#200 is the world’s first all aluminum double decker passenger car. It was built in 1932 as a joint project between the Pennsylvania Railroad and the Aluminum Company of America (ALCOA).

The Long Island Rail Road was always looking to increase their passenger capacity. At the time #200 was built, the solution was to build a coach with the floor mounted half way up the side of the car. On either side of the car, there are two facing bench seats which are elevated. Between these pairs of elevated seats there are another pair of seats that are located in a step down. Every seating area on the coach has a double window, so every passenger has a view. #200 had seating for 120 passengers. The following fleet of double-decked cars, after incorporating modifications, could hold 132 passengers.

Being a prototype, #200 was not equipped with control stands or traction motors. This car was designated as class T-62 when in service for the LIRR.

Car #200 is on display within the restoration site in Riverhead.

Overall, the aluminum body and interior are in outstanding condition.  A small amount of galvanic rot at the end sills is due to be restored with new aluminum sheet.  Since #200 is made of aluminum, restoration of the car surfaces is very tedious work. Paint stripping cannot be done using conventional methods such as sandblasting and wire wheels. The Museum received a grant from the National Railway Historical Society (NRHS) for the stripping of the old paint. This award was matched by one of our members, enabling us to hire a contractor to remove the old paint.

The paint removal was done using ground up walnut shells, such that the body of the car was not damaged, since sand and other harsh materials normally used for paint stripping can ruin the delicate aluminum skin on the car.  The entire car was painted with fresh primer and the proper Tuscan Red paint.  Unfortunately, the paint application was compromised due to compatibility issues between the primer and finish coating.  New wood window inserts were fabricated and installed in 2017 and research is underway to correct the exterior finish.  The FRA glazing is stored safely inside the car and the interior surfaces are complete and ready for restoration.


Little known fact:
After an absence of 18 years, the LIRR reverted back to using double decker “bi-level” passenger cars in its’ diesel hauled train fleet in 1990. These cars allow for additional seating capacity and better ADA compliance versus the single level cars such as 2924