'Good memories': Brothers revisit last Pullman passenger rail car they helped build

Still in service, Amtrak superliner will roll back to its birth place for 1st
CHICAGO (WLS) -- For Alfonso and Ray Quiroz, this was a walk down memory lane.

"I was born in Pullman, raised my family in Pullman worked at Pullman Standard," Alfonso said.

The brothers were just in their 20s when they first started working at the legendary Pullman company, building train cars that moved America.

"I had a lot of fun working on the cars... when the cars rolled, out I was proud that I built that car," Alfonso said.

Now in their 80s, that pride is still on display.

The brothers helped build the last Pullman passenger car in 1981. Still in service, the Amtrak superliner will roll back to its birth place for the first time this weekend as part of Pullman Railroad Days at the Pullman National Monument. The monument was opened on Labor Day last year, allowing visitors to experience the once bustling company town and the country's labor movement.

It was in Pullman in the late 1800s where factory workers walked off the job. That fight led to new worker rights and the national recognition of Labor Day.

"Now, we're going back to the 1800s. I wasn't around at that time, but we benefited from what their struggle was at the time. Whatever they benefited in 1800s, I benefited by it," Ray said.

But for the brothers, Thursday was about reminiscing and sharing stories not necessarily included in official tours.

"If you take these panels down, you see notes people write notes that they have to get a loaf of bread before going home," Alfonso said.

There was one more story they shared. It was about the penny that was drilled in behind the doors before the train car was finished.

"To this day, the pennies are still there the reason I did that, to give good luck to railroad cars, bring back good memories." Alfonso said.
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