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Reply to "18” Observation Lounge Interior (Update 3)"

Drumhead update 07/25/2021

The first style drumhead used on the Sun Valley observation lounge car in 1937 was round glass and illuminated from inside.  This glass drumhead was painted black around the edges and the word “Streamliner” was written across the middle in red. In The Union Pacific Streamliners book by Ranks and Kratville it shows the Sun Valley in July of 1938 (page 203) with this original round glass drumhead.

Then, in the same book (page 354) it shows Sun Valley again with a newer neon style City of Los Angeles drumhead in 1941.  Besides the changing to neon drumheads Union Pacific’s City fleets went through other shop upgrades in early 1941.  As an example, the original 1937 City fleet colors were Amour Yellow, Leaf Brown with gold lettering.  Then in 1941 the City fleet colors were changed to Amour Yellow, Harbor Mist Gray with red lettering.  Also, on the Sun Valley they added a large red Mars signal light on the roof above the existing white Pyle National Company back up light.  Knowing these small changes makes it easier to date the old black and white photographs.

If you want more photos for reference, inside The Union Pacific Streamliners book you will also find a rear view close up of Sun Valley’s sister car Nob Hill #1576 with its original 1937 City of San Francisco glass painted drumhead (page 187).  Then on page 186 you see another rear view close up of Nob Hill with a newer neon City of San Francisco drumhead (post 1941 retrofit).  Here’s an interesting photo (circa summertime 1950) showing Nob Hill wearing a neon City of Los Angeles drumhead

To complete this part of the project I needed to remove the incorrect Union Pacific Overland shield that was painted on my K-Line observation cars drumhead.

CNLD7341 - Copy

After a little light scrubbing with a Mr. Clean Magic eraser I was left with a 1/2" plain white circle on the back of the car.  Next, I picked the 1/2" round color emblem from my clear printed sheet of CoLA drumheads and cut it out.

.5 inch CoLA drumhead

A small drop of clear Canopy glue was spread around the white circle and the new CoLA emblem was secured in place.  In these photos the 3mm cool white LED looks a little bright for this small 1/2" drumhead, but it person it look good.


In closing, I'm happy with the end results and think the Sun Valley lounge car looks better than before and it’s more historically correct.



Images (4)
  • CNLD7341 - Copy
  • .5 inch CoLA drumhead
  • thumbnail_IMG_0950
  • thumbnail_IMG_0965
Last edited by T.Albers
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