Budd Train Car

The project for the Budd Train Car included restoring both the interior and exterior of the historic 1950s passenger train car, and then relocating it from Baltimore to a new home in Gaithersburg. Operated by the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, the rail car was in use from 1953 up into the new century. After being decommissioned, it sat for many years in open yard storage and suffered the tolls of weather, minimal maintenance, and vandalism. The City of Gaithersburg hired WEI to perform a full restoration and reclaim the rail car as adaptive museum space with interior exhibits. The car is on permanent display in front of the Gaithersburg Community Museum.


The remodel included the restoration or replacement of interior elements such as seating, luggage racks, walls, flooring, ceiling panels, and control panels.  WEI also provided new heating, cooling, and electrical systems, and updated ADA standards for accessibility.  Other interior work involved the removal of hazardous asbestos insulation and failing lead based paint, all of which followed environmental control regulations, and repainting the interior to reproduce the original 1953 color scheme.   For the exterior, graffiti and non-original logos were removed, and the entire surface was thoroughly cleaned to restore the original bright stainless steel surface.  To return the exterior to its 1953 appearance, number boards and decals were hand painted onto the surface and three-dimensional B&O logos were reproduced and installed.  The windows were all replaced, the undercarriage components were restored or replaced, a new ADA accessible stairway was built, and new hardware was provided for doors and windows.  WEI reused approximately twenty existing light fixtures and rewired the entire car to meet national electric codes.  All of the 1953 overhead lights were recertified as UL labeled fixtures.   WEI partnered with a house-moving company to move the 110,000-pound train car from Baltimore to Gaithersburg.  The car was lifted off of its railroad trucks and put on oversized street-legal road  dollies in order to pull it through the 50-mile journey to Gaithersburg.  The move required significant planning and coordination between various city- and state-run organizations.  Due to the extreme weight and length of the loaded railway car, travel restrictions meant the move had to take place in the middle of the night.