RMNE forces have been hard over the past few months to stabilize one of our most significant and oldest pieces, Maine Central Railway Post Office 411, built by the Laconia Car Works of New Hampshire. Constructed in 1914, it will be celebrating its hundredth birthday next year. The car has a number of New England roots, being sold to the New Haven Railroad in December 1963, where it became baggage car 5700. The car was later slated to enter work train service and was assigned the number W-331. The car was to be scrapped by the Schiavone Company of New Haven but was donated to the RMNE, arriving on March 31, 1976. Long-term plans include restoring the car back to its original RPO configuration. If this is something you are interested in helping with, either physically or financially, please contact us at through our website.
Postcard of Laconia Car Works circa 1913. The RMNE hopes to some day recreate this scene as a means of interpreting early steel car construction as well as New England's industrial heritage. (Private Collection)
Pages from the Laconia Car Company's catalog, featuring the RMNE's Maine Central 411.
W-331 (formerly MEC 411) in work train service, prior to its movement to the RMNE.