By Railfan & Railroad Staff
BALTIMORE — The B&O Railroad Museum has received a $500,000 grant from the National Park Service to restore the “Washington,” a Pullman tavern-observation car that was built in 1949.
The grant is part of Saving America’s Treasures program and is a collaboration between NPS, the Institute of Museum and Library Services, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the National Endowment for the Humanities. The grant is being matched with private funds.
The “Washington” is a streamlined observation car with a 17-seat observation area and a 24-seat tavern. Additionally, it has a cherry blossom mural near the cocktail lounge. The “Washington” and its sister, “The Chicago,” were designed for the Columbian, which was a post-war Washington to Chicago overnight streamliner. The Columbian was an all-coach flagship that followed the route of the all-Pullman Capitol Limited. In 1961, the “Washington” became a part of the Capitol Limited. In 1971, the “Washington” was retired from service and was donated to the B&O Railroad Museum.
“It will be an important piece to our interpretative story as we prepare for the 200th anniversary of American railroading in 2027,” said Executive Director Kris Hoellen. “Arguably, it will be one of the most unique venue spaces in the area once restored.”