BARTLESVILLE — A cattle car, owned by the Osage County Historical Society, will be renovated and become part of the train display at the Bartlesville Depot.
Monday night, the Bartlesville City Council approved a 25-year lease agreement with the Osage County Historical Society for Santa Fe railroad car No. 26754. The lease agreement is $1 per year for 25 years, and includes an option to renew. As part of the lease agreement, an information panel will be placed next to the cattle car at the Bartlesville Depot. The panel will recognize the generosity and cooperation of Osage County Historical Society with the project, Friends of the 940 spokesman Dan Droege said.
Friends of the 940 members also will make presentations to school classes and other youth groups in Pawhuska about the history of local railroading.
Santa Fe Railway donated the cattle car to the Osage County Historical Society in 1969. It has been in place on the museum grounds since then.
Osage County Historical Society Secretary Joyce Lyons said the board is grateful to the Friends of the 940 and their willingness to restore the vintage railroad car.
“We are grateful that the Friends of the 940 came to us with the expertise and the financial means to restore this vintage railroad car and place it in a location where so many people will be able to enjoy it,” Lyons said.
Friends of the 940 will restore the 40-foot long cattle car. Some of the restoration work is being done in Pawhuska, but the majority will be completed in Bartlesville.
“It does need some restoration,” Droege said. “It has quite a bit of rust on it. We are working with Dewey Iron Works … to do some fabrication on some pieces that cannot be welded. We also have a welder over there right now working on the support beams around the side of the car that need to be reinforced,” Droege said.
The Friends of the 940 will ensure the cattle car is structurally sound, transport it to the Bartlesville Depot and complete the renovation of the wooden floor and sides.
Droege said almost all the wood will need to be replaced. The renovation process will take approximately a year.
The goal is to restore the car as closely as possible to its original appearance, Tom Burkett of the Friends group said in a news release.
It will then be displayed with the Santa Fe steam locomotive No. 94, the “Flying A” Associated Oil tank car and the caboose, Droege said.
The cattle car was built as a box car between 1923-25. In approximately 1946, it was converted to a stock (cattle) car by replacing the solid wood sides with wood slates to create ventilation for the animals inside the car. The car’s ends and roof are steel.
It will be placed behind the tank car, which is the traditional home for a cattle car.