- 1953 — The Car was built by Pullman – Standard as a 76 seat passenger coach (likely in New York or Chicago) for the Grand Trunk Western.
- 1969 — The Car was converted into a “Buffet-Coach” seating 52.
- 1971 — The Car was reassigned to Canadian National Railway and operated by them until 1978.
- 1972 — The Coach section was converted into a “Lounge” making the car a “Buffet-Lounge” seating 16 in dining section and 24 in the lounge.
- 1978 —Canadian National passenger operations and equipment taken over by VIA Rail Canada
- 1984 — VIA retired car and it was sold to a private owner in Rexdale, Ontario
- 1986 — The Car was sold to new owner and moved to the IGA in Sutton, Ontario for use as a tea room
- 2008 — It was acquired by the Town of Georgina, near Keswick, Ontario and continued operation as a tea room but the restaurant was short lived.
- 2014 — The Town of Georgina, issued an Expression of Interest for the sale of a Train Rail Car Restaurant, and it was purchased by the Community Waterfront Heritage Centre, in Owen Sound.
- 2015 Summer — The car was separated from its trucks (its wheels) and the body placed on temporary blocking until it was going to be moved. The wheels were painted and arrived in advance of the car.
- The trip from Keswick was a distance of 173 kilometers and it took over 12 hours. The car was sandblasted and painted at a workshop outside Owen Sound. The exterior paint colours, lettering and logos are authentic to the Canadian National “family” of railways during the mid to late 1950s.
- 2015, August 17 — The CN Car arrived at the Community Waterfront Heritage Centre after a 10 kilometer journey. Two large cranes lifted the car back onto its trucks. A few days later it was pushed to its location to the north of the 1932 CN train station.
- 2015, September 19 — Celebration of the Car’s New Home — Ted Tizzard drew the winning ticket of the raffle for the train trip to Quebec City.
- 2016 – Hydro, water and sewer lines were connected to the City services
- 2016 – Windows replaced.
- 2017 – Work continues on the interior.
- 2018 – Work completed on the Coach.
To see photos of its arrival, check the blog posting
Technical Description – Car #4884
- Built in 1953 to Plan 7536 Lot 6910
- Weight: 62.5 tons
- Length: 85’ long
- Width: 10’6” wide
- 500 square feet of meeting space
- Seating available for 40 to 50 patrons
- Car houses a kitchen area, washrooms and seating.
- Car 4884 has a unique brass viewing platform that was added to the car after being retired and is not typical for this type of car.
- Car is a unique example of the transition of passenger cars. Similar cars built prior to this car had six wheeled trucks and two vestibules for entering and exiting the car. In 1954, One vestibule was eliminated and four wheeled trucks became standard on most passenger cars. Our car is one of the few that had two vestibules and the newer four wheeled trucks.
First photo by Janet Iles; second photo by Doris Fraser.