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Around the Shop: The Journey of Car No. 390

Around the Shop: Car No. 390’s Revival

Nestled in the heart of our shop, the historic Central of Georgia Railway combination (often referred to as a ‘combine’) car No. 390 has recently been stationed on track 7, awaiting some much-needed attention.

This isn’t just any routine check-up. The ‘doctor’ – our team of expert restorers – has prescribed some essential repairs. Top on the list is the Stadco generator that breathes life into the car by producing a vital 480 volts of electricity. This power keeps the car’s systems humming and ensures every journey is smooth and memorable. Additionally, two brand-new wheels are set to be fitted under one end of the car, ensuring its continued safe and steady journey on the tracks.

Let’s delve a bit into the history of this remarkable railway gem. Car No. 390 was birthed in 1947 by the renowned American Car & Foundry located in St. Charles, Missouri. Its first significant assignment was with the Central, operating on the famous route of the Nancy Hanks II between Savannah and Atlanta, Georgia. The name of the train pays homage to the legendary racehorse Nancy Hanks. This horse, in turn, carried the legacy of Nancy Hanks Lincoln, the revered mother of Abraham Lincoln.

Fast forward to 1963, the car transitioned to the Southern Railway. Here, it rose to fame after being renumbered as 726. For years, it served as the recording car for Southern and Norfolk Southern steam specials. It wore many hats and carried different names over the years, with two of its most prominent being “William J. Purdie, Jr.” and “Man O’ War”. Its most recent transition was when TVRM, recognizing its rich history and potential, acquired it in 2019 from the Western Maryland Scenic Railroad.

Today, as Car No. 390 undergoes its rejuvenation, we’re reminded of the stories it carries and the many more it’s poised to create.