daughter-in-law Ken and Mary Mucklow. CP 29 now sits in Petaluma at a temporary work site generously donated by the De Carli Family Trust and Petaluma Trolley. It is located along the Petaluma & Santa Rosa Railroad main line and a block away from the NWP rail yard.


The CP 29 CAMPAIGN consists of two goals: Acquisition funding and Restoration funding.

Acquisition Budget Goal: $14,000 Our initial target for Fall/Winter 2010 is to match the $4500 challenge grant given to the Society by the National Railway Historical Society AND to match another $2500 challenge grant by one of our members. Achieving those challenges will cover the costs associated with the following:
– Preparing and transporting CP 29 from Redwood Valley to Petaluma
– Purchasing and rebuilding a pair of wood beam passenger trucks.

Restoration Budget Goal: $50,000 Our target date for achieving a cosmetic restoration of CP 29 is July 2015. To assure steady progress toward that goal we would like to solicit donations to fund the following objectives:
– Roofing, flooring, wall framing, truss rods & queen posts, air brakes & rigging
– Exterior siding, window sash & glass, clerestory window sash and glass
– Interior paneling and trim, restroom, lights, heat, seats, hardware
– Stripping and painting interior and exterior, and signage (lettering)
– End platform reconstruction, including beams, steps, railings and couplers
– Procure skilled craftsmen (on a limited basis)

Total budget $64,000

Security of the “CP 29 Project” Loan and Donation Fund will be achieved through a separate bank savings account as well as detailed accounting of expenses, individual loans and donations. The Society’s Headlight newsletter will update members on the campaign progress each issue.



  • From The Headlight November – December 2016

    Central Pacific 29 WABCO, Queen Posts and Paint By Mike Manson Work continues on several items. The Westinghouse Air Brake Company’s (WABCO) auxiliary reservoir and the four Wason queen posts … read more

  • From The Headlight September – October 2015

    Central Pacific 29 Of Doorways and Truss Rods By Mike Manson Now that P&SR Caboose 1 is completed, and work is progressing on NWP Baggage 605, CP 29 must be … read more

  • From The Headlight July – August 2015

    Central Pacific 29 A Journal Box, Burned Wall and Brake Cylinder By Mike Manson When the roundhouse roof fell onto B&O 20, one of the Morris journal boxes was shattered … read more

  • From The Headlight May – June 2015

    Central Pacific 29 Triplex Springs and Air Brake Parts are Cleaned and Painted By Mike Manson This spring the three usable triplex leaf spring sets were sand blasted, painted and … read more

  • From The Headlight March – April 2015

    Central Pacific 29 Interior Repairs Are Planned for 2015 By Mike Manson The 2015 Work Season began on January 24. Jeff Millerick and Richard Fries installed the 8 Z-shaped steel … read more

  • From The Headlight January – February 2015

    Central Pacific 29 Summary of This Year’s Efforts By Mike Manson Although CP 29 is third in line for restoration work, much was accomplished on the truck frames this year. … read more

  • From The Headlight November – December 2014

    Central Pacific 29 Truck Assembly Continues By Mike Manson Progress continues on rebuilding the trucks, although it may seem that nothing is happening. The replacement bolster beam is drilled for … read more

  • From The Headlight September – October 2014

    Central Pacific 29 More Truck Assembly Work By Mike Manson With the exceptions of the pedestals, wheel sets and associated hardware, the truck frames are assembled. A spring plank has … read more

  • From The Headlight July – August 2014

    Central Pacific 29 Truck Assembly Continues, and Some Track Assembly is Completed By Mike Manson The truck frames are finally assembled using new and recycled bolts and tie rods. With … read more

  • From The Headlight May-June 2014

    Central Pacific 29 Truck Assembly Begins By Mike Manson As we mentioned in the last issue, the final fitting of the truck beams continued until each piece fitted properly. Assembly … read more

  • From The Headlight March-April 2014

    Central Pacific 29 Starting the 2014 Restoration Season By Mike Manson Last year the Society submitted a grant application for $1,200 to the Union Pacific Foundation for funding of replacement … read more

  • Archives 2013

    From The Headlight July-August 2013 Central Pacific 29 Another Grant Application By Mike Manson The Society has submitted a Stage 1 grant application for $1,200 to the Union Pacific Foundation … read more

  • Archives 2012-2013

    From The Headlight July-August 2012 Central Pacific 29 Plans for This Summer’s Work Season By Mike Manson The Restoration Team has been concentrating on disassembling B&O 20’s wood beam passenger … read more

  • Archives 2010

    From The Headlight March-April 2010 CP 29 Begins Its Move to Petaluma By Mike Manson The NWPRRHS has begun the process of conserving and restoring a vintage wooden coach we … read more