|Car 435 prior to modernization|
|Collection of Jay Williams|
Cars 435 and 436 began their careers in 1906 as wooden cars Florence and 305 respectively. In 1923 both cars were rebuilt to accommodate parlor-buffet service while trained with the new 400 series which utilized new control equipment and steel construction. 305 was equipped for parlor-buffet service and became 600 while Florence emerged as 601. Both cars were clad in steel and made compatible with the new 400 series cars.
After the cessation of parlor car service in 1929, cars 600 and 601 were rendered superfluous. Instead of scrapping these cars, the railroad once again rebuilt and repurposed them. All the elements of dining service were removed and they were outfitted as coaches. Control equipment and couplers remained the same. Car 601 exited the shops as 435 and car 600 became 436, effectively becoming a continuation of the steel fleet.
Although they had been modified twice to be visually and operationally compatible with the 400 and 420 series, they retained their arched, stained glass windows, which were a throwback to their days as wooden cars. And while both cars were built from the same order and later rebuilt twice by company shops, each car possessed its own idiosyncrasies. Car 435 featured dual sign boxes for separate destination and class roller curtains like the Pullmans, while 436 was outfitted with a destination sign containing a single roller curtain like the Cincinnatis.
Upon entering the 1940s, the cars were modernized. The arched windows were covered over, in effect widening the letterboard. The end windows, which had also retained an arched top, were squared off as well, further brining the cars in line with the steel fleet. They also received the Washington Blue livery which the cars would bear until they were removed from service.
Circa 1951, cars 435 and 436 had their motors removed and continued in operation as control trailers. Two years later, the Chicago, Aurora and Elgin cut back service from Wells Street to Forest Park due to the construction of the Congress Street Superhighway [Eisenhower Expressway]. This change in service created a situation that had never before existed on the railroad: a surplus of rolling stock. As a result, cars deemed no longer necessary were retired. In 1954, 435 and 436 were retired and scrapped.