"Tuscarora Club"
LIRR #2037 Parlor Car

LIRRdinercar.jpg (47452 bytes)
Photo: Ron Ziel

How did the LIRR pick the names for the Parlor Cars? 

They were American Indian names. In addition to the Long Island local names, there were the upstate NY names, which were taken from the six-nation Iroquois Confederacy: Cayuga Club, Mohawk Club, Oneida Club, Onondaga Club, Seneca Club, and Tuscarora Club. Research: David Keller


Tuscarora Club Brief History: 

1911 - Built new for the Lehigh Valley by Pullman as baggage club car LV 1000.
1929 - Rebuilt by the LV to a full club car.
1939 - Rebuilt by the LV in 1939 for assignment to the "John Wilkes"
1953 - Rebuilt by the LV with 24 dining seats and 22 club seats. modernized with streamlined appearance.
1961 - Sold to LIRR, 08/1961. No. 2005 before being reassigned No. 2037, named TUSCARORA CLUB  Note 1.
1964 - Rebuilt to full parlor car in May 1970 Note 3.
1971-2 - Re-designated LIRR 2037 ONTEORA
1972-4 - Retired. Sold to private owner.
1974 - 2008 - Car is part of a restaurant complex in Marietta, GA.
2008 - Oct. 29th - Sold at auction for $423, future plans of  her owners are as yet unknown. Note 4.
2009 - Oct. 16th - The car is scrapped in place, never moved from the restaurant in Marietta, GA.

98 years of memories for Lehigh Valley, LIRR and at least three private owners! Although she was probably never used in 
a POTUS special train, she saw service under 18 Presidents from William H. Taft to Barack H. Obama. 
Comment: John Deasy

Note 1:  

"In August 1961, the LIRR purchased Lehigh Valley # 1000, an arch-roof diner with an aluminum kitchen and a charcoal stove. During the late 1961 summer season, it saw brief service with white-coated waiters on train # 28, "The Weekender." The car was later named TUSCARORA CLUB. Dining car service was upgraded for its inauguration during the 1962 season. Service was offered on Fridays on train # 26, "The East Ender." On Sunday evening, it returned to the city with full-course dinners available. At other times, when the car was in service, evening snacks and continental breakfasts were served."     "The 2 entrees were Fresh Roast Turkey and Fresh Roast Beef with the trimmings."  
"The Route of the Weekend Chief", by Mike Boland, published in the Autumn 1995 issue of The Keystone. 

Note 2: 

"At the end of the 1964 season, dining car service was discontinued. While it was a clever idea, it was an expensive proposition. McNamara went ahead with it because his able assistant, Willie Wilson, oversaw its operation. Unfortunately, it turned out to be more trouble than it was worth; the railroad was not adequately prepared to operate it. Stocking the car with provisions for two dinner runs a week that began over 100 miles apart (Jamaica and Montauk) proved to be too difficult. Still, it lasted for three seasons and the car was used as a 48 seat lounge after its kitchen was closed." 
"The Route of the Weekend Chief", by Mike Boland, published in the Autumn 1995 issue of The Keystone. 

Note 3. 

Kitchen removed when rebuilt to full parlor car in May 1970, using parts from retired 2011 MONTAUK, and redesignated LIRR 2037 ONTEORA (2nd). The new name (ONTEORA) was applied to the car at a later date, sometime between June 1971 and 1972. Retired by LIRR sometime between 1972 and 1974. Sold to private owner. Moved to Marietta GA and made part of a restaurant complex circa 1974. Research: John Deasy

Note 4:

2008 - The owner of the former restaurant needs to sell the car, the city of Marietta told her they want her to get rid of the car, claiming it is "deteriorated, unsightly and detracts from the community." The owner puts out pleas to the railfan community, asking for help in finding it a home, and letting us know the car needs to be sold at auction. 

 LIRR Tuscarora Club Photos
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Tuscarora Club trailing unit inbound.
Photo: 12//07/1963

The photo (left) was on the High Line, which is the freight by-pass for 30th Street Station in Philadelphia, PA. It was also used by Passenger Extras that did not stop at 30th St. Station. The train was headed inbound to the Philadelphia Stadium Yard. The game was usually played the last Saturday in November.  Moved to first Saturday in December a week later in 1963 due to President JFK's assassination.  
Info/Photo: James Gillin 

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Outbound departure Tuscarora Club after the engine runaround switch moves. 12/07/1963 Photo: Dave Keller
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Tuscarora Club at Morris Park 1969
Photo: James Gillin 
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Tuscarora Club-Montauk - 1971
Photo: Dave Keller
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Tuscorara Club on "The Ebb Tide" Patchogue 1969 Photo: Dave Keller
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Tuscarora Club Port Jefferson 1968
Photo: Dave Keller
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Tuscarora Club renamed "Onteora" Greenport, NY 1972
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Tuscarora Club Train #4 MTA Scheme Patchogue 06/1971 Photo: Dave Keller
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Tuscarora Club Train #4 MTA scheme Patchogue 06/1971 Photo: Dave Keller
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TUSCARORA CLUB laying over atMontauk Yard one afternoon summer 1967
Photo: Edward Frye, Sr.
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It is Saturday, November 28th, 1964 and TUSCARORA CLUB is in the consist of a PRR special train to the Army-Navy football game at Philadelphia. ( Bob Coolidge - Jack Deasy)

lirrP2037-Babylon.jpg (42989 bytes)
TUSCARORA CLUB at Babylon. The car is accompanying SETAUKET and locomotive 1560 on a special train with a "Mets Hot Streak Express" banner on the front of the locomotive. This photo may have been taken in 1969, the year the Mets won their first World Series. Info: Jack Deasy
Photo: Steve Hoskins
Scan/Edit: Steve Lynch


LIRR7738_6-25-1972_Bethpage.jpg.jpg (126217 bytes)
The train is westbound as the baggage car was the lead car on the eastbound run, followed by a parlor. 6/25/72
Archive: Edward Frye, Sr.

This MAY be the return run of eastbound Montauk train #4 (photo left) which I believe was #9. It headed east thru Patchogue somewhere around 9:30 am with a baggage car and parlor.

If this is the Montauk train, it's taking the Central branch west.

#204 went east to Greenport in the morning with a baggage car but had no parlor. It returned as #211. 
Info: Dave Keller


The car was rebuilt in 1970 or early 1971 and renamed "Onteora" sometime afterward.   An official LIRR 1971 parlor car fleet listing in my archive indicates the car renamed as "Onteora," yet photographic evidence from June, 1971 shows the car in MTA colors but still named "Tuscarora Club."  Additional photographic evidence from the Summer of 1972 shows the car finally renamed "Onteora" so the renaming had to have been effected sometime after June, 1971 but not too far after, as the renamed car is indicated as such on the 1971 parlor fleet listing for Summer service.  Official LIRR 1971 material: Dave Keller archive.  Input:  Dave Keller

This renaming of TUSCARORA CLUB as ONTEORA took  The name change (and the new paint scheme) occurred sometime between June 1971 and June 1972 Info: Jack Deasy

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TUSCARORA CLUB as part of the American Flyer Cafe, alongside the CSX mainline in downtown Marietta GA in 1993.
Photo/scan by Martin K. O'Toole
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January 2003 finds TUSCARORA CLUB still parked on isolated track alongside the CSX mainline in downtown Marietta, GA. The car was part of a restaurant complex. It's time for a paint job. Photo/scan by Martin K. O'Toole
2037TuscaroraClub_01.jpg (56311 bytes)
January 2003 finds TUSCARORA CLUB still parked on isolated track alongside the CSX mainline in downtown Marietta, GA. The car was part of a restaurant complex. It's time for a paint job. Photo/scan by Martin K. O'Toole

Tuscarora Club 2037 heavy-weight dining car 
· Approximately 80' long and 9' to 10' wide 
· Originally built in 1917; wheel stamp March 1917 
· Rebuilt in 1953 by Lehigh Valley as 48-seat dining car 
· Acquired by Long Island Rail Road in August 1961 
· Briefly numbered 2005 before being assigned number LIRR2037 
· Removed from service in 1964 
· Car has been side tracked since early 1970s 
· For more information on the history and noteworthy reference in publications, see this document. 
· Small kitchen in rear of car with original coal-burning oven; coal still in oven from last use 
· Modernized with central air ducts and electric baseboard heating 
· Extensive baseboard electrical outlets 
· Hyatt M-3383 stamp on wheel 
· No restroom 
· Previously used as a dining room for restaurant with kitchen in adjacent building 
· Last owner's ancestors brought the rail line to Marietta in the 1800s 
· Car is side-tracked adjacent to the Marietta Depot Building circa 1899 
· No restaurant or kitchen equipment is included 
· Needs restoration 
· Sits on CSX railroad right-of-way with active CSX track approximately 20ft. away 
No real estate is included in this sale, only the train car and contents as listed above Marietta, GA

Condition = 3 Sold as pictured, item has not been tested. We have made no attempt to evaluate this merchandise other than picturing it.

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Auction closed Wednesday, October 29, 2008 for  $425.00
car is located at  31 Mill Street, Marietta, GA
sold to "Tusacarora Girl". Photo: Laura Moon

"Tusacarora Girl" says the Genessee Valley Transportation Company, owner/operator of several shortlines in New York and Pennsylvania, have purchased the former LIRR 2037 ONTEORA (previously named TUSCARORA CLUB) from her.

Congratulations to the folks at GVT for saving a 98 year old modernized heavyweight passenger car with a long record of service on LV and then LIRR, 1911 thru 1974!
Info: John Deasy  01/15/2009

Published: 07/30/2009
The Pullman railcar remains next to the railroad tracks off of the Marietta Square. Upon CSX approval, the railcar will be demolished by Atlanta-based Winter Environmental.
Photo by Laura Moon  Update: John Deasy  08/21/2009

Update: John Deasy  08/21/2009 
It appears that the former LIRR 2038 TUSCARORA CLUB, later ONTEORA, "stuffed & mounted" in Marietta GA since the mid 1970s, has come to the end of the line after 98 years. The new owner, a professional railroader, had it inspected and determined the car is beyond economic relocation and repair, so he has called a scrapper to cut up the car and dispose of the pieces, since no one has come forward to say "I want it ... and all the complex legal liabilities that come with it."  

 Tuscarora Club at Jack Deasy's LIRR Parlor Cars Website

Railcar Owner Hires Demolition Firm

Published: 07/30/2009

By Jon Gillooly

MARIETTA - The owner of the 1917 Pullman railcar on Marietta Square has hired a firm to demolish the car, city officials said.

Brian Binzer, the city's development services director, said the owner is waiting on approval from CSX before moving forward with the demolition because the railcar is on CSX right of way. Once approval is granted, demolition by Winter Environmental of Atlanta should take about two weeks, Binzer said.

The demolition plan is to cut the railcar up with power saws or a torch and deposit the pieces into dumpsters, according to documents submitted to the city by Tim Egan, vice president of Winter Environmental.

CSX representatives in Jacksonville, Fla., could not say how long an approval might take.

The city cited railcar owner Michael Thomas of Genesee Valley Transportation based in Batavia, N.Y., with a code violation May 29 for failing to repair or remove the railcar as ordered. But unlike the railcar's previous owner, no fines have been handed down yet from Marietta Municipal Court, Binzer said.

"Because the owner has been taking appropriate actions to resolve the situation, the court has been working with the owner to bring the property into compliance. The owner has been cooperative and presently continues to comply with what is needed, including just recently making the application to CSX. Code enforcement and the courts will continue to monitor the situation to ensure the owner takes the necessary actions to stay on course, Binzer said.

The city went through the same process with the railcar's previous owner, Dr. Arva Lumpkin-White, a dentist with the Vinings Center for Dentistry, last year.

The railcar was brought to the city in the 1970s and used as a dining room for the former Depot Restaurant, at 31 Mill St., for years. Lumpkin-White bought the property, which included the railcar, in 1991.

After Councilman Van Pearlberg complained about the state of the railcar last summer, the city pressured Lumpkin-White to repair the car. On Nov. 19, Lumpkin-White pleaded no contest to violating city property maintenance code and was fined $1,000 in Marietta Municipal Court with a suspended jail sentence for failing to repair the car.

Lumpkin-White sold the car to Thomas for $425 via an Internet auction in October.  Update: John Deasy  08/21/2009

Pullman Rail Car in Marietta Square Destroyed

Monday, October 19, 2009 By Marietta.com 

The historic 1917 Pullman rail car that has been a part of the Marietta Square for almost 40 years is now being dismantled. The railcar sat adjacent to the Marietta Welcome Center and, according to the City of Marietta, became “both a safety hazard and an eye sore.”

The rail car’s current owner, Michael Thomas, purchased the car last year and had plans to move it to New York. Those plans changed after his mechanic looked at the nearly century old railcar. “Based on his report, the car superstructure is rusted and while it was perfectly OK for a static display the cost to get the car to operational condition would have been prohibitive,” Thomas wrote. He then offered the car to the city, asking “Would the city of Marietta be willing to take the car? Do you want it? I would consider donating it with say $2,500 to spruce it up. If not the car will have to be scrapped.”  

Fan Trip 09/30/1962 to Montauk

This car was on a fan trip 09/30/1962 to Montauk. The consist was - FM #2404, heavyweight parlors: "Tuscarora Club", "Manhasset", "Commack" and Observation car "Jamaica". 
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LIRR  #2000 Observation "Jamaica" Wantagh 12/04/2007
Photo: Al Castelli


The buffet style meal included Lobster Newburg. There were photo stops at Shinnecock Canal bridge and Easthampton. A photo of the trip is on the cover of the book: "MBI RR color History LIRR" by Stan Fischler Voyageur Press (June 15, 2007)  Info: Jim Gillin

The Tuscarora Club by Edward Frye

     I first became aware of the Tuscarora Club when I purchased a hardbound edition of "Steel Rails to the Sunrise" at a fabulous store (long gone) in East Meadow, Lee’s Hobbies, courtesy of my late Father, Edward Frye, Sr.  From the moment I opened the book (which I still have, incidentally), I was intrigued by the photo of Tuscarora’s interior, illustrating Willie Wilson standing beside the LIRR’s seated President.  Shortly thereafter – in the summer of 1967 – my Dad drove me to Montauk one Sunday afternoon for my first visit there, to see the heavyweight parlors which he so often spoke of.  Lo and behold – and much to my amazement – there stood the Tuscarora Club, which I had always wondered about, but never saw in the few parlor-car trains that ran through our home town of Massapequa Park on rare weekend occasions.  I was absolutely thrilled…  

     With his standard 35mm camera in hand (loaded with Kodachrome print film…that’s right…print film, not for transparencies), he took numerous pictures for me, two of which follow:

     The next photo is of the "Ebb Tide", taken that same afternoon prior to its westbound departure from Montauk station.  Tucked behind Number 215 is one of the railroad’s open platform observation cars.  Off in the distance, you can just see a small truck loading provisions aboard another parlor car.   

      These are two napkins that I picked up off the ground alongside Tuscarora Club when my Dad and I were in Montauk taking the photographs above.  I’ve kept these ever since that day in 1967, and – remarkably – they’ve fared very well over all this time.  Last year, to better preserve them, I've mounted the napkins in a special “see-through” frame that consists of two glass panes.  I took a chance and scanned them as framed…the result was better than I anticipated!  
Edward Frye 09/28/2009


     This was a day absolutely filled with wonderment; later – in the early evening – we were dining in Baldwin at another Long Island icon (Raynor’s Cabin, on Sunrise Highway), when I looked out the window at the right moment and saw the westbound Ebb Tide my Dad photographed earlier roll by the elevated station there.  For many years afterwards, I returned to Montauk to view and photograph the parlors; my “specialty”, of sorts, became the lightweight former Pullmans that replaced the classic heavyweight cars…during the final year-or-two of the lightweight cars (and upon their actual retirement), I spent many weekends during the winter months, photographing (in detail) the numerous cars that were stored there prior to being sold and/or dismantled.  Edward Frye August 25, 2009  

LIRR Breakfast "Tent" menu card Dashing Dan 1959-68 used in bar, diner, and parlor car service. Courtesy: Edward Frye

LIRR Weekend Chief  TUSCARORA Club Dinner menu 1962-65 Archive: Mike Boland