We are pleased to announce that the John H. Emery Rail Heritage Trust has granted $10,000 toward the movement and stabilization of our heavyweight Pullman sleeper ‘Emerald Vale’!

This is one of 19 grants totaling $250,000 toward preservation of the “Golden Age” of railway travel, from 1920 to 1960. The Trust’s founder, John H. Emery, wanted to ensure future generations could share his experiences of rail travel, and we are excited to help carry out his mission.

The ‘Emerald Vale’ is a heavyweight Pullman sleeper car. It was originally built as ‘Wetamoo’ in 1915 by The Pullman Company for use between Minneapolis and Los Angeles. The original layout featured 10 sections, 1 drawing room, and 2 compartments. The car was rebuilt as ‘Emerald Vale’ in 1933 for use on the Florida Special, and was revised to 8 sections and 4 bedrooms. ‘Emerald Vale’ was purchased by the Wabash Railroad in 1948 and finally the Ann Arbor Railroad in 1961. The Ann Arbor Railroad turned the car into a crew car on the work train and removed much of the original sleeper car features. The car was acquired by the Southern Michigan Railroad in 1985 and stored at Lenawee Junction, a portion of our railroad that is not connected to the operating mileage of our line.

This grant will be used to move the car from Lenawee Junction to our active portion of railroad, allowing us to begin stabilization and renovation work on both the interior and exterior. We are incredibly thankful to receive this opportunity from the John H. Emery Rail Heritage Trust and we look forward to sharing our progress!

Are you interested in helping with this project? Visit our website to learn more about becoming a member and preserving railroad history!

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