Rachel Jackson, owner of Farmington D restaurant on Wilton Road in Farmington, had one of her 1950s-style rail car diners moved last week to the edge of her restaurant’s parking lot, with plans to restore it.

FARMINGTON — Rachel Jackson set up a ladder Tuesday and climbed a few steps to unlock the door to her 1950s-style rail car diner, which she had moved last week to the back of her parking lot at her restaurant, Farmington D, on Wilton Road.

The Wilton resident has a vision, which Jackson has kept alive for 12 years since buying the rail car diner — formerly the historic Farmington Diner — for $1, with a plan to restore it to its original condition.

Several years ago in Connecticut, she bought a similar rail car diner measuring about 16 feet wide and 48 feet long. Jackson plans to use pieces from both diners to complete her restoration plan.


The second rail car, which is in better structural shape than the original, is the one she had moved to her restaurant on May 28 from a gravel pit in Jay.

Jackson stood Tuesday is the rail car and looked around. The stools, counters, booths, stainless steel shelving and even some white plates and cups are still there.

An L-shaped counter with a glass display case below it, which Jackson believes would have been where the cash register was kept, is also still intact. And a kitchen was an addition to the original rail car diner but is no longer there.

With the rail car being at her restaurant, Jackson said she can now work with the Maine Historic Preservation Commission to discuss possible tax credits that would help cover some of the cost to preserve the rail car diner.

Different ideas and options have come up on how the rail car could be incorporated with her restaurant. Maybe it could be attached to the back of the building. Perhaps it could become a malt shop or bakery.

Rachel Jackson of Wilton has plans to restore the 1950s-style rail car diner that she had moved last week to the parking lot of her Farmington D restaurant in Farmington. Donna M. Perry/Sun Journal

Whatever happens, Jackson said she does not want to change the rail car’s appearance.

As Jackson contemplates the rail car’s future, she is preparing to reopen her restaurant to the public Wednesday. It has been closed since mid-March because of the pandemic.

She said she plans to offer outdoor dining, and already has reservations for Thursday and Friday.

One goal for the rail car is to restore part of the town’s history. If anyone is interested in helping with ideas, she is willing to listen.







Related Headlines

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.