A Historical Perspective - The First 50 Years
MOUNT VERNON is one of fifty "PACIFIC" series 10 roomette 6 double bedroom sleepers built by the Budd Company, between December 1949 and June 1950, for Pullman service on the Union Pacific. It was built as PACIFIC ISLAND.
In 1969, Union Pacific assigned number 1423 to PACIFIC ISLAND.
It was acquired by Amtrak in 1971, but Amtrak did not identify the car as Amtrak 2617 PACIFIC ISLAND until December 1974. Over the first 5 years of Amtrak service, records indicate the car was assigned to various trains:
In 1977, it was one of the first two sleepers that Amtrak converted to HEP; it became Amtrak 2917 PACIFIC ISLAND, and was assigned to operate with the new Amfleet I cars on The Night Owl between Washignton and Boston. After providing more than a decade and one-half further revenue service, Amtrak retired the car, stored it at Miami, and sold it in the mid-1990s.
We acquired the car from The Sleeper Line, a Canadian corporation, in April 1999, and began a repair and refurbishing process that took about 40 months.
Delaware Car Company completed the mechanical and electrical work required by the Amtrak PC-2 ("forty year") inspection and Amtrak PC-1 (annual) inspection. The car was recertified for mainline (Amtrak and Via Rail Canada) private car service in 2002. Interior refurbishment and additional mechanical work was completed by Bob Willetts and his crew at the Lancaster & Chester Railway's facility in Lancaster, South Carolina. The car's interior configuration has been converted to a six double bedroom lounge that sleeps 12 for overnight trips and can accomodate 25 for daytime trips. You can find more information (with photos) on the repair and refurbishing process here.
We renamed the car MOUNT VERNON in honor of George & Martha Washington's estate on the Potomac River in Fairfax County, Virginia.
Our MOUNT VERNON is not the first railroad passenger car to bear