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Bamberger Railroad 400

Car 400 as is exists today. Car 400 as is exists today.


Bamberger 400 is a classic Niles coach.


The 400 was built in 1910 by the Niles Car and Manufacturing Company of Niles, Ohio. It was built for the Salt Lake and Ogden, a steam operated short line that was converting to 750 volt electric trolley for both freight and passenger operation. Car 400 ran between Salt Lake City and Ogden, Utah. It was built as SL and O car 403, a non-powered single compartment coach trailer. In August 1917 the name of the railroad was changed to the Bamberger Electric Railroad and the car became BER 403.

On May 7, 1918 the BER’s Ogden car house burned destroying many of their motorcars. With trucks and equipment salvaged from the burned cars, car 403 was motorized and renumbered to 320 on January 18, 1919. The car was converted back to a trailer, maybe as control trailer and renumbered to 400 on Mach 3, 1922. In the 1920s the Bamberger converted their cars to one-man operation. This included change in the control, windows, and doors. The one-man cars were repainted from the traditional dark olive to a much lighter yellow or orange paint

The depression hit the Bamberger hard and it went in to receivership in 1933. The company was reorganized and came out of receivership in July 1939 as the Bamberger Railroad. All passenger operation was discontinued on September 7, 1952. Car 400 was sold to a private collector shipped to Oakland and stored there. The car was then sold to a second collector. It eventually passed to the Bay Area Electric Railroad Association.

  • Vintage Photo: Vintage Photo
  • Vintage Caption: Bamberger 400 broadside. Two tone paint, air folding door, art glass still visable, curved equalizer trucks, ca. 1940. [BAERA 18768]
  • Owners: Bamberger 400. Bamberger 320. Bamberger 403. SL&O 403.
  • Technical Data: Wooden Niles coach control trailer. Built by the Niles Car Company of Niles, Ohio in 1910. Seats 64 passengers. Weight, 54,000.
  • Trucks: Baldwin 79-33 AT. Wheels, 33 inch. Axle, 5 1/2”. Journals, 5 X 9.
  • Air Brake Equipment: Westinghouse Traction Brake, AMM. Motorman’s valve, M-24A. Triple valve, M2A. Brake Cylinder.
  • Dimensions: Width, 9’ 0”. Length, 57’ 8”. Height, 13’ 0”. Truck centers, 34’ 6 3/4”. Truck wheelbase, 79”.
  • Propulsion Equipment: General Electric. Master controller, C-36. Control switch, MS-14 and MS-46. MU plugs.
  • Misc Data: Couplers, Janney Radial MCB 1904 contour. Heaters.
  • Current Condition: This car is complete and in fair condition
  • Proposed Future Treatment: This car has been modernized. The Association needs to determine if it should be returned to the classic Niles appearance or be keep as it came out of service. The car has been damaged in a switching accident and needs some underframe repair. Car needs minor repairs, cleaning, painting and a new canvas roof.
  • Date Last Modified: Saturday, 21 March 2015

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5848 State Highway 12
Suisun City, CA 94585

(707) 374-2978

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