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Railroad Revival Tour Train

Railroad Revival Tour Train

April 22, 2011

Story and photographs by Richard Elgenson
RailNews Network Writer

Railroad Revival Tour official web site

For 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, 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 the 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 treatments.


Next in the consist is "Colonial Crafts" based in the Los Angeles area.  This car is an exquisitely restored Pennsylvania Railroad car.  In the left of the photo, Alex Ebert, a.k.a. Edward Sharpe, one of the rock band performers.                                                                                                                                                                                               


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 America logo.


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.

Railroad Revival Tour official web site

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 RRT

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 links.

Gordon N. Zimmerman, Baggage Car, Friends of 4449

Colorado Pine, 
6-4-6 sleeper, Colorado Zephyrs, Inc.

Birch Grove, 
10-6 sleeper, The Cincinatti Railway Company

Pacific Sands,
10-6 sleeper,

Pacific Union, 
10-6 sleeper, American Rail Excursions, Inc./Mid America Railcar Leasing, LLC

Silver Quail, 
11 double bedroom sleeper, American Rail Excursions, Inc./Mid America Railcar Leasing LLC

Colonial Crafts,
3DB-1 DR sleeper lounge

Pony Express, Party Car

Silver Splendor Dome Lounge,

Keystone Grill Diner (former Henry Hudson, explore that, lol),
American Rail Excursions, Inc./Mid America Railcar Leasing LLC

Silver Lariat
Dome coach/diner, California Zephyr Railcar Charters

Palm Leaf,
10-6 sleeper

Silver Rapids
10-6 sleeper, California Zephyr Railcar Charters

Silver Solarium
Dome sleeper observation, California Zephyr Railcar Charters

Pacific Electric Red Cars

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