Dining with a side of Scenery

The Queen City Tavern – soon to be sold to LM&M Railroad


The Queen City Tavern car, RPCX 1379, was initially built as a coal-fired kitchen car by the St. Louis Car Company in 1953 for the United States Army. It carried the U.S. Army number 89687, and was painted standard olive drab. Car number 89687 saw service in troop trains until some point in the 1960’s when it was stored.

It was acquired by Amtrak from the U. S. government as a surplus equipment transfer in the mid-1970’s, part of a group of 50 similar cars.

The car was numbered 1379 by Amtrak. This group of cars was not usable as kitchen cars by Amtrak, and so in 1975 and 1976, Amtrak rebuilt 30 of the cars, including number 89687, into 50 foot baggage-mail cars for service on long distance trains. Because they were 20 feet shorter than most standard baggage cars, these major restorations were commonly called “shorties”. At the time of the rebuild, Amtrak made major improvements to the brake and electrical systems on the cars, and they were used widely throughout the system in so-called Heritage Fleet trains until about 1990 when the arrival of newer, higher speed equipment began to displace them.


The 1379 was acquired by a private owner in an Amtrak equipment auction in 1993, and it was used as a passenger car maintenance work shop.

In 2008, it was purchased for the Cincinnati Dinner Train and rebuilt for use as an entertainment car.