About two months ago, I wrote about a set of train cars located down here in Miami, abandoned and left to rot on the side of a warehouse. With many of these write-ups I do, I usually don’t have the full story but I research and post what I could find, to build interest and hopefully, have someone come out and help explain a bit more.
This is one of those cases, where I was led to a railway preservation forum and a thread about the Hollywood Train Museum and the train that was to be the Great Floridian Dorothy Walker Bush. Tom Flanary, Treasurer and currently a board member at the Gold Coast Railroad Museum commented on the thread, saying GCRM wasn’t interested in the trains, probably due to the fact that they already have car currently being restored on-site and limited space. I spoke with him personally and was able to get some more history on the behind the abandoned cars.
When I first researched the train cars, I was under the assumption that the two cars in the front, labeled POTUS I and POTUS II, were not part of the failed restoration project and had no clue where they had come from or if they they were really presidential cars. The cars were in fact to be part of the Dorothy Walker Bush Great Floridian 2000, two of three train cars sent to Steamtown in 2001-2002 to be restored by the National Park Service. For whatever reason, the #89436 army hospital train car was restored and is now on display at the Gold Coast Railroad Museum, while the other two made their way to Hialeah on the side of a warehouse.
The first car of the two, labeled POTUS I, is the Signal Corps Gen. Albert J Myer, a radio railcar, which always accompanied the Ferdinand Magellan. You can read more about it here and here. The second car, labeled POTUS II, is the Morn, a crew car for the Myer and built out of Hospital Unit Car USA 89426.
Mr. Campos was indeed arrested, sent to prison and is thought to be out on probation at the time of this writing, so the legal issues surrounding these cars have been dealt with. As for finding someone interested in restoring these is something that should be looked into.