those of us living in an audio
world, you may have heard of the
rock band Mumford and Sons from England. They won a Grammy Award
for best new artist in 2011. Listening to the southern California
radio station KROQ is where I had become aware of them. As an
avid reader of Altamontpress.com, I also became aware of the Railroad
Revival Tour, featuring Mumford and Sons, Edward Sharpe and the
Magnetic Zeros, and Old Crow Medicine Show. They chartered an
all private car train to take them on tour from Oakland, CA to New
Orleans, LA with stops in between. While I did not participate in
trying to procure concert tickets, I did find my way to San Pedro on
April 22, 2011 to check out the train. Thanks to a close friend
for picking me up in downtown Long Beach and taking me to view the
train and for drinks and dinner.
This train was beautiful, with 10 of
14 cars fluted stainless steel
sided. How often do you see that? There were a number of
cars that I was previously unaware of. Due to time and location,
the sun angle was not the best for train photography. I never did
get any head end shots either. At the time of this report, the
RRT was on the Pacific Harbor Line in San Pedro California. The
concert venue was in the nearby parking lot of a location called Ports
O'Call village. The railroad here used to be busy many years ago,
but the last commercial delivery was several years ago.
Elsewhere, the Pacific Harbor Line is heavily utilized for container
shipment. They do have some carload movement toand from various
industries located at the twin ports of Long Beach and Los
Angeles. Passenger trains do occasionally visit. I have
seen the steam locomotive 3751 with passenger cars several times at
this same location. AARPCO had their 2008 convention and train
here. Freight railroads run their own company trains here from
time to time. The RRT train was highly anticipated by music
lovers and railfans alike.
We arrived soon after the RRT pulled into the parking area. This
private train was impressive with 2 baggage cars, 7 sleeper cars, 3
dome cars and one dining car. A number of cars in the consist
also have on board galleys.
Below, Al Bishop from Calzephyr Railcar Charters and an unidentified
crew member walk towards Silver Lariat to check something.
Individually, starting from near the front of the train progressing to
the rear, we
see the Gordon Zimmerman baggage car, owned by the Firends of the 4449.
Next is the "Colorado Pine" sleeper car, ex L & N "Plantation Pine"
built in 1953. In the second photo, note the vestibule windows on
the car "B" end. According to their web site, she was restored
over a 16 year period. The results are excellent.
The next car, sleeper Birch Grove, was not captured by my camera
. It is an
ex-SP car now owned and run by The Cincinatti Railway Company.
Next if one of the LARail cars "Pacific Sands." She is a sleeper
car based in Los Angeles. Next, is another Mid America sleeper
car "Pacific Union."
As the train was being shoved
by me, I engaged the man in the vestibule
in a short conversation. He stated the interior of the "Silver
Quail" was magnificent. Upon viewing the Mid America Railcar
Leasing web site, the interior photos show posh seats and wall
Next in the consist is
"Colonial Crafts" based in the Los Angeles
area. This car is an exquisitely restored Pennsylvania Railroad
In the left of the photo, Alex Ebert, a.k.a. Edward Sharpe, one of
the rock band
The Pony Express car is on
open inside party car. Originally
manufactured for the Canadian National Railway for horses, it is useful
for a train like the Railroad Revival Tour as the performers could
gather and make music once the train leaves a city for the next
concert. Following the Pony Express is the Silver Splendor, a
restored Budd dome car which re-entered service early in 2010.
The Splendor owner told me that this train was "a 24 hour a day party."
Next is the Keystone Grill, a dining car owned and operated by Mid
American Rail Car.Leasing. She sports a "PRR" logo above the Mid
What better way to end the Railroad Revival Tour Train than with the 3
premier private cars Silver Lariat, Palm Leaf, Silver Rapids and Silver
Solarium. I am good at math, and as I've listed four cars, you
know the 3 Silver ones often travel in combination.
Peering out of the Solarium vestibule is William, one of the best
servers on any railroad.
OOOhhhh. What's this? Older crossing in front of old.
The Red Cars run on weekends in San Pedro.
This wraps up the Railroad
Revival Tour Train. We went out to San Pedro Brewing and returned
to view some of the concert. I wished we had tickets to the show
as it souded great from the bluff overlooking the train and concert
site. Another TrainWeb reporter, Carl Morrison, did an excellent
story in San Pedro onboard the
Want to lean more about private cars? If you want a consist like
the Railroad Revival
Tour Train, the go to guy is Burt Hermey of California
Zephyr Railcar Charters. Burt and Al own Silver Lariat dome
car and Silver Rapids sleeper car. They work closely with Roy
Wullich of Rail Journeys West who owns the Silver Solarium dome
car. Next will be a list of the rest of the Railroad Revival Tour cars with