This purpose-built dining car was constructed by the Wagner Palace Car Company in Buffalo, New York in 1899. It was one of the last Wagner cars to be built before the company was sold to the larger and better-known Pullman Company of Chicago, on January 1, 1900.Canadian National Railways dining car 4006 began its working life on the Intercolonial Railway running from Halifax to a connection with the Grand Trunk Railway at Riviere du Loup, on the banks of the St. Lawrence River.When you enter the seating portion of the dining car, you will see a circular brass plate on the floor with the car builder’s name and the car construction date.
Below the plate is the king pin. The kingpin is the central part of the wheelsets that the car rests on.
There are ten tables, five on each side of the aisle. Depending on how comfortable you were sitting close to other diners there were places for 20-30 diners. The original lamps along the centre length of 4006 burned kerosene or another clean burning fuel. The long cord near the ceiling could be used to alert the train crew of an emergency.
The kitchen originally had charcoal stoves and ice boxes. Plates were kept in locked cupboards above the food preparation counters. There was a concealed door to directly load food from track side to the kitchen door. The central serving area was occupied by the busy wait staff who would collect the completed plates of food from the hard-working kitchen staff and then deliver them to the hungry diners.
In November 2019, the Railway Museum of Eastern Ontario acquired dining car 4006 from the Museum of Science and Technology in Ottawa. The car was lifted by 2 large forklifts to get the car off its wheelsets and then temporarily placed on wooden cribbing blocks. A special house moving transporter comprised of steel beams and hydraulically activated wheeled bogies was positioned to cradle the underframe of 4006 to enable the journey by highway. The dining car wheelsets were placed on a separate flatbed truck and delivered to the Railway Museum. The wheelsets were placed on museum track and the car was lifted from the transporter and placed on its wheelsets. The wheelsets are not the 1899 originals.