It may not currently be rolling down the track, but a lounge car built by the Waterloo Central Railway (WCR) received high praise from riders when it was added to the fleet for events last year.
Purchased in 2018, the vintage RDC-9 No. 6006 coach from the 1950s was redesigned, and built into a parlour and lounge car by volunteers who wanted to help create an experience for WCR riders that was unique from the rest.
“We always had the idea [for], if we could, a full dining car like a traditional dining car,” said general manager Peter McGough.
He notes cars in the fleet before the lounge car was added had their limits, with only four people being able to sit comfortably at a table. The new car gives riders more of an experience dining in a restaurant, with tablecloths and chairs that are able to be pulled out.
The car was “a shell” when it was purchased, and volunteers did everything from putting walls up so paneling could be installed to painting the ceiling, said McGough.
Tables can be moved and seats reconfigured to fit up to 54 people in the new car. This was something they wanted to improve the experience for events that are held throughout the year, he said. Events include a “great train robbery,” dining activities and even a superhero train where you can meet Superman, Wonder Woman and other favourite characters.
Currently there are no plans to expand the fleet to add more cars like this, but if the right situation were to come along, McGough says the group would consider taking on a new project.
While WCR is currently not running any trains due to the COVID-19 shutdown, McGough assures riders that they will be back as soon as they are able and they will do everything in their power to ensure the health and safety of those who want to take part in an event, or ride throughout the region.
WCR is a not-for-profit organization that runs a regular passenger train from Northfield Drive in Waterloo to Elmira. They normally run a train three times a day on when the farmers’ market is open, along with special events throughout the year.