A Classic REAL Trains 'n Traction FOTO site! Locked

439977 views
2678 replies
1 rating 2 rating 3 rating 4 rating 5 rating
  • Member since
    February 2004
  • From: Chesterfield, Missouri, USA
  • 7,214 posts
Posted by siberianmo on Friday, July 7, 2006 7:57 PM
G'day!

My finale for this Friday . . . .

Wabash obs dome #1601
(from: Wabash Historical Society - foto credit: unknown)



Later! [tup]

Tom[4:-)] [oX)]
Happy Railroading! Siberianmo
  • Member since
    March 2004
  • From: Central Valley California
  • 2,841 posts
Posted by passengerfan on Friday, July 7, 2006 8:34 PM
WABASH
Streamlined Dome Cars
by Al



The Wabash received its second postwar diesel powered streamlined train in January 1950. Unlike the earlier CITY OF KANSAS CITY delivered in November 1947by American Car & Foundry, the new BLUE BIRD was a Budd built streamliner. The earlier train was built of steel and painted in the beautiful blue and white paint scheme of the Wabash. The new streamliner in stainless steel also received Wabash blue between the fluted panels. The earlier CITY OF KANSAS CITY operating a daily round trip between St. Louis and Kansas City was built as a seven-car train powered by a single EMD E7A.
The new BLUE BIRD inaugurated February 26, 1950 was a six-car train as built, with four of those cars domes. Three were coach domes numbered 200-202 with the standard 24-seats in the dome and 54-coach seats on the main level 20-forward of the dome and 34 to the rear of the dome with large bathrooms located beneath the domes. The fourth dome was a dome parlor observation identical to those built for the earlier Burlington VISTA-DOME TWIN ZEPHYRS. The Wabash Dome observation 1601 featured 24 seats in the dome, 9-parlor seats on the main level forward of the dome and 18-parlor seats aft of the dome. There were two additional lounge chairs that were sold as parlor space when the car was full located at the rear of the car in the rounded end. These seats were sold at parlor rates when the car was fully booked. Beneath the dome a 5-seat parlor drawing room with private restroom and a pair of restrooms for the parlor car patrons. The 1601 operated by Pullman unlike the Burlington who operated their parlor cars with Burlington personnel.
The Wabash advertising referred to the BLUE BIRD as a Domeliner, this reference would later refer to all UP streamliners equipped with domes.
The new BLUE BIRD operated a daily round trip between St. Louis and Chicago northbound in the morning and late afternoon departure southbound, the new Domeliner powered by a single EMD E8A was the only Chicago – St. Louis train equipped with domes prior to Amtrak.

24-SEAT VISTA DOME 54 REVENUE SEAT COACHES Budd Company January 1950 (Built for and assigned to BLUE BIRD)

200-202

24-SEAT VISTA DOME 5-SEAT PARLOR DRAWING ROOM 29-SEAT PARLOR OBSERVATION Budd Company Plan: 9525 Lot: 9652-037 (Built for and assigned to BLUE BIRD)

1601

From the beginning of streamlined BLUE BIRD operation the demand for Parlor seats exceeded the capacity of the 1601. With that in mind the Wabash ordered a single dome parlor car from Pullman Standard. The reason the car was not a Budd car as the rest of the BLUE BIRD consist was simply the fact that the latter manufacturer was busy with other orders and the cost for a single car was prohibitive. Thus the BLUE BIRD became one of those rare trains to operate with domes from two manufacturers in the same consist. The new Dome parlor delivered in July 1952 was a painted car without fluted stainless panels, so always stood out when operated in the BLUE BIRD. The new car seated 24 in the standard flat glass paneled dome and beneath the dome was located the “BLUE BIRD Room”. This room with seating for eleven was for private parties and served as a private dining room or lounge. At other times the “BLUE BIRD Room” was used as a lounge for all parlor passengers. The car featured a 5- seat parlor drawing room with its own private bathroom, and 21-parlor seats on the main level. The new Pullman Standard built car was numbered 1602 and like the 1601 was operated by Pullman, as were all Parlor cars on the Wabash.
This overabundance of domes in the BLUE BIRD did not last long as one of the coach domes was transferred to the CITY OF KANSAS CITY giving that train dome status.
In later years the Wabash would assign one of the dome parlors to the BANNER BLUE between St. Louis and Chicago. Thus the Wabash with five domes spread them among three trains.

24-SEAT VISTA DOME 5-SEAT PARLOR DRAWING ROOM 21-SEAT PARLOR CAR WITH 11-SEAT BLUE BIRD ROOM Pullman Standard July 1952 Plan: 7551B Lot: 6904 (Built for and assigned to BLUE BIRD)

1602

One final dome was built for the Wabash part of the last new dome car order built in November – December 1958. This order was unusual in two ways first they were the only coach domes built by Pullman Standard with curved glass panels, and Pullman Standard built the seven dome coaches to American Car & Foundry plans for the Wabash and Union Pacific. They were duplicates of the AC&F built coach domes delivered to the Union Pacific in 1955 for the CHALLENGER and CITY OF PORTLAND. The Wabash received one and the UP received five of these new dome coaches painted in full streamliner colors for operation in the CITY OF ST. LOUIS train sets operating between St. Louis and Los Angeles. The Wabash Dome Coach car was numbered 203 continuing the number sequence from the Budd built dome coaches built for the BLUE BIRD. Like the earlier dome coaches built for the UP the seating in these cars was 36 on the main level with a pair of large restrooms beneath the dome.

24-SEAT ASTRA DOME 36-SEAT COACHES Pullman Standard November – December 1958 (Built for and assigned to CITY OF ST. LOUIS)

Wabash

203

Union Pacific

7011-7015

TTFN Al
  • Member since
    February 2004
  • From: Chesterfield, Missouri, USA
  • 7,214 posts
Posted by siberianmo on Saturday, July 8, 2006 8:18 AM
ENCORE! ENCORE! ENCORE! ENCORE!


PASSENGER TRAIN NOSTALGIA #15

Here’s something to enjoy regarding the C&O from a 1940 advertisement found in one of my scrap books.





YOU’LL WISH YOU COULD LOOK both ways AT ONCE!

EXPERIENCED TRAVELERS call it “The most beautiful train trip in the East,” this mountain-and-canyon route of Chesapeake and Ohio Lines. On this magnificent journey you look out and down upon waves of mountains – the majestic Alleghanies, the mysteriously tinted Blue Ridge . . . upon valleys stretching like bright carpets to the far, purple hills. The scene changes – and you look up the towering green walls of the New River Gorge as you roll smoothly through the widest and deepest canyon this side of the Rockies. Yes, when you watch this panorama of thrilling beauty from your train windows, you’ll wish you could look both ways at once!

On your next trip east or west GO CHESAPEAKE AND OHIO . . . and enjoy glorious mountain country!

You’ll travel in complete comfort, on the smoothest of roadbeds, in cool, clean air-conditioned cars that invite you to relax by day and Sleep Like a Kitten at night . . . When you travel west or east, plan to ride through The Chessie Corridor on these famous trains- THE GEORGE WASHINGTON – THE SPORTSMAN – THE F. F. V.


Sleep like a Kitten

THE CHESSIE CORRIDOR, The Scenic Route of the East
A NEW BOOK on Chessies Travel Packages will help you plan interesting, economic trips. Write for free copy to Chesapeake and Ohio Travel Services, 829 East Main St., Richmond, Va.

George Washington’s Railroad
CHESAPEAKE and OHIO Lines
Original Predecessor Company Founded by George Washington in 1785


Enjoy! [tup]

Tom[4:-)][oX)]


ENCORE! ENCORE! ENCORE! ENCORE!
Happy Railroading! Siberianmo
  • Member since
    March 2004
  • From: Central Valley California
  • 2,841 posts
Posted by passengerfan on Saturday, July 8, 2006 8:48 AM
Chesapeake
&
Ohio
(C&O)
Streamlined Dome Cars
by Al

The Chesapeake & Ohio purchased six domes all delivered by Budd in 1948 these six domes were of two different types. There were 3-coach–lounge observations 1875-1877 and three family room dome cars 1850-1852 as they were called. Both types of domes were built for the CHESSIE a new daytime streamliner between Washington – Newport News and Cincinnati. The CHESSIE would have operated as two sections east of Charleston. One section of the CHESSIE to and from Washington and the other section of the CHESSIE to and from Phoebus (Newport News), consolidating westbound at Charleston and splitting at this point eastbound. Alas, it really didn’t matter, as the CHESSIE never entered service. The forty-six cars delivered by Budd in August 1948 for the CHESSIE trains were disbursed over the next few years. All six of the dome cars were sold. The Dome sleeping cars were sold to the B&O in December 1950 for service in the CAPITOL LIMITED and SHENANDOAH. The C&O had seriously considered adding these cars to their own SPORTSMAN and even went so far as to assign names to the cars even though the names were not actually applied as follows:

1850 BELLE ISLE DOME

1851 CHAMBERLIN DOME

1852 HAMPTON ROADS DOME

See the B&O Chapter for further detail of these cars.
The other three CHESSIE domes the coach lounge Observations featured 20 seats forward of the dome and 16 seat lounge aft of the dome in the rounded end of the cars. A newsagent’s stand and the cars restrooms were located beneath the 24 seat domes. The C&O assigned these cars to service in the PERE MARQUETTES between Chicago – Grand Rapids and Detroit – Grand Rapids. The three cars 1875-1877 were sold to the Rio Grande in September 1949. Before delivery to the Rio Grande the cars were fitted with an adaptor complete with diaphragm for mid-train operation. After repainting in Grande Gold and Black the cars were renumbered 1248-1250 respectively.

TTFN Al
  • Member since
    February 2004
  • From: Chesterfield, Missouri, USA
  • 7,214 posts
Posted by siberianmo on Saturday, July 8, 2006 11:31 AM
G'day!

In support of the "theme" for this day . . . .

C&O streamliner (foto credit: unknown)


Later! [tup]

Tom[4:-)] [oX)]
Happy Railroading! Siberianmo
  • Member since
    September 2005
  • From: Alberta's Canadian Rockies
  • 331 posts
Posted by BudKarr on Saturday, July 8, 2006 1:25 PM
Good Day Captain Tom

Thought I would swing by this site just to support what you have been trying to do for months and months - get some interaction going.

Something from the past:


C&O 2-6-6-2 #1512 (foto: Paul Eilenberger collection)


See you once the forums resume activity on Thursday . . . .

BK in beautiful Alberta, Canada's high mountain country!
  • Member since
    January 2006
  • From: northeast U.S.
  • 1,225 posts
Posted by LoveDomes on Saturday, July 8, 2006 3:29 PM
Hiya Captain Tom

My guess is that it isn't going to matter one "whit" whether I provide "theme" pix or something else - who in blazes is here anyway ????? With over 25 thousand "hits" on this thread and a bit over 14 hundred posts, one would think the interest would have caught on by now. Confirms my thoughts about these cyber sites . . . .

Here's a compilation of stuff from the bar that may tweak some interest . . .

TurboTrain (from: www.trainweb.com)



TurboTrain – Penn/Dot – National Tour 1971 (from: www.trainweb.com)


TurboTrain – New Haven RR (from: www.trainweb.com)



TurboTrain – ViaRail/CN (from: www.trainweb.com)



TurboTrain – Amtrak – “The End” (1976) (from: www.trainweb.com)



Until the next time!


Lars
  • Member since
    February 2004
  • From: Chesterfield, Missouri, USA
  • 7,214 posts
Posted by siberianmo on Saturday, July 8, 2006 4:59 PM
G'day!

Thanx for stopping by, Lars - that was a shorter absence than we had figured! [tup]

I guess this Thread keeps moving forward because it's a place for the few of us to drop off a Pix or two - kinda like casting the fishing line into the drink. [swg]

No "theme" so to speak - sometimes when Al is into his proactive mode, we get things rolling by playing back 'n forth . . . .

So, where was I [?] Oh yeah - C&O . . .

C&O Freight (foto credit: unknown)


Later! [tup]

Tom[4:-)][oX)]
Happy Railroading! Siberianmo
  • Member since
    March 2004
  • From: Central Valley California
  • 2,841 posts
Posted by passengerfan on Saturday, July 8, 2006 6:46 PM
CHESAPEAKE
&
OHIO

PERE
MARQUETTE
Streamlined Sleeping Cars
by Al

The C&O owned a total of 72 lightweight streamlined sleeping cars. This total was of four different types of Sleeping cars, three Dome Sleeping cars from Budd and the other 94 cars came from Pullman Standard.
The three Budd built Dome sleeping cars were built for the C&O railroads stillborn Washington - Cincinnati daytime CHESSIE that never entered scheduled service. The interiors of the three cars featured 3 Drawing Rooms 5 Roomettes 1 Single Bedroom and the 24 seats in the dome. The C&O received the CHESSIE cars in August 1948 from Budd enough for three consists of the Newport News-Washington to Cincinnati trains. When the CHESSIE never entered scheduled service many of the cars for the new train were sold while others entered C&O service some only for a brief period. This was the case with the three Dome cars 1850 - 1852. The C&O assigned the cars to the SPORTSMAN the overnight trains between Washington - Newport News and Detroit. The C&O planned to assign the following names to the cars for Pullman service 1850 BELLE ISLE DOME, 1851 CHAMBERLIN DOME and 1852 HAMPTON ROADS DOME. The cars certainly stuck out in the SPORTSMAN when first assigned they were the only streamlined cars in an otherwise all heavyweight train.
In December, 1950 the three Dome Sleeping cars were sold to the B&O who in preparation for entry into service added lights to the car roofs ahead of the dome in order to view the night time scenery from the CAPITOL LIMITED between Washington and Chicago. Since the CAPITOL LIMITED only required two Domes the third ran every other day in the SHENANDOAH between Washington and Chicago. The B&O renamed the cars 7600 MOONLIGHT DOME 7601 STARLIGHT DOME and 7602 SUNLIGHT DOME.

5 ROOMETTE 1 SINGLE BEDROOM 3 DRAWING ROOM 24 SEAT DOME CARS Budd Company August, 1948 Plan: 9524 Lot: 9669 (Built for stillborn CHESSIE later assigned SPORTSMAN)

1850 (BELLE ISLE DOME)

1851 (CHAMBERLIN DOME)

1852 HAMPTON ROADS DOME

The C&O placed a huge order with Pullman Standard in 1946 for 239 streamlined passenger cars and before the first cars were delivered realized they would never be able to use that quantity of cars. There were 97 lightweight streamlined sleeping cars ordered from Pullman Standard but only 69 were actually delivered to the C&O for service. Several other railroads purchased some of the C&O cars from Pullman Standard and they were delivered to those roads painted and lettered for the particular roads ready to enter service. This was true of the 10 Roomette 6 Double Bedroom Sleeping cars of which 75 had originally been ordered. The Illinois Central purchased five for assignment to the CITY OF MIAMI and PANAMA LIMITED. These five cars were delivered to the IC painted in the Chocolate, Yellow, and Orange scheme with the IC names CAIRO, CARBONDALE, CENTRALIA, CHAMPAIGN and COVINGTON. Ten more were sold to the B&O with the following names and numbers. 7040 AUGLAISE, 7041 CATOCTIN, 7042 GUYANDOTTE, 7043 KOKOSING, 7044 MUSCATUCK, 7045 OPEQUON, 7046 SHENANGO, 7047 TUSCARAWAS, 7048 TYGART and 7049 YOUGHIOGHENY. The B&O assigned them to the CAPITOL LIMITED and other schedules.
The four that went directly to the Rio Grande were numbered and named 1270 JOHN EVANS, 1271 DAVID MOFFAT, 1272 BRIGHAM YOUNG, and 1273 HEBER C. KIMBALL. These cars were assigned to the overnight Denver - Salt Lake City PROSPECTORS. An interesting side note on the Rio Grande cars was they were rebuilt to 5 Section 6 Double Bedroom and 5 Roomette cars between December 1950 and March 1951 at Pullman Calumet.
The remaining fifty-six 10 Roomette 5 Double Bedroom Sleeping cars were delivered to the C&O in the Enchantment Blue and Yellow paint scheme. All were assigned CITY names for towns and cities located along the C&O. These C&O cars were interesting in that they featured the 6 Double Bedrooms in the center of the cars with 5 Roomettes over each truck. This gave the more expensive bedrooms a quieter ride being located in the center of the cars.
The C&O to operate their services needed a total of thirty-eight 10-6 sleeping cars nightly for their Chicago - Michigan trains and the GEORGE WASHINGTON, SPORTSMAN and FAST FLYING VIRGINIAN. Only four of the 11 Double Bedrooms operated nightly with one held in reserve. The 11 Double Bedroom Sleeping cars were assigned to the FAST FLYING VIRGINIAN between New York and Hot Springs and New York and White Sulphur Springs. It was not unusual to see one of the 11 Double Bedroom Sleeping cars parked on the siding at the famed C&O Greenbrier Hotel. Only the GEORGE WASHINGTON was assigned the 5 Double Bedroom Buffet Lounge Observations.

10 ROOMETTE 6 DOUBLE BEDROOM SLEEPING CARS Pullman Standard February - July 1950 (Built for and assigned to General Service)

2600 CITY OF ALEXANDRIA

2601 CITY OF ARLINGTON

2602 DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA

2603 CITY OF MOUNT HOPE

2604 CITY OF CHARLOTTESVILLE

2605 OLD POINT COMFORT

2606 CITY OF NEWPORT NEWS

2607 CITY OF PIKEVILLE

2608 CITY OF WILLIAMSBURG

2609 CITY OF VIRGINIA BEACH

2610 YORKTOWNE

2611 CITY OF RICHMOND

2612 CITY OF WAYNESBORO

2613 CITY OF STAUNTON

2614 VIRGINIA HOT SPRINGS

2615 WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS

2616 CITY OF RONCEVERTE

2617 CITY OF BECKLEY

2618 CITY OF ALDERSON

2619 CITY OF MONTGOMERY

2620 CITY OF CHARLESTON

2621 CITY OF ST. ALBANS

2622 CITY OF HUNTINGTON

2623 CITY OF KENOVA

2624 CITY OF ASHLAND

2625 CITY OF LEXINGTON

2626 TOWN OF THURMOND

2627 CITY OF FRANKFORT

2628 CITY OF LYNCHBURG

2629 CITY OF MAYSVILLE

2630 CITY OF NEWPORT

2631 CITY OF COVINGTON

2632 CITY OF PORTSMOUTH

2633 CITY OF PLYMOUTH

2634 CITY OF HINTON

2635 TOWN OF PRINCE

2636 CITY OF GRAND RAPIDS

2637 CITY OF HAMPTON

2638 CITY OF CLIFTON FORGE

2639 CITY OF FLINT

2640 CITY OF SAGINAW

2641 CITY OF LUDINGTON

2642 TRAVERSE CITY

2643 CITY OF MUSKEGON

2644 BAY CITY

2645 CITY OF MIDLAND

2646 CITY OF PHOEBUS

2647 CITY OF FOSTORIA

2648 CITY OF MARION

2649 CITY OF LOGAN

2650 CITY OF PETOSKEY

2651 CITY OF BENTON HARBOR

2652 CITY OF ST. JOSEPH

2653 CITY OF HOLLAND

2654 CITY OF WINCHESTER

2655 CITY OF ATHENS

In October, 1950 the C&O sold four of the 10 Roomette 6 Double Bedroom Sleeping cars to the ACL for assignment to the CHAMPIONS.

C&O 2615 WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS became ACL HALIFAX COUNTY

C&O 2616 CITY OF RONCEVERTE became ACL DILLON COUNTY

C&O 2617 CITY OF BECKLEY became ACL BRYAN COUNTY

C&O 2618 CITY OF ALDERSON became ACL VOLUSIA COUNTY

In addition the Illinois Central purchased eight more with delivery spread over four months. The first five were delivered to the IC in October 1950 as follows.

C&O 2647 CITY OF FOSTORIA became IC CHEBANSE

C&O 2649 CITY OF LOGAN became IC CLARKSDALE

C&O 2650 CITY OF PETOSKEY became IC COLES COUNTY

C&O 2651 CITY OF BENTON HARBOR became IC COBDEN

C&O 2652 CITY OF ST. JOSEPH became IC CALVERT

Two more 10-6 Sleeping cars were delivered to the IC in November 1950 as follows.

C&O 2620 CITY OF CHARLESTON became IC CRYSTAL SPRINGS

C&O 2648 CITY OF MARION became IC CLIFTON

The final 10-6 Sleeping car of the eight-car order was delivered to the IC in January 1951 was as follows.

C&O 2619 CITY OF MONTGOMERY became IC CORINTH

In December 1950 the C&O renamed the following 10-6 Sleeping car.

C&O 2639 CITY OF LOGAN originally named C&O 2639 CITY OF FLINT

In January 1951 eight additional 10-6 Sleeping cars were renamed as follows.

C&O 2601 CITY OF RONCERVERTE originally named C&O 2601 CITY OF ARLINGTON

C&O 2602 CITY OF MONTGOMERY originally named C&O 2602 DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA

C&O 2609 WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS originally named C&O 2609 CITY OF VIRGINIA BEACH

C&O 2623 CITY OF MARION originally named C&O 2623 CITY OF KENOVA

C&O 2633 CITY OF ALDERSON originally named C&O 2633 CITY OF PLYMOUTH

C&O 2640 CITY OF BECKLEY originally named C&O 2640 CITY OF SAGINAW

C&O 2641 CITY OF CHARLESTON originally named C&O 2641 CITY OF LUDINGTON

2655 CITY OF PETOSKEY originally named 2655 CITY OF ATHENS

One additional 10-6 was renamed in March 1951 as follows.

C&O 2645 CITY OF FOSTORIA originally named 2645 CITY OF MIDLAND

Two 10-6 Sleeping cars were sold and delivered to the B&O in February 1957 as follows.

C&O 2643 CITY OF MUSKEGON became B&O 7052 SCHUYLKILL

C&O 2655 CITY OF PETOSKEY originally C&O 2655 CITY OF ATHENS became B&O 7053 SHENANDOAH

In March 1957 an additional 10-6 Sleeping car was delivered to the B&O and renamed and renumbered as follows.

C&O 2635 TOWN OF PRINCE became B&O 7051 CUYAHOGA

A final 10-6 Sleeping car was delivered to the B&O in April 1957 and renamed and renumbered as follows.

C&O 2603 CITY OF MOUNT HOPE became B&O 7050 ALLEGHENY


11 DOUBLE BEDROOM SLEEPING CARS Pullman Standard June 1950 Plan: 4168 Lot: 6865 (Built for and assigned to FAST FLYING VIRGINIAN)

2800 HOMESTEAD

2801 MONTICELLO

2802 NATURAL BRIDGE

2803 MOUNT VERNON

2804 GREENBRIER

Three of the 11 Double Bedroom Sleeping cars were sold to Hamburg Industries in September 1969 and leased to the Seaboard Coast Line for operation in the FLORIDA SPECIAL and SILVER METEOR. One of the three cars was renamed by the Seaboard Coast Line after all it wouldn't do to have a SCL Sleeper running with the name of the C&O resort GREENBRIAR on its flanks.

C&O 2801 MONTICELLO became SCL 6107 MONTICELLO

C&O 2802 NATURAL BRIDGE became SCL 6108 NATURAL BRIDGE

C&O 2804 GREENBRIER became SCL 6106 MAGNOLIA GARDEN

The remaining two 11 Double Bedroom Sleeping cars were sold to Hamburg Industries who then leased them to the SCL in March 1970 as follows.

C&O 2800 HOMESTEAD became SCL 6110 HOMESTEAD

C&O 2803 MOUNT VERNON became SCL 6111 MOUNT VERNON


5 DOUBLE BEDROOM BUFFET 26 SEAT LOUNGE BLUNT OBSERVATION Pullman Standard August 1950 Plan: 4165 Lot: 6893 (Built for and assigned to GEORGE WASHINGTON)

2500 BLUE RIDGE CLUB

2501 SHENANDOAH CLUB

2502 TIDEWATER CLUB

2503 ALLEGHENY CLUB

2504 NEW RIVER CLUB

2505 OHIO RIVER CLUB

2506 BLUE GRASS CLUB

2507 WOLVERINE CLUB

In February 1951 two of the CLUB series cars ownership was transferred to the B&O for assignment to the AMBASSADOR between Washington - Detroit after repainting and renaming and renumbering as follows.

C&O 2501 SHENANDOAH CLUB became B&O 7502 DANA

C&O 2505 OHIO RIVER CLUB became B&O 7503 METCALF

One month later in March 1951 two more CLUB series cars ownership was transferred to the B&O with the following name and number changes. These two cars were assigned to the CAPITOL LIMITED between Washington and Chicago.

C&O 2502 TIDEWATER CLUB became B&O 7500 NAPPANEE

C&O 2507 WOLVERINE CLUB became B&O 7501 WAWASEE

C&O 2504 NEW RIVER CLUB was rebuilt to a business car in 1951 and numbered and named 29 CHESSIE. This was assigned to C&O president Robert R. Young.
In November - December 1961 the C&O rebuilt the 2500 BLUE GRASS CLUB 2503 ALLEGHENY CLUB and 2506 BLUEGRASS CLUB. The rebuilding included the removal of all stainless steel fluted panels and new smooth steel side panels were installed below the windows to repair the corrosion damage. The interiors were remodeled to Crew Dormitory - Kitchen - Pantry 28 seat Dining cars. After the rebuilding the cars were renumbered 1923, 1925, and 1924 respectively.

TTFN Al
  • Member since
    February 2004
  • From: Chesterfield, Missouri, USA
  • 7,214 posts
Posted by siberianmo on Sunday, July 9, 2006 7:55 AM
Good Morning!

Something different on this final day before Forum's shutdown!



PASSENGER TRAIN NOSTALGIA #16

Here’s something to enjoy regarding the Budd RDC’s from a 1950 advertisement found in my personal collection.

Single Car “Limited”

Here is the new railroad car which is a train in itself – the self-propelled, diesel-powered, all-stainless steel RDC-1. The Budd Company created it to perform a service both to railroads and their patrons, by carrying more passengers on short or long hauls at lower operating cost.

The RDC-1 seats ninety in air-conditioned comfort. With power transmitted hydraulically, from an effortless start it picks up speed like a whippet and stops in a fantastically short space . . . with the easy softness of pushing your hand against a pillow.

Railroad men foresee a wide usefulness for this car. It may be operated as a single unit, or a number of cars can be coupled into a train, operated by one engineman.

Improvement in any field of endeavor begins with imagination. The RDC-1 is another example of Budd practice which is first to envision clearly the need and then bring to bear all the resources of inventive engineering. It follows the modern stainless steel streamliner, the all-steel automobile body, the tapered steel disc wheel and so many other products in which Budd has translated imagination into practical accomplishment. The Budd Company, Philadelphia, Detroit.

Budd


Enjoy! [tup]

Tom[4:-)][oX)]
Happy Railroading! Siberianmo
  • Member since
    March 2004
  • From: Central Valley California
  • 2,841 posts
Posted by passengerfan on Sunday, July 9, 2006 8:55 AM
BRITISH
COLUMBIA
RAILWAY
(PACIFIC
GREAT
EASTERN
RAILWAY)
Streamlined Passenger Cars
by Al

The Pacific Great Eastern Railway was completed between Squamish, British Columbia and Prince George, British Columbia through the interior of the province in 1952 with the only towns of any consequence Lillooet and Quesnel.
The only means to the rest of Canada before a rail connection in Prince George with the Canadian National Railway was established was a rail barge service between Squamish and Vancouver. Owned by the province of British Columbia the decision was made to finally complete the PGE between Squamish and North Vancouver along the fiord like cliffs of Howe Sound and some of the most expensive real estate in North America located in West Vancouver to reach North Vancouver.
After the extension was completed in 1956 the PGE purchased seven Rail Diesel Cars from Budd to provide passenger services along the line. The purchase was comprised of three RDC-1s and four RDC-3s. Both types of Rail Diesel cars purchased by the PGE were of the final design with the wrap around fluted stainless steel panels below the windows extended around the ends of the units. The other noticeable difference was the larger windows at the car ends for the engineer replacing smaller windows found on earlier Rail Diesel Cars. A redesigned flush mounted pilot with the car ends, 1” larger diameter wheels of 34” diameter compared to the earlier 33” wheels, and new GM Detroit 6-110 diesels of 300 HP each compared to the older Rail Diesel cars 275 HP diesels. The additional twenty-five horsepower would be welcome on the PGE with its rugged profile. A small kitchenette was installed in the Baggage Room of the RDC-3s by Budd at the time of their construction and food service was provided at ones seat. Two rest rooms were installed in each type of RDC purchased by the PGE instead of a single unisex bathroom found on the majority of Rail Diesel Cars. Seating in the RDC-1s was reduced to 80 instead of the usual 90 and the seats were of a more comfortable type then the flip over type found in most Rail Diesel Cars, seating was also reduced in the RDC-3s to 48. The RDC-1s were built with a small snack bar at one end of the cars. The railroad added additional features to the cars such as ditch lights for added safety especially through the areas where slides were common. Although the RDC-s were bi-directional the PGE fitted the RPO-Baggage end with a more permanent and comfortable engineers seating arrangement and designated this as the forward or A end. Due to the inclimate weather encountered during the winter months the PGE installed special Arctic electric window defrosters on the A ends of the RDCs for the engineers visibility and they also keep snow and ice from building up on the windshield wiper blades. The PG&E cars were all delivered with BC prefix numbers as follows: RDC 1s BC-10, BC-11, and BC-12. The RDC-3s were numbered BC-30, BC-31, BC32, and BC-33. The three RDC-1s were delivered in August,1956 with three of the RDC-3s arriving in September, 1956 and the final RDC-3 arriving in December, 1956. All Rail Diesel Cars on the PGE were referred to as Dayliners a practice carried over into the British Columbia Railway renaming April 1, 1972. Initial operating procedure for the new RDCs called for a RDC-3 and an RDC-1 to operated through between North Vancouver and Prince George 463 miles in each direction daily to be known as the CARIBOU DAYLINER. The remaining two RDC-3s and the single RDC-1 operated on the rear of the northbound CARIBOU DAYLINER from Vancouver to Lillooet a distance of 157.5 miles where they were set out to wait for the southbound CARIBOU DAYLINER for the return trip to North Vancouver. Even today although the number of Rail Diesel Cars has increased with several used cars purchased from Amtrak and VIA Rail Canada to replace wrecked cars the British Columbia Railway operates there RDCs in a similar fashion except on a tri-weekly schedule only north of Lillooet. Today they also operate special ski trains of RDCs in the winter months to Whistlers Mountain one of the finest ski areas in North America.
The Squamish shops of the BCR maintain the RDC fleet and most have been re- engined with 300 HP Cummins diesels but how much longer these trains will operate is any ones guess. The original color scheme of the cars was a dark green letter board and Orange ends with the green letter board extended in a Vee meeting just below the headlight. The words PACIFIC GREAT EASTERN were painted in the center of the letter board. The British Columbia Railway scheme was light green letter board and upper half of front end with the lower half of the ends painted Dark Green except for the fluted stainless steel panels. A white separation stripe was used between the greens. On the sides of the cars centered below the windows on the stainless steel fluting a Dark Green Panel was installed. On this panel was the roads symbol the Dogwood Flower in a Orange circle, and the words BRITISH COLUMBIA RAILWAY with each word on one line, at the car ends on the dark green below the center door was another Dogwood flower.

80 REVENUE SEAT RAIL DIESEL CAR 1 Budd Company August, 1956 A pair of GM Detroit 6-110 Diesels producing 300 HP each driving Allison Torque Converters powering one set of wheels on each truck.

BC-10 BC-11 BC-12

15’ RAILWAY POST OFFICE BAGGAGE 48 REVENUE SEAT RAIL DIESEL CARS 3 Budd Company September, 1956 A pair of GM Detroit 6-110 Diesels producing 300 HP each driving Allison Torque Converters powering one set of wheels on each truck.

BC-30 BC-31 BC-32

15’ RAILWAY POST OFFICE BAGGAGE 48 REVENUE SEAT RAIL DIESEL CAR 3 Budd Company December, 1956 A pair of GM Detroit 6-110 Diesels producing 300 HP each driving Allison Torque Converters powering one set of wheels on each truck.

BC-33

BC-32 destroyed after grade crossing accident with Tank Truck near Canim, British Columbia on February 6, 1960.
BC-31 destroyed after wreck near Lillooet, British Columbia on November 26, 1976.

A replacement for BC31 was the former Great Northern Railway 2350 purchased from Amtrak in December 1975 and rebuilt for service by the British Columbia Railway in 1977.

The British Columbia Railway leased and then purchased three SEPTA former Reading RDC-1s in 1983 all have been rebuilt to British Columbia Railway standards and are in service today as BC-20, BC-21, and BC-22.

Three ex NP RDC-3s B-40, B-41 and B-42 were purchased by the British Columbia Railway in 1975 from Amtrak for parts but were never operated in BC Rail service. The hulks were sold to VIA Rail Canada in 1985.

The British Columbia Railway today operates a steam powered excursion service daily during the summer months for the Province of British Columbia between North Vancouver and Squamish behind a former CPR 4-6-4 Royal Hudson with a consist of former Canadian Pacific cars in there former paint scheme to match the beautiful Royal Hudson. The 2860 was one of the last oil burning steam locomotive built and is quite impressive pulling its string of matching cars along the cliffs of Howe Sound. The following cars are assigned to the ROYAL HUDSON train service.

BAGGAGE CAR Canadian Car & Foundry 1952-53 (Built for Canadian Pacific Railway sold to Province of British Columbia 1974 for service in Royal Hudson train)

PRINCE GEORGE originally CPR 2757 originally CPR4757

68 REVENUE SEAT COACHES Canadian Pacific Shops 1947-49 (Built for Canadian Pacific Railway sold to Province of British Columbia 1973 for service in Royal Hudson train)

ALEXANDRIA originally CPR 2286

PEMBERTON originally CPR 2238

CLINTON originally CPR 2252

QUESNEL originally CPR 2271

D’ARCY originally CPR 2267

SKEENA RIVER originally CPR 2280

LILLOOET originally CPR 2241

SQUAMISH originally CPR 2283

LONE BUTTE originally CPR 2242

SUNDANCE originally CPR 2296

MacKENZIE originally CPR 2270

40 SEAT PARLOR CARS WITH GALLEY Canadian Pacific Shops 1947 –49 (Built as 68 seat Coaches for Canadian Pacific Railway rebuilt to Parlor Cars in 1958 sold to Province of British Columbia 1973 for service in Royal Hudson train)

BRANDYWINE FALLS ex CPR 6601 originally CPR 2290

KOOTENAY FALLS ex CPR 6602 originally 2291

SHANNON FALLS ex CPR 6600 originally 2289

TTFN Al
  • Member since
    February 2004
  • From: Chesterfield, Missouri, USA
  • 7,214 posts
Posted by siberianmo on Sunday, July 9, 2006 12:09 PM
G'day!

Continuing with the RDC . . .



PASSENGER TRAIN NOSTALGIA #17

Here’s something to enjoy regarding the Budd RDC’s from a 1950 advertisement found in my personal collection.

RDC – All-purpose Railway Passenger Coach

RDC, introduced a year ago, is the new all-stainless steel, self-propelled Budd rail diesel car. It is good looking, quiet, smooth riding. It is comfortable, clean and air-conditioned.

The New York Central now has two Budd RDC’s operating express service between Springfield and Boston, and a third, providing local service between western Massachusetts and Albany.

Western Pacific has two RDC’s covering the 924 miles which separate Oakland and Salt Lake City.

Pennsylvania-Reading Seashore Lines have just placed six RDC’s in operation between Camden, Ocean City, Wildwood and Cape May. They leave Camden as a six-car train and end up as two-car trains at each of the three Jersey cities.,

Chicago & North Western has three RDC’s in commuter service; the Baltimore & Ohio will soon haves two and New York, Susquehanna Western, four.

These varied uses to which RDC is being put cover almost every kind of service a railway passenger coach can render.

The general acceptance of the Budd all-stainless steel RDC suggests that the development of railway passenger coach equipment may be headed in a new direction.

The Budd Company
Philadelphia, Detroit, Gary

Budd


Enjoy! [tup]

Tom[4:-)][oX)]
Happy Railroading! Siberianmo
  • Member since
    March 2004
  • From: Central Valley California
  • 2,841 posts
Posted by passengerfan on Sunday, July 9, 2006 1:35 PM
AT&SF
SAN DIEGAN (RDC)
(May 21, 1952)
By Al

The Santa Fe inaugurated their third SAN DIEGAN train set on May 21, 1952 comprised of a pair of RDC 1s DC-191 and DC-192. Like the two earlier streamlined SAN DIEGAN trains operating between San Diego and Los Angeles the pair of RDC’s were operated two round trips daily, one the fastest of the SAN DIEGAN schedules. This was the morning northbound non-stop of the 128 mile trip in 135 minutes and the final southbound early evening departure from Los Angeles to San Diego on the same fast 135 minute timing. When inaugurated the Santa Fe charged an additional .50 cents for these non-stop runs. The Rail Diesel Cars proved them-selves worthy of these fast schedules with their fast acceleration and the RDC’s did not require turning at terminals something that saved both time and money as turning facilities in San Diego were some distance from the station. It was a simple matter to flip the backs of the seats over for the return trip. The RDC’s operated together during non-meal hours as there was no food service provided on these cars.

TTFN Al
  • Member since
    February 2004
  • From: Chesterfield, Missouri, USA
  • 7,214 posts
Posted by siberianmo on Sunday, July 9, 2006 2:51 PM
G'day!

And another RDC ad . . .



PASSENGER TRAIN NOSTALGIA #18

Here’s something to enjoy regarding the RDC’s from Budd from a 1953 advertisement found in my personal collection.

40 RDC’S FOR THE PROGRESSIVE NEW HAVEN





If anybody should know how to carry passengers profitably it’s the New Haven. Nearly half its income is derived from this source in contrast with most railroads where freight is king.


This adds significance to the fact that the New Haven has become the largest purchaser of Budd RDC’s – stainless steel, self-propelled, rail diesel cars.


In the nearly three years RDC’s have been operating in this country and abroad they have compiled an impressive record. In performance, they have improved every schedule they were assigned to. In operation they have proved both reliable and economical – two RDC’s saved one railroad $600,000 in a year. In the comfortable, air-conditioned service they render, RDC’s have increased passenger patronage – one RDC, operating in a new service between Worcester and New London, picked up 944 passengers in its first week.


Both New England and the New Haven will benefit from expanded RDC operation.


The Budd Company, Philadelphia, Detroit, Gary


Budd
PIONEERS IN BETTER TRANSPORTATION


Enjoy! [tup]

Tom[4:-)][oX)]
Happy Railroading! Siberianmo
  • Member since
    February 2004
  • From: Chesterfield, Missouri, USA
  • 7,214 posts
Posted by siberianmo on Sunday, July 9, 2006 3:07 PM
READ THIS!

QUOTE: Bergie Posted: 09 Jul 2006, 14:37:56
Content & Business Manager - Trains.com

We need to take our forums down for a couple of days to migrate the content from our current reader forum into our new reader forum. We'll see you back in the forums on July 12 when the new Trains.com launches (sometime in the late afternoon).

Erik

--------------------
Erik Bergstrom
Content and Business Manager
Trains.com



Tom[4:-)] [oX)]
Happy Railroading! Siberianmo
  • Member since
    February 2004
  • From: Chesterfield, Missouri, USA
  • 7,214 posts
Posted by siberianmo on Sunday, July 9, 2006 8:01 PM
G'day!

The finale for today's RDCs . . . .




PASSENGER TRAIN NOSTALGIA #19

Here’s something to enjoy regarding the RDC’s from Budd from a 1954 advertisement found in my personal collection.


RDC – Car with a Future for Canada’s Future


The Canadian Pacific – world’s greatest travel system – has just bought four Budd stainless steel RDCs. (The letters RDC stand for Rail Diesel Car.)


The cars were bought because of their proved ability to reduce costs, improve service and attract traffic. But also with an eye to Canada’s growth, which presages an increase in the need for transportation as Canada’s vast mineral, oil and natural resources are developed.


Operating experiences with RDC usually reveals potentialities not originally envisioned. Nobody has yet found their limit, though RDC is now operating in a searching range of services in Australia, Cuba and Saudi Arabia, as well as on our own country’s leading railroads. The Budd Company, Philadelphia, Detroit, Gary.


Automobile and Truck Bodies and Wheels. Railway Passenger Cars and Plows.

Budd



PIONEERS IN BETTER TRANSPORTATION


Enjoy! [tup]

Tom[4:-)][oX)]
Happy Railroading! Siberianmo
  • Member since
    March 2004
  • From: Central Valley California
  • 2,841 posts
Posted by passengerfan on Monday, July 10, 2006 7:08 AM
Streamlined Dome Cars
Of The
United States & Canada
By Al

The following trains began demonstrating or entered service on the dates listed as dome equipped trains. The number of domes listed in parenthesis represents per consist. And the two terminals are shown for each of the dome operated trains.

TRAIN OF TOMORROW May 28, 1947 (4) Demonstrator See UP 457-458 for service.

VISTA DOME TWIN ZEPHYRS CB&Q December 19, 1947 (5) Chicago – Twin Cities twice daily round trips.

COLORADO EAGLE MP- D&RGW June 1948 (1) St. Louis – Denver daily each direction

CHESSIE C&O August 1, 1948 (2) Cincinnati – Washington daily each direction never entered scheduled service.

PERE MARQUETTE C&O October 1948 (1) Chicago – Detroit daily each direction

VISTA DOME CALIFORNIA ZEPHYR CB&Q – D&RGW - WP
March 21, 1949 (4) Chicago – Oakland daily each direction.

COLUMBIAN B&O May 5, 1949 (1) Washington – Chicago Overnight each direction

ROYAL GORGE D&RGW September 1949 (1) Denver – Salt Lake City daily each direction via Pueblo.

BLUE BIRD WAB February 26, 1950 (4) St. Louis – Chicago round trip daily

457-458 UP June 18, 1950 (4) Portland – Seattle round trip daily

SHENANDOAH B&O January 8, 1951 (1) Washington – Chicago every other day

CAPITOL LIMITED B&O January 8, 1951 (1) Washington – Chicago overnight each direction

SUPER CHIEF AT&SF December 1951 (1) Chicago – Los Angeles daily each direction

TEXAS EAGLES MP – T&P 1-2 July 1952 (1) St. Louis – Fort Worth overnight each direction

TEXAS EAGLES MP 21-22 July 1952 (1) St. Louis – San Antonio overnight each direction

MISSOURI RIVER EAGLE MP July 1952 (1) St. Louis –Omaha/Lincoln via Kansas City daily each direction

CITY OF KANSAS CITY WAB August 1952 (1) St. Louis – Kansas City round trip daily

MORNING HIAWATHA CMSTP&P December 1952 (1) Chicago – Twin Cities daily each direction

AFTERNOON HIAWATHA CMSTP&P December 1952 (1) Chicago – Twin Cities daily each direction

OLYMPIAN HIAWATHA CMSTP&P December 1952 (1) Chicago – Seattle/Tacoma daily each direction

VISTA DOME AK-SAR-BEN ZEPHYR CB&Q December 1952 (1) Chicago – Omaha/Lincoln Overnight each direction

VISTA DOME KANSAS CITY ZEPHYR CB&Q February 1, 1953 (2) Chicago – Kansas City daily each direction

VISTA DOME AMERICAN ROYAL ZEPHYR CB&Q February 1, 1953 (2) Chicago – Kansas City Overnight each direction

SAN JOAQUIN DAYLIGHT SP June 24, 1954 (1) Oakland – Los Angeles via San Joaquin Valley daily each direction

CHICAGOAN – KANSAS CITYAN AT&SF 1954 (1) Chicago – Oklahoma City daily each way

SAN FRANCISCO CHIEF AT&SF 1954 (1) Chicago – Oakland daily each direction

EL CAPITAN AT&SF 1954 (1) Chicago – Los Angeles daily each direction

NORTH COAST LIMITED CB&Q – NP August 16, 1954 Coaches (2) October 1954 Sleepers (2) total (4) Chicago – Portland/Seattle daily each direction

CITY OF PORTLAND C&NW - UP 1955 (3) Chicago – Portland daily each direction)

CITY OF LOS ANGELES C&NW - UP 1955 (2) Chicago – Los Angeles daily each direction

CHALLENGER C&NW - UP 1955 (1) Chicago – Los Angeles daily each direction

SAN FRANCISCO OVERLAND SP April 1955 (1) Oakland – Ogden daily each direction

SHASTA DAYLIGHT SP May 1955 (1) Oakland – Portland daily each direction

CANADIAN CPR April 24, 1955 (2) Montreal/Toronto – Vancouver daily each direction

DOMINION CPR April 24, 1955 (2) Montreal/Toronto – Vancouver daily each direction

ATLANTIC LIMITED CPR April 24, 1955 (1) Montreal – St. John Overnight each direction

CITY OF ST. LOUIS WAB - UP (1) St. Louis – Los Angeles daily each direction

EMPIRE BUILDER CB&Q - GN Coaches (3) May 29, 1955 Lounges (1) October 1955 Chicago – Portland/Seattle daily each direction

CHIEF AT&SF July 1956 (1) Chicago – Los Angeles daily each direction

VISTA DOME DENVER ZEPHYRS CB&Q October 28, 1956 (3) Chicago – Denver/Colorado Springs Overnight each direction

CITY OF SAN FRANCISCO (SP) 1956 (1) Ogden – Oakland daily each direction

CITY OF DENVER CMSTP&P - UP January 1958 (1) Chicago – Denver Overnight Each direction

TEXAS CHIEF AT&SF 1958 (1) Chicago – Houston daily each direction

WESTERN STAR GN (1) winter only St. Paul – Seattle daily each direction

YAMPA VALLEY MAIL D&RGW (1) Denver – Craig round trip daily

POCAHONTAS N&W 1969 (1) Cincinnati – Norfolk daily each direction

VIGER CPR 1969 (1) Montreal – Quebec City round trip daily

FRONTENAC CPR 1969 (1) Montreal – Quebec City round trip daily

RIDEAU CPR 1969 (1) Montreal – Ottawa round trip daily

RIO GRANDE ZEPHYR D&RGW (5) Denver – Salt Lake City every other day

SUPER CONTINENTAL CNR (1) Edmonton – Vancouver daily each direction

PANORAMA CNR (1) Winnipeg – Vancouver daily each direction

COAST DAYLIGHT SP (1) San Francisco – Los Angeles daily each direction

AURORA ARR (1) Anchorage – Fairbanks summers daily

POWHATAN ARROW N&W (1) Cincinnati – Newport News daily each direction

CITY OF MIAMI IC - CofG – ACL – FEC (1) Chicago – Miami winters only every other day

SOUTH WIND PRR – L&N – ACL – FEC (1) Chicago – Miami winters only every other day

LE CHATEAU CHAMPLAIN CPR (1) Montreal – Quebec City round trip daily

LOUISIANA EAGLE T&P (1) New Orleans – Fort Worth Overnight each direction

TURBO TRAINS CNR (2) Toronto – Montreal twice daily round trips

PANAMA LIMITED IC (1) Chicago – New Orleans winter only one season only overnight each direction

BANNER BLUE WAB (1) Chicago – St. Louis round trip daily

NEBRASKA ZEPHYR CB&Q (1) Chicago – Omaha – Lincoln round trip daily

NANCY HANKS II CofG (1) Atlanta- Savannah round trip daily

CITY OF NEW ORLEANS IC (1) Chicago – New Orleans daily each direction

SOUTHERN CRESCENT SOU – L&N (1) Atlanta – New Orleans daily each direction

The lightweight streamlined Dome car was a new type car that entered the North American rail scene following WW II.
The modern Dome car made its first appearance in June 1945. The railroad that built the first modern dome car CB&Q was also the railroad that introduced the first streamlined diesel powered streamlined train the Pioneer Zephyr in 1934. Later they would introduce the Gallery car to Chicago commuters, and the Slumbercoach first appeared in the CB&Q 1956 version of the VISTA-DOME DENVER ZEPHYR.
The idea for the modern dome originated with General Motors vice president and Electro-Motive Division general manager Mr. Cyrus R. Osborn. On a trip aboard an A-B-B-A set of the companies new EMD FT diesel units leading a freight train through Glenwood Canyon on the D&RGW.
Sitting in the fireman’s seat he was awe struck by the spectacular view from the sloping windows of the lead diesel unit and the idea for the dome was born. When he returned east Mr. Osborn discussed a dome car with leaders of other railroads. The one railroad leader Mr. Osborn inspired with the idea of a dome car was Mr. Ralph Budd president of the CB&Q. The two men close friends talked for many hours about the feasibility of the yet to be named dome car.
It was from this meeting that 4714 SILVER DOME became reality. Along with Burlington’s Chief Mechanical Officer Mr. H.H. Ulrich, and Budd Companies Colonel E.J. Ragsdale SILVER DOME became the world’s first modern Vista-Dome car.
The first Dome was reconstructed from the flat top 52-revenue seat Budd built coach 4714 SILVER ALCHEMY. This modern lightweight streamlined stainless steel car built new in June 1940 would emerge from the Aurora, Illinois shops of the CB&Q in June 1945 as the world’s first Vista Dome car. The number 4714 would remain but the name was changed to SILVER DOME. The CB&Q and Budd people referred to the completed car as a Vista-Dome. The conversion of the car was accomplished with the help of Budd engineers; the car underwent transformation from an ordinary streamlined coach in less than two weeks to the most talked about coach in postwar history. How was the 4714 SILVER ALCHEMY selected? Believe it or not it was by chance the 4714 SILVER ALCHEMY was in the shop undergoing routine maintenance and inspection, it was simply a case of being in the right place at the right time. Atop the center of the car after shopping was a greenhouse looking affair called the dome. This part raised above the roofline featured windows on the sides, top, front and rear. The standard height of this car when it entered the shops was 13’ 6”. Height to top of dome after reconstruction was 16’ 1-1/2”. This would be the highest short dome car built along with a twin out shopped by the CB&Q in 1949 4709 SILVER CASTLE to the same plan as the earlier 4714 SILVER DOME. Those domes built by the three major car builders never exceeded 15’ 10-1/2” in height.
Here was the passenger car feature that could not only provide passenger’s nearly unobstructed viewing to the sides but forward over the top of other cars or one could turn around and see to the rear over the roofs of the trailing cars. Not to mention the view skyward especially worthwhile in mountainous country or along the banks of the Mississippi with the bluffs rising alongside the tracks or across the river. The dome seated 24 passengers arranged in two rows of paired seats 12 on either side of the center aisle facing forward. Above the dome aisle was a panel with heating and air conditioning vents with lights down the center for night use at stations. At other times in the night these lights were extinguished leaving only the small aisle lights lining the floor similar to those used in darkened theaters, these lights did not interfere with night visibility but were visible enough to see ones way to a seat in the dome, and one could see the headlight of the locomotive cutting a swath through the countryside ahead of the speeding train. Those nights of the full moon the dome seats provided an almost eerie view of the passing countryside.
All future standard or short dome cars from Budd, Pullman Standard, and American Car & Foundry would be constructed with a depressed section below the dome and an aisle running along one side of the car beneath the dome.
In the case of CB&Q 4709 SILVER CASTLE and 4714 SILVER DOME there were two aisles down either side beneath the dome and main floor seating beneath the dome was arranged back to back facing outward to the windows. This arrangement cut the revenue seating capacity of these two dome cars to 34 on the main level from the original 52. The 24 seats in the dome were considered non-revenue and this space was not sold, it was open to any passenger who wished to enjoy the passing scenery.
After completion the CB&Q sent the 4714 SILVER DOME on a system wide tour to test passenger reaction to the Vista-Dome.
The dome seemed to provide something for everyone to see and enjoy. For the railfan he was virtually able to look over the shoulder of the engineer as the train raced through the countryside and witness the trackside signals turn from green too red as the train broke the track circuit. On certain railroads where semaphore signals were the order of the day not only did one see the light turn from red to green but watched the semaphore arm drop from the upright position to the stop position. Or one could watch crossing gates drop as the train approached then turn and see them raise once again and the vehicular traffic start across after the train had passed. Every train meet was witnessed first hand by the railfan sitting in the dome. And what railfan cannot remember riding in a dome when a slower scheduled passenger train or freight was overtaken in double track, or triple track territory.
For most passengers the attraction of the dome was viewing the passing scenery as never seen before from a train. Not even the rounded end observations offered the view provided by the new Vista-Dome. In fact no other type car has appeared on the railway scene to offer the view provided by the Vista-Dome. The short domes from Budd, American Car & Foundry and those UP coach domes built by Pullman Standard in 1958 for the CITY OF ST. LOUIS provided the best overall dome viewing.
The 4714 SILVER DOME did more to influence CB&Q postwar new car purchases than any other car. From this singe homemade conversion the CB&Q would become the largest owner of dome cars in the world. This was prior to the merger with the GN, NP, and SP&S that created Burlington Northern. Only Amtrak would own more domes than the Burlington Northern.
On July 23, 1945 4714 SILVER DOME made its debut, operating to Minneapolis in CB&Q train #45 from Chicago.
At the same time CB&Q train #45 was departing Chicago that morning a press conference was being held by GM Vice-President Mr. Cyrus Osborn in Chicago announcing that GM and Pullman Standard had teamed up and were going to build the TRAIN OF TOMORROW as a demonstration train for the country to see.
General Motors itself was impressed enough with the dome idea it was turned over to there design & styling department and Mr. Harley Earl vice-president (famous for the Buick portholes) of styling turned to his staff and turned the idea into three ten foot models complete with clay passengers and crew members to fill them. Thus was born the GM TRAIN OF TOMORROW. These models went on display in 1945 and were exhibited to many railroad presidents and the reaction of these top Railroad executives led to GM awarding a contract to Pullman Standard for four Astra-Dome cars to be pulled by a new matching General Motors EMD E7A unit. The order called for Pullman Standard to build one each Astra-Dome Cars of four car types.
First was an Astra-Dome Coach with seating for 48 on the main car level with bathrooms located beneath the dome, the dome itself seated 24, this car was named STAR DUST.
The second car in the GM TRAIN OF TOMORROW consist was an Astra-Dome dining car with seating at tables for eighteen in the dome arranged three tables for four on one side and three tables for two on the other. The main floor dining room of SKY VIEW as the Astra-Dome dining car was named seated 24 on the main level. The seating in the main dining room on the main level of the car to the rear of the dome dining room was arranged with four triangular tables for four on one side and four triangular tables for two on the other side. The Kitchen was located at the other end of the cars main floor. Food prepared in the Kitchen located in the cars forward main level area traveled by an electric Dumbwaiter at the front of the dome to the smart waiter (the one who received the tips) in the dome. Beneath the dome in the depressed area of SKY VIEW was located a private dining room for ten passengers. Total dining accommodation was provided for 52.
The third Astra-Dome was a sleeping car, providing 24 seats in the dome, the same as the coach. The sleeping accommodation of DREAM CLOUD as the car was named was unusual providing two three berth Drawing Rooms forward of the dome on the main level, beneath the dome was three compartments. On the main level to the rear of the dome was the location for eight duplex roomettes. Thus as a sleeping car Astra-Dome DREAM CLOUD was built with a maximum sleeping car capacity of twenty. The DREAM CLOUD never operated in revenue service as a sleeping car instead after sale to the Union Pacific along with the other three Astra-Dome cars that comprised the TRAIN OF TOMORROW it served as a parlor car. All space was sold at parlor car rates in DREAM CLOUD on its daily Portland-Seattle round trips.
The fourth Astra-Dome in the GM TRAIN OF TOMORROW was a Lounge Observation, again with 24 seats in the dome. This car MOON GLOW featured 44 lounge seats in singles and sofas on the main level and beneath the dome and two bars served the cocktail lounges ahead of and beneath the dome. The area of the main level to the rear of the dome in the beautifully rounded Observation end was strictly a lounge area.
Honors for the first factory built dome coach, dome diner, dome sleeping car, and dome lounge observation went to Pullman Standard. For it was Pullman Standard who designed and built the entire GM TRAIN OF TOMORROW Astra-Dome ASTRA-LINER and proved the concept of the depressed main level section beneath the dome was feasible and had the necessary strength and robustness for railroad use. Ironically Pullman Standard would never build another dome sleeping car or dome dining car, at least not one with kitchen facilities anyway.
The beautiful blue and stainless steel ASTRA-LINER TRAIN OF TOMORROW was first displayed outside Chicago’s Soldier Field May 28, 1947. Two days prior to its public debut at Soldier Field May 26-27, 1947, the TRAIN OF TOMORROW made its first test sortie operating a 560 mile round trip over the Chicago, Indianapolis and Louisville (Monon) to their famous French Lick resort in Indiana from Chicago and return. Ironically the Monon that hosted the GM TRAIN OF TOMORROW on this test run would never own a dome.
After a week in Chicago on public display the GM TRAIN OF TOMORROW departed on a 65,000-mile exhibition tour of the country visiting every major city in the United States that had the necessary clearances for the extended height cars. The exhibition tour was completed in December 1949 and the train sat outside Pullman Standard in Chicago until March 1950.
In April 1950 the GM TRAIN OF TOMORROW complete with EMD E7A 765 was sold to the Union Pacific. After being repainted into UP Streamliner colors of yellow, gray and red in Omaha the train was prepared for another exhibition tour. This time the tour traveled to Los Angeles as part of a CITY OF LOS ANGELES consist out of Omaha. After display in Los Angeles the former GM TRAIN OF TOMORROW consist departed Los Angeles in another CITY OF LOS ANGELES consist for its new home of Portland, Oregon operating in that train as far as Salt Lake City. From Salt Lake City to Pocatello the cars traveled in the BUTTE SPECIAL. From Pocatello via Boise and La Grande the cars traveled in one of the CITY OF PORTLAND consists before arrival in its new Oregon home base.
On June 18, 1950 the cars of the former TRAIN OF TOMORROW were integrated with the other cars of UP pool train 457 and departed Portland for Seattle becoming the first dome equipped train to enter scheduled service in the Pacific Northwest. Train 457 and 458 would be the shortest scheduled dome route in the United States. Leading 457 that day was UP EMD E7A unit 988 the former TRAIN OF TOMORROW 765. Unfortunately the UP charged a premium to ride in any of the dome cars operated in trains 457-458.
But even before the former GM TRAIN OF TOMORROW entered UP service the CB&Q and three other railroads the MP, D&RGW and WP had debuted new Vista-Dome streamliners of there own to the rail traveling public.
First of the new Vista-Dome streamliners to enter scheduled service was the pair of VISTA-DOME TWIN ZEPHYRS inaugurated December 12, 1947. Each seven car consist featured no less than five Vista-Domes. This was the largest number of dome cars regularly assigned to any day streamliner. The VISTA-DOME TWIN ZEPHYR offered passengers 120 non-revenue seats in the domes and only 244 revenue seats as originally built. Each new VISTA-DOME TWIN ZEPHYR operated a complete daily round trip between Chicago – Minneapolis. In one direction the trains were the VISTA-DOME MORNING TWIN ZEPHYRS and after turning and servicing the trains returned to their respective home terminals operating as the VISTA-DOME AFTERNOON TWIN ZEPHYRS. The route selected for the new trains was the best choice for the CB&Q as the trains paralleled the Mississippi River for the greater part of their journey. The scenery alongside the mighty river with the bluffs on either side was magnificent. The CB&Q would operate Vista-Domes on this route through the BN merger until Amtrak took over the nation’s passenger service in 1971.The two homebuilt domes of the CB&Q often operated in these trains increasing dome seating to 144. The route selected by Amtrak between Chicago and the Twin Cities uses the opposite bank of the Mississippi River for the greater part of its journey.
The Missouri Pacific COLORADO EAGLE added domes to its streamlined consist in June 1948 when Budd delivered three 46-seat leg-rest dome cars with the standard 24 seats in the domes. The MP named them Planetarium Dome cars. The overnight trains between St. Louis and Denver these dome cars were assigned to the COLORADO EAGLE were identical to those built for the VISTA-DOME CALIFORNIA ZEPHYR and were delivered at the same time. The MP cars were painted blue and gray to match the earlier cars and were lettered COLORADO EAGLE. It was originally intended that the COLORADO EAGLE would offer through car service to San Francisco via the VISTA-DOME CALIFORNIA ZEPHYR beyond Denver. This explains the odd number of Planetarium dome cars delivered (three) to the MP for COLORADO EAGLE service.
The other lightweight streamlined Vista-Dome cars that entered service in 1948 were built for the C&O, six cars from Budd all for that roads stillborn CHESSIE. The CHESSIE was to have entered service in late August or early September 1948 but the cars were not actually delivered until October 1948, for service between Washington and Cincinnati with a section of the trains operating from Phoebus (Newport News) to Charlottesville where it would have connected with the Washington –Cincinnati section of the train. The CHESSIE cars originating in Phoebus would have been coupled to the rear of the Washington CHESSIE section and continued to Cincinnati. Eastbound the Phoebus CHESSIE section would have been dropped at Charlottesville and continued as a separate train to Phoebus. Three of the Vista-Dome cars were private room dome cars with the standard 24 seats in the dome and on the main level of these cars at one end was three cabins two doubles and one single beneath the dome was a communications center a car attendants berth and conductor’s office. At the other end of the cars on the main level were six roomettes for train crew. The space in these cars would have been sold at parlor car rates, as the CHESSIE was to have operated on a daytime schedule. These private room dome cars would have operated between Washington and Cincinnati. The other three Vista-Dome cars were carried on the rear from Phoebus to Cincinnati. These three had a coach section forward of the dome that seated twenty. Beneath the dome was a newsstand and pair of restrooms, in the rounded observation end on the cars main level was a spacious 16-seat lounge, once again the dome seated 24. These six cars were built as reduced clearance domes due to the height restrictions in the east with a maximum height of 15’ 5-3/4”. These domes had a forward slant to their penthouses that was never repeated by Budd in any other domes. Even so it is doubtful if they could have operated into Washington Union Station because of the tunnel height at that time
The three Vista-Dome Coach Observations were assigned to the Detroit-Grand Rapids PERE MARQUETTES until sold to the D&RGW September 20, 1949.
The three Vista-Dome sleeping cars were to be assigned to the SPORTSMAN but never entered service in that train instead they were stored from November 1949 until being shopped in Kent, Ohio in October 1950 for conversion to overnight sleeping cars. Before they entered SPORTSMAN service they were sold to the B&O on December 4, 1950 for assignment to their CAPITAL LIMITED one per consist and the extra car was assigned to one of the two SHENANDOAH train sets. The B&O route out of Washington Union Station posed no clearance problems for the domes.
The second Vista-Dome train to enter scheduled service probably became the most famous of all the dome trains the VISTA-DOME CALIFORNIA ZEPHYR operated by the CB&Q between Chicago and Denver, D&RGW between Denver and Salt Lake City and WP between Salt Lake City and Oakland Pier. Here was America’s first lightweight streamlined cruise train. The schedule of the VISTA-DOME CALIFORNIA ZEPHYR was slower than the C&NW-UP-SP CITY OF SAN FRANCISCO. But the VISTA-DOME CALIFORNIA ZEPHYR was scheduled through both the Colorado Rockies and Feather River Canyon in daylight hours in both directions. Again each eleven car consist provided five domes, six sets of equipment were necessary for daily operation. The CB&Q owned 27 cars, D&RGW owned 15, WP owned 24 and the PRR owned a single 10-6 sleeping car for through service to New York. During the years the VISTA-DOME CALIFORNIA ZEPHYR operated it was probably the most talked about train in America. The VISTA-DOME CALIFORNIA ZEPHYR was inaugurated on March 20, 1949. With five domes seating 120 it matched the earlier VISTA-DOME TWIN ZEPHYRS in seats under glass. The three Vista Dome coaches in each consist seated 46 on the main level in leg-rest seats. These three Vista-Domes were for the use of the trains Coach passengers. The fourth dome in each VISTA-DOME CALIFORNIA ZEPHYR featured a 19-seat Coffee shop forward on the main level. Beneath the dome was a lounge seating seven with a service bar and Kitchen. Aft of the depressed center on the main level was Crew Dormitory space for 17 including private rooms for the Zephyrette and dining car steward. Space in this dome was reserved for sleeping car passengers from the trailing cars.
The last dome in the train was also reserved for sleeping car passengers. This Vista Dome featured 3-double bedrooms, 1-drawing room on the main level forward of the dome. Beneath the dome was a bar with lounge seating for 12-passengers. To the rear of the cars depressed center on the main level was an observation lounge seating seventeen and a desk with chair. These Vista-Dome sleeper Lounge Observations with their beautiful rounded end many railroad historians believe were the finest ever built, they were duplicated in 1955 when Canadian Pacific purchased eighteen for operation on the rear of there new transcontinental CANADIAN and secondary transcontinental DOMINION.
The B&O received two reduced clearance Strata-Dome coaches as part of the new postwar COLUMBIAN train sets from Pullman Standard. These two eight car train sets were strikingly beautiful in their matched blue and gray paint scheme. The COLUMBIANS were overnight coach Baltimore – Chicago trains. These domes featured 18- coach seats on the main level forward and 24- coach seats aft of the dome on the main level. There were two lounge areas located beneath the dome, one seating eleven the other six. The height of the COLUMBIANS Pullman Standard built domes for the B&O was only 15’3” lower than any other standard short domes constructed. The new trains entered service in May 1949.
One month later in June 1949 the CB&Q Aurora shops rebuilt 1940 flat top Budd built coach 2709 SILVER CASTLE into a dome coach identical to the 1945 rebuild 4714 SILVER DOME. After completion the two homebuilt domes were often assigned as extra cars to the VISTA-DOME TWIN ZEPHYRS either replacing one of the train’s regular domes for shopping or as an extra car during peak travel periods.
In September 1949 the 3-Vista-Dome coach lounge observations originally built for the C&O CHESSIE and operated in the Detroit-Grand Rapids PERE MARQUETTES were sold to the D&RGW. Before entering D&RGW service the three cars were fitted with an adapter at the observation end complete with diaphragm making them suitable for use mid-train. These three Vista-Domes were assigned to the ROYAL GORGE operating as dome coach lounge observations between Denver and Grand Junction, Colorado via Colorado Springs and Pueblo. Upon arrival in Grand Junction the PROSPECTOR was coupled to the rear of the ROYAL GORGE and the combined train continued to Salt Lake City. Eastbound the PROSPECTOR-ROYAL GORGE split at Grand Junction and continued by their separate routes to Denver. The PROSPECTOR traveling via the more direct Dotsero cutoff via the Moffat tunnel route would arrive in Denver many hours before the ROYAL GORGE operating via the longer route over Tennessee Pass to Pueblo before turning north to Colorado Springs and Denver.
On February 26, 1950 a new Wabash Domeliner entered service between St. Louis and Chicago operating a single round trip daily. This Budd built six-car diesel powered beauty in gleaming stainless steel and Wabash blue featured no less than four Vista-Domes. Three of these were Vista-Dome coaches the fourth was a Vista-Dome parlor observation. The Vista-Dome cars in the Wabash BLUE BIRD were nearly identical to those built for the CB&Q VISTA-DOME TWIN ZEPHYRS. The two flat-topped cars were the first car in the BLUE BIRD consist a baggage-lunch counter-lounge and the fifth car a dining-lounge car.
As previously mentioned in September 1950 UP 457-458 the Portland – Seattle pool trains became that railroads first Domeliner. Unofficially the train was the CITY OF SEATTLE to those who rode the first Astra-Dome equipped train in the Pacific Northwest. In reality it was the former GM TRAIN OF TOMORROW equipment operating with other streamlined and heavyweight cars all painted in the UP colors. This was the only dome train operated by a class one railroad in America that required a surcharge to ride in the train’s domes. This was also the shortest scheduled dome route operated in America by a class one railroad.
In December 1950 the B&O purchased the three Vista-Dome sleeping cars built for the C&O CHESSIE and shipped them to Pullman for upgrading for sleeping car service. The cars entered sleeping car service January 8, 1951 with 3-drawing rooms 1-single bedroom and 5-roomettes. Two of the Strata-Dome sleepers were assigned to operation in the Baltimore & Ohio’ finest the all Pullman CAPITOL LIMITED. One operated in each of this trains two consists. On the same date the third Strata-Dome sleeping car was assigned to one of the two SHENANDOAH consists for service between Washington and Chicago. The dome equipped SHENANDOAH consist operated one day eastbound and the next day westbound.
In December 1950 the Santa Fe’s finest the SUPER CHIEF received new dining cars and Pleasure-Domes. These Pleasure-Domes trainlined immediately behind the diners provided only sixteen seats in the dome of the Pullman Standard built domes. They were arranged with one pair facing forward on either side of the center aisle followed by four single swiveling parlor type seats then two more pairs of seats facing the rear. This provided dome seating for only sixteen in an arrangement that was never repeated in any other dome cars ever built. Ahead of the dome was a private dining room for up to twelve named the Turquoise Room. The room was served from the dining car ahead. When not reserved for a movie star or starlet or private party or group it was used as an overflow dining area for the regular 36-seat dining car ahead. Beneath the dome was a cocktail lounge and in the area to the rear of the dome was a large lounge area.
The year 1951 was quiet for production of new dome cars with not a single example being delivered to the railroads.
Early in 1952 the B&O installed four 250-watt locomotive headlights on the roofs of their five Strata-Dome cars ahead of the dome on the right side only. These lights were angled at 60, 70, 80,and 85 degrees to offer the best lighting of the passing scenery. The lights were extinguished when passing through major cities enroute. The B&O was the only railroad to light the countryside for passengers traveling on the COLUMBIAN, CAPITAL LIMITED and SHENANDOAH on their nocturnal journeys.
In July 1952 Pullman Standard delivered a single Vista-Dome parlor car to the Wabash for assignment to the BLUE BIRD. This car was painted Wabash blue with white and stood out in the otherwise all Budd stainless steel and Wabash blue consist. The car featured parlor seating ahead of and behind the dome on the main floor level. Beneath the dome was located the BLUE BIRD room that could be arranged for dining or as a lounge for eleven, the BLUE BIRD room was served by the Dining –Lounge Car trainlined directly ahead. The new Pullman Standard built car was the sixth in the 7-car consist just ahead of the Vista-Dome parlor observation. The addition of this car to the BLUE BIRD gave the Waba***rain the same number of domes as the TWIN ZEPHYRS, except when the latter operated with the pattern domes in their consists.
In July 1952 the Missouri Pacific and its two subsidiaries International Great Northern and Texas & Pacific received five Pullman Standard built Planetarium-Dome coaches. Three of the new Planetarium-Dome coaches were MP owned and one each was lettered for the subsidiaries International Great Northern and Texas & Pacific. These dome coaches seated 42 in reserved seats ahead of and to the rear of the dome on the main level; the dome seated 24 and beneath the dome was lounge seating for 17. The MP assigned four of them to the TEXAS EAGLES the other was at first held as a spare. The WEST TEXAS EAGLE operated Planetarium-Domes between St. Louis and Fort Worth. The SOUTH TEXAS EAGLE operated domes between St. Louis and San Antonio. The fifth Pullman Standard dome or spare was eventually assigned to one of the MISSOURI RIVER EAGLES operating between St. Louis and Omaha via Kansas City. The other odd Budd built dome from 1948 was assigned to the other MISSOURI RIVER EAGLE.
In November-December 1952 Pullman Standard delivered the first full-length dome cars built to the Milwaukee Road. These ten Super- Domes seated 68 on the dome level in single and paired seats and 28 in a café-lounge beneath the dome. These cars were so heavy at 112 tons they rode on special six-wheel trucks to spread the weight. Even so the height to top of dome was only 15’ 6” lower than the later Budd full-length domes by some 4”. The lower level contained equipment rooms at the ends on either side of the café-lounge for the necessary high capacity air-conditioning system, required for so much space under glass. Even so these Super-Domes could be quite warm in the summer months as they traversed Montana and traveled along the banks of the Mississippi River. The Milwaukee Road assigned one each to the two consists of the MORNING HIAWATHAS, another pair were assigned to the AFTERNOON HIAWATHA train sets for service between Chicago and the Twin Cities. The remaining six were assigned to the OLYMPIAN HIAWATHA train sets one per consist between Chicago and Seattle-Tacoma. The new Super-Domes entered scheduled service in their respective HIAWATHAS January 1, 1953. The words Super Dome appeared in script below the windows of the lower level café lounge.
Budd delivered a single Vista-Dome sleeper lounge observation to the CB&Q in December 1952. This car was identical to those built earlier for the VISTA-DOME CALIFORNIA ZEPHYR except that the shower in the drawing room annex was factory installed not retrofitted as was the case with the earlier VISTA-DOME CALIFORNIA ZEPHYR Sleeper Lounge Observations. This car was built for a pool arrangement where certain VISTA-DOME CALIFORNIA ZEPHYR cars on their Chicago layover were operated in overnight service in the VISTA-DOME AK-SAR-BEN ZEPHYR operating overnight between Chicago and Omaha-Lincoln.
The year 1953 witnessed only four Vista-dome cars being delivered all to the CB&Q. Two of these cars were 24-seat coach with a 3-bunk crew room ahead of the dome. Beneath the dome was a Buffet –Kitchen and 6-seat lounge. To the rear of the depressed center again on the cars main level was the coffee shop seating 17. The dome reached from the coffee shop seated the standard 24 passengers. These two cars served double duty operating in the VISTA DOME KANSAS CITY ZEPHYR consists each way between Chicago and Kansas City daily then returning in the overnight VISTA DOME AMERICAN ROYAL ZEPHYR consists. The daytime VISTA-DOME KANSAS CITY ZEPHYR operated a second Vista Dome in each consist, these cars were twenty-seven seat parlors with a single 5-seat parlor drawing room blunt end observations. The blunt ends still provided windows to the rear but also provided a diaphragm so they could be used mid-train if necessary. The parlor drawing room was located along with a pair of restrooms beneath the dome of these cars.
The years 1954-55 were the banner years for dome car production. During those two years a total of 127 domes came from American Car & Foundry and Budd. In addition SP constructed seven ¾-length domes using frames of older streamlined car types. The work was undertaken in that railroads own Sacramento shops. Budd built the largest number of these dome cars 92. Twenty of these were full-length domes that rode on six wheel trucks and weighed 192,000 lbs. Much lighter than the Pullman Standard built Milwaukee Road Super Domes that topped the scales at 224,000 lbs. The weight difference was attributable to Budd Company’s use of lighter stainless steel throughout in their car construction.
The AT&SF received eight Big-Domes from Budd in the first quarter of 1954. These eight cars featured 57-coach type seats in the forward part of the dome level combined with an 18-seat lounge to the rear on the dome level as well. On the lower level was a single double bedroom for the Courier-Nurse a Bar and 28-seat lounge centered between two equipment lockers that contained the cars air conditioning equipment. The Santa Fe assigned six of these cars to the EL CAPITAN pool one being assigned to each of that trains consists operating between Chicago and Los Angeles. The remaining two of these Big-Domes were assigned one each to the eastbound CHICAGOAN and westbound KANSAS CITYAN daily trains between Chicago and Oklahoma City.
In May 1954 the Santa Fe inaugurated a new streamlined train the SAN FRANCISCO CHIEF between Chicago and its namesake city by way of the panhandle of Texas or Southern transcontinental route. The only new cars built for this train were a series of 48-seat leg-rest coaches and six Big-Domes. These six Big-Domes differed from the earlier ones delivered for the EL CAPITAN and CHICAGOAN-KANSAS CITYAN as they only seated 10 in the lower level bar-lounge area. Instead of a Courier-Nurse room the remaining lower level was occupied by crew dormitory space for twelve. The Dome level of these cars was identical to the earlier Big-Domes delivered to the Santa Fe with 57 coach type seats forward and 18 seat lounge to the rear.
The Northern Pacific introduced new 46-seat leg-rest Vista-Dome coaches to the NORTH COAST LIMITED in July-August 1954 two assigned per consist. These were identical to those built for the VISTA-DOME CALIFORNIA ZEPHYR except they featured flat sides instead of fluted and were painted to match the other cars in the Northern Pacific’s finest in the new Raymond Loewy 2-tone green with white separation stripe scheme. One was a Chicago-Seattle car the other a Chicago-Portland car set out at Pasco and forwarded by the SP&S to and from Portland. Thereafter the train was referred to as the VISTA-DOME NORTH COAST LIMITED. Budd delivered ten Vista-Dome sleeping cars to the NP between September and November 1954. Like the ten Vista-Dome coaches delivered earlier the new Vista-Dome sleepers were assigned in pairs to each consist of the VISTA-DOME NORTH COAST LIMITED between Chicago and Seattle and Chicago – Portland. The Northern Pacific separated the Vista- Dome coaches with a flat top coach in each consist, doing the same with the Vista-Dome sleeping cars, trainlining a flat top sleeping car between the Vista-Dome sleepers. This provided superior viewing from the domes instead of having a train’s domes trainlined together like the VISTA-DOME CALIFORNIA ZEPHYR. The Vista-Dome Sleeping cars featured 24-seats in the dome with four duplex single rooms beneath the dome, four roomettes were located on the main level forward of the dome and aft of the dome on the main level was four double bedrooms. These cars revenue passenger count was only 16 in the cars sleeping space.
The Southern Pacific built seven-¾ length ”Stairway to the Stars” domes in their Sacramento Shops using the frames from older lightweight streamlined cars. The first of the seven was completed in July 1954 and the final car was completed in May 1955. Budd built the dome framework for these cars and shipped them from Philadelphia to Sacramento. These domes extended only 21 inches above the regular car roof. The SP domes did not have enough height for an upper and lower level. Instead the SP domes had six stairs at the one end when coming from the adjoining car leading to the dome level where there were 36 seats. These were arranged as 12 doubles and four singles, also in the raised dome portion of the car were four double and two single lounge sections. After this lounge area one descended six stairs to the main level 28-seat lounge and bar. The dome covered this main level lounge area and ended at the bar. A passageway to the left led to the rear past the bar and to the vestibule leading to the next car. The SP assigned their ¾ length domes to the SHASTA DAYLIGHT between Portland and Oakland, SAN JOAQUIN DAYLIGHT between Oakland and Los Angeles, and SAN FRANCISCO OVERLAND between Oakland and Ogden initially.
Budd began delivering one of their largest postwar orders that for the Canadian Pacific in July 1954. Of this 172-car order 36 were Scenic-Domes divided equally between two types. First there were 18 Skyline domes with 26- leg rest coach seats forward on the main level, beneath the dome was a Kitchen-Bar and a six -seat lounge, on the main level to the rear of the dome was additional buffet-lounge seating area for seventeen. The dome was a standard Budd offering with the usual 24-seats. These cars served meals to coach passengers on the CANADIAN and DOMINION and all passengers of the ATLANTIC LIMITED that train carrying no separate dining car and served as a coach lounge at other times.
The second type of Scenic-Dome car built for the Canadian Pacific was their PARK cars with 3-double bedrooms and 1-drawing room on the main level forward of the dome. Beneath the dome was a bar with twelve seats arranged at tables for two or four. In the rounded observation end on the main level was a desk with chair and thirteen lounge seats. The PARK cars dome area once again was a standard 24-seat arrangement.
The CP ordered these cars for an all-new streamlined transcontinental train the CANADIAN and to upgrade the secondary transcontinental train the DOMINION both Montreal-Toronto to Vancouver trains. The DOMINION operated with not only the Budd built streamlined cars but heavyweights and railroad built streamlined cars. The third train to receive the new Budd equipment was the ATLANTIC LIMITED an overnight train between Montreal and St. John, New Brunswick that operated across the state of Maine nightly. From St. John one could board a CPR steamship for the voyage across the Bay of Fundy to Digby, Nova Scotia. A CPR owned subsidiary the Dominion Atlantic Railway connected with the CP steamship and provided service to Yarmouth at the southern end of Nova Scotia or northbound traveled to Halifax the capital of Nova Scotia operating with Budd built RDC’s.
The Union Pacific began receiving a large order of Astra-Domes in December 1954 starting with coaches. The UP received 10 of these dome coaches from American Car & Foundry in December 1954-January 1955. These cars were quite different then any others constructed as they used mostly aluminum for the body with a steel underbody. Another feature not found on the domes from the other manufacturers was the use of one pane of curved glass for the side and top of the dome glass, only the SUPER DOMES of the Milwaukee Road were similarly equipped. The UP soon found out how expensive they were when they occasionally needed replacement. The UP assigned the dome coaches to the CITY OF PORTLAND between Chicago and Portland and the newly reinstated CHALLENGER between Chicago and Los Angeles. The fifteen Dome Lounge Blunt end observations arrived on the UP between February and April 1955. They were assigned to the CITY OF PORTLAND, CITY OF LOS ANGELES and CHALLENGER initially. Those assigned to the CHALLENGER were soon transferred to the CITY OF ST. LOUIS for operation between St. Louis and Los Angeles via Denver and Kansas City.
In April-May 1955 the UP received 10-Astra-Dome dining cars from ACF. These were based on the original Astra-Dome Dining car from the GM TRAIN OF TOMORROW. The UP assigned five to the CITY OF PORTLAND and the remaining five to the CITY OF LOS ANGELES. The CITY OF PORTLAND was the only UP Domeliner to have all three types of domes initially. Later the CITY OF LOS ANGLES would operate with all three types when it was combined with the CHALLENGERS in the off peak travel periods.
Beginning May 29, 1955 the Great Northern EMPIRE BUILDERS began operating with three Budd built Great-Domes in each consist, two were operated Chicago – Seattle the third operated Chicago – Portland. The Portland Dome coach operated via the SP&S between Spokane and Portland. These were nearly identical to those built the previous year for the NP VISTA-DOME NORTH COAST LIMITED with 46-legrest coach seats on the main floor and the standard 24-seats in the dome. The GN EMPIRE BUILDER cars were smooth sided cars from Budd and were painted in the Pullman Green and Omaha Orange scheme with dulux gold separation stripes and lettering. And if that wasn’t enough dome seating the GN added full- length Budd built Great dome lounge cars to the EMPIRE BUILDER beginning in October 1955. The dome level of these cars was identical to the Santa Fe Big domes with 57 coach seats and 18-seat lounge. The lower level lounge seated 34 with a buffet. The Great Dome Lounge was reserved for the exclusive use of the Pullman passengers. The EMPIRE BUILDER and for a short period the SUPER CONTINENTAL were the only scheduled trains operating with both short domes and a full-length dome assigned to the same consists. The GN received 16 short domes and 6 Great Dome Lounge cars. These domes were the last new cars ever purchased by the Great Northern. The Great Northern referred to both types of domes as Great Domes but also referred to the Budd short domes as Vista-Domes in some company produced literature.
In October 1956 the CB&Q received new cars for the new VISTA-DOME DENVER ZEPHYRS; each of the two consists operated with three Vista-Domes. First was a 46- leg rest seat dome coach with the standard 24 seats in the dome. The second Vista-Dome in each VISTA-DOME DENVER ZEPHYR was an 8-seat lunch counter 23 –seat coffee shop-Lounge 16-crew dormitory car with 24 – seats in the dome. The last Vista-Dome in the VISTA-DOME DENVER ZEPHYR consists was an 11-seat Parlor with a single 5-seat Parlor Drawing Room on the main level forward. Beneath the Vista-Dome was a Bar with 16-seat Lounge. A 12-seat lounge occupied the blunt ended observation end of the main level. The first and third Vista-Dome in each VISTA-DOME DENVER ZEPHYR consist was a Chicago-Denver car. The second Vista-Dome with the coffee shop was a through Colorado Springs car from Chicago. Continuing beyond Denver this dome accompanied by a coach, Slumbercoach and sleeper was coupled to the rear of the D&RGW ROYAL GORGE beyond Denver to Colorado Springs and return.
In December 1957 the NP received one Vista-Dome 46-seat leg rest coach and one Vista-Dome Sleeping car for assignment to the VISTA DOME NORTH COAST LIMITED pool of cars to operate as spares permitting the others to be rotated through the shops.
Pullman Standard constructed the final order of new Dome cars for the Union Pacific and Waba***o plans supplied by American Car & Foundry. These cars were Astra-Dome coaches and they were identical to those built earlier for the Union Pacific. These six Astra-Dome coaches were assigned to the CITY OF ST. LOUIS upon completion in December 1958 for operation by way of Kansas City and Denver before joining the UP Overland route mainline at Cheyenne.

To Be Continued

TTFN Al
  • Member since
    March 2004
  • From: Central Valley California
  • 2,841 posts
Posted by passengerfan on Monday, July 10, 2006 7:10 AM
Streamlined Dome Cars
Of The
United States & Canada
By Al

The following trains began demonstrating or entered service on the dates listed as dome equipped trains. The number of domes listed in parenthesis represents per consist. And the two terminals are shown for each of the dome operated trains.

TRAIN OF TOMORROW May 28, 1947 (4) Demonstrator See UP 457-458 for service.

VISTA DOME TWIN ZEPHYRS CB&Q December 19, 1947 (5) Chicago – Twin Cities twice daily round trips.

COLORADO EAGLE MP- D&RGW June 1948 (1) St. Louis – Denver daily each direction

CHESSIE C&O August 1, 1948 (2) Cincinnati – Washington daily each direction never entered scheduled service.

PERE MARQUETTE C&O October 1948 (1) Chicago – Detroit daily each direction

VISTA DOME CALIFORNIA ZEPHYR CB&Q – D&RGW - WP
March 21, 1949 (4) Chicago – Oakland daily each direction.

COLUMBIAN B&O May 5, 1949 (1) Washington – Chicago Overnight each direction

ROYAL GORGE D&RGW September 1949 (1) Denver – Salt Lake City daily each direction via Pueblo.

BLUE BIRD WAB February 26, 1950 (4) St. Louis – Chicago round trip daily

457-458 UP June 18, 1950 (4) Portland – Seattle round trip daily

SHENANDOAH B&O January 8, 1951 (1) Washington – Chicago every other day

CAPITOL LIMITED B&O January 8, 1951 (1) Washington – Chicago overnight each direction

SUPER CHIEF AT&SF December 1951 (1) Chicago – Los Angeles daily each direction

TEXAS EAGLES MP – T&P 1-2 July 1952 (1) St. Louis – Fort Worth overnight each direction

TEXAS EAGLES MP 21-22 July 1952 (1) St. Louis – San Antonio overnight each direction

MISSOURI RIVER EAGLE MP July 1952 (1) St. Louis –Omaha/Lincoln via Kansas City daily each direction

CITY OF KANSAS CITY WAB August 1952 (1) St. Louis – Kansas City round trip daily

MORNING HIAWATHA CMSTP&P December 1952 (1) Chicago – Twin Cities daily each direction

AFTERNOON HIAWATHA CMSTP&P December 1952 (1) Chicago – Twin Cities daily each direction

OLYMPIAN HIAWATHA CMSTP&P December 1952 (1) Chicago – Seattle/Tacoma daily each direction

VISTA DOME AK-SAR-BEN ZEPHYR CB&Q December 1952 (1) Chicago – Omaha/Lincoln Overnight each direction

VISTA DOME KANSAS CITY ZEPHYR CB&Q February 1, 1953 (2) Chicago – Kansas City daily each direction

VISTA DOME AMERICAN ROYAL ZEPHYR CB&Q February 1, 1953 (2) Chicago – Kansas City Overnight each direction

SAN JOAQUIN DAYLIGHT SP June 24, 1954 (1) Oakland – Los Angeles via San Joaquin Valley daily each direction

CHICAGOAN – KANSAS CITYAN AT&SF 1954 (1) Chicago – Oklahoma City daily each way

SAN FRANCISCO CHIEF AT&SF 1954 (1) Chicago – Oakland daily each direction

EL CAPITAN AT&SF 1954 (1) Chicago – Los Angeles daily each direction

NORTH COAST LIMITED CB&Q – NP August 16, 1954 Coaches (2) October 1954 Sleepers (2) total (4) Chicago – Portland/Seattle daily each direction

CITY OF PORTLAND C&NW - UP 1955 (3) Chicago – Portland daily each direction)

CITY OF LOS ANGELES C&NW - UP 1955 (2) Chicago – Los Angeles daily each direction

CHALLENGER C&NW - UP 1955 (1) Chicago – Los Angeles daily each direction

SAN FRANCISCO OVERLAND SP April 1955 (1) Oakland – Ogden daily each direction

SHASTA DAYLIGHT SP May 1955 (1) Oakland – Portland daily each direction

CANADIAN CPR April 24, 1955 (2) Montreal/Toronto – Vancouver daily each direction

DOMINION CPR April 24, 1955 (2) Montreal/Toronto – Vancouver daily each direction

ATLANTIC LIMITED CPR April 24, 1955 (1) Montreal – St. John Overnight each direction

CITY OF ST. LOUIS WAB - UP (1) St. Louis – Los Angeles daily each direction

EMPIRE BUILDER CB&Q - GN Coaches (3) May 29, 1955 Lounges (1) October 1955 Chicago – Portland/Seattle daily each direction

CHIEF AT&SF July 1956 (1) Chicago – Los Angeles daily each direction

VISTA DOME DENVER ZEPHYRS CB&Q October 28, 1956 (3) Chicago – Denver/Colorado Springs Overnight each direction

CITY OF SAN FRANCISCO (SP) 1956 (1) Ogden – Oakland daily each direction

CITY OF DENVER CMSTP&P - UP January 1958 (1) Chicago – Denver Overnight Each direction

TEXAS CHIEF AT&SF 1958 (1) Chicago – Houston daily each direction

WESTERN STAR GN (1) winter only St. Paul – Seattle daily each direction

YAMPA VALLEY MAIL D&RGW (1) Denver – Craig round trip daily

POCAHONTAS N&W 1969 (1) Cincinnati – Norfolk daily each direction

VIGER CPR 1969 (1) Montreal – Quebec City round trip daily

FRONTENAC CPR 1969 (1) Montreal – Quebec City round trip daily

RIDEAU CPR 1969 (1) Montreal – Ottawa round trip daily

RIO GRANDE ZEPHYR D&RGW (5) Denver – Salt Lake City every other day

SUPER CONTINENTAL CNR (1) Edmonton – Vancouver daily each direction

PANORAMA CNR (1) Winnipeg – Vancouver daily each direction

COAST DAYLIGHT SP (1) San Francisco – Los Angeles daily each direction

AURORA ARR (1) Anchorage – Fairbanks summers daily

POWHATAN ARROW N&W (1) Cincinnati – Newport News daily each direction

CITY OF MIAMI IC - CofG – ACL – FEC (1) Chicago – Miami winters only every other day

SOUTH WIND PRR – L&N – ACL – FEC (1) Chicago – Miami winters only every other day

LE CHATEAU CHAMPLAIN CPR (1) Montreal – Quebec City round trip daily

LOUISIANA EAGLE T&P (1) New Orleans – Fort Worth Overnight each direction

TURBO TRAINS CNR (2) Toronto – Montreal twice daily round trips

PANAMA LIMITED IC (1) Chicago – New Orleans winter only one season only overnight each direction

BANNER BLUE WAB (1) Chicago – St. Louis round trip daily

NEBRASKA ZEPHYR CB&Q (1) Chicago – Omaha – Lincoln round trip daily

NANCY HANKS II CofG (1) Atlanta- Savannah round trip daily

CITY OF NEW ORLEANS IC (1) Chicago – New Orleans daily each direction

SOUTHERN CRESCENT SOU – L&N (1) Atlanta – New Orleans daily each direction

The lightweight streamlined Dome car was a new type car that entered the North American rail scene following WW II.
The modern Dome car made its first appearance in June 1945. The railroad that built the first modern dome car CB&Q was also the railroad that introduced the first streamlined diesel powered streamlined train the Pioneer Zephyr in 1934. Later they would introduce the Gallery car to Chicago commuters, and the Slumbercoach first appeared in the CB&Q 1956 version of the VISTA-DOME DENVER ZEPHYR.
The idea for the modern dome originated with General Motors vice president and Electro-Motive Division general manager Mr. Cyrus R. Osborn. On a trip aboard an A-B-B-A set of the companies new EMD FT diesel units leading a freight train through Glenwood Canyon on the D&RGW.
Sitting in the fireman’s seat he was awe struck by the spectacular view from the sloping windows of the lead diesel unit and the idea for the dome was born. When he returned east Mr. Osborn discussed a dome car with leaders of other railroads. The one railroad leader Mr. Osborn inspired with the idea of a dome car was Mr. Ralph Budd president of the CB&Q. The two men close friends talked for many hours about the feasibility of the yet to be named dome car.
It was from this meeting that 4714 SILVER DOME became reality. Along with Burlington’s Chief Mechanical Officer Mr. H.H. Ulrich, and Budd Companies Colonel E.J. Ragsdale SILVER DOME became the world’s first modern Vista-Dome car.
The first Dome was reconstructed from the flat top 52-revenue seat Budd built coach 4714 SILVER ALCHEMY. This modern lightweight streamlined stainless steel car built new in June 1940 would emerge from the Aurora, Illinois shops of the CB&Q in June 1945 as the world’s first Vista Dome car. The number 4714 would remain but the name was changed to SILVER DOME. The CB&Q and Budd people referred to the completed car as a Vista-Dome. The conversion of the car was accomplished with the help of Budd engineers; the car underwent transformation from an ordinary streamlined coach in less than two weeks to the most talked about coach in postwar history. How was the 4714 SILVER ALCHEMY selected? Believe it or not it was by chance the 4714 SILVER ALCHEMY was in the shop undergoing routine maintenance and inspection, it was simply a case of being in the right place at the right time. Atop the center of the car after shopping was a greenhouse looking affair called the dome. This part raised above the roofline featured windows on the sides, top, front and rear. The standard height of this car when it entered the shops was 13’ 6”. Height to top of dome after reconstruction was 16’ 1-1/2”. This would be the highest short dome car built along with a twin out shopped by the CB&Q in 1949 4709 SILVER CASTLE to the same plan as the earlier 4714 SILVER DOME. Those domes built by the three major car builders never exceeded 15’ 10-1/2” in height.
Here was the passenger car feature that could not only provide passenger’s nearly unobstructed viewing to the sides but forward over the top of other cars or one could turn around and see to the rear over the roofs of the trailing cars. Not to mention the view skyward especially worthwhile in mountainous country or along the banks of the Mississippi with the bluffs rising alongside the tracks or across the river. The dome seated 24 passengers arranged in two rows of paired seats 12 on either side of the center aisle facing forward. Above the dome aisle was a panel with heating and air conditioning vents with lights down the center for night use at stations. At other times in the night these lights were extinguished leaving only the small aisle lights lining the floor similar to those used in darkened theaters, these lights did not interfere with night visibility but were visible enough to see ones way to a seat in the dome, and one could see the headlight of the locomotive cutting a swath through the countryside ahead of the speeding train. Those nights of the full moon the dome seats provided an almost eerie view of the passing countryside.
All future standard or short dome cars from Budd, Pullman Standard, and American Car & Foundry would be constructed with a depressed section below the dome and an aisle running along one side of the car beneath the dome.
In the case of CB&Q 4709 SILVER CASTLE and 4714 SILVER DOME there were two aisles down either side beneath the dome and main floor seating beneath the dome was arranged back to back facing outward to the windows. This arrangement cut the revenue seating capacity of these two dome cars to 34 on the main level from the original 52. The 24 seats in the dome were considered non-revenue and this space was not sold, it was open to any passenger who wished to enjoy the passing scenery.
After completion the CB&Q sent the 4714 SILVER DOME on a system wide tour to test passenger reaction to the Vista-Dome.
The dome seemed to provide something for everyone to see and enjoy. For the railfan he was virtually able to look over the shoulder of the engineer as the train raced through the countryside and witness the trackside signals turn from green too red as the train broke the track circuit. On certain railroads where semaphore signals were the order of the day not only did one see the light turn from red to green but watched the semaphore arm drop from the upright position to the stop position. Or one could watch crossing gates drop as the train approached then turn and see them raise once again and the vehicular traffic start across after the train had passed. Every train meet was witnessed first hand by the railfan sitting in the dome. And what railfan cannot remember riding in a dome when a slower scheduled passenger train or freight was overtaken in double track, or triple track territory.
For most passengers the attraction of the dome was viewing the passing scenery as never seen before from a train. Not even the rounded end observations offered the view provided by the new Vista-Dome. In fact no other type car has appeared on the railway scene to offer the view provided by the Vista-Dome. The short domes from Budd, American Car & Foundry and those UP coach domes built by Pullman Standard in 1958 for the CITY OF ST. LOUIS provided the best overall dome viewing.
The 4714 SILVER DOME did more to influence CB&Q postwar new car purchases than any other car. From this singe homemade conversion the CB&Q would become the largest owner of dome cars in the world. This was prior to the merger with the GN, NP, and SP&S that created Burlington Northern. Only Amtrak would own more domes than the Burlington Northern.
On July 23, 1945 4714 SILVER DOME made its debut, operating to Minneapolis in CB&Q train #45 from Chicago.
At the same time CB&Q train #45 was departing Chicago that morning a press conference was being held by GM Vice-President Mr. Cyrus Osborn in Chicago announcing that GM and Pullman Standard had teamed up and were going to build the TRAIN OF TOMORROW as a demonstration train for the country to see.
General Motors itself was impressed enough with the dome idea it was turned over to there design & styling department and Mr. Harley Earl vice-president (famous for the Buick portholes) of styling turned to his staff and turned the idea into three ten foot models complete with clay passengers and crew members to fill them. Thus was born the GM TRAIN OF TOMORROW. These models went on display in 1945 and were exhibited to many railroad presidents and the reaction of these top Railroad executives led to GM awarding a contract to Pullman Standard for four Astra-Dome cars to be pulled by a new matching General Motors EMD E7A unit. The order called for Pullman Standard to build one each Astra-Dome Cars of four car types.
First was an Astra-Dome Coach with seating for 48 on the main car level with bathrooms located beneath the dome, the dome itself seated 24, this car was named STAR DUST.
The second car in the GM TRAIN OF TOMORROW consist was an Astra-Dome dining car with seating at tables for eighteen in the dome arranged three tables for four on one side and three tables for two on the other. The main floor dining room of SKY VIEW as the Astra-Dome dining car was named seated 24 on the main level. The seating in the main dining room on the main level of the car to the rear of the dome dining room was arranged with four triangular tables for four on one side and four triangular tables for two on the other side. The Kitchen was located at the other end of the cars main floor. Food prepared in the Kitchen located in the cars forward main level area traveled by an electric Dumbwaiter at the front of the dome to the smart waiter (the one who received the tips) in the dome. Beneath the dome in the depressed area of SKY VIEW was located a private dining room for ten passengers. Total dining accommodation was provided for 52.
The third Astra-Dome was a sleeping car, providing 24 seats in the dome, the same as the coach. The sleeping accommodation of DREAM CLOUD as the car was named was unusual providing two three berth Drawing Rooms forward of the dome on the main level, beneath the dome was three compartments. On the main level to the rear of the dome was the location for eight duplex roomettes. Thus as a sleeping car Astra-Dome DREAM CLOUD was built with a maximum sleeping car capacity of twenty. The DREAM CLOUD never operated in revenue service as a sleeping car instead after sale to the Union Pacific along with the other three Astra-Dome cars that comprised the TRAIN OF TOMORROW it served as a parlor car. All space was sold at parlor car rates in DREAM CLOUD on its daily Portland-Seattle round trips.
The fourth Astra-Dome in the GM TRAIN OF TOMORROW was a Lounge Observation, again with 24 seats in the dome. This car MOON GLOW featured 44 lounge seats in singles and sofas on the main level and beneath the dome and two bars served the cocktail lounges ahead of and beneath the dome. The area of the main level to the rear of the dome in the beautifully rounded Observation end was strictly a lounge area.
Honors for the first factory built dome coach, dome diner, dome sleeping car, and dome lounge observation went to Pullman Standard. For it was Pullman Standard who designed and built the entire GM TRAIN OF TOMORROW Astra-Dome ASTRA-LINER and proved the concept of the depressed main level section beneath the dome was feasible and had the necessary strength and robustness for railroad use. Ironically Pullman Standard would never build another dome sleeping car or dome dining car, at least not one with kitchen facilities anyway.
The beautiful blue and stainless steel ASTRA-LINER TRAIN OF TOMORROW was first displayed outside Chicago’s Soldier Field May 28, 1947. Two days prior to its public debut at Soldier Field May 26-27, 1947, the TRAIN OF TOMORROW made its first test sortie operating a 560 mile round trip over the Chicago, Indianapolis and Louisville (Monon) to their famous French Lick resort in Indiana from Chicago and return. Ironically the Monon that hosted the GM TRAIN OF TOMORROW on this test run would never own a dome.
After a week in Chicago on public display the GM TRAIN OF TOMORROW departed on a 65,000-mile exhibition tour of the country visiting every major city in the United States that had the necessary clearances for the extended height cars. The exhibition tour was completed in December 1949 and the train sat outside Pullman Standard in Chicago until March 1950.
In April 1950 the GM TRAIN OF TOMORROW complete with EMD E7A 765 was sold to the Union Pacific. After being repainted into UP Streamliner colors of yellow, gray and red in Omaha the train was prepared for another exhibition tour. This time the tour traveled to Los Angeles as part of a CITY OF LOS ANGELES consist out of Omaha. After display in Los Angeles the former GM TRAIN OF TOMORROW consist departed Los Angeles in another CITY OF LOS ANGELES consist for its new home of Portland, Oregon operating in that train as far as Salt Lake City. From Salt Lake City to Pocatello the cars traveled in the BUTTE SPECIAL. From Pocatello via Boise and La Grande the cars traveled in one of the CITY OF PORTLAND consists before arrival in its new Oregon home base.
On June 18, 1950 the cars of the former TRAIN OF TOMORROW were integrated with the other cars of UP pool train 457 and departed Portland for Seattle becoming the first dome equipped train to enter scheduled service in the Pacific Northwest. Train 457 and 458 would be the shortest scheduled dome route in the United States. Leading 457 that day was UP EMD E7A unit 988 the former TRAIN OF TOMORROW 765. Unfortunately the UP charged a premium to ride in any of the dome cars operated in trains 457-458.
But even before the former GM TRAIN OF TOMORROW entered UP service the CB&Q and three other railroads the MP, D&RGW and WP had debuted new Vista-Dome streamliners of there own to the rail traveling public.
First of the new Vista-Dome streamliners to enter scheduled service was the pair of VISTA-DOME TWIN ZEPHYRS inaugurated December 12, 1947. Each seven car consist featured no less than five Vista-Domes. This was the largest number of dome cars regularly assigned to any day streamliner. The VISTA-DOME TWIN ZEPHYR offered passengers 120 non-revenue seats in the domes and only 244 revenue seats as originally built. Each new VISTA-DOME TWIN ZEPHYR operated a complete daily round trip between Chicago – Minneapolis. In one direction the trains were the VISTA-DOME MORNING TWIN ZEPHYRS and after turning and servicing the trains returned to their respective home terminals operating as the VISTA-DOME AFTERNOON TWIN ZEPHYRS. The route selected for the new trains was the best choice for the CB&Q as the trains paralleled the Mississippi River for the greater part of their journey. The scenery alongside the mighty river with the bluffs on either side was magnificent. The CB&Q would operate Vista-Domes on this route through the BN merger until Amtrak took over the nation’s passenger service in 1971.The two homebuilt domes of the CB&Q often operated in these trains increasing dome seating to 144. The route selected by Amtrak between Chicago and the Twin Cities uses the opposite bank of the Mississippi River for the greater part of its journey.
The Missouri Pacific COLORADO EAGLE added domes to its streamlined consist in June 1948 when Budd delivered three 46-seat leg-rest dome cars with the standard 24 seats in the domes. The MP named them Planetarium Dome cars. The overnight trains between St. Louis and Denver these dome cars were assigned to the COLORADO EAGLE were identical to those built for the VISTA-DOME CALIFORNIA ZEPHYR and were delivered at the same time. The MP cars were painted blue and gray to match the earlier cars and were lettered COLORADO EAGLE. It was originally intended that the COLORADO EAGLE would offer through car service to San Francisco via the VISTA-DOME CALIFORNIA ZEPHYR beyond Denver. This explains the odd number of Planetarium dome cars delivered (three) to the MP for COLORADO EAGLE service.
The other lightweight streamlined Vista-Dome cars that entered service in 1948 were built for the C&O, six cars from Budd all for that roads stillborn CHESSIE. The CHESSIE was to have entered service in late August or early September 1948 but the cars were not actually delivered until October 1948, for service between Washington and Cincinnati with a section of the trains operating from Phoebus (Newport News) to Charlottesville where it would have connected with the Washington –Cincinnati section of the train. The CHESSIE cars originating in Phoebus would have been coupled to the rear of the Washington CHESSIE section and continued to Cincinnati. Eastbound the Phoebus CHESSIE section would have been dropped at Charlottesville and continued as a separate train to Phoebus. Three of the Vista-Dome cars were private room dome cars with the standard 24 seats in the dome and on the main level of these cars at one end was three cabins two doubles and one single beneath the dome was a communications center a car attendants berth and conductor’s office. At the other end of the cars on the main level were six roomettes for train crew. The space in these cars would have been sold at parlor car rates, as the CHESSIE was to have operated on a daytime schedule. These private room dome cars would have operated between Washington and Cincinnati. The other three Vista-Dome cars were carried on the rear from Phoebus to Cincinnati. These three had a coach section forward of the dome that seated twenty. Beneath the dome was a newsstand and pair of restrooms, in the rounded observation end on the cars main level was a spacious 16-seat lounge, once again the dome seated 24. These six cars were built as reduced clearance domes due to the height restrictions in the east with a maximum height of 15’ 5-3/4”. These domes had a forward slant to their penthouses that was never repeated by Budd in any other domes. Even so it is doubtful if they could have operated into Washington Union Station because of the tunnel height at that time
The three Vista-Dome Coach Observations were assigned to the Detroit-Grand Rapids PERE MARQUETTES until sold to the D&RGW September 20, 1949.
The three Vista-Dome sleeping cars were to be assigned to the SPORTSMAN but never entered service in that train instead they were stored from November 1949 until being shopped in Kent, Ohio in October 1950 for conversion to overnight sleeping cars. Before they entered SPORTSMAN service they were sold to the B&O on December 4, 1950 for assignment to their CAPITAL LIMITED one per consist and the extra car was assigned to one of the two SHENANDOAH train sets. The B&O route out of Washington Union Station posed no clearance problems for the domes.
The second Vista-Dome train to enter scheduled service probably became the most famous of all the dome trains the VISTA-DOME CALIFORNIA ZEPHYR operated by the CB&Q between Chicago and Denver, D&RGW between Denver and Salt Lake City and WP between Salt Lake City and Oakland Pier. Here was America’s first lightweight streamlined cruise train. The schedule of the VISTA-DOME CALIFORNIA ZEPHYR was slower than the C&NW-UP-SP CITY OF SAN FRANCISCO. But the VISTA-DOME CALIFORNIA ZEPHYR was scheduled through both the Colorado Rockies and Feather River Canyon in daylight hours in both directions. Again each eleven car consist provided five domes, six sets of equipment were necessary for daily operation. The CB&Q owned 27 cars, D&RGW owned 15, WP owned 24 and the PRR owned a single 10-6 sleeping car for through service to New York. During the years the VISTA-DOME CALIFORNIA ZEPHYR operated it was probably the most talked about train in America. The VISTA-DOME CALIFORNIA ZEPHYR was inaugurated on March 20, 1949. With five domes seating 120 it matched the earlier VISTA-DOME TWIN ZEPHYRS in seats under glass. The three Vista Dome coaches in each consist seated 46 on the main level in leg-rest seats. These three Vista-Domes were for the use of the trains Coach passengers. The fourth dome in each VISTA-DOME CALIFORNIA ZEPHYR featured a 19-seat Coffee shop forward on the main level. Beneath the dome was a lounge seating seven with a service bar and Kitchen. Aft of the depressed center on the main level was Crew Dormitory space for 17 including private rooms for the Zephyrette and dining car steward. Space in this dome was reserved for sleeping car passengers from the trailing cars.
The last dome in the train was also reserved for sleeping car passengers. This Vista Dome featured 3-double bedrooms, 1-drawing room on the main level forward of the dome. Beneath the dome was a bar with lounge seating for 12-passengers. To the rear of the cars depressed center on the main level was an observation lounge seating seventeen and a desk with chair. These Vista-Dome sleeper Lounge Observations with their beautiful rounded end many railroad historians believe were the finest ever built, they were duplicated in 1955 when Canadian Pacific purchased eighteen for operation on the rear of there new transcontinental CANADIAN and secondary transcontinental DOMINION.
The B&O received two reduced clearance Strata-Dome coaches as part of the new postwar COLUMBIAN train sets from Pullman Standard. These two eight car train sets were strikingly beautiful in their matched blue and gray paint scheme. The COLUMBIANS were overnight coach Baltimore – Chicago trains. These domes featured 18- coach seats on the main level forward and 24- coach seats aft of the dome on the main level. There were two lounge areas located beneath the dome, one seating eleven the other six. The height of the COLUMBIANS Pullman Standard built domes for the B&O was only 15’3” lower than any other standard short domes constructed. The new trains entered service in May 1949.
One month later in June 1949 the CB&Q Aurora shops rebuilt 1940 flat top Budd built coach 2709 SILVER CASTLE into a dome coach identical to the 1945 rebuild 4714 SILVER DOME. After completion the two homebuilt domes were often assigned as extra cars to the VISTA-DOME TWIN ZEPHYRS either replacing one of the train’s regular domes for shopping or as an extra car during peak travel periods.
In September 1949 the 3-Vista-Dome coach lounge observations originally built for the C&O CHESSIE and operated in the Detroit-Grand Rapids PERE MARQUETTES were sold to the D&RGW. Before entering D&RGW service the three cars were fitted with an adapter at the observation end complete with diaphragm making them suitable for use mid-train. These three Vista-Domes were assigned to the ROYAL GORGE operating as dome coach lounge observations between Denver and Grand Junction, Colorado via Colorado Springs and Pueblo. Upon arrival in Grand Junction the PROSPECTOR was coupled to the rear of the ROYAL GORGE and the combined train continued to Salt Lake City. Eastbound the PROSPECTOR-ROYAL GORGE split at Grand Junction and continued by their separate routes to Denver. The PROSPECTOR traveling via the more direct Dotsero cutoff via the Moffat tunnel route would arrive in Denver many hours before the ROYAL GORGE operating via the longer route over Tennessee Pass to Pueblo before turning north to Colorado Springs and Denver.
On February 26, 1950 a new Wabash Domeliner entered service between St. Louis and Chicago operating a single round trip daily. This Budd built six-car diesel powered beauty in gleaming stainless steel and Wabash blue featured no less than four Vista-Domes. Three of these were Vista-Dome coaches the fourth was a Vista-Dome parlor observation. The Vista-Dome cars in the Wabash BLUE BIRD were nearly identical to those built for the CB&Q VISTA-DOME TWIN ZEPHYRS. The two flat-topped cars were the first car in the BLUE BIRD consist a baggage-lunch counter-lounge and the fifth car a dining-lounge car.
As previously mentioned in September 1950 UP 457-458 the Portland – Seattle pool trains became that railroads first Domeliner. Unofficially the train was the CITY OF SEATTLE to those who rode the first Astra-Dome equipped train in the Pacific Northwest. In reality it was the former GM TRAIN OF TOMORROW equipment operating with other streamlined and heavyweight cars all painted in the UP colors. This was the only dome train operated by a class one railroad in America that required a surcharge to ride in the train’s domes. This was also the shortest scheduled dome route operated in America by a class one railroad.
In December 1950 the B&O purchased the three Vista-Dome sleeping cars built for the C&O CHESSIE and shipped them to Pullman for upgrading for sleeping car service. The cars entered sleeping car service January 8, 1951 with 3-drawing rooms 1-single bedroom and 5-roomettes. Two of the Strata-Dome sleepers were assigned to operation in the Baltimore & Ohio’ finest the all Pullman CAPITOL LIMITED. One operated in each of this trains two consists. On the same date the third Strata-Dome sleeping car was assigned to one of the two SHENANDOAH consists for service between Washington and Chicago. The dome equipped SHENANDOAH consist operated one day eastbound and the next day westbound.
In December 1950 the Santa Fe’s finest the SUPER CHIEF received new dining cars and Pleasure-Domes. These Pleasure-Domes trainlined immediately behind the diners provided only sixteen seats in the dome of the Pullman Standard built domes. They were arranged with one pair facing forward on either side of the center aisle followed by four single swiveling parlor type seats then two more pairs of seats facing the rear. This provided dome seating for only sixteen in an arrangement that was never repeated in any other dome cars ever built. Ahead of the dome was a private dining room for up to twelve named the Turquoise Room. The room was served from the dining car ahead. When not reserved for a movie star or starlet or private party or group it was used as an overflow dining area for the regular 36-seat dining car ahead. Beneath the dome was a cocktail lounge and in the area to the rear of the dome was a large lounge area.
The year 1951 was quiet for production of new dome cars with not a single example being delivered to the railroads.
Early in 1952 the B&O installed four 250-watt locomotive headlights on the roofs of their five Strata-Dome cars ahead of the dome on the right side only. These lights were angled at 60, 70, 80,and 85 degrees to offer the best lighting of the passing scenery. The lights were extinguished when passing through major cities enroute. The B&O was the only railroad to light the countryside for passengers traveling on the COLUMBIAN, CAPITAL LIMITED and SHENANDOAH on their nocturnal journeys.
In July 1952 Pullman Standard delivered a single Vista-Dome parlor car to the Wabash for assignment to the BLUE BIRD. This car was painted Wabash blue with white and stood out in the otherwise all Budd stainless steel and Wabash blue consist. The car featured parlor seating ahead of and behind the dome on the main floor level. Beneath the dome was located the BLUE BIRD room that could be arranged for dining or as a lounge for eleven, the BLUE BIRD room was served by the Dining –Lounge Car trainlined directly ahead. The new Pullman Standard built car was the sixth in the 7-car consist just ahead of the Vista-Dome parlor observation. The addition of this car to the BLUE BIRD gave the Waba***rain the same number of domes as the TWIN ZEPHYRS, except when the latter operated with the pattern domes in their consists.
In July 1952 the Missouri Pacific and its two subsidiaries International Great Northern and Texas & Pacific received five Pullman Standard built Planetarium-Dome coaches. Three of the new Planetarium-Dome coaches were MP owned and one each was lettered for the subsidiaries International Great Northern and Texas & Pacific. These dome coaches seated 42 in reserved seats ahead of and to the rear of the dome on the main level; the dome seated 24 and beneath the dome was lounge seating for 17. The MP assigned four of them to the TEXAS EAGLES the other was at first held as a spare. The WEST TEXAS EAGLE operated Planetarium-Domes between St. Louis and Fort Worth. The SOUTH TEXAS EAGLE operated domes between St. Louis and San Antonio. The fifth Pullman Standard dome or spare was eventually assigned to one of the MISSOURI RIVER EAGLES operating between St. Louis and Omaha via Kansas City. The other odd Budd built dome from 1948 was assigned to the other MISSOURI RIVER EAGLE.
In November-December 1952 Pullman Standard delivered the first full-length dome cars built to the Milwaukee Road. These ten Super- Domes seated 68 on the dome level in single and paired seats and 28 in a café-lounge beneath the dome. These cars were so heavy at 112 tons they rode on special six-wheel trucks to spread the weight. Even so the height to top of dome was only 15’ 6” lower than the later Budd full-length domes by some 4”. The lower level contained equipment rooms at the ends on either side of the café-lounge for the necessary high capacity air-conditioning system, required for so much space under glass. Even so these Super-Domes could be quite warm in the summer months as they traversed Montana and traveled along the banks of the Mississippi River. The Milwaukee Road assigned one each to the two consists of the MORNING HIAWATHAS, another pair were assigned to the AFTERNOON HIAWATHA train sets for service between Chicago and the Twin Cities. The remaining six were assigned to the OLYMPIAN HIAWATHA train sets one per consist between Chicago and Seattle-Tacoma. The new Super-Domes entered scheduled service in their respective HIAWATHAS January 1, 1953. The words Super Dome appeared in script below the windows of the lower level café lounge.
Budd delivered a single Vista-Dome sleeper lounge observation to the CB&Q in December 1952. This car was identical to those built earlier for the VISTA-DOME CALIFORNIA ZEPHYR except that the shower in the drawing room annex was factory installed not retrofitted as was the case with the earlier VISTA-DOME CALIFORNIA ZEPHYR Sleeper Lounge Observations. This car was built for a pool arrangement where certain VISTA-DOME CALIFORNIA ZEPHYR cars on their Chicago layover were operated in overnight service in the VISTA-DOME AK-SAR-BEN ZEPHYR operating overnight between Chicago and Omaha-Lincoln.
The year 1953 witnessed only four Vista-dome cars being delivered all to the CB&Q. Two of these cars were 24-seat coach with a 3-bunk crew room ahead of the dome. Beneath the dome was a Buffet –Kitchen and 6-seat lounge. To the rear of the depressed center again on the cars main level was the coffee shop seating 17. The dome reached from the coffee shop seated the standard 24 passengers. These two cars served double duty operating in the VISTA DOME KANSAS CITY ZEPHYR consists each way between Chicago and Kansas City daily then returning in the overnight VISTA DOME AMERICAN ROYAL ZEPHYR consists. The daytime VISTA-DOME KANSAS CITY ZEPHYR operated a second Vista Dome in each consist, these cars were twenty-seven seat parlors with a single 5-seat parlor drawing room blunt end observations. The blunt ends still provided windows to the rear but also provided a diaphragm so they could be used mid-train if necessary. The parlor drawing room was located along with a pair of restrooms beneath the dome of these cars.
The years 1954-55 were the banner years for dome car production. During those two years a total of 127 domes came from American Car & Foundry and Budd. In addition SP constructed seven ¾-length domes using frames of older streamlined car types. The work was undertaken in that railroads own Sacramento shops. Budd built the largest number of these dome cars 92. Twenty of these were full-length domes that rode on six wheel trucks and weighed 192,000 lbs. Much lighter than the Pullman Standard built Milwaukee Road Super Domes that topped the scales at 224,000 lbs. The weight difference was attributable to Budd Company’s use of lighter stainless steel throughout in their car construction.
The AT&SF received eight Big-Domes from Budd in the first quarter of 1954. These eight cars featured 57-coach type seats in the forward part of the dome level combined with an 18-seat lounge to the rear on the dome level as well. On the lower level was a single double bedroom for the Courier-Nurse a Bar and 28-seat lounge centered between two equipment lockers that contained the cars air conditioning equipment. The Santa Fe assigned six of these cars to the EL CAPITAN pool one being assigned to each of that trains consists operating between Chicago and Los Angeles. The remaining two of these Big-Domes were assigned one each to the eastbound CHICAGOAN and westbound KANSAS CITYAN daily trains between Chicago and Oklahoma City.
In May 1954 the Santa Fe inaugurated a new streamlined train the SAN FRANCISCO CHIEF between Chicago and its namesake city by way of the panhandle of Texas or Southern transcontinental route. The only new cars built for this train were a series of 48-seat leg-rest coaches and six Big-Domes. These six Big-Domes differed from the earlier ones delivered for the EL CAPITAN and CHICAGOAN-KANSAS CITYAN as they only seated 10 in the lower level bar-lounge area. Instead of a Courier-Nurse room the remaining lower level was occupied by crew dormitory space for twelve. The Dome level of these cars was identical to the earlier Big-Domes delivered to the Santa Fe with 57 coach type seats forward and 18 seat lounge to the rear.
The Northern Pacific introduced new 46-seat leg-rest Vista-Dome coaches to the NORTH COAST LIMITED in July-August 1954 two assigned per consist. These were identical to those built for the VISTA-DOME CALIFORNIA ZEPHYR except they featured flat sides instead of fluted and were painted to match the other cars in the Northern Pacific’s finest in the new Raymond Loewy 2-tone green with white separation stripe scheme. One was a Chicago-Seattle car the other a Chicago-Portland car set out at Pasco and forwarded by the SP&S to and from Portland. Thereafter the train was referred to as the VISTA-DOME NORTH COAST LIMITED. Budd delivered ten Vista-Dome sleeping cars to the NP between September and November 1954. Like the ten Vista-Dome coaches delivered earlier the new Vista-Dome sleepers were assigned in pairs to each consist of the VISTA-DOME NORTH COAST LIMITED between Chicago and Seattle and Chicago – Portland. The Northern Pacific separated the Vista- Dome coaches with a flat top coach in each consist, doing the same with the Vista-Dome sleeping cars, trainlining a flat top sleeping car between the Vista-Dome sleepers. This provided superior viewing from the domes instead of having a train’s domes trainlined together like the VISTA-DOME CALIFORNIA ZEPHYR. The Vista-Dome Sleeping cars featured 24-seats in the dome with four duplex single rooms beneath the dome, four roomettes were located on the main level forward of the dome and aft of the dome on the main level was four double bedrooms. These cars revenue passenger count was only 16 in the cars sleeping space.
The Southern Pacific built seven-¾ length ”Stairway to the Stars” domes in their Sacramento Shops using the frames from older lightweight streamlined cars. The first of the seven was completed in July 1954 and the final car was completed in May 1955. Budd built the dome framework for these cars and shipped them from Philadelphia to Sacramento. These domes extended only 21 inches above the regular car roof. The SP domes did not have enough height for an upper and lower level. Instead the SP domes had six stairs at the one end when coming from the adjoining car leading to the dome level where there were 36 seats. These were arranged as 12 doubles and four singles, also in the raised dome portion of the car were four double and two single lounge sections. After this lounge area one descended six stairs to the main level 28-seat lounge and bar. The dome covered this main level lounge area and ended at the bar. A passageway to the left led to the rear past the bar and to the vestibule leading to the next car. The SP assigned their ¾ length domes to the SHASTA DAYLIGHT between Portland and Oakland, SAN JOAQUIN DAYLIGHT between Oakland and Los Angeles, and SAN FRANCISCO OVERLAND between Oakland and Ogden initially.
Budd began delivering one of their largest postwar orders that for the Canadian Pacific in July 1954. Of this 172-car order 36 were Scenic-Domes divided equally between two types. First there were 18 Skyline domes with 26- leg rest coach seats forward on the main level, beneath the dome was a Kitchen-Bar and a six -seat lounge, on the main level to the rear of the dome was additional buffet-lounge seating area for seventeen. The dome was a standard Budd offering with the usual 24-seats. These cars served meals to coach passengers on the CANADIAN and DOMINION and all passengers of the ATLANTIC LIMITED that train carrying no separate dining car and served as a coach lounge at other times.
The second type of Scenic-Dome car built for the Canadian Pacific was their PARK cars with 3-double bedrooms and 1-drawing room on the main level forward of the dome. Beneath the dome was a bar with twelve seats arranged at tables for two or four. In the rounded observation end on the main level was a desk with chair and thirteen lounge seats. The PARK cars dome area once again was a standard 24-seat arrangement.
The CP ordered these cars for an all-new streamlined transcontinental train the CANADIAN and to upgrade the secondary transcontinental train the DOMINION both Montreal-Toronto to Vancouver trains. The DOMINION operated with not only the Budd built streamlined cars but heavyweights and railroad built streamlined cars. The third train to receive the new Budd equipment was the ATLANTIC LIMITED an overnight train between Montreal and St. John, New Brunswick that operated across the state of Maine nightly. From St. John one could board a CPR steamship for the voyage across the Bay of Fundy to Digby, Nova Scotia. A CPR owned subsidiary the Dominion Atlantic Railway connected with the CP steamship and provided service to Yarmouth at the southern end of Nova Scotia or northbound traveled to Halifax the capital of Nova Scotia operating with Budd built RDC’s.
The Union Pacific began receiving a large order of Astra-Domes in December 1954 starting with coaches. The UP received 10 of these dome coaches from American Car & Foundry in December 1954-January 1955. These cars were quite different then any others constructed as they used mostly aluminum for the body with a steel underbody. Another feature not found on the domes from the other manufacturers was the use of one pane of curved glass for the side and top of the dome glass, only the SUPER DOMES of the Milwaukee Road were similarly equipped. The UP soon found out how expensive they were when they occasionally needed replacement. The UP assigned the dome coaches to the CITY OF PORTLAND between Chicago and Portland and the newly reinstated CHALLENGER between Chicago and Los Angeles. The fifteen Dome Lounge Blunt end observations arrived on the UP between February and April 1955. They were assigned to the CITY OF PORTLAND, CITY OF LOS ANGELES and CHALLENGER initially. Those assigned to the CHALLENGER were soon transferred to the CITY OF ST. LOUIS for operation between St. Louis and Los Angeles via Denver and Kansas City.
In April-May 1955 the UP received 10-Astra-Dome dining cars from ACF. These were based on the original Astra-Dome Dining car from the GM TRAIN OF TOMORROW. The UP assigned five to the CITY OF PORTLAND and the remaining five to the CITY OF LOS ANGELES. The CITY OF PORTLAND was the only UP Domeliner to have all three types of domes initially. Later the CITY OF LOS ANGLES would operate with all three types when it was combined with the CHALLENGERS in the off peak travel periods.
Beginning May 29, 1955 the Great Northern EMPIRE BUILDERS began operating with three Budd built Great-Domes in each consist, two were operated Chicago – Seattle the third operated Chicago – Portland. The Portland Dome coach operated via the SP&S between Spokane and Portland. These were nearly identical to those built the previous year for the NP VISTA-DOME NORTH COAST LIMITED with 46-legrest coach seats on the main floor and the standard 24-seats in the dome. The GN EMPIRE BUILDER cars were smooth sided cars from Budd and were painted in the Pullman Green and Omaha Orange scheme with dulux gold separation stripes and lettering. And if that wasn’t enough dome seating the GN added full- length Budd built Great dome lounge cars to the EMPIRE BUILDER beginning in October 1955. The dome level of these cars was identical to the Santa Fe Big domes with 57 coach seats and 18-seat lounge. The lower level lounge seated 34 with a buffet. The Great Dome Lounge was reserved for the exclusive use of the Pullman passengers. The EMPIRE BUILDER and for a short period the SUPER CONTINENTAL were the only scheduled trains operating with both short domes and a full-length dome assigned to the same consists. The GN received 16 short domes and 6 Great Dome Lounge cars. These domes were the last new cars ever purchased by the Great Northern. The Great Northern referred to both types of domes as Great Domes but also referred to the Budd short domes as Vista-Domes in some company produced literature.
In October 1956 the CB&Q received new cars for the new VISTA-DOME DENVER ZEPHYRS; each of the two consists operated with three Vista-Domes. First was a 46- leg rest seat dome coach with the standard 24 seats in the dome. The second Vista-Dome in each VISTA-DOME DENVER ZEPHYR was an 8-seat lunch counter 23 –seat coffee shop-Lounge 16-crew dormitory car with 24 – seats in the dome. The last Vista-Dome in the VISTA-DOME DENVER ZEPHYR consists was an 11-seat Parlor with a single 5-seat Parlor Drawing Room on the main level forward. Beneath the Vista-Dome was a Bar with 16-seat Lounge. A 12-seat lounge occupied the blunt ended observation end of the main level. The first and third Vista-Dome in each VISTA-DOME DENVER ZEPHYR consist was a Chicago-Denver car. The second Vista-Dome with the coffee shop was a through Colorado Springs car from Chicago. Continuing beyond Denver this dome accompanied by a coach, Slumbercoach and sleeper was coupled to the rear of the D&RGW ROYAL GORGE beyond Denver to Colorado Springs and return.
In December 1957 the NP received one Vista-Dome 46-seat leg rest coach and one Vista-Dome Sleeping car for assignment to the VISTA DOME NORTH COAST LIMITED pool of cars to operate as spares permitting the others to be rotated through the shops.
Pullman Standard constructed the final order of new Dome cars for the Union Pacific and Waba***o plans supplied by American Car & Foundry. These cars were Astra-Dome coaches and they were identical to those built earlier for the Union Pacific. These six Astra-Dome coaches were assigned to the CITY OF ST. LOUIS upon completion in December 1958 for operation by way of Kansas City and Denver before joining the UP Overland route mainline at Cheyenne.

To Be Continued

TTFN Al
  • Member since
    March 2004
  • From: Central Valley California
  • 2,841 posts
Posted by passengerfan on Monday, July 10, 2006 8:51 AM
Domes Part II
By Al
In the period between June 1945 and December 1958 a total of 236 domes were produced. Two were railroad shop rebuilt short domes (CB&Q), 7 railroad rebuilt ¾ domes (SP), 30 new full domes, and 197 short domes were built by the three car manufacturers American Car & Foundry, Budd Company and Pullman Standard. Only six railroads owned both short domes and full domes AT&SF, CB&Q, GN, BN, Amtrak and Auto-Train, although the latter two railroads purchased theirs used from other railroads at the beginning of Amtrak. The BN cars were the result of the merger of the GN, NP, CB&Q and SP&S in 1970. The CB&Q, GN, BN, and Amtrak were the only railroads that operated both full domes and short domes in the same train the EMPIRE BUILDER.
Auto-Train operated short and full-length domes in their Lorton, Virginia – Sanford, Florida trains.
One railroad owned only full domes Milwaukee Road Super Domes.
One railroad owned only ¾ length domes Southern Pacific reconstructed in their own shops from older streamlined car types.
Pullman Standard built 10-full domes all for Milwaukee Road, and 24-short domes for AT&SF, B&O, GM (TRAIN OF TOMORROW), MP (and subsidiaries IGN, T&P), UP and Wabash.
American Car and Foundry built 35 short domes all for a single customer Union Pacific.
The Budd Company constructed the remaining 138-short domes (CPR, C&O, CB&Q, D&RGW, GN, MP, NP, SP&S, Wabash, and WP) and 20-full domes (AT&SF, GN, and CB&Q). Pullman Standard built a single Astra-Dome sleeping car, a single Astra-Dome dining car, a single dome parlor car, and seventeen (10-Super-Domes CMSTP&P) dome lounge cars only one an observation (Train of Tomorrow) six of these were AT&SF Pleasure Domes and lone observation originally GM TRAIN OF TOMORROW later UP. The remaining Pullman Standard built domes were all coaches’ 2-B&O, 1-IGN, 3-MP, 1-T&P, 6-UP and 1-Wabash.
American Car & Foundry built 10-Astra-Dome coaches, 15-Astra-Dome lounge observations and 10-Astra-Dome dining cars all for the Union Pacific.
Budd Company built 20-full length dome cars with lounges on the lower level 14-AT&SF, 5-GN and 1 CB&Q. The Budd Company built 147 short dome cars. Twenty-five of these short domes were sleeper-lounge-observation types, forty-eight were long distance coaches with 46-legrest seats and seven were parlor observations. Twenty-eight Budd built short domes combined food and beverage service with dormitory or coach seating. Eleven were day coach versions. Budd also built fourteen dome sleeping cars. All others were miscellaneous types.
The following passenger trains are known to have operated with dome cars in there consists prior to Amtrak.

UP – C&NW – CMSTP&P – WABASH

CITY OF DENVER(C&NW-CMSTP&P)-Chicago-Denver

CITY OF LOS ANGELES(C&NW-CMSTP&P-UP)-Chicago-Los Angeles

CITY OF PORTLAND(C&NW-CMSTP&P-UP)–Chicago – Portland

CITY OF ST. LOUIS (WABASH-UP)-St. Louis-Los Angeles

CITY OF SAN FRANCISCO(C&NW-
CMSTP&P-UP-SP)–Chicago – San Francisco

CHALLENGER(C&NW-CMSTP&P-UP) - Chicago – Los Angeles

457/458(UP)-Portland - Seattle

CITY OF KANSAS CITY (WABASH)-St. Louis – Kansas City

BLUEBIRD (WABASH) – St. Louis – Chicago

BANNER BLUE (WABASH) - St. Louis – Chicago

MORNING HIAWATHA (CMSTP&P)-Chicago – Minneapolis


AFTERNOON HIAWATHA (CMSTP&P)-Chicago - Minneapolis

OLYMPIAN HIAWATHA (CMSTP&P)-Chicago-Seattle/Tacoma

CB&Q – D&RGW - GN – NP – SP&S – WP

VISTA-DOME AFTERNOON ZEPHYR (CB&Q)-Chicago-St. Paul/Minneapolis

VISTA-DOME AMERICAN ROYAL ZEPHYR (CB&Q)–Chicago – St. Joseph/Kansas City

VISTA-DOME DENVER ZEPHYR (CB&Q)-Chicago – Denver/Colorado Springs

VISTA-DOME CALIFORNIA ZEPHYR (CB&Q – D&RGW – WP)-Chicago – San Francisco

VISTA-DOME KANSAS CITY ZEPHYR (CB&Q)-Chicago – St. Joseph/Kansas City

VISTA-DOME NEBRASKA ZEPHYR (CB&Q)-Chicago – Omaha/Lincoln –

VISTA-DOME AK SAR BEN ZEPHYR (CB&Q) Chicago – Omaha/Lincoln


VISTA-DOME MORNING ZEPHYR (CB&Q)-Chicago – St. Paul/Minneapolis

VISTA-DOME SILVER STREAK ZEPHYR (CB&Q) Lincoln/Omaha – St. Joseph/Kansas City

41/42 (CB&Q)-Lincoln – Billings

EMPIRE BUILDER (CB&Q-SP&S-GN) Chicago – Seattle/Portland

VISTA-DOME NORTH COAST LIMITED (CB&Q-SP&S-NP) Chicago – Seattle/Portland

WESTERN STAR (CB&Q-SP&S-GN)-
St. Paul – Seattle

VISTA-DOME ROYAL GORGE (D&RGW)-Denver – Salt Lake City

VISTA-DOME PROSPECTOR (D&RGW) Denver – Salt Lake City

VISTA-DOME YAMPA VALLEY MAIL (D&RGW)-Denver -Craig



MP – IGN T&P –IC
COLORADO EAGLE (MP-D&RGW) St. Louis - Denver

MISSOURI RIVER EAGLE (MP)-St. Louis – Kansas City - Omaha

TEXAS EAGLE 1/2 (MP-T&P)-St. Louis – Dallas/Fort Worth/El Paso

TEXAS EAGLE 21/22 (MP) St. Louis – San Antonio/Houston/Galveston

LOUISIANA EAGLE (T&P)-New Orleans – Dallas/Fort Worth

CITY OF MIAMI (IC-C of G-ACL-FEC) – Chicago – Miami

PANAMA LIMITED (IC) Chicago – New Orleans

CITY OF NEW ORLEANS (IC)-Chicago-New Orleans
AT&SF – SP

SUPER CHIEF (AT&SF) Chicago – Los Angeles

CHIEF (AT&SF) Chicago – Los Angeles

EL CAPITAN (AT&SF)-Chicago – Los Angeles

TEXAS CHIEF (AT&SF) Chicago – Houston/Galveston

CHICAGOAN (AT&SF) Oklahoma City - Chicago

KANSAS CITYAN (AT&SF)-Chicago – Oklahoma City

SAN FRANCISCO CHIEF (AT&SF)-Chicago – San Francisco

SAN FRANCISCO OVERLAND (SP) – Oakland – Ogden

SAN JOAQUIN DAYLIGHT (SP) – Oakland – Los Angeles

COAST DAYLIGHT (SP) San Francisco – Los Angeles

CITY OF SAN FRANCISCO (SP) - Oakland – Ogden

SHASTA DAYLIGHT (SP) – Oakland - Portland

B&O – C&O – PRR – SCL – C of G – SOU

CAPITOL LIMITED (B&O) – Washington - Chicago

SHENANDOAH (B&O) – Washington - Chicago

COLUMBIAN (B&O) – Washington - Chicago

PERE MARQUETTES (C&O) – Chicago – Grand Rapids

SOUTH WIND (PRR-L&N-ACL-FEC) – Chicago - Miami

FLORIDA SPECIAL (ACL) –Richmond - Miami

SILVER METEOR (SCL) – Richmond - Miami

NANCY HANKS II (CofG) Atlanta – Macon - Savannah

SOUTHERN CRESCENT (Southern) – Atlanta – New Orleans

CNR – CPR

SUPER CONTINENTAL (CNR) – Winnipeg - Vancouver or Edmonton - Vancouver

PANORAMA (CNR) Winnipeg -Vancouver

CANADIAN (CPR) Montreal/Toronto - Vancouver

DOMINION (CPR) – Montreal/Toronto - Vancouver

ATLANTIC LIMITED (CPR) Montreal – St. John

LE CHATEAU CHAMPLAIN (CPR) – Montreal - Ottawa

ROYAL YORK (CPR) Montreal - Toronto

FRONTENAC (CPR) Montreal – Quebec City

VIPER (CPR) – Montreal – Quebec City

233/234 (CPR) Montreal - Ottawa

Chicago was the place to see domes; no less than 52 domes arrived and departed the railroad capitol on certain days during the 1960’s. And that was by seven railroads AT&SF, B&O, CB&Q, CMSTP&P, IC, PRR and WAB.
Other cities having large numbers of domes arriving and departing daily were Minneapolis/St. Paul 8-full domes and 34-short domes, Kansas City with 6-full domes and 12 short domes, Denver with 11 short domes and two full domes (former OLYMPIAN HIAWATHA), Oakland 10-short domes, 6-3/4 domes and 2 –full domes. Los Angeles had 2-short domes, 2-3/4 domes and 2-full domes. Seattle had 16-short domes and 2-full domes arriving and departing daily. Portland another west coast destination saw no less than 14-short domes and 2-3/4 domes arriving and departing daily. St. Louis witnessed the arrival and departure of 24-short domes, daily Miami witnessed the arrival and departure of three domes at one time and some sources list four on certain days in the winter, all short domes. North of the border Vancouver witnessed 8-short domes and 4-full domes arrive and depart daily for a brief period.
Fastest daily dome car ride was on the CB&Q MORNING TWIN ZEPHYR as it raced along the east bank of the Mississippi in Wisconsin. Another fast run was on the Milwaukee Road HIAWATHAS as they raced from Chicago to Milwaukee with their full domes. The Santa Fe ran some very fast segments in Kansas with both the SUPER CHIEF and EL CAPITAN in their 39-hour 45- minute dash between Chicago and Los Angeles. Fastest dome ride over a thousand miles the CB&Q 1956 VISTA-DOME DENVER ZEPHYRS as they raced overnight between the windy city and mile high city nightly in each direction in 16 hours 30 minutes.

TTFN
  • Member since
    February 2004
  • From: Chesterfield, Missouri, USA
  • 7,214 posts
Posted by siberianmo on Monday, July 10, 2006 9:00 AM
G'day!

I see 20 Fingers Al has decided to "Post or Perish" - got in one of your "windy ones" before shudown, eh [?] [swg]

Okay - so here's a dome "thing" from moi . . .

from www.trainweb.org



See ya on Thursday! (or maybe even Wednesday late afternoon . . . )

Tom[4:-)][oX)]
Happy Railroading! Siberianmo
  • Member since
    February 2004
  • From: Chesterfield, Missouri, USA
  • 7,214 posts
Posted by siberianmo on Monday, July 10, 2006 9:07 AM
G'day!

And one more . . .


from: www.trainweb.org



That's it - really! [swg]

Tom[4:-)][oX)]
Happy Railroading! Siberianmo
  • Member since
    April 2003
  • 302,230 posts
Posted by Anonymous on Thursday, July 27, 2006 5:02 PM

Hello!  Just popped in to see what had happened to this thread since the site upgrade.  I've enjoyed reading it.

Any plans on it to continue????

Thanks!

  • Member since
    January 2006
  • From: northeast U.S.
  • 1,225 posts
If you like Classic PASSENGER Trains - including TRACTION, visit here!
Posted by LoveDomes on Saturday, August 12, 2006 8:28 AM

Hello Murray!

Sorry for the long delay in a response on this thread, but you see Tom has closed up shop here on the forums. Once he closed "Our" Place on July 12th, he stopped frequenting the forums. That was and indeed is the sad reality of it all.

Yes, this thread has some great stuff - most of which one could have easily found over at "Our" Place. Tom created this thread as a potential "feeder" for the bar - an attempt to line up some like-minded adult customers who enjoy talking about classic trains.

So that's the story - fortunately the pages still are available for anyone to peruse, but unless and until Tom decides to return, my guess is this thread will get pushed further back on the pages as the respondents are very far and few between.

Lars

  • Member since
    September 2005
  • From: Alberta's Canadian Rockies
  • 331 posts
Posted by BudKarr on Monday, August 14, 2006 2:09 PM
Good Day Captain Tom,

Not certain of your whereabouts this day - although I am pleased to announce that you have returned to the bar! So, in keeping with those high spirits, here is a photo that may tweak one or two or are interested in the subject of light rail . . . . These from Edmonton:





Much more at:

www.lightrail.com/photos/edmonton/edmonton.htm

BK in Alberta, Canada's beautiful high mountain country!


  • Member since
    September 2005
  • From: Alberta's Canadian Rockies
  • 331 posts
Posted by BudKarr on Tuesday, August 15, 2006 4:09 PM

Good Afternoon Captain Tom!

Thought I would add a couple of more light rail photos to the mix - this time from the Calgary system:

 

See you over at the bar!

 

BK in Alberta, Canada's beautiful high mountain country!

  • Member since
    September 2005
  • From: Alberta's Canadian Rockies
  • 331 posts
Posted by BudKarr on Wednesday, August 16, 2006 11:48 AM
Good Morning Captain Tom,

Thought I would drop off a bit more light rail for whoever may be viewing this thread . . . the watchers surely outnumber the contributors . . . what's new??


A METRORail train approaching Preston Station in downtown Houston, Texas, USA.



The O-Train, the diesel light-rail metro service for Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. It is the first diesel-powered light-rail system in North America.

Enjoy!

BK in Alberta, Canada's beautiful high mountain country!
  • Member since
    April 2003
  • 302,230 posts
Posted by Anonymous on Wednesday, August 16, 2006 4:48 PM
Ah the thread is back!  Outstanding!

I enjoy your contributions very much!

Regards....



  • Member since
    January 2006
  • From: northeast U.S.
  • 1,225 posts
Posted by LoveDomes on Thursday, August 17, 2006 8:48 AM
G'day Captain Tom!

No sooner did I "report" your demise when things returned to near-normal back at the bar! Great to see "Our" Place up 'n running once again on the Classic Trains forums. This thread Question [?] Looks like BK has taken it upon himself to keep it going and we have at least one person who has been kind enough to 'say something.' Thumbs Up [tup]

Light rail seems to be on the agenda, so let's see what I can muster up . . .

A Hiawatha Line train near Cedar-Riverside station in Minneapolis. (from: Wikipedia.com)



A Hudson-Bergen Light Rail train in Jersey City, New Jersey, USA. (from: Wikipedia.com)




See ya over at the bar! Thumbs Up [tup]

Lars
  • Member since
    May 2014
  • 3,727 posts
Posted by trolleyboy on Thursday, August 17, 2006 10:33 AM

Good afternoon gentlemen. I'm glad to see that both BK and Lars are doing a yeoman's effort to keep this fine thread functioning as well. Wonderfull dive into te lite-rail scene gents, of coarse a subject near and dear to my heart for some reason. Smile,Wink, & Grin [swg] I'll have to make more of an effort to get in here more often as well , we will certainly see you at the Bar. Murray don't be shymost of the gang here plus is the gang at the bar tyr it you may like it.

Rob

  • Member since
    September 2005
  • From: Alberta's Canadian Rockies
  • 331 posts
If you like Classic PASSENGER Trains - including TRACTION, visit here!
Posted by BudKarr on Thursday, August 17, 2006 12:35 PM
Good Morning Captain Tom!

Some life here on "the other thread" I note! Thumbs Up [tup] Perhaps we can keep this one on top of the page as well - where it belongs, in my not so humble opinion. Thumbs Up [tup]

A couple of more light rail photos to share . . .

Portland TriMet MAX Yellow Line tram on opening day, May 1, 2004, with new Siemens Type 3 cars.

(credit: www.wikipedia.com)

 

The San Diego Trolley (Siemens-Duewag U2) at America Plaza on November 10, 2003.

(credit: www.wikipedia.com)


Hope to see you at the bar known as "Our" Place - an adult eating & drinking establishment where the talk is of Classic Trains while having some fun doing so!


BK in Alberta, Canada's beautiful high mountain Country!

SUBSCRIBER & MEMBER LOGIN

Login, or register today to interact in our online community, comment on articles, receive our newsletter, manage your account online and more!

FREE NEWSLETTER SIGNUP

Get the Classic Trains twice-monthly newsletter