Overland Trail (800633)

Built by Pullman Standard for the Southern Pacific in 1949, the Overland Trail is truly a unique car. Constructed as a Club, Lounge, Barbershop, and Shower car for the Overland Route (Chicago to Oakland) this car has had a long history of service throughout the West Coast.

Northern Pacific 549 (801045)

Owned by Webb Rail LLC, this beautifully restored Budd short dome will make its excursion debut on the 2019 Autumn Colors Express. Featuring completely redone dome seating, a full lounge downstairs, and fresh Northern Pacific paint on the exterior, this is one of the true crown jewels of the ACE consist!

NP 549, in progress – Photo: John Webb III
Dome exterior – Photo: John Webb III
NP 549, in 1971. The car will wear this paint scheme once again.

Fox River Valley (800644)

Built in 1952 for the Pennsylvania Railroad’s Congressional between New York and Washington as the parlor car Henry Hudson. It was acquired by Amtrak in 1971 and converted to a buffet/table car in 1986. After being sold by Amtrak, the car ran in charter service through Mid-America Railcar, wearing the names Henry Hudson and Keystone Grill. Paxrail acquired the car in October 2013 and renamed it Warriors Rest. Purchased in 2017 by the Friends of the 261 the car is now configured as a full length lounge.

Photo: Friends of the 261

Silver Palace (800273)

Silver Palace was built for the Western Pacific Railroad in 1948 as a 46 seat coach, with an additional 24 seats in the dome, for the famed California Zephyr. The car plied the scenic route between Chicago and Oakland, CA, for over two decades, until the train was discontinued in March 1970. As WP had no need for the car after the train was eliminated, the car migrated East and joined the fleet of the new, private Auto-Train Corporation, operating initially between northern Virginia and Florida and later, between Louisville, KY, and Florida.

Photo: Friends of the 261

After the demise of the original Auto-Train, the car was sold into private ownership and passed through several owners. The car was extensive remodeled as a lounge car for country western singer Merle Haggard but was then sold once again and its final assignment was on the Algoma Central Railway in Canada, toting passenger to and from the scenic Agawa Canyon north of Sault Ste. Marie. The car was acquired by the Friends in December 2017 and it has been under restoration since its arrival at Minneapolis Junction. Silver Palace will continue its role as a first class lounge car with the dome seat sold exclusively as “Dome Class”.

Stampede Pass (800290)

A 1954 Budd short dome, this dome car ran on Northern Pacific’s famed North Coast Limited before Amtrak. Now owned by Paxrail, this car features Dome Class and Lounge Class seating.

The beautiful Lounge Class seating of “Stampede Pass.” Photo: Nick Benson/ottergoose.net

Hollywood Beach (800129)

This former Seaboard Airline Lounge Class car features a unique domed ceiling, with plenty of room inside to stretch out in its spacious seating area. Walk down the hall from the lounge and you’ll discover three spacious Private Suites.

Seaboard Airlines “Hollywood Beach,” part os the 2019 Lounge and Private Suite Class Photo: Josh Hollands

Moonlight Dome (800203)

Moonlight Dome was the first of three private room-dome cabin cars originally built for the Chesapeake & Ohio Railway (C&O) and intended for service on The Chessie, the planned but never-operated Washington-Cincinnati dayliner.
These cars were called Strata-Domes. These three C&O dome cabin cars were ordered in 1946 and built by Budd.
Now without a need by C&O, the three cars were sold to the Baltimore & Ohio in December 1950. The Baltimore & Ohio gave the three cars names: MOONLIGHT DOME, STARLIGHT DOME, and SUNLIGHT DOME.

Beginning on December 20, 1950, STARLIGHT and SUNLIGHT operated in daily service on the Capitol Limited while MOONLIGHT operated in alternate directions on the Shenandoah until October 1963.

Thereafter it became the spare car for the Capitol Limited.

Wisconsin Valley (800787)

Built in 1953 by the St. Louis Car Company, the Wisconsin Valley, formerly a U.S. Army Medic car, offers you a smooth ride while enjoying a quiet lounge environment. With comfortable lounge chairs and table seating for 20, this is an exciting addition to the 2019 Lounge Class.

261’s “Wisconsin Valley,” a member of the 2019 Lounge ClassPhoto: Josh Hollands
The spacious, luxurious interior of 261’s “Wisconsin Valley,” part of the 2019 Lounge Class