A Brief History Of Business 2

 

The "Great Spirit" was built by the Pullman Standard Company and was ready for service on May 28, 1924. The car was built with one drawing room, two compartments, a buffet lounge area, and an open platform observation. The lounge seated 14. The car was 83 feet and 11 1/4 inches long between drawbar faces. The car weighed, body a trucks, 159,000 pounds. It was Pullman's floor plan #3953-VH.

In 1953, Monon's President Warren Brown was searching for a business car. The budget would not permit the purchase of a new one, therefore a second hand car with sufficient basic strength and serviceability that could be rebuilt within budget were considered. The "Great Spirit" was found in a Pullman storage yard and was purchased on August 18, 1953. Although 30 years old, Pullman was know for building passenger cars to last. The Monon moved the car to the Lafayette Shops where its mechanical department converted it into the "Lynne", named after Brown's granddaughter Lynne Chambers.

After Warren Brown resigned and left the Monon the Lynne lost its identity and the car was renumbered Number 2. The car was repainted in the black and gold when the other passenger equipment was painted around 1963. In 1971 when the Monon was merged into the Louisville and Nashville. Monon President Samuel Brown sold the car to Leonard Brown of Michigan City, Indiana. The L&N did not want the Monon's sole remaining business car.

  

The Lynne (Left) sporting the red and grey livery. (Right) Number 2 at Chicago 1971.

After purchasing the car, Leonard Brown moved his new acquisition to his plant in Michigan City. In 1986 Brown made the decision to upgrade the car. Northern Rail Car Corporation in Cudahy, Wisconsin did the renovations and the car was renamed The Monon. Major improvements were made and for many years the Brown Family used the car for business trips and entertaining.

At the 2011 Annual Meeting and Convention of the Monon Railroad Historical-Technical Society, Inc. the Brown Family officially signed over ownership of The Monon to the Monon Railroad Historical-Technical Society, Inc. After several inspections and much needed brake system overhauls the car has been moved from Burns Harbor to Jasper, Indiana. Soon it will be delivered to the Indiana Railway Museum at French Lick where the Society also maintains a restored caboose. The plan is to restore the car.

Excerpts from: The Hoosier Line, Vol 1 Number 3 "Lynne" and Private Varnish Issue 53.

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