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Passenger Coach Offices

"Offices on Wheels"

The Rahway Valley Railroad's General Offices

There were additional offices and file space in
this boxcar numbered 2050

The RV's cherished Kenilworth Station was damaged by fire in August of 1974. The burned building was rendered useless by management and the railroad's office work was subsequently done from a work trailer. Veteran railroader Bernie Cahill became President and General Manager of the railroad in 1975. Cahill soon discarded the work trailer in favor of a new "office on wheels."

Cahill purchased a former Lehigh Valley parlor car to be outfitted as the railroad's offices. The car was meticulously changed to suit the railroad's needs. All the inner furnishings, including the chairs, were carefully stacked inside the enginehouse. Also part of the "offices on wheels" was a boxcar numbered, #2050, this fully insulated and air conditioned car is where Cahill's offices were located.

The old LV parlor car was built by Pullman in 1927, as the first in a series of solarium-type observation cars constructed  to re-equip the LV's flagship train, the "Black Diamond." The parlor car that came to the RV titled the "Black Diamond" while the other cars were titled, the "White Diamond," the "Harriet," and the "John Wilkes." Pullman retained ownership for a number of years, before selling the cars outright to the LV in 1940. The four cars were renumbered in a series #1551-1554. They were subsequently rebuilt and modernized in 1954. After the LV ended passenger service, the #1551 was retained by the LV a a rider car. The LV sold the car in 1966 to the Pleasant Valley Winery in Hammondsport, NY, the car was subsequently resold to the RV in 1975.

The origins of the boxcar, outfitted as an office, are unknown, but in photographs it seems like a Conrail herald is blanked over.

For the duration of Cahill's tenure as President and General Manager the offices on wheels could be found sitting on a siding in the Kenilworth Yards, opposite from where the Kenilworth Station (which was torn down in 1979) sat.

The Delaware Otsego Corporation purchased the RV in 1986 and the need to have management on site quickly vanished. All business functions were handled from the DO's offices in Cooperstown, NY. The RV had become a subsidiary of the DO. Soon after the DO acquired the RV, the old parlor car was moved to Cooperstown. The boxcar, which the DO continued to utilize, was eventually moved to Rochelle Park, NJ and has been renumbered as NYS&W #120742.


RV Headquarters. June 11, 1980. Collection of Don Maxton.

Collection of Jeff Jargosch.

The Rahway Valley Railroad's General Offices. 5/1980.

A Rahway Valley freight train rolls past the offices. Perhaps that's Cahill's car sitting next to the coach.

#17 runs light past headquarters.

#1551, the former General Offices of the Rahway Valley Railroad, sits in Cooperstown, NY

Collection of Jeff Jargosch.


Head Back to the Station!