Built by American Car & Foundry in 1947 for the Central of Georgia Railway as segregated coaches (white and black passengers had separate seating sections) No. 541 & 542. These cars were used on the Nancy Hanks II streamliners that operated between Atlanta and Savannah, Ga. They were later renumbered 671 & 672, then sold to the Algoma Central Railway and used on its famous Agawa Canyon Tour Train between Sault Ste. Marie and Agawa Canyon in Ontario as cars No. 442 & 443.
The Friends of the 261 acquired these cars in 1998 and upgraded it them to Amtrak specifications; each containing 54 coach seats.
In 1935 the Milwaukee Road named its streamlined passenger trains Hiawathas after Longfellow’s poem. The Nokomis, named after Hiawatha’s grandmother and the Wenonah, named after the mother of Hiawatha and after the city in southeast Minnesota on the Milwaukee Road main line. While the city spells the name “Winona,” the American poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow used this spelling in his epic poem The Song of Hiawatha in 1855.