The BENX 182 Thrall-Door Boxcar Stage


In 2000, the last Bennett Lumber Products, Inc. (BLPI) Thrall-built, All-Door box car was donated by its namesake company to the Washington, Idaho & Montana Railway History Preservation Group (WIMRy HPG or HPG), a 501c3 nonprofit historical society, for use as a mobile, all-weather stage, on their depot property in Potlatch, Idaho. The car has been used to host free concerts during the Potlatch Depot History Day and Speeder Ride event, held annually the first Saturday after the 4th of July weekend.

BLPI donated $5,000 so the car could be restored to its original “as-built” livery in 2008.  Nathan Vowels Painting of Princeton, ID donated the pressure washing.  Additional prep work and stencils were applied by HPG volunteers, Don Somers, Jack Coyner, and Jim West (photo).  The car was painted at cost by Rez Painting of Moscow, ID.  Theater carpeting was obtained from the Coeur d’Alene Showboat Theater and the navy blue draperies came from the Troy High School auditorium.

In this restored condition, the BENX 182 Stage is now available for use by the community, especially young people developing their performing art talents.  As donations and funding allow, the BENX 182 will be further renovated into a self-contained working stage, complete with generator, electrical panel, lighting, and a sound system.