The Express Restaurant in Surf City – Gone but not forgotten
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The Express Restaurant in Surf City was a collection of freight and passenger cars arranged into a restaurant. The restaurant closed some time around 2006. The cars are no longer on LBI
The interior was the passenger car you see here plus additional seating was available in two box cars that formed the rear part of the restaurant. The restaurant was in the 200 block of S Long Beach Blvd in Surf City.
There is a post on railroad.net . The poster had kept an old menu from the restaurant. It reads in part:
The Express Restaurant is constructed around three railroad cars; a club car and two freight cars. The club car measures 75 feet long and weighs 168,000 pounds. The front wheels turn a drive shaft connected to a generator that charged four banks of batteries, two on each side. They stored enough electricity to support the car independently for three days, although the car is also equipped with an AC-DC switch gear for station stops.
The club car was built in 1926, was completely air conditioned, and featured a stainless steel kitchen, complete with electric refrigerator and freezer and a gas stove. To the rear is a electrically cooled water fountain. The car was equipped to transport 16 people in luxurious club chairs and a dormitory.
The two freight cars were reconditioned and kept authentic so as to depict the historical importance such cars played in the commercial development of Long Beach Island. Freight cars like these once hauled fish and seaweed harvested on the island to distant markets. Each weigh approximately 47,000 pounds empty; the weigh of a loaded diesel truck barreling down the boulevard.
Thank you for your patronage. We look forward to seeing you again soon. The Management