Erie Training Car #10

Erie Safety & Training Car #10 is a one-of-a-kind piece of railroad equipment that was used to familiarize employees with the operation of train and cab controls, as well as air brake and electrical systems from various types of diesel-electric locomotives in use at the time. Besides housing actual locomotive cab components and brake stands, the rest of the car was used for classroom seating for presentations and instructions.

This car was originally built as Erie Railroad 84-seat coach #2204, one of the first order for five steel through-line coaches on the Erie (#2200-2204) built by the Pressed Steel Car Company in 1917. These cars, while following some of the design patterns of the earlier "Stillwell" cars, were the first noticeable change in Erie passenger car development in a number of years. The #2204 was originally built with four-wheel trucks, but received six-wheel trucks from a retired baggage car sometime before 1924. When it was shopped at the Erie’s Susquehanna, PA passenger equipment shop in the late 1940s to add air conditioning, it also went back to riding on four-wheel trucks.

This particular car was chosen to be refurbished as the museum car for the Erie's Centennial Exhibition Train, commemorating the Erie's 100th birthday in 1951. With no further museum use, the car entered the shop again and emerged in April 1953 as safety & training car #10, replacing an training earlier car that had been built from a doodlebug. One of the original trucks from this doodlebug was reused under the new #10, and is still under the car today.

The #10 toured the Erie extensively, making stops at a variety of familiar railroad towns, including: Binghamton, Hornell, and Salamanca, NY; Meadville and Scranton, PA; Youngstown, Cleveland, Akron, and Marion, OH; Huntington and Hammond, IN; and Chicago, IL. The car continued in service after the 1960 merger of the Erie Railroad and Lackawanna Railroad to form the Erie Lackawanna, and remained in service until shortly after the 1976 formation of Conrail.

Erie #10 was sold to the Tri-State Railway Historical Society in January 1986. Partially restored and repainted by Tri-State in the late 1980s, this 100-year-old car is in stable condition and stored on a siding in Madison, NJ. It awaits a full restoration. Tri-State also owns the collection of locomotive electrical diagrams that traveled with the classroom portion of this car in the 1950s and 1960s.

This August 7, 1950 letter was written by E. E. Seise of the Erie to M. Sudheimer of the EMD Educational Section, inquiring about potential screen and projector setups for Erie #10. (Tri-State Railway Historical Society collection)

The first Erie training car #10 was rebuilt from an old doodlebug. Seen here in Passaic, NJ on August 5, 1947, this car was part of the Erie's Centennial Exhibition Train, which also included coach #1104. At the conclusion of the exhibition, coach #1104 was chosen to replace this car as the Erie's training car. However, one of the trucks from this former doodlebug was reused under the new #10, and is still under the car today. (Erie company photograph, Tri-State Railway Historical Society collection)

In early 1951, Erie coach #2204 was stripped of its 84 seats and turned into a museum car to tour the Erie system in celebration of the railroad’s 100th anniversary. The car is viewed here on display to the public later that year. (John Benton collection, courtesy Morning Sun Books – Erie/DL&W Color Guide to Freight and Passenger Equipment, page 13)

In early 1951, Erie coach #2204 was stripped of its 84 seats and turned into a museum car to tour the Erie system in celebration of the railroad’s 100th anniversary. The car is viewed here on display to the public later that year. (John Benton collection, courtesy Morning Sun Books – Erie/DL&W Color Guide to Freight and Passenger Equipment, page 13)

Two of Erie #2204’s sister cars are near the head end of a June 24, 1951 excursion in Scranton, PA. (Robert F. Collins photo, courtesy Morning Sun Books – Erie Railroad Trackside with Robert F. Collins, page 94)

Two of Erie #2204’s sister cars are near the head end of a June 24, 1951 excursion in Scranton, PA. (Robert F. Collins photo, courtesy Morning Sun Books – Erie Railroad Trackside with Robert F. Collins, page 94)

After the 1960 Erie Lackawanna merger, Erie #10 made its way to the former Lackawanna passenger terminal in Hoboken, NJ, where it is viewed on June 11, 1966. (George Berisso photo, courtesy Morning Sun Books – Erie/DL& W Color Guide to Freight and Passenger Equipment, page 61)

After the 1960 Erie Lackawanna merger, Erie #10 made its way to the former Lackawanna passenger terminal in Hoboken, NJ, where it is viewed on June 11, 1966. (George Berisso photo, courtesy Morning Sun Books – Erie/DL& W Color Guide to Freight and Passenger Equipment, page 61)

Out touring the Erie Lackawanna system, training car #10 is viewed in Huntington, IN in 1970. (Larry DeYoung photo, courtesy Morning Sun Books – EL Color Guide to Freight and Passenger Equipment, page 117)

Out touring the Erie Lackawanna system, training car #10 is viewed in Huntington, IN in 1970. (Larry DeYoung photo, courtesy Morning Sun Books – EL Color Guide to Freight and Passenger Equipment, page 117)

On a crisp December 1, 1973 in Marion, OH, Erie Lackawanna #10 (on the left) is joined by Erie Lackawanna #24, a steam generator car converted from an old Erie Stillwell coach. (Mike Woodruff photo)