Equipment > Diner 469
Delaware, Lackawanna & Western Diner 469 was built by the Budd Company in 1949 for the DL&W's premier train, The Phoebe Snow. Renumbered 769 after the merger forming the Erie Lackawanna, the car also ran on the EL's version of the Phoebe Snow. DL&W 469 was purchased by ELDCPS in 2010, and moved to Scranton in 2012.
When ELDCPS was made aware of the pending sale of Diner 469, we began working with one of our members who wanted to see us purchase the car. We decided it would be a prudent move to acquire the car, especially since it could be placed into excursion service with minimal work. Diner 469 also would give us a visible presence which can be used to raise additional funds to be used towards Diner 741. After further discussions, the member pledged the funds for us to make an offer on the car, and after several months of negotiations, we reached an agreement on the purchase price of the car.
While Diner 469 is in operating condition, there is some work that must be completed before the car enters service. While still in Collierville, Tenn., we performed the necessary brake system work, and replaced two axles on the car. Now home in Scranton, we will work towards returning the car into DL&W colors and perform minor maintenance on the kitchen and dining area. We are raising funds for Diner 469 through the DL&W 469 Club, and the sale of reproduction "Phoebe Snow" pattern china.
Fundraising for Diner 469
The purchase of DL&W Diner 469 presents ELDCPS with an exciting opportunity to begin dining car operations up to two years earlier than anticipated. Thanks to the generous donation of one of our members, we were able to acquire this car without spending any of our available funds. Now that the car is safely in our hands, we are looking for similar generosity and support from our other members to complete the work that needs to be performed on the car. While no donation is too small, we have created the DL&W 469 Club to honor larger donations made towards the car. The 469 Club features three membership levels, each with special bonuses and privileges.
Diner 469 Diagram
Technical diagram of 469 from the EL Passenger Equipment Diagram Book.
History of Diner 469
In the late-1940s, the Delaware, Lackawanna & Western (DL&W) Railroad purchased new equipment to replace their premiere train, The Lackawanna Limited, with a new lightweight streamliner, The Phoebe Snow. Diners 469 and 470, along with Tavern-Lounge observation cars 789 and 790, were built by the Budd Company in 1949 for The Phoebe Snow. After the merger forming the Erie Lackawanna, Diner 469 was renumbered 769.
The Erie Lackawanna's version of The Phoebe Snow was discontinued in 1966. The last remaining long-distance through train, The Lake Cities, ran for the last time on January 5, 1970. No longer needed the equipment, Erie Lackawanna sold several cars, including Diner 769, to the James Strates circus in 1972.
Prior to 1975, the car was sold to Butterworth Tours, who used the car on the Rock Island's Quad Cities and Peoria Rockets. During this time, the car was named Phoebe and painted in Amtrak colors to comply with Amtrak's requirement that all private cars on Amtrak trains must match Amtrak's own cars. The Rock Island, which had not transferred its passenger trains to Amtrak in 1971, finally shut down passenger operations in 1978. Ownership of the car was assumed by Morrison-Kundsen, who had completed repairs on the car prior to entering service for Butterworth.
In the early 1980s, the car was sold to a group of Memphis-area enthusiasts, who formed a group that would become the Memphis Transportation Museum. The car operated in excursion service on Norfolk Southern and other area railroads. After the NS Steam Program ceased operations in the 90s, the car was moved to Collierville, Tenn., a Memphis suburb, for static display.
In March 2007, Diner 469 and other cars parked in Collierville opened as The Tennessean Dinner Train, a stationary dining establishment. The Tennessean closed in March 2009, and ELDCPS purchased the car in 2010. After performing repairs in Collierville, ELDCPS moved Diner 469 to Scranton, Penn. in April 2012.
Jim Fickel photo