Historic Railway Restoration was contracted by the SCANA Corporation
to perform a complete cosmetic restoration of a Fort Collins Birney Safety
Car. The car body was stored at the SCANA facility for over two years. NWRS
was contacted by SCANA to provide restoration services on the Birney Car for
a 150th HRR dismantled entire car body, and assessed the frame for damage
The car body was found to have been involved in multiple collisions
earlier in its career and no repairs were made to the frame. The ends of the
car body were sagging from three to six inches from the center of the car
and the steel frame was bent. HRR rebuilt the steel frame and corner support
posts. The car body was trammed back to original specifications.
The steel siding was stripped with a chemical agent and reinstalled
on a car frame. The roof was replaced with new tongue and groove wood strips
and new canvas was installed. A new catwalk was manufactured for future application
of a trolley pole base and trolley pole. The interior wood components of the
car had been exposed to water and had severe water damage to over 70% of the
wood. New replicated wood components were made and finished for installation.
New trim and moldings were manufactured to match original woodwork in the
car body. The brass window sashes were restored and reinstalled along with
new window glass. Some wood components on the windows were replaced as necessary.
The seats were removed and disassembled for full mechanical rebuild. New upholstery
was installed and seats were reassembled and installed on partially new floor.
The doors on the Car #407 were severely deteriorated, so new
doors with glass were manufactured for installation. The exterior hardware
was removed, renovated and replaced. Two new headlights were manufactured
for Car #407. The trucks were rebuilt with new springs and re-babbited journal
The restoration project was completed in six months. HRR paid
very close attention to the historic detail of the Birney Safety Car and would
like to thank SCANA for providing an unlimited amount of historical information
regarding these particular cars for a truly historic restoration project.