…Continued from Missouri-Kansas-Texas #403.
New York Central #3 was built in 1928 as the private car of New York Central director Harold Sterling Vanderbilt, great-grandson of NYC founder Commodore Cornelius Vanderbilt and the last member of the Vanderbilt family to control to railroad. The car was one of four nearly identical cars commissioned by the NYC in 1927, but was the most luxurious of the group, originally including even a brick fireplace in the dining room.
After Vanderbilt lost control of the railroad in 1954, the car continued an service for the railroad. Adlai Stevenson used the car in his 1956 campaign for president against Dwight Eisenhower. When the New York Central merged with the Pennsylvania Railroad in 1968 to become Penn Central, the car became Penn Central #4, and after Penn Central gave way to Conrail in 1976, the car became Conrail #1.
The car was sold to a private owner around 1978 and was restored and upgraded to Amtrak qualifications in the early 1990s. In 1992, the car was purchased by its present owner Lovett R. Smith III, the son of a former Southern Pacific executive from Oregon who donated #4449 to the City of Portland, and restored to its 1930s appearance.
In honor of the car's participation in this trip and it's owner's family's history, the car was named Portland after the Southern Pacific business car used by Smith's father and the home of #4449.
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