Long Island Rail Road
Rebuilt Lightweight Parlor Cars
"The Sunrise Fleet"


A New York tradition. All seats reserved. Premium fare. Premium service. An exclusive club on wheels. The Cannonball to Montauk. The Shelter Island Express to Greenport. The most relaxing and enjoyable way to travel between New York City and the east end of Long Island. The biggest heavyiest rolling bar in the Empire State on any Friday afternoon in the summertime.

As the 1970s approach their midpoint, LIRR rebuilds 11 of their own class MP72T lightweight electric MU coaches into parlor cars capable of operating with the railroad's diesel push-pull fleet. LIRR then retires their older parlor cars. In 1989, one of these eleven parlor cars is given it's own diesel generator, providing "dual mode" capability, whereby the car can draw power either from its own diesel generator or from the trainline. Also in 1989, LIRR rebuilds one class P72 lightweight coach as a parlor car with it's own diesel generator; this car with "dual mode" capability expands the Sunrise Fleet to a total of twelve parlor cars. These homemade parlor cars are eventually identified by a broad red stripe along their windowband. Parlor car service remains popular during the last quarter of the 20th century. It is discontinued at the turn of the century, when the LIRR replaces their small fleet of parlor cars (and larger fleet of diesel hauled coaches) with new multilevel coaches and cab-control coaches.


Interior of parlor car 2014, one of the twelve cars of the PP72B class Sunrise Fleet.
Douglas R. Nash photo from the "The Route of the Weekend Chief" published in
the Autumn 1995 issue of The Keystone / Scan by Jack Deasy

 

"Parlor Cars East 1978"

LIRR's 1978 advertising brochure for Sunrise Fleet parlor car service.

 

GP38-2 locomotive #262 leads a train at Great River in July 1987. The push-pull consist includes several Sunrise Fleet parlor cars. At the other end of the consist, out of view, a MP-15AC locomotive, or an older locomotive converted to a cab-control unit, provides HEP to the consist.
Malcolm Young photo from the "The Route of the Weekend Chief" published in
the Autumn 1995 issue of The Keystone / Scan by Jack Deasy



LIRR Class PP72B

Number History Disposition
2001 Built by Pullman Standard in 1955-1956 as LIRR class MP72T electric MU coach 2663. Rebuilt in 1975 by LIRR as class PP72B parlor car 2016. Renumbered 2001 in 1989 when a diesel generator was installed giving the car "dual mode" capability. One of only two "dual mode" parlor cars, it could draw power from either its installed diesel generator system, or from a trainline. Retired. Acquired by Ken Bitten. Used as a parlor car on the Indian Head Central Railway in Maryland. Stored at Culbertson, PA. Believed to have been scrapped circa 2010 due to owner's failure to pay storage charges.
2002 Built by Pullman Standard in 1955-1956 as LIRR class P72 coach 2927. Rebuilt in 1989 by LIRR as class PP72B parlor car 2002. One of only two "dual mode" parlor cars, it could draw power from either its installed diesel generator system, or from a trainline. Retired. Acquired by Ken Bitten. Used as a table car on the Northern Central Railway in Pennsylvania. Stored at Landisville, PA. DEC 2004 update: This car was recently purchased from Ohio Railway Supply Company and is at the yard of the Arkansas & Missouri Railroad in Springdale, AR. It is being renovated prior to becoming part of the A & M tourist passenger train fleet. It has number 107 from the previous owner. Car has been named EXPLORER.
2011 Built by Pullman Standard in 1955-1956 as LIRR class MP72T electric MU coach 2650. Rebuilt in 1975 by LIRR as class PP72B parlor car 2011. Retired. Acquired by Ken Bitten. Stored at Landisville, PA. March 2010: Reported to have been acquired by Island Rail Preservation, LLC of Omaha, NE. September 2012: Photographed in storage at Phillipsburg, NJ.
2012 Built by Pullman Standard in 1955-1956 as LIRR class MP72T electric MU coach 2664. Rebuilt in 1975 by LIRR as class PP72B parlor car 2012. Retired. Acquired by Ken Bitten. Stored at Culbertson, PA. Believed to have been scrapped circa 2010 due to owner's failure to pay storage charges.
2013 Built by Pullman Standard in 1955-1956 as LIRR class MP72T electric MU coach 2667. Rebuilt in 1975 by LIRR as class PP72B parlor car 2013. Retired. Acquired by Ken Bitten. Converted by Indian Head Central Railway into a bar car for the Rio Grande Pacific Corporation. In service on the "Thunder Mountain Line" of the Idaho Northern and Pacific Railway Company.
2014 Built by Pullman Standard in 1955-1956 as LIRR class MP72T electric MU coach 2613. Rebuilt in 1975 by LIRR as class PP72B parlor car 2014. Retired. Acquired by Ken Bitten. Converted by Indian Head Central Railway into oncession car NOGC 2014 MYRTLE GROVE for the Rio Grande Pacific Corporation; used briefly in that service on the New Orleans & Gulf Coast Railway Company. In service on the "Thunder Mountain Line" of the Idaho Northern and Pacific Railway Company.
2015 Built by Pullman Standard in 1955-1956 as LIRR class MP72T electric MU coach 2632. Rebuilt in 1975 by LIRR as class PP72B parlor car 2015. Retired. Acquired by Ken Bitten. Operated as parlor car by Indian Head Central Railway in Maryland. Sold to the East Penn Railroad.
2016 Built by Pullman Standard in 1955-1956 as LIRR class MP72T electric MU coach 2663. Rebuilt in 1975 by LIRR as class PP72B parlor car 2016. Renumbered 2001 in 1989 when it was rebuilt as a "dual mode" parlor car with it's own diesel generator system. See information listed above for parlor car 2001.
2017 Built by Pullman Standard in 1955-1956 as LIRR class MP72T electric MU coach 2670. Rebuilt in 1975 by LIRR as class PP72B parlor car 2017. Retired. Acquired by Ken Bitten. Stored at Indian Head Central Railway in Maryland. Later stored at Culbertson, PA. Believed to have been scrapped circa 2010 due to owner's failure to pay storage charges.
2018 Built by Pullman Standard in 1955-1956 as LIRR class MP72T electric MU coach 2625. Rebuilt in 1975 by LIRR as class PP72B parlor car 2018. Retired. Acquired by Ken Bitten. Operated as parlor car by Indian Head Central Railway in Maryland. Stored at Culbertson, PA. December 2009 reported at Rio Grande Scenic Railroad in Walsenburg CO.
2019 Built by Pullman Standard in 1955-1956 as LIRR class MP72T electric MU coach 2603. Rebuilt in 1975 by LIRR as class PP72B parlor car 2019. Retired. Acquired by Ken Bitten. Operated as parlor car by Indian Head Central Railway in Maryland. Stored at Culbertson, PA. Believed to have been scrapped circa 2010 due to owner's failure to pay storage charges.
2020 Built by Pullman Standard in 1955-1956 as LIRR class MP72T electric MU coach 2629. Rebuilt in 1975 by LIRR as class PP72B parlor car 2020. Retired. Acquired by Ken Bitten. Operated as parlor car by Indian Head Central Railway in Maryland. Stored at Culbertson, PA. November 2013 reported to be part of the Cockaboose Railroad in Columbia, SC. The Cockaboose Railroad is a collection of individually owned cabooses and passenger cars parked adjacent to Williams-Brice Stadium in Columbia SC; the equipment is refurbished for tailgaiting in comfort before, during and after University of South Carolina football games.
2021 Built by Pullman Standard in 1955-1956 as LIRR class MP72T electric MU coach 2624. Rebuilt in 1975 by LIRR as class PP72B parlor car 2021. Retired. Acquired by Ken Bitten. Acquired by International Rail Road Systems, Inc (IRRS) at Cascade, BC, Canada. September 2010: Car is located at Fruitvale, BC, Canada and is being refurbished.

Thanks to Tim Darnell who provided renumbering information from a roster published in Extra 2200 South. Thanks to Jay Eichler for information on 2001 and 2002.

Thanks to Ken Bitten (Classic Rail Cars, Northern Central Railway, and Indian Head Central Railway) for providing disposition information for all of these cars.


Here is a photo of a former LIRR class P72 coach (either 2941 or 2945), renamed HORSESHOE BEND, in service on the Thunder Mountain Line excursion train on the Idaho Northern & Pacific. Tom von Alten has written an article, illustrated with numerous photos, on riding the Thunder Mountain Line. Sunrise Fleet parlor cars 2013 and 2014 are now (2002) on The Thunder Mountain Line.
Photo/scan by Tom von Alten


Updated on 2/20/2014