The History of the Braddock Inn
From first class to work horse, and back again
Built February 28, 1948, the Braddock Inn was a 21 roomette sleeper for the Pennsylvania Railroad, operating on “The Iron City Express.” When delivered, she wore a bright Tuscan Red coat with gold lettering and a black roof.
Over the years the car was reconfigured as a sleeper, coach, café-parlor and ultimately back to first class service to meet the needs of the various railroads including New Jersey Transit and Maryland Department of Transportation MARC Train Service. While in service for MARC, the Bradford operated as a parlor/lounge car on an express commuter train between Washington, D.C. and Martinsburg, WV, where seats were highly sought after and often fully occupied.
Now owned by the Collis P. Huntington Railroad Historical Society, the Braddock Inn is part of a working pool of passenger cars that are used on private excursions including the New River Train Excursion, an annual fall foliage and sight-seeing trip between Huntington and Hinton, WV as well as trips to New York City and Washington D.C.
Restoring rolling history back to first class status
Being a rolling piece of history, combined with the numerous reincarnations over the years, can take its toll on a car. Following the 2016 excursion season, the Braddock Inn was in need of a facelift both inside and out. From December 2016 to March 2017, over 900 volunteer hours were dedicated to restoring the Braddock Inn to her previous glory. The interior was completely remodeled, including replacing the flooring in both the lounge and booth ends, installing new wall panels and crafting custom built cabinets for additional storage and to provide a historic clerestory look, the traditional raised section of roof running the center of a rail car with small windows.
In August 2017, CSX railroaders at the Huntington Locomotive Paint Shop applying their skilled expertise, restored the passenger car to her as-delivered Pennsylvania Railroad scheme, complete with vibrant Tuscan Red paint and stately gold lettering.
The Braddock Inn Rides Again
The Braddock Inn will be making her re-debut as part of the 2017 New River Excursion scheduled for October 2017.
Thanks to volunteers and the railroaders at CSX, the bright colors of the West Virginia fall foliage will have competition this year as the vibrant Tuscan Red, Bradford Inn passenger car rolls through New River Gorge.
Before and After
Originally built in 1948, the Braddock Inn passenger car has gone from first class sleeper to coach, café-parlor and ultimately back to first class service. In 2016, the Braddock Inn departed for one of her biggest journeys yet – an exterior and interior restoration. Following extensive interior updates, the Braddock Inn visited the CSX Huntington Locomotive Paint Shop in Huntington, West Virginia. While there, CSX railroaders restored the passenger car to her as-delivered Pennsylvania Railroad pain scheme, complete with vibrant Tuscan Red paint and stately gold lettering. Below are before and after photos capturing the transformation. To see the full transformation, view the interior and exterior renovation process.
The Braddock Inn currently operates as part of a private excursions train owned by the Collis P. Huntington Railroad Historical Society. Various excursions transport travelers across the mid-Atlantic, including to New York City at Thanksgiving and during December and to Washington, D.C. during cherry blossom season. In addition to seasonal excursions, the Braddock Inn is part of the train that eight grade students in Huntington, West Virginia area take to our nation’s capital for an immersive learning experience.
The updated interior can be setup in three (3) different configurations providing increased versatility and seating options.
With the recently remodeled inside and new furniture, the Braddock Inn can now sit 26 in the lounge and 24 at booths.