Dome car opportunities

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zephyr17

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By "Superdome" I assume you mean a full length dome. Technically "Superdomes" were Milwaukee's home builds and I think there are a couple of private ones still around. Amtrak's sole remaining dome, the Ocean View, is a Budd full dome (formerly a Great Northern "Great Dome"), and it runs on the Adirondack in the fall (leaf season), north of Albany 3 days a week in each direction. Iowa Pacific also has Budd full domes, running on the Hoosier State now which I think is an ex-Santa Fe "Big Dome", they also run them on their Rio Grande Scenic and Saratoga and North Creek.
Would like to just offer one correction to your statement....The Milwaukee 'Superdomes', were not 'home builds', but rather built entirely by Pullman-Standard. Milwaukee did some 'home build' single level cars in their shops, but not these cars.

The Southern Pacific 'three quarter length' dome lounge cars were 'homebuilds'.... they took some single level cars in their fleet, and added a dome section supplied to them by The Budd Company. The first modern dome cars, like 'Silver Dome' mentioned by the OP, was a homebuild (in the Burlington's shops).
Thanks for the correction. I knew MILW did a bunch of home builds, and knew the Superdomes weren't Budd or ACF, so I guess I assumed. I hadn't realized PS did any domes besides the flat-paned short domes like they did for Santa Fe or Train of Tomorrow.
 

NS VIA Fan

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[SIZE=11pt]The xMilwaukee Road ‘SuperDomes’ (this one on CN in 1976) had good viewing out the side windows and not much different from Amtrak’s Sightseer Cars today.......but the view forward or to the rear was partially obstructed by a wall bulkhead when seated and to see out over the roof you had to be standing. [/SIZE]

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[SIZE=11pt]......the short domes IMHO..... just offer a much better forward view when seated. [/SIZE]

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[SIZE=11pt]But getting back to the Milwaukee Road.....for a tail end car, it would be hard to beat their ‘Skytop Cars” (that eventually went to CN in the 1960s)[/SIZE]

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Bob Dylan

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Yep, every time I go thru the Twin Cities and see that Skytop Lounge in the Milwaukee Road Colors, I want to be on it!
 

jis

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Grand Canyon Railway runs three Vista Domes and one full length dome on it's regular service between Williams and the South Rim.
The full length doem car owned by GCR is ex-CB&Q Budd built "River View" a sister car of the Amtrak "Ocean View". Its current name is "Fred Harvey".

Incidentally GCR is owned by Xterra which in a previous incarnation used to be the Fred Harvey Company, and is currently owned by Philip Anschutz.
 

andersone

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As a child I remember the awe of liming out of Denver to the Moffat in one of those domes watching the whole train in a curve ,,,,,,, much better than the superliner version. I also remember sitting up there when they washed them in Denver,,,,,,, oh to be that young again
 

Amfleeter

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The Tennessee Valley Railway Museum runs an ex-patriot CP/VIA Rail 'Park Car' dome observation car on their Hiwassee River Excursions out of Etowah, TN.

http://www.tvrail.com/events-exhibits/rides/hiwassee-loop

Looked like this when I rode that train in the 'other' dome in 2014........ though this season the Park Car has been the only dome on the property.

The Park Dome isn't owned by them as I recall - it's owned by a PV leaser. Not sure if it even has HEP.

Hell of a PV to own, though. Bucket list to own on if I ever find enough money.
 

Seaboard92

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TVRM used to run MRLX 9410 which is now leased by IP. It was my car for the 611 trips to work. Still owned by Mid America Railcar. It needs some work done to it.
 
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Re: Former MILW Skytop Lounge's....

The Milwaukee Road homebuilt the first "Rapids" series of Skytop Parlor Lounge cars. Later, PS built "Creek" series Skytop Lounge sleeping cars for the Olympian Hiawatha. They looked similar, but their were a few differences in their window design....
 
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As a child I remember the awe of liming out of Denver to the Moffat in one of those domes watching the whole train in a curve ,,,,,,, much better than the superliner version. I also remember sitting up there when they washed them in Denver,,,,,,, oh to be that young again
I hear that sentiment and agree wholeheartedly....I recall my first ride on the original California Zephyr in 1968....I held down the "railfan seat" in the lead dome coach for almost the entire journey from Chicago to Oakland....only left to have meals, and a few hours of sleep in my coach seat. I was simply mesmerized by the fantastic view....even at night across the Plains, watching the Mars light swinging its figure-8 pattern, the green signals turning to red as the engine passed them, and their illusion of 'dancing' in the heat of the exhaust....meeting opposing trains that dimmed their headlight until the engine passed them....flying past vehicles on parallel US-34.....and the first glimpse of the Rockies rising ahead in the early dawn light....(are those clouds or snow-capped peaks in the distance?).....And then the fantastic climb of the Front Range...and the views deep in the canyons.....it was all...mystical..... :)
 

OlympianHiawatha

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Re: Former MILW Skytop Lounge's....

The Milwaukee Road homebuilt the first "Rapids" series of Skytop Parlor Lounge cars. Later, PS built "Creek" series Skytop Lounge sleeping cars for the Olympian Hiawatha. They looked similar, but their were a few differences in their window design....
On this line, the Skytop Lounge Coffee Creek has been in and out of restoration the past few years, but I have not heard any news on it lately. From the pics I have seen the project(s) seemed to be coming along well, though I imagine with the extreme uniqueness of that car, EVERY part has to be hand fabricated.
 

lyke99

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There have been a couple of mentions of ex-Great Northern "Great Domes." It should be noted that the GN referred to all of their domes as "Great Domes;" the short domes were Great Dome Coaches (seats in the dome were non-revenue) and the full-length domes were Great Dome Lounges.
 

jphjaxfl

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I, too, enjoyed the rail fans seat in the Domes. Amtrak ran Domes in some areas that had never had Domes before. I remember riding in the Dome of the Floridians for the street running in New Albany, IN and other places along the Monon through Indiana. I remember riding the last Monon train in September, 1967, my second year at IU thinking I would never get to ride on the Monon again. Then from 1975 through 1979, the Monon hosted the Floridians. There is some great scenery on the South end of the Monon in the Knobs.
 

jis

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There were six Great Dome Lounges built 5 for GN and one for CB&Q. This last one (River View) is the one that Grand Canyon Railway owns today and calls the Fred Harvey. Of the remaining 5, 4 survive. The one entrusted to Southern Pacific (Lake View) was gutted and scrapped in Oakland by them in 1983. The surviving ones are with Amtrak (Ocean View), Xterra (Mountain View), Iowa Pacific (Prairie View) and BNSF (Glacier View). BNSF is reported to have replaced the smooth side panels by fluted side panels on the Glacier View.
 

MrFSS

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This LINK will let you see info about essentially all US dome cars ever built. The page creator was an AU member for many years until he passed away a few years back. His great web page continues.
 
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Thanks for that link, MrFSS....that is a wonderful site...is someone keeping it updated?

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One thing worth noting from there....in addition to the six "Great Dome Lounges" that ran on the Empire Builder, there were 14 more, "Big Dome Lounges" built by Budd of similar design that were for the Santa Fe, with two slightly different lower level designs....some had a crew dorm....more details on the site.
 

MrFSS

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Thanks for that link, MrFSS....that is a wonderful site...is someone keeping it updated?
I don't think anyone is maintaining it. Trainweb apparently lets it sit there for reference. I have a few pictures of domes I donated to the owner of the site in years past, One of them was a dome he had been looking for for many years and it was about 20 miles from where I live. He was quite happy to have those pictures.
 

jis

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Thanks for that link, MrFSS....that is a wonderful site...is someone keeping it updated?

*

One thing worth noting from there....in addition to the six "Great Dome Lounges" that ran on the Empire Builder, there were 14 more, "Big Dome Lounges" built by Budd of similar design that were for the Santa Fe, with two slightly different lower level designs....some had a crew dorm....more details on the site.
8 of the Santa Fe ones are apparently with Iowa Pacific these days, in addition to the one GN one that they have (Prairie View). The ones getting assigned to the Hoosier State are ex-Santa Fe as are the ones assigned to Saratoga and North Creek
 
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Seaboard92

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That is a really good reference. I wish someone could take over it and keep updating it. I always search it for my information
 

jersey42

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Great Dome on the Adirondack - Fall 2015

I found this page hidden on amtrak.com which seems to indicate the Great Dome will be running September 24 - November 3 on the Adirondack.

http://www.amtrak.com/fall-travel-on-the-great-dome-car

I found the page using a Google search, and I could not find any links to it on the Amtrak site. The post has no dates on it, but the dates and days seem to correspond to the 2015 calendar. i.e. September 24 is a Thursday in 2015. Can anyone confirm this is indeed for 2015?

Here is some of the pertinent text:

Enjoy the Great Dome car traveling northbound September 24 - November 2 on Thursday, Saturday and Monday (Train 69). Or traveling southbound September 25 - November 3 on Friday, Sunday and Tuesday (Train 68).
Edit - I am now seeing the link on amtrak.com!! It is in a menu in the Onboard area.
 
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