OTHELLO-- Railroad buffs and the curious can glimpse the opulent luxury of a bygone era of private railroad cars when Curt Andrews holds an open house in his vintage car this month.
Andrews, who fulfilled a lifelong dream when he purchased a 1910 car, said railroad executives used private cars in the first part of this century, much like corporate jets are used today.
Andrews, 27, is living in one of the staterooms of the car as he meticulously goes about restoring the car to mint condition. It's parked on a siding at Bruce, a small industrial farm area, four miles west of Othello.
The car was once the flagship of the Denver Rio Grande Railroad, carrying railroad executives and other VIPs across the Rocky Mountains from Denver to Salt Lake City.
It has two staterooms with a white tiled bathroom in between that has seven shower heads: one overhead, two at shoulder height, two waist high and two knee high.
There is also a private room for a secretary, a parlor and dining room paneled in French walnut.
French walnut is also used for the dining room table that is covered with fading, but once expensive, silk brocade.
Call buttons are liberally placed throughout the car to summon servants, but Andrews is the only one who can answer the ring now.
The servants quarters and a galley are at the rear of the car.
The car has air conditioning only in the spaces used by the railroad executives. The porter and chef, who lived and worked in the rear, had to sweat it out, he said.
Andrews' favorite spot is the observation deck that has an awning.
The car was built in 1910 as a regular coach and Denver and Rio Grande officials spent $33,000 in 1929 to convert it to an executive car.
It was retired by the railroad in 1964 and since then has collected dust and rust at various railroad sidings in the Southwest.
Before he really gets to work on the car, Andrews will hold an open house on Sundays in July between 6 p.m. and 10 p.m.
Curt's father Clyde Andrews operates sun Country Storage at Bruce and handles and stores grain. The car is parked near the firm's office and Curt uses the Sun Country's electric power.
He's helping his efforts by working for his father.
A large china cabinet with lead rimmed glass doors takes up one wall in the dining room.