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Postcard Photo Collection


Alaska Railroad

Ex San Diego, Cuyamaca & Eastern Railroad “Cuyamaca” being used on the Alaska Railroad as a Combine Car #83. Photo taken between 1935 and 1945.

Ann Arbor Railroad

Ann Arbor #1 was built in May of 1911, builders number 109. It weighed roughly 35 tons, it was 70′ long, and could haul 83 passengers. It was custom ordered and built with arched windows long after round windows became the standard. Few other roads requested arched windows, one being the Chicago Great Western having bought three with arched windows, and in 1928 turned all three into a streamed train, 6 years before UP’s M-10000.
This car was converted to Kerosene in 1915, the engine would start on gas and once warm was switched over to kerosene. A.A.R.R. #1 and her sisters #2,#3, #4, and #5 were out of service by 1931. This photo was taken in Ossowo, Michigan.
Ann Arbor McKeen Car #3 at Elsie, Michigan. Postcard incorrectly identified this as an Electric Car, when it was a Gas Mechanical Motor Car.
Ann Arbor McKeen Car, unknown number, that is likely on her inaugural run wearing white flags for a special run. The 5 cars were finished at that factory in May, June, July, and August of 1911, and were sent to the Ann Arbor to complete their order of 70 foot Motor Cars, all order custom with arched windows instead of regular round windows.
This car is shown hauling what looks like a regular day coach with closed vestibules. The McKeen Car was only comfortable hauling up to 15 tons as that is the weight of a McKeen Trailer Car. Mr. McKeen did not suggest anything this heavy could be hauled by the Motor Car so I’m curious how their excursion went.
Ann Arbor McKeen Motor Car #4 had a parabolic nose, as opposed to the pointed nose, and they also had factory square windows, odd for a McKeen Car built after 1908.

Arizona Eastern Railway

Here’s a rare Postcard of Arizona Eastern Railroad McKeen Car #3, a 70′ motor car with room for 80 passengers. It was builder’s number 088 and was built in January of 1911. It was laid aside in August of 1929, and scrapped August 30th of 1930.
Here the car is in Miami, Arizona, a small mining town that still exists.


Bellingham Bay & British Columbia Railroad

“Kulshan” Motor Car on the Bellingham Bay and British Columbia Railroad, in Bellingham, Washington. Around the 1920’s, this car would be sold to the railroad commonly known as the Milwaukee Road (The Chicago, Minneapolis, St. Paul and Pacific Railroad) and became car #5908.
Here is a neat photo I picked up of Sumas, Washington, a Town right on the border with Canada. Seen at the train station is the “Kulshan” Motor Car owned by the Bellingham Bay and British Columbia Railroad. It is grainy zoomed in, but this is a real photo so you can zoom in pretty far to catch a few small details.
The “Kulshan” was builder’s number 053, built in February of 1909, weighed 40 Tons, was 70′ long, and could haul 64 passengers. The B.B.&B.C. was sold to the Bellingham and Northern Railway in 1912, and then the Chicago Milwaukee & St. Paul Railroad (The Milwaukee Road) in 1918.

Buffalo, Rochester & Pittsburgh Railway

Buffalo Rochester and Pittsburgh Railway McKeen Car #1001, unofficially named the “Rocket.” It was built in May of 1910, and was builder’s number 090. It weighed 37.5 Tons, and could haul 84 passengers. It was sold to the Deer River Railroad in 1917 and then sold to the Narragansett Pier in 1921 and became #8. It was scrapped about 1930.
If anyone has any more information on the Deer River Railroad, I would greatly appreciate it. I found out they were only around for one year, incorporated in August of 1917, and took over the Carthage and Copenhagen Railroad.


Central New York & Southern Railroad

Charles City Western

Chicago & North Western

Chicago & North Western McKeen Motor Car #1. This is a nice clean view of the car on what looks like it’s inaugural run. I don’t think they used this car for very long, as there’s not many photos of this car in service. This car is basically the same exact car as the Cuyamaca, all major features are correct, the only thing that’s different is the lettering and how the intake for the ventilation system has a special port under it to hold it up level, rather than laying on the curvature of the roof.

Chicago Great Western

Here is a postcard I received today, an R.P.P.C. (Real Photo Postcard) of Chicago Great Western #1002 that later became the power unit on the Bluebird Train set in 1928. This motor car still exists in a different appearance than in this photo, at the Nevada State Railroad Museum in Carson City. This postcard also shows the McKeen Trailer Car #1025 on the CGW, and this photo was taken in Rochester, Minn, around 1908.
Chicago Great Western McKeen Car #1001, which was scrapped in 1941, while her sister the #1000, survives to this day at the N.S.R.M. This photo was taken very early on before the railroad did any heavy modification in 1924 and 1928. Also, judging by the two letters “EY” on the station board, I believe this photo was taken at the station in Meservey, Iowa.

Chicago Rock Island & Pacific

Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific McKeen Car #9023, at Reinbeck, Iowa. The car was the 82nd car build by McKeen in 1910. The Doodlebug was a 40 ton, 70′ Baggage/Passenger motor car, with room for 62 Passengers, one being the conductor. In May of 1925, E.M.C. rebuilt the car with a Winton 275H.P. engine and Brill motor truck, and was later scraped in 1937.


Denver, Laramie & Northwestern Railroad

The Denver, Laramie & Northwestern Railroad McKeen Car “Denver” was built in 1910 as Builder’s Number 089. This car was also numbered “M-2” and was used on the railroad. The car would then be used on the Great Western Railway of Colorado, and then sold to the Union Pacific, and would be scrapped in December of 1944.


Erie Railroad

Here is a recent addition to the collection, Erie Railroad McKeen Car #4002. Builders number 43, built in August 1909, was 70′ long and could comfortably haul 64 passengers. The car was retired in 1922.


Hocking-Sunday Creek Traction Company

Here is a postcard I bought of the Hocking and Sunday Creek Motor Car #1 (possibly #11) which was Builder’s Number 077, completed in February of 1910, the Railroad boasted that the car was “the first of it’s kind and the finest and most costly in the State {Ohio.}” The car was 55′ long, and could haul about 75 Passengers, and was scrapped a few years after arriving at the railroad.
Here you see executives from the railroad taking their photo with their new purchase.
1. Col. Chas. Tutt, Promoter and General Manager.
2. E. B. Young, President.
3. J. Gaston Coe, Treasurer.
4. M. A. Kreig, Auditor.
5. Chas Vorhes, Secretary.
6. W. H. Badger, Director and Chief Engineer.
7. E. E. Shafer, Director.
8. L. H. Price, Director.
9. Mr. Jumper, Master Mechanic
10. Jas. S. Beard, Motorman
11. C. Sager, Car Demonstrator from the McKeen Motor Car Co.

Houston & Texas Central

Houston and Texas Central McKeen Motor Car #1003, Builder’s Number 140, built around 1913. The car was a parabolic nose 70′ motor car that weighed 68,000 pounds. It was sold to the Texas and New Orleans Railroad at some point, and was later scrapped in October of 1929.
The Postcard is in Amazing Condition for being as old as it is, the saturation and other factors in the scan are untouched, the postcard is like brand new.


Los Angeles & San Diego Beach Railway

Lakeside & Marblehead

These two photos of the Lakeside and Marblehead #5 McKeen Motor Car are quite nice photos. The prints themselves are only about 4 inches wide but they are sharp images. The interior view is the beautifully rare view, and shows details like the builder’s artwork above the doorway, as well as the electric lamps, trim work, and the mirrors.
See notes above. Interior shows wonderful details of the Electric Lamps, Ventilators, Mirrors, and the builder’s sign above the doorway.


Illinois Central Railroad


Jamestown Chautauqua and Lake Erie Railway

Here’s a photo of a Conductor on the Jamestown Chautauqua and Lake Erie Railway. Builders Number 114 was built in 1911 as a 55′, 30 ton Motor car and is reported to have been sold to a railroad in Missouri.


Minneapolis & Northern Railway


North Coast Railroad

Here is a postcard of North Coast A1 being used on Yakima Valley line. The car was builder’s number 068, was built in July of 1910, weighed about 33 tons, was 55′ long, and could haul 56 passengers. The original cost of the car was $19,947, and was later sold to the Oregon-Washington Railway & Navigation Company to become #603, then later M-79. The car was scrapped in September of 1934.

Northern Pacific Railroad

Northern Pacific’s A-1 was built in 1909, and is 039 on the builder’s list. The car weighted 30 tons, could haul 40 passengers reportedly (My calculation with 3 people per 47 bench estimates 54.) The Northern Pacific Car has a GREAT History write up in Fall 2012 Magazine “The Mainstreeter” which talks about the general history of the Northern Pacific Railroad. The write up is 9 pages long, far more complete of a history than I could write up.

Norfolk Southern Railroad


Oregon Railroad & Navigation Company

I recently acquired this photo of Oregon Railroad and Navigation Company #1 at Winona, Washington. It took some research and quests through facebook groups, but once someone was able to read “Winona” on the building, I was able to find out it was the Winona Hotel and that the tracks there still exist.

Oregon Washington Railroad & Navigation Company

Often times photos I purchase are bent, faded, have watermarks, or other such damage. Here is a before and after of a photo of the Oregon Railroad and Navigation Company car #604, ex. #3. The car was a 70′, 37 ton, 44 Passenger motor car with baggage section. It was later renumbered M-80, and was scrapped in June of 1936. This was one of a few cars that were ordered with a parabolic nose, in place of a Knife-Edge nose.


Pennsyvania Railroad

Many people think that the McKeen Cars were only a thing west of the Mississippi River, however, a few railroads back on the east coast did purchase McKeen Cars, including the Pennsylvania Railroad. Builders #58, built in 1910 for the P.R.R., #4701 was a 34 ton, 70′ motor car with a capacity of 83 passengers, along with room for baggage. It is believed this car was scrapped in January of 1920, but may have been sold to the Illinois Railroad to become #112

Pennsyvania Railroad


St. Joseph & Grand Island Railroad

St. Joseph & Grand Island McKeen Car #111. At a price of $21,622.84, a 70′, 40 ton, 67 passenger, baggage-smoker-family motor car was built in October 1910, and scrapped in December of 1944 after being considered worn out. The car likely put on many miles over the years, a McKeen Car purchased in 1910 and removed from the rails in 1945 ran a total of 539,282 Miles on the same McKeen built engine. That same McKeen Car is now restored at the Nevada State Railroad Museum, the Virginia & Truckee #22.

San Diego, Cuyamaca & Eastern Railway

Salem, Falls City & Western Railroad

Santa Fe Railroad

Here is a photo of Santa Fe M-101, Builders Number 041, built in February of 1909. The car weighed about 32 tons, was 55′ long, and could haul 75 Passengers. The car was scrapped in October of 1921.
Here’s a rare postcard, a new addition to the collection, M-102 of the Santa Fe Railway. This car appears to be in front of the station at Topeka for this photo. The car was built in July of 1910 for the A.T.&S.F. and was a 70′, 42 Ton Motor car, a high capacity variant with a small baggage compartment to allow more seating. Although I have one source that says it could haul 85 passengers, my count based on the windows would suggest 89 passengers. Sometimes one seats was subtracted for the Conductor, that is known to be the case with the “Cuyamaca.”
The car was reportedly sold to the Union Pacific to become M-25, though I don’t have a photo of it with UP Markings, I do have a roster sheet that states the engine used to replace the original engine was the motor from the original U.P.#9, it was likely acquired by U.P. in November of 1922, and was considered worn out in December of 1944. In the roster sheet, it claims it could only haul 66 passengers…
This is where it gets technical, the 2 passenger bench seat’s cushion was 43″ wide, while the 3 passenger was only 46″ wide. McKeen used the slightly smaller seats to allow door access, for being opposite of the restroom, or for facing the bench backwards, and backing it up against the restroom wall. The railroads didn’t really think the 3 person seats were for three people, and even one engineer on the Maricopa & Phoenix Railroad made the remark, “Three ladies could sit on one seat if they were acquainted with each other.”
Keeping with the estimated 28 total benchs, and considering all 3 person seats for only two, you get 56 seats, plus the rear round bench seat which is 10, thus, Union Pacific’s count of 66 Passengers.
a rare photo of a Santa Fe McKeen Car M-101. The photo is postmarked August 12th,1910, sent from Wakarusa, Kansas. Builder’s Number 041 was built in February of 1909, used on the Girard Branch starting June 1910, and ran from Pittsburg, Kansas to Chanute, Kansas. It reportedly ran that route until being scrapped in 1921. The car weighed 32 tons and could haul 75 passengers.

Southern Pacific Railroad

I recently contacted a historical society in New York to acquire more information on the Jamestown Chautauqua & Lake Erie Railway McKeen Car, and in that research, the man who I had contacted, Bob, had gone to a postcard collector’s house and asked about his collection, he had two postcards of McKeen Cars, neither were of the JC&LERw. McKeen Car, but both were postcards I don’t have in my collection. Bob had bought them, and then choose to donate them to the MMCCHS after I asked if he would sell them. This first postcard is of the Southern Pacific #11, 55′ McKeen Car at Kingsburg, California. The car was builder’s number 027, was first numbered #27 for the Southern Pacific and renumbered to #11 in Feburary of 1909. The car could carry 71 Passengers and weighted 30.5 tons or 61,000LBs. The car burned on October 11th, 1912, so any photos of the car are somewhat rare. I forget the cause of the fire, I believe I may have the story in my archives somewhere. I will be updating the website here soon so that the McKeen Cars on the Union Pacific and Southern Pacific Pages have their own pages. That will reduce the clutter of the SP and UP pages as they are now.
Here is a very rare photo I recently acquired, it is the first time I’ve ever seen, in photograph, a railroad working on a McKeen Car’s engine, none the less, three engines. Southern Pacific #31 can be seen in the shed and on the back of the postcard it states the view is from Rockaway, Oregon. What makes this Postcard even more interesting to me is that I have a photo of S.P.#31 at the factory shortly before being sent off to Sacramento to be used on the S.P.
Scrapline photo of Southern Pacific #39 in Sacramento. It’s motor truck was removed and replaced with a shop truck that appears to be old.
This car was built in April of 1910, Builder’s Number 072. The Car weighed 35 Tons new and could haul 62 passengers. This photo was taken on December 28th, 1935, though documents say the car was “Laid Aside” in August of 1936 and scrapped on December 16th, of the same year. Maybe that’s when the roster was updated?
Southern Pacific #41 in Sacramento on April 11th, 1935. I had a second thought that this wasn’t a scrapline, but the doors have been left open and the car is stuck between other passenger cars. This tells me they didn’t care any more and soon this car would be send to the scrapline.
Southern Pacific 41 was built in November of 1909, the car was originally built for the Oregon and California as builders number 062, and was a 55′ model with a fairly large baggage section. The Car was “Laid Aside” in 8-10-1936, but this photo suggests they stopped using the car sooner than that. The car was considered scrapped on the SP roster on December 16th, 1936.
Southern Pacific Motor Car #43 was built in December of 1910, and was builder’s number 092. The southern Pacific Company had her shipped to Sacramento and severed for the S.P. till January of 1934 when she was placed into this scrap line of McKeens. In the photo, left to right are #43, then #31, then #47, and then others I can’t read. #43 was finally scrapped on June 30th, 1936.
Southern Pacific #45, built in September of 1910, as builder’s number 093. The car weighted 30 tons, and could haul 62 people, plus conductor and motorman. The car was the last-in-service McKeen on the Southern Pacific, lasting 5 years more than all others, being pulled off the rails in January of 1939. It was used as a paint shop in Roseville for a few years.
#45 ran the Placerville branch line for quite a while, and would haul a Trailer car from Sacramento to Folsom, and then finish the trip to Placerville on it’s own.
McKeen Car #45 on the Southern Pacific Railroad. This photo was believably taken at Diamond Junction on the run to Placerville from Sacramento.
Here are a few photos acquired recently from a family photo album. The car is Southern Pacific #47, built in January of 1911 as builder’s number 094. It was 70′ Long, could haul 62 passengers and was laid aside on July 9th, 1935, and then used as an Engineer’s locker room in Colton, California.
Same photo album mentioned above. Possibly Father (Engineer) and son?
Same photo album mentioned above. Nice photo that happens to catch the McKeen Builder’s Plate.
Same photo album mentioned above. Rear end of car. Door looks oddly faded however it should be painted the same color as the car. This photo was taken late in life.

The Above photo had no information other than Southern Pacific #55 being in front of a station, however an Mr. A. Donnelly suggested it looks like Grant’s Pass, Oregon, and looking at other photos of that town, I agree with the conclusion and thank Mr. Donnelly for the tip.


Union Pacific Railroad

Here’s another addition to the Postcard Collection, Union Pacific #5 at Callaway, Nebraska, likely taken around the beginning of its life, around late 1906 or so.
Here’s a neat photo of a McKeen Car on the Union Pacific headed for Lincoln, Nebraska. I could not tell which McKeen Car, as the photo is very dark, but since it’s marked 3/21/07, it means that the car had to have been either UP Motor car #7 or #8, as those were the only motor cars of this style constructed at this point.
Update: As per Mike Bartels, this is likely at the Union Pacific Station in Beatrice, Neb.

441 Photo

Here’s a photo I acquired a while back, a postcard of Union Pacific M-13 at Boulder, Colorado. Quick research revealed that this station still exists, and is currently not in use.…/boulder-jaycees-depot
This was builder’s number -013 built in September of 1907, the car weighted 35 tons, and could haul 75 passengers. It was originally sold to the Union Pacific for $17115.44, and was wrecked in June of 1936. Not much is known about this wreck, nor have photos surfaced.
Here is a photo of Union Pacific M-18 near Boulder, Colorado around 1940 right before it was scrapped in July of 1942. This car was unique in that it had an enlarged baggage area, allowing only about 10 passengers in front of the vestibule door.
Union Pacific Railroad M-18 at San Creek Junction, Colorado, 6-29-1940. Train #516. M-18 was originally Oregon Short Line #493, and originally cost $21547.32. Weighed 40 Tons and held only 36 passengers despite being 70′ long.
“36 Minutes after Wreck”

This is a view of Union Pacific M-13 which fell into a river after the rain from the previous night washed out the bank, and the car ran over the bridge (pillar seen extreme right) and then ran into the unsupported track and crashed into the new part of the river. The second photo (below) is another view that’ I’ve had in my collection a while now. 11 People died in this accident and 41 passengers were hurt when the car took the plunge.
This is a view of Union Pacific M-13 which fell into a river after the rain from the previous night washed out the bank, and the car ran over the bridge (pillar seen extreme right) and then ran into the unsupported track and crashed into the new part of the river. The second photo is another view that’ I’ve had in my collection a while now. 11 People died in this accident and 41 passengers were hurt when the car took the plunge.
Here is a neat photo of Union Pacific #20 at Polk, Nebraska. The car was built in December, 1908. The car could haul 71 passengers, not 75 like most all passenger 55’s because the rear bench seat was shorten to allow a brake valve to be installed. It was likely mounted to a stand behind the port-side rear bench seat so that the conductor could apply the brakes if needed.

U.P. #20 55′ motor car. This car has a parabolic nose as opposed to the “knife-edge” nose. The letter was sent Oct. 16 at 7PM, but the year has rubbed off of the paper. It was sent from Cortland, Illinois to an unknown place (the name is in very poor handwriting. Part of the message was “Darling…Oct 16 1919” (that fills in the missing information) “will be heading to Riley …….. night.

Union Pacific M-23 believed to be in Callaway, Nebraska. M-23 was built in May of 1915, weighed 37 tons, and was the first all baggage McKeen Car. The car was builder’s number 146 out of 152, and purchased by UP for $22,703.12 in 1915. This was the first McKeen Car with a McKeen built 300HP engine. I believe through what research I’ve done that there was a carburetor on each cylinder (the engine was a straight 6) to help reduce resistance on the intake side the engine. A single carburetor supplying fuel to 150 liters of engine is a big task. This however would nearly prevent you from ever tuning in the engine as you would have to pick out, by ear, which cylinder was not firing right and how to fix that carburetor.
This photo was taken before 1934 when it was painted in the Famous Union Pacific Yellow and Brown paint scheme of the streamliners. This was after the pilot was replaced with flat sheet metal, possibly an attempt at further streamlining this car?
The trailer car behind M-23 is T-18, one of two early McKeen Cars to be rebuilt into an unpowered trailer. T-18 was originally UP #7, the first round window McKeen built in March of 1906.
At this time, both cars would be in Pullman Green.
U.P.R.R. M-29, one of the non McKeen-McKeen Cars. This photo was taken on January 21st, 1950. This photo shows the car leaving Callaway, Nebraska, Train number 518.
Here is a postcard I acquired, and to my surprise, the postcard was written in dutch (I think) and it’s in cursive.
The postcard shows an early round window McKeen, possibly #7 or #8 at Valley, Nebraska, hauling a McKeen Trailer Car.
Fremont, Nebraska where President Roosevelt gave a speech from the rear of his private railroad car. Also visible is a 70′ Union Pacific McKeen Car to the right of Mr. Roosevelt’s Coach.
Here is a photo of a McKeen Parade Float from 1906 they used a truck as the base, and used real components like the ventilators, pilot, headlight, and under body radiator. Few photos exist of this parade float and this one was new to my collection when it turned up. I believe somewhere I have documentation on what flower colors were used, but I can’t find that documentation.
191955 parade float made in Callaway, Nebraska as part of a 50th anniversary of the U.P.R.R. Motor Car #1’s first run.

here is a view of the Omaha Rail yard that was originally constructed to supply the construction of the Union Pacific’s portion of the Transcontinental Railroad. In this view you can see the 1880’s passenger car shops in the far back left, it would become the McKeen Motor Car Shops in 1906 and were able to turn out 1 motor car a week at their best in 1910. Also visible is a 55′ McKeen Motor Car and trailer car above the word “Pacific” at the bottom.


Virginia & Truckee Railroad


Weatherford, Mineral Wells, & Northwestern Railroad

Here’s a recent addition to the collection, a photo of the “Kulshan” Motor Car on the Bellingham Bay and British Columbia Railroad, in Bellingham, Washington. Around the 1920’s, this car would be sold to the railroad commonly known as the Milwaukee Road (The Chicago, Minneapolis, St. Paul and Pacific Railroad) and became car #5908.

Here is a nice photo of the Woodstock and Sycamore Traction Company McKeen Car #711. The railroad owned three cars, #707, #709, and #711, the first car having a short baggage section, while the next two were solely passenger motor cars.
This Car builder’s number 108 was built in July of 1911, and arrived shortly before this photo was taken. This exact postcard was sent from Genoa to Elgin, Ill, on Feb 8th, 1912, at 4pm, so this photo was taken within a year of the arrival of the car, however, the railroad only had the car for 3 years.
The car was later repossessed by William McKeen in 1914 for failure to make payments on the three cars they were paying off. The #707 was rebuilt with an oddly located baggage door and sold to the Lakeside and Marblehead Railroad to become their #5, which I posted an interior and exterior photo of recently.
The #709 and #711 were rebuilt, refurbished and sent to the Alberta and Great Waterways Railway in Alberta, Canada. The cars serviced a bit more life in Canada, the cars ran up in the 1920s with minimal success. A story I forget the source of told of the two cars sitting around the shops about 1930 or so, derelict, and a party of some kind wanted to ride the train as a get-a-way. Well one car was fixed up with the parts from the other sitting there, a ran for about 10 miles and the engine failed, had to be towed back, and that was the last time for sure they would ever run under their own power.