GALLIPOLIS — The Gallipolis Railroad Freight Station Museum is moving forward with rehabilitation efforts, having cleaned the interior of the historic building, begun running electricity through the building, created a shell for bathroom facilities and is looking forward to the placement of a circus passenger car on its rails.
The passenger car is reportedly looking to be set on rail this summer after having been moved to Gallipolis in February from Huntington, W.Va.
The 10-by-86 foot car was rebuilt in 1963 as a 64-seat coach with a 12-seat smoking lounge and was renumbered PPR 1505 before then becoming Penn Central (PC) 1505 in 1968. It was eventually sold in 1976 to New Jersey Transit and renumbered NJTR 5439 before being traded to a private car owner in 1992 who then in turn sold it to the circus. It ran in the circus’ blue unit with a house number of 186 and reporting marks of 41307.
The car was received from private owners Nelson and Borden Black McGahee at a location in Huntington after selling the car to the museum for around $22,000, said board members. The pair purchased the car in 2017 after the circus went out of business.
The museum has also laid piping outside of the museum to account for future bathroom facilities in the car as well as in its office. Currently, the museum is awaiting inspection before moving forward with placing toilets.
The museum is also looking to restore its passenger car and caboose and was reportedly in talks with a Chris Edwards, said Museum Vice President Jerry Davis. Edwards reportedly has original plans of the car and had previously worked as a maintenance director over the same car when working with the circus. Museum board members are also in talks with the Ohio Department of Transportation to look for further grant funding opportunities.
The museum board has received $125,000 in state funding to be put towards maintenance and restoration efforts. In the future, board members say they’re looking to potentially acquire another caboose and passenger car from the West Virginia State Farm Museum.
Dean Wright can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2103.