model railroads of michigan
ann arbor passenger cars
Until July 1950, the Ann Arbor offered daily passenger service between Toledo and Frankfort. A regular three-car train generally included a baggage or RPO car and two coaches, and they were typically powered by a small fleet of 4-4-2 steam engines. However, photographic and anecdotal evidence suggests that on occasion a 4-6-0 would be substituted on the regular run, and for special events (such as Football Trains) a longer consist was assembled and a larger 2-8-2 freight engine may have been assigned. The Ann Arbor petitioned the ICC for permission to end passenger service roughly at the same time they were dieselizing, and while they originally ordered their RS1 units with steam generators to provide for passenger car amenities, the ICC granted the request to cease passenger service, so the steam generators were not completed and it's my understanding an RS1 never pulled a passenger train.
After seeing a wide variety of AA passenger train photos and realizing that I had a decent variety of equipment that saw service in the 1940s and early 1950s, I decided to put together a modest passenger train to be hauled by one of my AA steamers, so I could backdate and operate into the 1920s, 1930s, 1940s, and into mid-1950.
Luckily, I found a Rivarossi heavyweight Pullman set that could serve as a reasonable facsimile for an Ann Arbor consist. The top right picture shows the original Rapido-equipped donor set. Subsequent pictures show that the cars were stripped, re-painted and then individually lettered for the Ann Arbor. I also installed Micro-Trains couplers in the old Rapido pockets.
The last picture shows the full redecorated set in Ann Arbor livery. Granted, it's hard to know if the color was on-target, as so many of the old prototype photos were black and white or faded from age. And with closer inspection of more recent photos, I think perhaps the Ann Arbor cars may have been 65' long instead of the roughly 80' heavyweights I found... but nonetheless, I now have a modest semblance of Ann Arbor passenger equipment to accompany my handful of late-era Ann Arbor steamers.