Niles Canyon Railway #401

Technical Data

Builder Brightside Shops
Date 1997
Length 40′
Acquired 1995


This car was rebuilt from a flat car into an open observation car giving excellent views of the Niles Canyon railroad to our passengers. 

History: U.S. Navy (USN) flat car # (Unknown) (Built August, 1942); Oakland Terminal Railway (Temporary) (OTR) #MW1; Acquired by PLA, 1995; In service, Brightside, CA

This is a 40′ / Steel car weighing 34,100 lbs.

Curious as to how the ‘Chapel’ car got its name? Member Joe Mann reports that when the car was originally rebuilt by PLA to an open viewing car, his  family arranged a donation of four church pews from St Francis Cabrini Catholic Church in San Jose.  They were put  directly into the car.  Joe thinks it  was Jeff Otto who came up with the name at that time as a joke.  The name stuck.