The Birch Grove was built by the Budd Company in 1950
as one of twenty-five 10 & 6 sleepers ordered by the Southern
Pacific for use on the Sunset Limited. The cars were not
named, but were numbered from 9001 to 9025. The Birch
Grove was car number 9020.
As with most remaining private cars of today, the Birch
Grove was sold to Amtrak in 1971 and renumbered to 2696.
Ironically, the car remained in service on the Sunset
Limited. In 1980, the car was sent to Beech Grove for
a major shop rebuild where it was converted to a handicap
accessible sleeper by eliminating the porter's quarters
and public restroom, enlarging roomette #10, and widening
the B end door and entryway.
During this same time, Amtrak named the sixteen remaining
Southern Pacific sleepers in the "Grove" series name. Amtrak
car 2696 became car number 2451 with the name "Birch Grove"
on the side board.
In 1988 the Birch Grove received yet another major shopping
and was reassigned to the various routes between New York
and Florida. In 1995 the car was sold at the Miami,
Florida Amtrak auction to Chuck Grisler who, in turn, sold
it to Tom McOwen. The car sat in Nashville, Tennessee and
Birmingham, Alabama until 2001 when the current owner
purchased it and had it moved to Sea Island Passenger Service
in Bellvue, Ohio. Between 2001 and 2005 the car was totally
rebuilt by Sea Island and then by L&C Passenger Service in
Lancaster, South Carolina.