FEBT Restoration – Flatcar 119

Flatcar 119 was one of a series of 10 flatcars built by the EBT shops in 1925. Replacing older wood frame flatcars, these steel frame cars — a total of 22 were eventually built — had higher capacity and longer life. The flatcars of the EBT were used for a variety of cargos, from locomotive tires to lumber to drag line buckets.

No. 119 was the first EBT flatcar to be reactivated in the tourist era. During the opening year, 1960, it was painted yellow and given seats and railings and pressed into passenger service. It ran in the first trains of the Rockhill-Orbisonia Bicentennial celebration in 1960. Repainted in green about 1962, the car continued to serve in the excursion trains for 43 years. In 2004 the car was taken out of service due to rot in the deck, and FEBT was asked to restore the car for safe operation.

This was the first project to be undertaken in the Paint Shop, newly leased to the FEBT as a restoration shop. While the shop itself was still being restored and equipped for restoration, a crew began working on the car. The rotted sections of railing were removed first. The benches were removed and evaluated to determine what portions needed to be replaced. The car was then stripped of its decking and longitudinal sills. All new sills and deck timbers were planed and fitted to the car. The car then received two coats of gray paint on the deck. The repaired seats were reinstalled and the railing reapplied to the car. The seats and railing were painted and the car re-stenciled.

The car was completed by October 2005, in time for the EBT’s annual Fall Spectacular.