WHETSTONE VALLEY EXPRESS DINING CAR
Coach # 756 is an original dining/parlor car that was built by Barney & Smith in 1911 at an original cost of $23,260.00 with a capacity of 56. It was used until 1963 on the Winnipeger & Laker Soo Line trains. This car was also used as an observation car. It was then used as a bunk car for bridge crews until 1991.
The car was purchased in 1991 by the Milbank Chamber of Commerce and donated to the Whetstone Valley Rail Road Historical Society to be used during the annual Milbank Train Festival. With the aid of original drawings, the Milbank Trainfest Committee members spent many hours restoring the dining car to its present appearance. Later the ownership of the car was reverted back to the Chamber of Commerce at Milbank.
The dining car is 80 feet long and weighs 63 ton. It has two dining areas, and the 1st class area has waiter call buttons. It also contains a bathroom, (not in use) and a utility area. The original car had a kitchen with gas stove where the current serving counter stands. Water storage tanks were located above the kitchen area, and heat for the dining car was provided by steam. The car is also equipped with electricity by use of a portable generator.
The dining car was used in Milbank, SD from 1992 until the last Trainfest celebration in 2006. It had been sitting idle since that time. During this time, extensive damage was done to the windows by vandalism.
On August 9, 2012 the dining car was moved from Farley Park in Milbank, SD to Prairie Village by Milbank House Movers. After some restoration, the dining car was put to use during Rail Road Days for the pizza train ride in July 2013 at the Historical Prairie Village in Madison, SD. The dining car will be used for the dinner train at the annual Jamboree held in August at Prairie Village in Madison, SD.