daveklepper maybe this will answer your UP dome questions.
Streamlined Dome Cars
The Union Pacific was the second largest purchaser of new dome cars next to the CB&Q and even today own domes for operation in their business fleet.
The first domes to be acquired by the UP were the four Astra-Domes built for the GM TRAIN OF TOMORROW (See Pullman Standard chapter). These cars built by Pullman Standard were delivered to GM in May 1947. The four cars were named only STAR DUST (Dome Coach), SKY VIEW (Dome Diner), DREAM CLOUD (Dome Sleeper) and MOON GLOW (Dome Lounge Observation). In April 1950 all four cars plus the EMD E7A 765 that had comprised the GM TRAIN OF TOMORROW were purchased by the Union Pacific and moved to Omaha, Nebraska. Here the cars and diesel were repainted from their stainless steel and royal blue scheme to the Armour yellow, harbor mist gray and red streamliner colors of their new owner Union Pacific. Since the Union Pacific operated only one train worthy of the four domes that required but a single set of equipment it was almost a foregone conclusion the UP would operate the cars in their pool train between Portland and Seattle.
For years the UP-GN-NP had operated four trains daily between these two major Northwest cities. Each railroad operated a daily train in each direction and every three months the operation of the overnight train was rotated between the three roads. The UP operated trains 457-458 as their regular schedule. These trains operated NB from Portland each morning bringing through sleeping cars from the connecting CITY OF PORTLAND and SP CASCADE to Seattle’s Union Station. The UP pool train returned to Portland each evening. During the long days of summer the round trip was entirely in daylight. During the spring and fall the train operated NB entirely in the daylight but southbound the train reached Portland after dark. In the winter months the southbound usually encountered darkness before even reaching Tacoma. The sleeping cars returned south to Portland on the NP pool train each morning operating from King Street Station just across from Union Station separated by the 4th Ave overpass.
The Union Pacific operated the former TRAIN OF TOMORROW cars and diesel unit from Omaha in a CITY OF LOS ANGELES train set. The train went on display in Los Angeles under a banner reading “TRAIN OF TOMORROW – Your Portland-Tacoma-Seattle Train of Today”. The Domeliner traveled from Los Angeles to Salt Lake City in a LOS ANGELES LIMITED consist. After display in the Utah Capitol the train traveled to Pocatello, Boise, La Grande, Pendleton, Portland, Tacoma and Seattle for display in each city before retuning to Portland to begin service on June 18, 1950. The rest of the trains consist of 457-458 was made up of modernized heavyweight coaches and parlor cars. Since the schedule did not require sleeping cars the Astra-Dome sleeping car DREAM CLOUD operated as a parlor car with all space sold at parlor car rates. The coaches of the new train required no extra fare, but this was not true of STAR DUST the Astra-Dome Coach as an extra supplement was charged for this car. All passengers could avail themselves of SKY VIEW the Astra-Dome dining car serving breakfast and lunch northbound and late lunch and dinner southbound. The Astra-Dome Lounge Observation MOON GLOW was only open to the first class parlor passengers. By 1951 the UP Domeliner unofficially known as the CITY OF SEATTLE was fully streamlined. The UP assigned numbers to three of the Astra-Domes in March 1956 STAR DUST numbered 7010, SKY VIEW numbered 8010 and MOON GLOW numbered 9015. The MOON GLOW had its round observation end squared off for mid-train operation in 1956 by Omaha shops. This did not alter the cars number of seats although at least two sofas were repositioned. The first of the old TRAIN OF TOMORROW Astra Domes withdrawn from trains 457-458 was 8010 SKY VIEW in September 1957, this was followed by 7010 in March 1958. In 1959 it is known that 9015 MOON GLOW operated for a time in one of the CITY OF DENVER consists. By the early 1960s all four of the original TRAIN OF TOMORROW cars could be seen in a Pocatello scrap yard minus trucks and piled up waiting to be cut up for scrapping. Only the former 9015 MOON GLOW has been spared. As this is written it is stored alongside Ogden station awaiting restoration. These cars are among he few dome cars to be scrapped.
The UP was impressed enough with these domes to order new Astra Dome cars of three types Coach, Dining and Lounge Observation from American Car and Foundry in late November 1952.
These domes were ordered after carefully considering routes to be assigned domes. The UP was faced with the situation of having six trains that were considered for domes the CITY OF LOS ANGELES, CITY OF PORTLAND, CITY OF DENVER, CITY OF SAN FRANCISCO, CITY OF ST.LOUIS, and CHALLENGER. The CITY OF SAN FRANCISCO was eliminated almost immediately from consideration after talks with the Southern Pacific. The SP would not even consider domes operating across the Sierra on their route between Ogden and Oakland. The scenery found along the remainder of the Overland route other than Sherman Hill was not considered for domes.
The UP eliminated the CITY OF DENVER route for this same reason, and the fact that this train was mostly an overnight route. Even though the major competition on the Chicago – Denver route the CB&Q was operating the CALIFORNIA ZEPHYR, although this was actually a through train to the west coast and operated the Chicago – Denver portion of the trip on a slower schedule than their DENVER ZEPHYR. At this time the DENVER ZEPHYR was operating with the original 1936 train sets. It is not known if the UP was aware that the CB&Q was planning new dome equipped DENVER ZEPHYRS at this time or not. In any case the only other competition in the Chicago – Denver route the Rock Island was actually no threat to the UP or CB&Q as their ROCKY MOUNTAIN ROCKET operated on a slower schedule and the ROCK ISLAND never owned domes.
This left the UP with the CITY OF PORTLAND, CITY OF LOS ANGELES, CITY OF ST. LOUIS and CHALLENGER trains to be considered for domes. As it would turn out all four of these trains would receive one or more domes.
The three types of Astra Domes built for the UP were Coach, Dining Car, and Lounge Observations.
The Dome Coaches seated 36 passengers in leg rest seats in pairs with all revenue seating confined to the cars main level forward and aft of the dome. In the depressed center area of the cars were located the Women’s and Men’s restrooms with enough room for make-up in the ladies and shaving in the men’s. These long distance cars featured less seating than there Budd counterparts whose long distance dome coaches seated 46 leg-rest seats on the main level in the area ahead of and behind the dome. Likewise large restrooms were located beneath the domes in the Budd built cars that operated in the COLORADO EAGLE, CALIFORNIA ZEPHYR, NORTH COAST LIMITED later EMPIRE BUILDER and DENVER ZEPHYR. The 24 seats in paired settees in the dome of the up cars were angled outward for better views of the passing scenery. Even so most passengers preferred the Budd built domes for viewing and this was especially true for those who took pictures from the dome. In the up AC&F built domes single curved panes of glass were used and in the case of Budd and Pullman Standard separate side pieces and roof pieces of glass were used. This first group of Dome coaches for the UP numbering ten were assigned to the CHALLENGER between Chicago and Los Angeles, and the CITY OF PORTLAND between Chicago and Portland one per consist. They were added to each of those trains consists as they arrived on the Union Pacific from the factory in St. Charles outside St. Louis.
24-SEAT ASTRA-DOME 36-SEAT LEG-REST COACHES American Car & Foundry December 1954-January 1955 (Built for and assigned to CHALLENGER and CITY OF PORTLAND)
7000 – 7009
The next domes to arrive on the UP were the Dome Lounge Observations. These cars numbered fifteen and were built for three trains the CHALLENGER, CITY OF PORTLAND and CITY OF LOS ANGELES. The rear of each flat observation was equipped with a large neon sign with the train name emblazoned upon it. The Astra-Dome Lounge Observations featured a pair of restrooms and a card room in the short main floor area forward of the dome with one large round table and seating for six. Even though signs were posted stating it was illegal to gamble some of the poker games on the CITY Domeliners cost many passengers hundreds and even thousands of dollars, particularly on the CITY OF LOS ANGELES and CITY OF ST. LOUIS. Beneath the dome was a nine-seat cocktail lounge and full service bar. The mural behind the bar depicted the Golden Spike Ceremony at Promontory, Utah. To the rear of the dome area on the main level of these cars was a desk and chair behind the stairway to the dome level and a lounge with settees, sofas and single chairs to seat 21-passengers occupying the Observation end. Initially the Astra-Dome Observations were assigned to the CHALLENGER, CITY OF LOS ANGELES and CITY OF PORTLAND one per consist bringing up the markers. Those originally assigned to the CHALLENGER were transferred to the CITY OF ST. LOUIS within three months of entering service. This gave the CITY OF ST. LOUIS its first dome giving it the status of Domeliner as well. The reason for this transfer was that the CHALLENGER was a coach train and the CITY OF ST. LOUIS was coach and sleeping car train and the UP management thought the Astra-Dome Lounge Observations should be assigned to trains that carried first class passengers. Within a year of the Astra-Dome Lounge Observations entering service the square observation ends were fitted with a diaphragm for mid-train operation. The cars kept their observation end except for the modification to the door and addition of the diaphragm. Rail fans everywhere missed the loss of the beautiful neon tail signs. They were probably the largest tail signs ever fitted to a streamlined train. The cars were than transferred mid-train operating behind the dining cars.
24-SEAT ASTRA-DOME 37-SEAT LOUNGE OBSERVATIONS American Car & Foundry February – April 1955 (Built for and assigned to CHALLENGER – CITY OF LOS ANGELES – CITY OF PORTLAND – later CITY OF ST.LOUIS)
9000 – 9014
In April – May 1955 the UP received the ten Astra-Dome Dining cars from American Car & Foundry to complete the initial dome order. These cars were among the most elegant dining cars to grace the rails during the streamliner period. The short main floor level ahead of the dome was for the Kitchen with a passageway for passengers along the left side. A pantry occupied half the area beneath the dome and the other half of the area beneath the dome was occupied by a private dining room with two tables for five. This area was also used during peak travel times as additional dining space. The large main floor dining area to the rear of the dome was occupied by the main dining room with three large round tables for four on the right side of the car and three small round tables for two on the left side of the car. In the Astra-Dome it was three booths for four on the left side and three booths for two on the right side. The forward five feet of the dome was occupied by a small pantry serving area with toaster, small refrigerator, ice-machine, small sink, and pneumatic dumbwaiter to the kitchen where the food was prepared. The dumbwaiter brought the food from the kitchen to the smart waiter (the one who collected the tips) for service to the passengers. These Astra-Dome dining cars were assigned to the CITY OF PORTLAND and CITY OF LOS ANGELES. This gave the CITY OF PORTLAND the distinction of being the only UP Domeliner that operated year round with al three types of domes.
ASTRA-DOME 46-SEAT DINING CARS American Car & Foundry April – May 1955 (Built for and assigned to CITY OF LOS ANGELES and CITY OF PORTLAND)
8000 – 8009
Those domes built in 1954-1955 were for assignment as follows for the following trains and were decorated accordingly.
Astra-Dome Coaches 7000 – 7004
CITY OF PORTLAND
Astra-Dome Coaches 7005 – 7009
CITY OF LOS ANGELES
Astra-Dome Dining Cars 8000 – 8004
CITY OF PORTLAND
Astra-Dome Dining Cars 8005 – 8009
CITY OF LOS ANGELES
Astra-Dome Lounge Obs. 9000 – 9004
CITY OF PORTLAND
Astra-Dome Lounge Obs. 9005 – 9009
CITY OF ST. LOUIS
Astra-Dome Lounge Obs. 9010 – 9014
The Union Pacific switched from Chicago and Northwestern east of Omaha to Chicago to Milwaukee Road beginning October 30, 1955. This change made no difference in running times of trains between Chicago and Omaha. The Milwaukee Road repainted their passenger cars to streamliner colors and the home-built Milwaukee cars began infiltrating the Domeliner fleet as well as other UP trains.
Beginning in January 1958 the CITY OF DENVER became a Domeliner with the addition of a pair of former OLYMPIAN HIAWATHA full-length domes to the overnight streamliner. These two full length domes had actually become surplus as the OLYMPIAN HIAWATHA was operated combined with the MORNING HIAWATHA eastbound between Twin Cities and Chicago and westbound combined with the AFTERNOON HIAWATHA between the Chicago and the Twin Cities since 1957.
In January 1959 the UP combined the CITY OF DENVER and CITY OF PORTLAND between Chicago and the mile high capital of Colorado. The CITY OF PORTLAND already operated with the three AC&F domes in it’s consist so the Milwaukee Road domes were returned.
These were the only domes ever built by American Car & Foundry, and when the UP turned to them once again in 1958 for additional dome coaches to be assigned to the CITY OF ST. LOUIS they were turned down. AC&F was already phasing out of the passenger car business and offered the car plans and specifications to Pullman Standard after UP turned to them for these additional dome coaches. These six dome coaches built by Pullman Standard were unlike any other domes built by this manufacturer as the domes were identical to the earlier dome coaches built for the UP by AC&F. Pullman Standard took AC&F up on their offer for the plans and specifications of the dome coaches. Actually UP insisted the cars be built to these specifications and AC&F reluctantly provided the plans to Pullman Standard to build the cars. After all AC&F was still in the freight car building business and the UP was one of there best customers.
The six new Astra Dome Coaches were delivered to the Union Pacific in November – December 1958 and became the last new dome cars built for a railroad in the United States. These six cars were numbered UP 7011 – 7015 and Wabash 203 built for assignment to the CITY OF ST.LOUIS giving that train an Astra – Dome Coach and Astra – Dome Lounge Car.
The CITY OF SAN FRANCISCO eventually became a Domeliner beginning in September 1960 when the UP combined the CITY OF LOS ANGELES and CITY OF SAN FRANCISCO between Chicago and Ogden, Utah. The SP assigned one of their ¾ length domes to the CITY OF SAN FRANCISCO consists west of Ogden giving this last of the CITY streamliners Domeliner status.
The CHALLENGER ran combined in the slower seasons with the CITY OF LOS ANGELES beginning as early as 1956. By 1964 the UP was operating a so called CITY OF EVERYWHERE with the CITY OF LOS ANGELES – CITY OF SAN FRANCISCO – CITY OF DENVER – CITY OF PORTLAND – CHALLENGER operating as one train between Chicago west as far as North Platte, Nebraska where the CITY OF DENVER was uncoupled and operated as a separate train to Denver. The other combined trains ran as one to Green River, Wyoming where the CITY OF PORTLAND was separated and continued to its destination as a separate train. Next in Ogden the CITY OF SAN FRANCISCO split from the CITY OF LOS ANGELES and CHALLENGER and continued as a separate train west to Oakland. At Ogden the CITY OF ST. LOUIS was added to the CITY OF LOS ANGELES and CHALLENGER for the remainder of the trip to Los Angeles. Later the CITY OF ST. LOUIS would be added at Cheyenne, Wyoming for the trip to Los Angeles. When the CITY OF ST. LOUIS was dropped by the Waba***he train was renamed CITY OF KANSAS CITY and that became its eastern terminal. In the final year of operation before Amtrak the CITY OF EVERYWHERE operated domes in this manner.
CITY OF PORTLAND
Dome Coach Chicago – Portland
Dome Lounge Green River – Portland
CITY OF LOS ANGELES
Dome Coach Chicago – Los Angeles
Dome Lounge Chicago – Los Angeles
CITY OF SAN FRANCISCO
¾ Dome Lounge Ogden – Oakland
The Dome Dining cars and other dome coaches and lounges were stored by this time, as were many other cars.
The Union Pacific leased several dome coaches and lounges to Amtrak for a few months after the national passenger carrier took over the passenger trains from the railroads.
After that the UP sold off the dome cars with 4-dome coaches 7004,7008,7013,and 7014 going to the Alaska Railroad for use between Anchorage and Fairbanks and Seward and Anchorage.
The greatest numbers of UP dome cars thirty-three were sold to the Auto-Train Corporation for their trains between Lorton, Virginia and Sanford, Florida and later between Louisville and Sanford. For further information of these cars see the Auto-Train Chapter.
The UP retained three domes initially for there own business fleet. These were the 9004 one of the Astra-Dome Lounge cars originally built for CITY OF LOS ANGELES assignment, the car was named HARRIMAN in 1987 and was renamed SUN VALLEY in 1989. In 1990 the car was once again named HARRIMAN. It is in the UP Business fleet today.
The 8003 one of the Astra – Dome dining cars was retained by the UP for their business fleet until November 1971 when it was donated to the National Museum of Transport in Green Bay, Wisconsin.
The third Astra-Dome retained by UP was one of the coaches 7006 for excursion use. On January 19, 1987 the car was sold to the FNM in Mexico.
Today the UP Business and Excursion fleet operate nine dome cars all ex UP cars repurchased from other owners. Unlike when the cars operated in scheduled UP service with numbers only the cars all named as well for excursion and business fleet service today.
The 9004 HARRIMAN was the only car to have always remained in UP ownership.
The 9005 WALTER DEAN was initially sold to Auto-Train in May 1972 and was numbered 904 although the number was never actually applied. In December 1981 the car was sold at the Auto-Train liquidation auction to Great America Tours on Rail “GATOR Route” and assigned Amtrak excursion number 800621. The UP repurchased the car in March 1988 and named the car HARRIMAN in 1989. In 1990 UP renamed the car WALTER DEAN the name it carries today.
The UP 9009 was sold to Auto-Train in May 1972 and renumbered 908. Sold at the Auto-Train liquidation auction in December 1981 to American Law Center in San Jose CA. It is believed they planned to refurbi***he car for operation between their Florida and California offices. Apparently the car was never paid for and was forfeited to Dixie Rail Corporation of Savannah, Georgia in March 1982. Sold to a private owner in Missilon, Ohio in October 1984. Became Northern Railcar/Scenic Rail Dining “RIVERS EDGE” in 1987. Car was sold to Transisco Tours for the Sierra 49er service between San Jose and Reno numbered and named 800556 ZEPHYR COVE in 1991. Leased to KLS&C Wine Country Dinner Train in August 1991. Sold to Union Pacific in May 1993 numbered and named 9009 CITY OF SAN FRANCISCO.
The UP 7001 one of the Astra – Dome coaches was sold to Auto-Train in June 1972 and renumbered 701 after modifications and repainting. At the Auto-Train liquidation auction in December 1981 the car was sold to a private owner in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Mid-America Car Company purchased the car in 1982 on behalf of the Kansas City Southern for their business fleet. In October 1990 the car was repurchased by the UP and today is numbered and named 7001 COLUMBINE.
The UP 7015 one of the Pullman Standard built Astra-Dome coaches of 1958 was sold to Auto-Train in June 1972 and after remodeling and repainting was numbered 709. This car was sold at the Auto-Train liquidation auction December 1981 to a private owner in Tulsa, Oklahoma. This car was resold to Mid-America Car Company in 1982 on behalf of the Kansas City Southern who planned to add the car to their business fleet. In October 1990 the car was sold to the UP who numbered and named the car 7015 CHALLENGER.
Astra-Dome dining car 8004 was sold to Auto-Train in June 1962, after remodeling and repainting the car was numbered 803. The car was sold at the Auto-Train liquidation auction in December 1981 to Anbel and assigned the reporting marks ANBX 2040. Scenic Rail Dining purchased the car in 1987 and named the car “SCENIC VIEW”. Northern Railcar purchased the car in January 1988 and sold the car to Transisco Tours for the Sierra 49er train in 1989 where the car was numbered and named 800560 CRYSTAL BAY. After returning to Northern Railcar the car was leased to KLS&C for their Wine Country Dinner train in October 1990. Northern Railcar sold the car to the Union Pacific in May 1993 who after repainting numbered and named the car 8004 COLORADO EAGLE.
Another UP Astra-Dome dining car 8008 was sold to Auto-Train in June 1972 who remodeled the car and numbered it 807 after repainting. At the Auto-Train liquidation auction in December 1981 the car was sold to a private owner in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Resold to Carland Division of Kansas City Southern Industries in 1982. Stored at Mid-America Car company in Kansas City. The car was to have become part of the KCS business fleet with the number 22 never applied. The Union Pacific purchased the car in October 1990 and renumbered the car 8008 at that time and added the name CITY OF PORTLAND.