Whitman County Gazette - Serving Whitman County since 1877

Passenger car moves to new Manning home

 

COLFAX – One of the passenger rail cars situated outside of the Northern Pacific Depot in Pullman found its new home in Colfax.

The passenger car was placed northwest of Colfax near the Old Manning Covered Bridge.

John-Mark Mahnkey, member of the Pullman Depot Heritage Center Steering Committee, said the car has been on road wheels and ready for transportation for a couple of weeks, but has been delayed due to wet conditions. The car was pulled by a semi attached like a trailer, but instead of being an independent axle in the back it was an independent chassis.

The passenger car left its spot in front of the Pullman Depot Heritage Center on Thursday, May 28, and made its way up SR 195 and through Colfax.

A second passenger car is also being relocated to its new home in Moscow the week of June 1.

Mahnkey said the process to remove the cars has been ongoing for the past two years.

“We thought at first if we didn’t get any responses we would just use the passenger cars as scrap metal,” Mahnkey said. He said once interest was generated, after posting an ad on Craigslist, it had been quite the journey to get the cars to their new homes.

“The move of these cars was last minute, those cars were going to be scrap, but now they are going to new homes, and local homes at that, within a two week period,” Mahnkey said.

The Heritage Center was giving away the cars and those receiving them would just have to pay for the move. Mahnkey said one of the parties had found Mike Curtis, in Boise, who specializes in moving rail cars.

This left one passenger car remaining for removal.

Since one of the local parties had a contact, the Heritage Center was able to contact another previously interested party about the remaining passenger car, and they were sold.

In 1988, the depot was purchased by Dan Antoni, who added three passenger cars, a locomotive and Great Northern caboose, which were placed on the rails next to the building.

The locomotive has already been moved from the depot in October 2018 to a railroad museum. The Heritage Center plans to keep the caboose and the passenger car which is connected.

Since the purchase of the rail cars, the depot hasn’t been visible to those driving by.

“Because of the passenger cars in front of the depot, the facade of the depot hasn’t been visual from Grand Avenue since then,” Mahnkey said. “I’m looking forward to being able to see the depot again.”

“It’s interesting how it all worked out,” Mahnkey said. “I honestly couldn’t imagine these cars being removed any other way.”

 

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