Silver Palace Dome Car 8-10-96 excursion

mountaincreekar, Mar 11, 2019
Karl Stevenson and Jesse Henry like this.
    • Karl Stevenson
      Very nice. My father use to ride the WP Zephyrette RDC's between Oakland, California and Salt Lake City as a kid with my grandmother to visit relatives who lived near SLC. He is a fan of the CZ as am I and i also have interest in the WP who was 1 of the 3 partners that operated the CZ as shown in the logos in the photo. I really like this. Thanks !!
    • mountaincreekar
      Thank you for your "Like"
    • Karl Stevenson
      Your welcome this is some great stuff! Thanks.
    • Karl Stevenson
      There was one odd car, a sleeper, that was identical to the other sleepers of the CZ pool cars but had been bought by the Pennsylvania RR for service as a through sleeper to/from New York City via Chicago. It had PRR initials on the railroad name letterboards. So on an off chance one could catch it in the consist with the other cars that had either WP, D&RG or CB&Q initials on the letterboards. The NYC also ran a thru sleeper to/from New York City but they just rented a spare one from one of the 3 railroads as needed rather than buying one as PRR did. Each of the 3 roads bought x number of CZ cars for the trains based on the route length the CZ was operated on the particular railroad. CB&Q had the most cars for Chicago to Denver, WP was second Salt Lake City to Oakland, and Rio Grande third Denver to Salt Lake City for the numbers of cars owned for the CZ trains.
    • Karl Stevenson
      There were six 11 car trains for the CZ, later increased to 13 cars. Each train had 5 dome cars, more than any other named train. There were a total of 77 cars in the CZ pool (11 spare cars).

      The PRR sleeper was a 10 roomette 6 double bedroom car, named Silver Rapids carrying PRR lettering and car #8449.

      March 20th, 2019 is the 70th anniversary of the first revenue run of the CZ. Eastbound #18 departed Oakland, California on it maiden voyage at 9:30 am, March 20th, 1949 bound for Chicago.

      The last run of the CZ was March 22, 1970. It was westbound train #17 from Chicago.
      It operated for 21 years and 2 days.
    • Karl Stevenson
      The Silver Palace Dome car was WP Car #813. This was one of the dome chair cars but differed from the others in having a conductors office in it where as the others had luggage racks in lieu of the conductors office.
    • Karl Stevenson
      By far the best car on the CZ was dome buffet sleeper lounge observation car bringing up the tail end of the train.

      It had a dome seating area with 12 seat bar/lounge underneath and the lounge-observation end of the car with 11 oversize seats, 2 which faced backwards at the rear and the other 9 facing inward and additionally contained a small writing desk with complementary stationary and postcards that a hostess, called a Zephyrette, would mail for passengers at the next stop the train made. Forward of the dome were 3 double bedrooms and the one drawing room - the largest sleeper compartment offered on the train and the only one with its own shower bath - as such was probably the most expensive to purchase as well. In addition there was a porters compartment in the car for attendance of the sleeper compartments/patrons.

      The observation car dome was reserved for pullman sleeping car passengers only and seated 24, as was the dome on the dormitory buffet lounge dome car, the same as the other domes in the train but the 3 chair car domes were non reserved and available for any passenger to use, space available of course.
    • Karl Stevenson
      As for my favorite passenger trains, the top 3 would be the ATSF Super Chief, the SP Daylights, but nearest and dearest and #1 in my book, the California Zephyr !!

      When the family moved to Livermore, California from Oakland my father would ocaisonally take my brother and I to watch the CZ pass through town, and he took the entire family to witness the last CZ train pass through town in March of 1970. I was two months shy of being 9 years old. The train did stop briefly and i remember being with my father and walking over and touching the F units powering the train and then watching the train pull out for the last time. I can't be sure, but i think i saw a tear in my fathers eye at that moment. Later that afternoon the train arrived in Oakland for the last time. The end of an era and a great train.
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