Baltimore & Ohio Coach #4111

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This six-axle, steel-framed, wood coach began life around 1911 as a Baltimore & Ohio day coach (perhaps in the 45xx series). It was eventually converted to a B&O work car and numbered X4111. The WK&S purchased the car for $300 around October 1965. The car was found in the B&O's Somerset yard so it was given the name "Somerset". The Somerset had been repainted by July 1966. The WK&S may have numbered the car 1965, but no number appears in any picture. The picture above shows the car freshly painted and lettered "WK&S RAIL ROAD MUSEUM" and "SOMERSET". Soon the car would be moved to the back track behind Kempton Station.

The back track or "museum track" was home to a collection of static displays and other attractions. This collection included 0-4-0 Cooke locomotive #3 at the north end of the track followed by LNE caboose #512, Atlantic City car #72, the Somerset and then CNJ #98. Lettering suggests the Somerset was used for museum displays. Adjacent car #72 housed railroad-related museum displays through the mid to late 1960s. But I have no interior pictures from either car during that period and can't confirm what if anything was done with the Somerset. The WK&S closed down for a year and a half after 1968 and no museum displays were ever mentioned again. The 1971 WK&S brochure cites "The Emporium Boutique". I don't know what this attraction was about. But the word "SOMERSET" was crudely blocked over and replaced with "THE EMPORIUM". The "WK&S RAIL ROAD" lettering was freshened up, but the word "MUSEUM" was left to fade.

The 1975 WK&S brochure notes a new attraction called "Circus World". There was even a brochure picture of the "Scale Model Circus World Exhibit". The B&O car was completely repainted. There was no lettering, but the windows displayed the name "CIRCUS WONDERLAND" which appears to have been the official name of the attraction. Circus Wonderland was an extra fare attraction run by Joseph Bobber of Laureldale, PA. According to promotional material the Circus Wonderland was the "world's greatest hand crafted miniature circus circa early 1900" and "15 years in the making". Circus Wonderland appears to have operated at least through 1977. I have never seen any interior pictures of this car in any of its various incarnations. Except for an HO scale model railroad built in car #72, all of the back track attractions appear to have petered out by the late 1970s. The B&O car became storage for spare coach seats and other parts. During the mid to late 1980s the car was moved from the back track to the upper passing track where it would remain until traded to the Strasburg Railroad. Strasburg expressed interest in the car, but the WK&S was still using it for parts storage. So a deal was struck wherein the B&O car went to Strasburg in exchange for C&O box car #5504.

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The "SOMERSET" has become "THE EMPORIUM".

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Next it was the "CIRCUS WONDERLAND".

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Close-up of the "CIRCUS WONDERLAND".

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Picture from the 1975 brochure.

The pictures below show the B&O car making its final move on the WK&S around 1990. Mack locomotive #35 shoves the car a short distance from Kempton yard to downtown Kempton in preparation for its trucking to Strasburg. As far as I know the B&O car has been sheathed under a protective layer of siding and awaits its future in Strasburg's storage yard.

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Photo by Mike Hartman.

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Photo by Mike Hartman.

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Photo by Mike Hartman.

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Photo by Mike Hartman.

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Photo by Mike Hartman.

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Photo by Ethan Bond.

I visited Strasburg in 2008 and found a cut of three six-axle coaches that were all cocooned in rubber roofing and corrugated metal siding. Presumably, one of the three is B&O #X4111.

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The B&O car at Strasburg?