No. 829 is a 52-seat, 85-foot long, 130,000 lb. coach built for Southern Railway by the Edward G. Budd Company. The coach entered service in October 1949. It was one of 19 cars ordered to replace older cars on The Southerner (Atlanta to Washington), and The Tennessean (Washington to Memphis, via Knoxville). The new cars were also a daily part of the consist on The Royal Palm, which made many stops at East Tennessee towns like Oneida, Oakdale and Rockwood, on its run from Chicago to Jacksonville and Miami. The Royal Palm traversed Southern's subsidiary road, Cincinnati, New Orleans and Texas Pacific Railway (CNO&TP), which is now a major artery of Norfolk Southern Railroad. Railfans dubbed the CNO&TP "The Rathole" due to the 27 tunnels that were once required between Cincinnati and Harriman, Tennessee.
After The Royal Palm was discontinued in 1970, and The Southerner and The Crescent (New York to New Orleans) were combined, 829 and her sisters became regulars on The Southern Crescent until February of 1979 when Southern finally turned its passenger service over to Amtrak, which ran the car until 1982. The car was sold to a private owner in Michigan and eventually made its way to The Bluewater Michigan Chapter of NRHS which operated it on their excursions. They also refurbished the car's interior.
Former Southern Railway Coach No. 829.was generously donated to the Southern Appalachia Railway Museum (SARM) from the Bluewater, Michigan, chapter of the National Railway Historical Society. Their members considered several organizations to provide 829 a new home, and settled on SARM based on its record of restoring and operating many pieces of former Southern Railway equipment. The transfer was completed on August 1, 2011, and the museum expects to place the coach in service on their Secret City Scenic Excursion Train during their Fall colors trips in October, 2011.
This page last revised: August 6, 2011For questions or comments about SARM, please call 865-241-2140.