Bingham Passenger Cars

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This page last updated on November 22, 2023.

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Steve Swanson wrote in an email dated August 24, 2017:

Studying the Business Cars of the Guggenheim executives is a subject all its own. When Soloman Guggenheim retired as president of the Nevada Northern in 1935, his car NN 100 was sold to the DL&W. That car's home was Hackensack, New Jersey, I think and there is some doubt it ever graced the NN's rails. I imagine MacNeill's car home port was in that same area. Jackling had two different cars, the second built in 1914 as I remember. It was sold to the Nevada Northern in 1935, ownership was 40% NN, 40% B&G and 20% R&GV. Jackling always made his annual visit to McGill behind the Nevada Northern passenger train until after the passenger service was discontinued. He came in 10/41 on a special train but went out on the end of the mainline local freight.

The first 100 bought in 1906, second hand by the New York Office and became the 101 in 1916 and the first 101 was sold to the Copper River And Northwestern , then the "Ely" 2nd 101 was sold in 1947 to the GM&O. Jackling's car was sold to US Army and became a mortuary car. The Bingham, the "ELY" and Guggenheims 100 still exist.

B&G 100

Wooden Coach-Observation -- 51 feet length

Bingham & Garfield 100 was purchased by B&G secondhand in April 1911 from Central Car & Locomotive Company of Chicago, the reorganized F. M. Hicks Locomotive and Car Works that had operated at the same site in Chicago from 1897-1911. Prior to more complete information becoming available, the B&G 100 was rumored to be from one of the Rio Grande Western subsidiaries in Utah. Other rumors are that it had coming from the Copper River & Northwestern Railroad in Alaska, a subsidiary of Kennecott Copper.

The information about the purchase of B&G 100 comes from the railroad's own folio diagram sheet.

(View the folio diagram sheet for B&G 100)

Bingham & Garfield operated its first ore trains between the Bingham mine and the mill at Magna in September 1911. B&G 100 was used to provide passenger service between the two points. All B&G equipment was sold to Utah Copper in September 1920 and all passenger service ended in December 1921.

With the end of passenger service on B&G in 1921, the car was used by officials of Utah Copper for trips on the Bingham & Garfield railroad main line from Bingham Canyon to Magna. At some point (possibly in 1941) the car was transferred to Utah Copper's Department of Mines and used to transport shovel and train crews to and from their work sites in the Bingham open pit mine. During this time working in the Bingham open pit mine, the original Pullman passenger trucks were changed to freight car trucks, the same type used on the company's ore cars. The car's oil lights were replaced with electric lights, drawing low-voltage electric power from the adjacent electric locomotive.

Kennecott Copper, as the successor to Utah Copper, used the car until it was donated to the Sons of the Utah Pioneers and the car was displayed in Salt Lake City for a short time. In May 1962 the car was moved to the Corinne Railroad Village Museum in time for the museum's seasonal opening on May 9th. In 1981 all of the Corinne museum collection was moved to Heber City, Utah, as a part of the Heber Creeper railroad. At some time between 1983 and 1985, Deer Creek Scenic Railroad (operator of the Heber Creeper Railroad from 1983 to 1985) restored the car for use in the movie "Red Fury," which was released in 1984. The car was equipped with a Baker heater to warm the interior, and the heater has been retained throughout the car's history.

The car was displayed in Heber City from 1981 to October 1993, when it was sold to a private party in San Diego and moved by truck to La Mesa, California, to be restored. A site for restoration could not be found and the car was loaded on a railroad flat car and was moved to the San Diego & Imperial Valley rail yard in downtown San Diego. After about six months, there were problems with homeless people and the car was moved to the Pacific Southwest Railway Museum, Campo, California, and unloaded from the flat car, and stored on the ground without truck assemblies. PSRM offered the car to other museums beginning in July 2004.

B&G 100 was sold by the PSRM group in winter 2004 to Sumpter Valley Railway, Baker, Oregon, and was moved in April 2005 to Baker, Oregon. Upon arrival at Baker, there were numerous reports concerning the good condition of the car, especially the interior. In service as SVRY 100 "Leviathan." (Narrow Gauge Discussion Forum, April 10-18, 2005)

Jeff Terry wrote in an email in August 2012:

As to what we always used to call "The Kennecott Car," I was director of the now-defunct "Railroad Village Museum" in Corinne --- when I was seventeen. One of the pieces of rolling stock at the museum was a car which had been donated by Kennecott: business car No. 100. It was said to have been Daniel Jackling's personal car, used at the mine and elsewhere. It is a wooden car, with nice clerestory windows. There was a seating section, and an office section, and an observation platform. I did some scraping, and on the coved ceiling, underneath later paint, was some nice gold-leaf stenciling. After I left, and when the museum was disbanded, the car went here and there, and from the photographs, fell on hard times. It was Sam Bass who told me that it had finally been acquired by the Sumpter Valley narrow gauge railroad in Oregon (a haven for old Utah equipment). At Sumpter, it has been restored, and re-wheeled for narrow gauge. With the new trucks, it is now a very large car for a narrow-gauge railroad, it is named Leviathan.

B&G 101-105

The ICC 1916 inventory lists #100 as a named car "Bingham, and two pass. cars 101-102 less than 50 ft.  The 1/1919 ORER list the B&G having passenger cars 102-105 all under 50ft.  If like in Nevada, old or surplus cars were sold to the copper company as crummys for use on shift trains, maybe that is were the 101 went?  The 1/22 Official Register list only the 105 with the 104 listed as a kitchen and bunk car 104 in work service.  The last listing I could find for the 105 was in the 9/1926 Register and for the Kitchen and Bunk 104 was in 1/1928. (Steve Swanson, email dated August 24, 2017)

Mine Gang Cars

In the earliest days of the open pit mine, the men who worked on the track gangs and shovel crews were on their own to get to their assigned job locations on the levels of the mine. Early photos show some amazing networks of stairs that accessed the various mine levels. As the mine grew larger and larger, Utah Copper acquired a few second-hand passenger cars that had been retired from local railroads, and provided transportation services to these same employees. Early photos also suggest that Utah Copper also converted some of its own obsolete and retired cars for use as gang cars.

As the mine continued to expand, increasing the distances between shift change sites and actual work sites, Utah Copper began operating larger gang cars that allowed more employees to be moved in each movement, dropping off and picking up employees as the train moved along and between the mine levels.

Photos taken by Steve Swanson in 1966 show several gang cars, including two wooden cars numbered as 2 and 5. Photos from Gordon Bodily show that Utah Copper 06 (later 6) had details and appearance almost identical to gang car 5, with gang car 6 being assigned to pay car service, delivering pay checks to employees throughout the mine complex.

Another car, apparently not numbered, appears to have been converted from a flat car. It was equipped with an enclosed body for half its length, and had an open area on the other half. The cars is shown on numerous photos serving as a location where safety training took place, and had a variety of safety slogans painted on the body-half over its life span.

Utah Copper 9 -- In 1945, Utah Copper bought a retired passenger car from Nevada Northern, where it had been numbered as NNRy 63, and later as Kennecott 03. The car, 48 feet, 6 inches long, had been built for the Minneapolis, St. Paul, Rochester & Dubuque Electric Traction Company (Dan Patch Line), as that railroad's coach number 30, and was purchased by the NNRy in April 1917, along with two cars that became NNRy 64 and 65. NNRy 63 was rebuilt into a combination passenger and baggage car upon its arrival in Nevada, where it was used as a commuter car between East Ely and the McGill smelter, and the copper mines at Ruth. In Utah, it was numbered as Utah Copper number 9. By 1966, when Steve Swanson took a photo of the car, it had been retired and was sitting in a dead line. The car remained in the Bingham dead line as late as October 1977.

Kennecott 10 and 11 -- In 1946, Kennecott bought two interurban trailer cars from Salt Lake & Utah after that road was abandoned in June 1946. The cars were Salt Lake & Utah 701 and 702. While records do not indicate which Kennecott numbers were applied to SL&U 701 and 702, photos show that they were numbered as 10 and 11, with their length and types of truck assemblies being the best indicators. Later, Kennecott 11 was extensively modified, while a photo in 1966 shows number 10 as still retaining its wooden construction.

(SL&U operated four passenger trailers: coaches 701 and 702, and coach-observation 751 and 752. These cars were constructed in 1916 by Niles and conformed generally in appearance and construction details to SL&U's Niles passenger motors. SL&U 751 was sold to the Bay Area Electric Railroad Association in 1949 which has used it on excursions, running out of Oakland, then was moved to the group's museum site at Rio Vista Junction, California. SL&U 752 became a restaurant at Cedar City.)

(View a photo of an unmodified Kennecott 11 in 1946; photo from Steve Swanson)

(View a photo of Kennecott 11 after being rebuilt; photo from Steve Swanson)

Private Cars


D. C. Jackling had worked for the MacNeill, Penrose, Tutt properties in Cripple Creek on a couple of occasions. Naturally, when Jackling sought financial aid for his Bingham properties, the people from Colorado Springs became his investors and with the 1904 formation of the Utah Copper Co., Charles M. MacNeill became president and with the start of the B&G Ry., again MacNeill was President.

The 1916 ICC inventory list a Business Car "Mather" as owned 50% by the B&G and 50% by Charles MacNeill. Mather was MacNeill's middle name and car built new by Pullman in 1911, the startup year for the B&G.

Charles MacNeill was president of the Utah Copper Co. and the B&G Ry until his untimely death in March 1923, he was only 55, died of pnuemonia after only 2 days illness. I would guess we could find out what happen to his car after its probable sale. (Steve Swanson, email dated August 24, 2017)

Cyprus (1st)

Wood with steel underframe.

Cyprus (1st) was built July 1909 by Pullman Car Manufacturing Company (Lot 3701), named "Cyprus," with the reporting mark DCJ 100, for Daniel C. Jackling, president of Utah Copper Company. The car was built using Pullman plan 2429. (Early Pullman Freight and Passenger Car Production, by Eric A. Neubauer, 2010)

The following comes from Craig Brinkman, via an email to the Yahoo Passenger Car List dated February 24, 2012:

Jackling made his fortune processing copper ore through his partial ownership on the Utah Copper Company. He ordered and used the 1st "Cyprus" from 1909 to 1915. In 1920, the 1st "Cyprus" was sold to Julius Fleischmann and renamed "Middleneck." In 1913, Jackling ordered and subsequently took delivery of the 2nd "Cyprus" (Pullman Plan 2807, Lot 4241) on 9 October 2014 and used that car for more than three decades.

After Fleischmann's death (February 5, 1925), "Middleneck" was sold by the Fleischmann Transportation Co. to the Pittsburgh & West Virginia Railway as office car No. 200, "Hopedale," and on their roster through the 1950s.

In the mid-1960s, "Hopedale" was sold and became part of the "Essex House" Restaurant, in West Orange, New Jersey, providing dining service. Cyprus (1st) is a classic turn-of-the-century car with arched leaded glass windows and a beautiful inlaid wood interior.

The following comes from Dave Briggs, via an email to the Yahoo Passenger Car List, dated November 1, 2002:

Fleischmann was not the original owner; he likely replaced this car with the one in the Car Builders Cyclopedia. Here's the entire history of the car at West Orange:

Essex House used it as a private dining room originally named CYPRUS. Previously the establishment was named Rod's 1890 Steak House and the car had the same name. I suspect that as a restaurant car the interior was probably gutted to the outside walls and stuffed with dining tables. It was retired from railroad service in 1967 as C&IM business car #1, and its prior railroad history was ex (1928) P&WV 200-HOPEDALE, ex (1925) Julius Fleischmann MIDDLENECK, rebuilt (1920) by Hotchkiss Blue & Co. from Charles McNeill's MATHER, originally (date unkown) Daniel Jackllng CYPRUS; built by Pullman 1909, Plan 2429, Lot 3701.

Cyprus (2nd)

Built by Pullman (plan 2807, lot 4241). Consigned to Daniel C. Jackling, dated October 9, 1913. Builders' photos dated April 30, 1914.

Daniel Jackling bought this car new through one of the Guggenheim companies. Cyprus (2nd) had steam heat and stoves, electric lights and gas lamps.

On the letterboard near the door end of the car it had the initials R&GV designating the Ray & Gila Valley Railroad in southern Arizona belonging to the Ray Consolidated Copper Co. (another KCC company). The letterboard near the platform end of the car had B&G designating Utah Copper's Bingham & Garfield Railway. "Nevada Northern" was centered on the nameplate.

Purchased by the Nevada Northern in December 1935 and owned jointly by NN (40%), Bingham & Garfield Ry. (40%), and Ray & Gila Valley RR (20%). Used as Jackling's private car from his home base in San Francisco. Jackling was president of all three railroads in 1935.

(View a photo of Cyprus (2nd), taken by Utah Copper)

(Daniel C. Jackling retired as president of Utah Copper at the end of 1942, at age 73, having outlasted his rival, Stephen Birch.)

Sold to the U.S. Army for $29,500.00 in April 1943 for use as a "hospital car". It was stripped at East Ely.

It was one of 38 existing cars converted to ward-dressing cars during World War II for domestic service. American Car & Foundry accomplished the conversion of the former 2nd Cyprus into ward-dressing car USA 89033 at their St. Charles, Missouri facilities. It was scheduled for delivery to the Army on December 3, 1943 and for subsequent shipment to the New York Port of Embarkation. Official Army record indicate an additional $24,462 was spent on the conversion plus $4,581.65 to add a kitchenette for a total cost of $58,543.65. It was further modified (again by ACF) later in the war by removing two tiers of bunks for the installation of a buffet kitchen.

In 1946 all of the converted ward cars and ward-dressing cars were completely gutted and refitted to serve as mortuary cars. Windows were covered with sheet steel, special locks installed in all doors, and all were fit with racks for caskets and a full-length overhead I-beam with a rolling chain hoist.

USA 89033 was one of 26 former ward-dressing cars still on the Army roster in the mortuary configuration and available for service in 1950 at the outbreak of the Korean War. That is the last definite information available on the former 2nd Cyprus.

In its mortuary configuration the interior was gutted and it had racks for holding coffins along with an "I" beam running the length of the ceiling and equipped with a chain hoist to facilitate the movement of the coffins from dollies to the racks. The windows were also plated over at this time. (Jim Murrie, email to Passenger car List dated January 15, 2012)

A few of these cars were used on various military posts for local purposes, including the Army Transportation Center (Ft. Eustis, Virginia) and the Crane Naval Weapons Station (Crane, Indiana). Most have been sold and cut up for scrap. But there is always a chance it is sitting on a forgotten siding on some Army post.