This WW2 era train car has been converted into a fully furnished B&B
DEAN SMITH: Welcome to Platform 1346.
[UPBEAT MUSIC PLAYING]
This train car actually came to be in 1943. It was commissioned by the United States Army in World War II. And it was purposed to serve as a troop train kitchen car. It was a full operating kitchen that would be attached to the trains carrying the troops.
Our train car is 520 square foot and will sleep four comfortably. Despite being a train car, it's fully equipped. It has a very full service kitchen, a nice place to eat with the countertop bar here looking out over the property, nice views here, water that we provide for our guests. And even if you are here to celebrate, we provide a bottle of Prosecco to uncork, coffee for the morning.
Inside these cabinets, everything you could possibly need to cook, eat-- dishes, glasses, pots and pans, all kinds of good stuff. This actually shows the picture of what the train car used to look like. And that was all done in this side of the train car. So we've maintained the original feel by putting the kitchen in this end.
ADRIENNE SMITH: I think what we tried to do is keep it in tune with what would have been more of its time, but being modern.
DEAN SMITH: So if you're looking at the floor, these are actually original floors-- 76 years old. The red color that you see is unchanged. The greenish area is where we actually had to patch in some wood that we found in the train before we started the renovation.
These floors being 76 years old add to a historic flair to the train. These are the actual floors that people were using to stand on when they were preparing meals for the troops or when they were actually sitting at their stations commanding the B-52s that were in the air 24 hours and 7 days a week.
What you're looking at here is the remnants of 300-gallon water tanks. Each one of these arches had a water tank in it. So there was 1,200 gallons that would provide water for cooking and cleaning for the US Army cooks.
TAYLER SMITH: We love giving things a second life, and I think this whole train car kind of is an experiment on giving something a second life. When we showed up and it was empty and rusting, and now it's something that hundreds of people have enjoyed.
DEAN SMITH: Next to the kitchen is the living room. Obviously, modern conveniences like streaming television. The sofa serves as a very comfortable place just to congregate and play games or watch TV. It's very, very comfortable. And it folds out to a queen sized bed.
So this is the bedroom. Queen size memory foam mattress. People absolutely rave about the comfort of this place. They want to snooze here and sleep all day.
This bed will fold up into the frame here. It's a Murphy bed. And if needed, we can fold that desk down right here. And it becomes an office space. Comes down just like this.
And my wife even thought of custom leather straps so that it kind of gives that 1940s vibe to it. Bathroom's full size. People often wonder how the heck we got such a big bathroom in small train car, but we were shooting for comfort so we built the bathroom around our cast iron clawfoot tub.
So this right here is heat shielding. We left it here for visual interest, but it served when the train car had its second life with the Strategic Air Command. They actually had big generators back here that made the power for the radios and the computers of the day. And that generated a lot of heat, hence the heat shielding so that the exterior of the train wouldn't get too hot. These holes are where they had vents. And we took the vents out and put windows in so it made much more interesting.
- Thanks for visiting the Smith Family B&BS.