Amtrak Great Dome Schedule Sightings Status

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Dome and Observation Cars - Discussion

Postby queenlnr8 » Tue Aug 31, 2004 12:14 am

I was looking at some model trains and I came across a bow-ended observation car painted in Phase IV.

Does Amtrak operate any bow-ended observation cars and if so, do any of them have the 'modern' Phase IV paint?

Postby PacificCommand » Tue Aug 31, 2004 12:34 am

A no to both.

Amtrak DOES have a Dome car tho, and beleive it, and some others were painted in IV.

I dunno if any of the tapered obs cars even made it into III but I would guess so.

Obs on Obs

Postby Gilbert B Norman » Tue Aug 31, 2004 5:50 am

Observation cars were customarilly referred to as "boat tailed' or "round ended".

During "Pioneer Days", Amtrak had quite the fleet of them and assigned such through the system. However, none became part of the Heritage Fleet (480v HEP converted) and were history by 1978. My last ride in one was MSP-Duluth on The Arrowhead during Nov 1977. Car was ex-Q Denver Zephyr Parlor-Obs and was properly pointed in the consist.

"Properly pointed' was a term to describe an obs car in consist "where it belonged'.
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Postby AmtrakFan » Tue Aug 31, 2004 8:13 am

When was the last Dome in Revenue Service Ran?


Postby RMadisonWI » Tue Aug 31, 2004 11:10 am

AmtrakFan wrote:When was the last Dome in Revenue Service Ran?


Still running. Car 10031 is based out west, and still manages to find itself in revenue service every once in a while. I had it on a special makeup Coast Starlight on January 3 (photos on webshots).

As for last dome in "scheduled" service...don't know for sure. I think the Piedmont used to use one (anyone confirm that?) recently. Otherwise, I'd take a guess and say the Lake Shore Limited in the mid 1990s, but that is only a guess.

Dome and observation cars -- discussion

Postby NellieBly » Tue Aug 31, 2004 12:34 pm

During the Claytor years, domes were HEPped for operation on the Lake Shore (Chicago to/from Albany), Capitol, and City of New Orleans. AFAIK, domes on all these trains lasted into the early 1990s. They were withdrawn not long before the decision was made to withdraw the "heritage" sleeping cars.

I miss the domes.
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Re: Dome and observation cars -- discussion

Postby John_Perkowski » Tue Aug 31, 2004 3:24 pm

NellieBly wrote: I miss the domes.

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Dome on Piedmont

Postby matthewsaggie » Tue Aug 31, 2004 9:28 pm

The state of NC ownes a dome, currently for sale, that it used for a number of years on The Piedmont in the summer and for special trains, such as the Carolina Panther games. I understand that car does not meet new FRA roll-over standards and NC deemed it to expensive to upgrade. It is a shame as it was intended for use on the proposed train to Asheville that NC has been planning.
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Take a ride in a Dome!

Postby scannergeek » Sat Nov 27, 2004 6:31 pm

Due to the Thanksgiving travel season, extra Pacific Surfliner sets have been made out of Horizon cars. The GN Dome is operating on one of these sets! Thanks to a certain "mundo", I scheduled a trip from Fullerton to San Diego and back on a train that would have the dome!

You can come along for the ride by going to and selecting the Dome! album. You can click on any thumbnail to get a larger image.
I'll be adding captions within the next few days.

Postby LI Loco » Sat Nov 27, 2004 7:59 pm

Nice ocean scenery. Something you don't see every day. Too bad weren't more people taking advantage of the dome.
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Postby AmtrakFan » Sat Nov 27, 2004 9:08 pm

LI Loco wrote:Nice ocean scenery. Something you don't see every day. Too bad weren't more people taking advantage of the dome.

I wish I was there I would ridden in it. Also will it stay now or go to Oakland?


Possible dome on Monday's Empire Builder

Postby RMadisonWI » Sat Apr 09, 2005 7:45 pm

I'm told that there's a possibility that a dome might be on Monday's (11 April) Empire Builder out of Chicago. Apparently this is the former North Carolina dome that was recently acquired in an auction.

I don't know for sure if it will be on it, but it might be a good enough excuse to wander on down to (but not on) the tracks and go see it.

The Dome

Postby jp1822 » Sat Apr 09, 2005 8:14 pm

So does anyone know who bought the former North Carolina dome? Did Amtrak buy it so they can use it to substitute for the Sightseer Lounge that was taken out of service as a result of the Empire Builder (Portland Section) a week or so ago? Just kidding. Was Amtrak able to scrape together an extra Sightseer to put on the Empire Builder? I have family travelling on the Portland section of the Empire Builder later this month.

Anyway, curious as to who the new owner is of the fomer North Carolina dome car. I also read an advertisement in TRAINS that there are about 8 or so similiar domes for sale that were in operation in Alaska. If only Amtrak had the money - would make for nice parlor cars!
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Postby orulz » Sat Apr 09, 2005 9:50 pm

A group from Minnesota (or was it Montana?) called Friends of the 261 bought the car. They got it for a steal at $175,000 considering how much NCDOT spent refurbishing it before FRA regs made it obsolete again.

By the way: post pictures! I miss that dome! We called it the Mount Mitchell while it was here (after the tallest mountain in NC), and it ran on the Piedmont between Raleigh and Charlotte.
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Postby AmtrakFan » Sat Apr 09, 2005 9:54 pm

Friends of 261 is from Minnestoa.


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