I had a brief ride in the 'Caritas', when Clark Johnson owned it....splendid car, and one of the most traveled PV's all over North America.
I had a unique trip on it about 15 years ago.
The Milwaukee Road had an initial branch out of Chicago that never made it as far as Milwaukee. It didn't even get built past Evanston. But, it has an interesting history.
The north end of the branch (that was, eventually, placed on embankment) became the north end of Chicago's L. But, before it got there, it passed a little coal yard on its row alongside where Wrigley Field now stands. This track is in many historic photos.
That section of the railroad was abandoned many years ago. Yet, there were still a few freight customers along the easement. The last of which, a candy confectionary, finally closed in the early years of the new millenium.
The track remained owned by CP, which sold it to Iowa Pacific, which ran some freight car transfers from a local yard to Goose Island. But this portion of track hadn't seen service in a couple of years.
Now, it so happened that 261 came into town for the filming of The Untouchables. And, behind it, the Caritas. So, it was decided that this car would make an inspection trip along the track; preserving their easement rights.
I got wind of it, and decided to see if I might get some pictures. But I couldn't find the train anywhere along tge line. Finally, late in the afternoon, I gave up and started to stroll to the bus stop. Wait, what's this? A headlight across the river bridge. Sure enough, a switcher engine pulling the Caritas was soon crossing. It came to a stop, with railfans lingering around. I saw some people on the train and yelled, "Hey, can I hop aboard? I'd like to ride the train." I was welcomed on the observation deck. Perhaps I am the last of the passengers on an historic route through the north side of Chicago!