I have a small train layout and cannot run the full size 21" passenger cars from Lionel or K-line but always liked the look of the Union Pacific's dome observation lounge car.  So to get a flat or blunt end cap for my 18" Union Pacific dome car I realized I was going to have to create one myself.  The observation dome car in the center of the photo below is how my new end cap looks snapped onto one of my existing K-Line dome cars.   Also, here is a walk through for anybody that wants to create their own end cap for a 18" K-Line K4960-38003 Union Pacific dome car to make it look like a 9000 series dome observation lounge car.

 

 

Day-1

Finding a suitable donor for the end cap.  From what I have read on this forum K-Line made five different "flat end" or "blunt end" passenger cars with end caps that would fit my existing 18” Union Pacific dome car.

1.  Union Pacific, 9002, K4690-49002

2.  DL&W, Phoebe Snow, Tavern Lounge, K-4638-10790

3.  PRR, The Congressional, George Washington, K4680-?

4.  PRR, The Spirit of St. Louis, Alexander Johnston Cassatt, K4680-38424

5.  Rock Island, Golden State, Golden Divian, K4632-0479

After studying the photos, I found three of these K-Line cars used the same exact plastic mold for the window locations, tail lights and handrails as the 21” long Union Pacific K4690-49002 I was trying to duplicate.  So, the easiest route would be to purchase one of these other three cars for its parts and simply paint the end cap Yellow and Gray.  Well, after hunting for several months none of these other three flat end cars came up for purchase.  At this point my only choice was to buy one of the many 18" Golden State passenger cars part# K4632-0479 for sale on eBay and try to cut rear windows into the end cap.   I looked around and found an 18” Golden Divan car selling for $40.00 and clicked “Buy Now”.  

 

Day-2

My 18" Golden State donor car arrived and I quickly started disassembling it.  I hoped the end cap was going to be a direct fit onto my existing Union Pacific dome car but it did not.  I found the inside plastic mounting tab on the new end cap needed to be extended because it was not long enough to bolt onto the passenger cars black metal frame.  Also, to make this new end cap fit correctly I had to trim back some of the lower silver skirt edges (as seen in the photo below).

 

Day-3 

"Point of no Return"

a.  Trim the silver bottom edges.  b.  Cut in two new rear windows.  c.  Remove the Golden State sign.  Cutting in the new windows was a challenge.  I wanted the new window dimensions to be the same as the existing rear center window.  But to look like the real Union Pacific car the new windows also had to be lower so they were inline with the passenger windows along the side of the car.  As it turned out the bottom of the existing red paint line was the perfect height for the base of two new rear windows.  All I had to do was cut very, very slow and keep the windows square. 

 

Day-4

The disassembly was going well, but I still had to choose which year of Union Pacific dome observation car was I going to model. 
Version A.   In April 1955 Union Pacific received their first order of 9000 series dome observation lounge cars from the American Car Foundry.  These 9000 series dome observation cars had two rear windows, red marker lights mounted on the left and right sides, flush mounted rear door with a window, center mounted red mars light and white back up light, safety bar mounted below the rear window and a City of Los Angeles, City of Portland or City of St. Louis neon tail sign.   

Version B.  By mid 1956 the Union Pacific figured out they could get more cash revenue from the bar sales if the bar inside the observation lounge car was in the middle of the train and not the rear.  Also, these observation cars added extra time at the stations because they had to remove the end observation car every time they added more Pullman sleepers as the train crossed the country.  So, all the 9000 series observation lounge cars were modified for mid train use by October of 1956.  American Car Foundry did this by moving the rear door inward, removing the side marker lights, removing the rear facing lights, blanking off the two rear windows and adding diaphragms. 

Version C. and D.  Currently only the 9009 (aka City of San Francisco) can run at the end of a train when the Union Pacific takes it out for excursion runs.  The Union Pacific has modified the 9009 to current safety standards with three rear red lights, a modern diaphragm and reinstalled the two rear windows.  Sometimes they even hang a City of Los Angeles neon tail sign on the rear of the 9009 for fun. 

Day-5

I liked the classic look, so I chose the original April 1955 configuration.  This meant sanding off the existing roof mount that held the five Golden State tail lights and adding a new roof mount for the red Mars light and white backup light.  I used micro filler putty to fill the holes left in the roof after sanding.  This was also a good time to relocate the safety bar to its correct location below the center rear window (instead of across the middle of the window).  

 

 Day-6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11 through 20

"Yellow paint is really difficult..."

I went to my local hobby store with my K-Line car to buy Union Pacific Armour Yellow and Harbor Mist Gray.  They said sorry, they would not be able to exactly match my K-Line paint.  Apparently K-Line paint is a slightly different shade Armour Yellow than Lionel paint, MTH paint, Williams paint, etc... Plus, the hobby store said the age of my passenger car might make it several shades off.  And if I did not match the original undercoat from the K-Line factory the new yellow paint will also come out looking different.  The hobby shop recommended painting the whole passenger car to make it match the new end cap correctly.  And if I did that, this single passenger dome car would not match the rest of my consist!  

I only wanted to paint the new end cap.  So, I decided to go to Home Depot and asked them do a paint match on my K-Line passenger car.  Home Depot was able to get an exact color match on my K-Line passenger cars yellow and gray.  Below is a photo with the paint codes on the Home Depot cans if anyone wants to have your local Home Depot store make you 8oz. samples.  But, the guys at  Home Depot could not match the UP red stripe because they said it was too small for their computer to pick up. 

With the correct yellow and gray colors I started painting.  The grey was a perfect match and never gave me a problem.  But the yellow.  The hobby store was right. The yellow paint needed a special under coat (maybe white or silver).  My first coat of yellow looked very dark because it was sucked up by the grey primer. The second coat of yellow also looked dark but not as bad.  The third coat of yellow looked the best but I smudged the paint and had to sand down the end cap and start over again.  I painted the end cap six times before starting to lose some of small plastic lines and fine details.  I called it at done after six times and figured that is close as I'm ever going to get to the K-Line factory color with my limited painting skills.  Yellow paint is very difficult.

 

 

Day-21

I tried 7 different gloss red paints but never found the exact match to the existing Union Pacific red stripe.  I chose the red paint that the was closest and then installed the clear windows, the blinking red mars light and white back up light inside the new roof mount.  After painting the grab bars gray to match the existing bars on the passenger car and reinstalled them in the correct places.  Here’s a test fit of the freshly painted end cap at this point.  It snaps right on to the back of my existing 8003 dome diner car and I did not have to modify anything on the Union Pacific passenger car. 

 

The illuminated City of Los Angeles neon tail sign could have been a project write up on its own.  I first tried to make the neon tail sign out of plastic with three LED disk lights.   But after reviewing with Hancock52 he recommended using multiple smaller LED lights to lessen the chance of bright hot spots showing through the tail sign.

 


I wanted the neon tail sign box to look shiny but was not getting this effect using silver paint.  The box above still looked plastic.  So, I gave up on the plastic design and made second tail sign by bending a thin sheet of glossy .008 flat metal from K&S Precision Metals.  Then installed six, 3-volt micro LED’s and wired them in series (to handle the 18-volts from the track).

 

To get the neon effect I used four layers on the sign.  The bottom layer was clear plastic, the 2nd layer was 20 weight white paper (as recommended in a GRJ posting), the 3rd layer was a black and white City of Los Angeles sign and finally on top was the full color City of Los Angeles sign.  That way, whether the LED lights were shining or not it would still look like a neon sign.  The double layers of black helped stop the LED's from bleaching out the sign.  Also, you may need to seal the black edges of the new sign with black paint to stop the LED's from creating a halo effect around the CoLA signs edges.  I will attach my .pdf file with the CoLA Sign already sized correctly for O-Gauge.   Just print it on a sheet of clear 8 1/2" x 11" and trim the CoLA sign to fit your application. 


Here is another photo of the end cap temporarily snapped on the back of my existing dome car.  This photo shows without power and not screwed on to the car yet.  The rear coupler fits under the new end cap very nice and goes around 42" curves without any problems.

 

 
And the end cap with neon City of Los Angeles tail sign and flashing Mars light temporarily connected to track power.  Notice how far out the coupling sticks out in the photo below?  To get this last photo I had to connect the end cap back onto the original Golden State donor car to power up the Mars light and CoLA sign.  In conclusion, I’m pleased with the end cap results so I purchased another K-Line 8003 dome car with the intentions of making it into a 9000 series UP dome observation lounge car.  My next project will be to create this 9000 series car with fully painted interior per the 1955 Union Pacific plans so this new end cap will have a permanent home on my layout. 

 

I hope this walk through will help others that want to create their own "end cap" for a 18" K-Line K4960-38003 Union Pacific dome car.

Thanks,

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AGHRMatt posted:

Great job. Great write-up. Did you airbrush the paint?

Thanks Matt, 

I’m new to the hobby and have not purchased an air brush set up.  But I read its possible if you thin down the Home Depot paint with water it will work in an air brush.  Hopefully an air brush would give better results also.

For those that don't want to cut windows into the back of a Rock Island, Golden State, Golden Divian, K4632-0479, 18" passenger car.  You're welcome to just paint that Golden State car Armour Yellow & Harbor Mist Gray with a red stripe and it will still be historically correct. 

During my research I found out Union Pacific's City of San Francisco ran that exact 10/6 sleeper car (SP car number 9040) on the end of there 1954 train.



Thanks,

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Really great job and a good writeup on what you did and your perseverance -- not to mention your 'obsession' with the fidelity to the prototype.  At some point in the late '50s/early 60's I rode in one of UP's blunt end observation cars -- don't think it was the dome version.  It was on the connecting train UP ran between Seattle and Portland, timed to meet the out-bound City of Portland.  I don't recall UP having boat-tail observation cars -- at least not on the two City of (Portland and SF) trains on which I rode.  My recollection is that the last car in the consist was typically a sleeper that had a 'portable' Mars light stuck in the vestibule before the diaphragm, along with a waist-high 'gate' to prevent someone from falling out of the car should they have managed to get by the disabled pneumatic door at the end of the car.

I have in mind a similar project -- the CA zephyr at one point sported a dome - observation car (a 'boat tail' version), in fact I think one of those cars still exists.  American Flyer (S gauge) made a four-car Aluminum passenger set -- combine, coach, dome and observation car.  I have extras of the dome and observation cars purchased with the idea of removing the boat tail on one and attaching it to the dome car.  In this case, its gonna require some cutting of the end of the dome car to get the truck position correct.  The only way I can see to do that - since I don't have a milling machine and I'm certain I can't make a straight enough cut with a hand saw - is to fire up my radial arm saw with a non-ferrous metal cutting blade and see if I can get a straight and square cut that way.  I've seen a picture of someone else's attempt at this - which was well done - but no details on how they did it.  Since these are 'generic' passenger cars, there are few true prototype details, so this will be, at best, a "if you squint your eyes, it looks pretty good" effort.

Outstanding, both in terms of explanation of what you did and the result.

Regarding the UP red striping, I have seen the original color duplicated accurately on decals. It is not easy to cut and apply decal striping in long straight lengths, however, and then it has to be overcoated with clear (usually Dullcote) to make sure it sticks and does not flake off. But even that would not be a guarantee of matching the K-Line color, which was probably applied over the yellow used for the car sides.

Anyway, it all depends on how the car itself looks to your eye. This page, on how UP engine and passenger car colors come out on the internet, was an eye opener to me in terms of trying to match what you can see in photos: http://utahrails.net/up/up-paint-html.php

 

richs09 posted:

Really great job and a good writeup on what you did and your perseverance -- not to mention your 'obsession' with the fidelity to the prototype.  At some point in the late '50s/early 60's I rode in one of UP's blunt end observation cars -- don't think it was the dome version.  It was on the connecting train UP ran between Seattle and Portland, timed to meet the out-bound City of Portland.  I don't recall UP having boat-tail observation cars -- at least not on the two City of (Portland and SF) trains on which I rode.  My recollection is that the last car in the consist was typically a sleeper that had a 'portable' Mars light stuck in the vestibule before the diaphragm, along with a waist-high 'gate' to prevent someone from falling out of the car should they have managed to get by the disabled pneumatic door at the end of the car.

I have in mind a similar project -- the CA zephyr at one point sported a dome - observation car (a 'boat tail' version), in fact I think one of those cars still exists.  American Flyer (S gauge) made a four-car Aluminum passenger set -- combine, coach, dome and observation car.  I have extras of the dome and observation cars purchased with the idea of removing the boat tail on one and attaching it to the dome car.  In this case, its gonna require some cutting of the end of the dome car to get the truck position correct.  The only way I can see to do that - since I don't have a milling machine and I'm certain I can't make a straight enough cut with a hand saw - is to fire up my radial arm saw with a non-ferrous metal cutting blade and see if I can get a straight and square cut that way.  I've seen a picture of someone else's attempt at this - which was well done - but no details on how they did it.  Since these are 'generic' passenger cars, there are few true prototype details, so this will be, at best, a "if you squint your eyes, it looks pretty good" effort.

Thank you Richs09 for the support.  I have read the Union Pacific stopped using the Sun Valley boat tail observation car in April 1955 for the City of Los Angeles train when they got there dome cars.  I have not researched when the UP stopped using the Nob Hill (City of San Francisco) or the Ogallal (City of Denver).

Also, since I'm only modeling the City of Los Angeles train I have not tracked down the history of the other City trains that used flat end observation cars.  I know the Union Pacific still had flat end cars like the Baldy Mountain, Russian Hill (aka Hoover Dam) that got used well into the 1950's.

The California Zephyr observation dome car you are looking for is named the "Silver Solarium".  Yes, it's a great car an still exists today.

Thanks,

Jeff78rr posted:

Nice job and excellent write up! What type of paint is it that you got from Home Depot? Just curious, what a great idea!

Thanks Jeff.  The paint was Behr 8oz samples. I asked for a flat finish in the Armour yellow and matte finish in the Harbor Mist gray.  Although the gray roof of the K-Line passenger car has some shine on it, I was worried a satin finish would give too much gloss.

richs09 posted:

                                              ***********************

I have in mind a similar project -- the CA zephyr at one point sported a dome - observation car (a 'boat tail' version), in fact I think one of those cars still exists.  American Flyer (S gauge) made a four-car Aluminum passenger set -- combine, coach, dome and observation car.  I have extras of the dome and observation cars purchased with the idea of removing the boat tail on one and attaching it to the dome car.  In this case, its gonna require some cutting of the end of the dome car to get the truck position correct.  The only way I can see to do that - since I don't have a milling machine and I'm certain I can't make a straight enough cut with a hand saw - is to fire up my radial arm saw with a non-ferrous metal cutting blade and see if I can get a straight and square cut that way.  I've seen a picture of someone else's attempt at this - which was well done - but no details on how they did it.  Since these are 'generic' passenger cars, there are few true prototype details, so this will be, at best, a "if you squint your eyes, it looks pretty good" effort.

Rich:  (1) can you remove a dome from one of your extra cars; and, (2) do you have an extra observation car?

I did basically that with a PW LIONEL 2531 observation car using a donor dome from a 2532 vista dome coach many years ago using a beater obs car and beater dome.  Actually, the cut in the roof was done by a buddy--I just gave him the aluminum shell and the dome.  Worked just fine.  Even offset the dome towards the rear of the obs car, rather than center it.

My suggestion would be to find a "buddy" with a mill and have the job done right.

Good luck with the project. 

 

Carl

Hancock52 posted:

Outstanding, both in terms of explanation of what you did and the result.

Regarding the UP red striping, I have seen the original color duplicated accurately on decals. It is not easy to cut and apply decal striping in long straight lengths, however, and then it has to be overcoated with clear (usually Dullcote) to make sure it sticks and does not flake off. But even that would not be a guarantee of matching the K-Line color, which was probably applied over the yellow used for the car sides.

Anyway, it all depends on how the car itself looks to your eye. This page, on how UP engine and passenger car colors come out on the internet, was an eye opener to me in terms of trying to match what you can see in photos: http://utahrails.net/up/up-paint-html.php

 

Wow, great link to Union Pacific paint information Hancock.   I feel much better about how my paint colors turned out after reading that link.    

 

Also, last week the Union Pacific just ran an 25 car excursion passenger train through the Cajon Pass with the Big Boy in the lead.  After studying the photos I noticed the Harbor Mist gray on the roof of the 4808 (City of Los Angeles diner car) in the front is much lighter than the following dome car 8008 (Colorado Eagle).  Even the blanked off window section in the middle of the 8008 side are a slightly darker shade Armour Yellow than the rest of the car in this photo.

I still have to wait another week for my next K-Line 8003 project car to arrive.  Once it does I will keep you updated on the progress to make it into the 9003. 

 

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T. Albers -- thanks for the info on the various UP observation cars -- quite a variety, including - indeed - boat-tail cars.  Who knew... (not me in any event).  The last one you show with the round windows looks very "Art Deco-ish", I wonder if it was designed by Keene, who had designed some motor cars with, IIRC, round windows (and a tapered tail).

One of the current UP tail-end cars (the only one??) -- the Kenefick -- as it appeared as part of the 4014 tour (note the drumhead) - we saw it in southwestern UT a few weeks ago.  This picture was taken in the big town of Modena (pop. 21), where there must have been over a 1000 people trackside waiting for 4014 (it was a 'lubrication' stop).  This picture was taken 'downstream' of the crowd as the 4014 was headed out of town.

Kenefick

Indeed, the old CB&Q CA Zephyr vista dome/observation car is the Silver Solarium (apparently the only one remaining out of seven built).  Its now owned by a private company that does rail charters.  It was built in 1948 and refurbished a few years ago (my aspiration doesn't extend to doing the interior...).  Here's a link to some nice interior shots  http://www.libertyship.com/LA_.../Silver_Solarium.htm  and more detail.

Carl -- my original thought was to do as you suggest, cut a hole in the top of an existing observation car and insert the dome (even easier with the successor passenger cars to the Al ones, as they were made of plastic).  But I like the 'more authentic' look of the smaller windows (where the passage way goes around the stairs going up to the 'real' dome) and, of course, having the dome offset.  The smaller windows are only available on the Al cars -- the later plastic versions all had identically sized windows the length of the car.   The pictures below show what someone else did (a nice job IMHO).  When Gilbert built the Flyer Al passenger cars, the ends of the cars, including the boat tail, were cast Aluminum with a small flange that fits inside the Al car body and is held in place with the screws shown in the top views (hardly prototypical...!).  The geometry of the window placement and the wheel 'well' forces one to make a cut just before the last window of the original dome car - even though the wheel well is a bit elongated.dome observation conversiondome observation conversion 2dome observation conversion 3

The other thing that these photos show is the good job the person did in polishing the Al (I don't remember where these photos are from -- eBay I think) -- I have a jar of Mother's Al and Mag wheel polish all ready to go...

 

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Rich, thanks for the photos, especially the dome observation car--I agree, the fellow did a very nice job.  And thanks also for the detailed description of your choice and plans.  Looking forward to following your progress.

In my case, I was premature with my project by about a decade since LIONEL eventually produced a dome observation car that was included in a four-car Santa Fe Super Chief set of 15" shiny cars around 2001. 

 

Carl

T.Albers posted:
Also, last week the Union Pacific just ran an 25 car excursion passenger train through the Cajon Pass with the Big Boy in the lead.  After studying the photos I noticed the Harbor Mist gray on the roof of the 4808 (City of Los Angeles diner car) in the front is much lighter than the following dome car 8008 (Colorado Eagle).  Even the blanked off window section in the middle of the 8008 side are a slightly darker shade Armour Yellow than the rest of the car in this photo.

That same color difference is evident in various photos of the actual Overland dining car that is part of Lionel's current Excursion Car offerings. Here is one example of it in an Excursion consist:

Overland2

I put the difference down to either wear and tear or a different paint used on the roof because of the presence of diner kitchen exhaust vents. Notably, in fine scale brass HO Excursion Cars, the paint difference is not replicated. Frankly, the HO researchers' approach is good enough for me and on the Lionel 21" Overland StationSounds diner I am working on I don't propose to change the stock roof color, which bis the same as all the other cars in the set.

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Lou1985 posted:

Nice job.

I made my own end cap because I did not want to purchase a whole car just for the end cap. Then I'd have to go through the trouble of selling the rest of the leftover car. 

I tried sacrificing a K-Line Golden Divan for my Lionel dome and it truly was a "sacrifice" because nothing lined up.  I whittled away at it but couldn't get the profile or the guts to line up, ruined the end cap, threw in the towel and started posting a Topic on the Forum.  My belief that K-Line copied Lionel exactly was debunked and I now have the leftover parts, per Lou's speculation. 

However, inspired by your fine work and Lou's great success, my next attempt will use a standard Lionel car end casting as a platform on which to build my own blunt-end cap.  Starting out with guts and carbody profile that line up plus standard attaching hardware functional seems like the way to go.  Thanks to all who contributed!

Once, again, the Forum turns out to be the most important tool in my toolbox!

GENERAL NOTICE - Safety is of the first importance in the discharge of duty.  Obedience to the rules is essential to safety.  To enter or remain in the service is an assurance of willingness to obey the rules.

T.Albers & Lou1985,

If I had your combined talents my success would be guaranteed!  The benefit/liability of having sacrificed the Golden Divan was that I became a fan of the CRIP-SP Golden State and, in the interim, have collected all of the K-Line cars, with the exception of the seriously non-prototype dome for which I have no interest.  I've added some of the MTH fluted Golden Rocket cars and a crippled CRIP E6 in need of rehab and ERR.

Just what I needed, another railroad fixation!  Oh, well.

GENERAL NOTICE - Safety is of the first importance in the discharge of duty.  Obedience to the rules is essential to safety.  To enter or remain in the service is an assurance of willingness to obey the rules.

I wanted to follow up to my original posting about the differences in the illuminated neon tail signs for the Union Pacific 9000 ~ 9014 dome observation lounge cars.  While I was digging around I found a few items that might help others who want to model the these neon tail signs correctly.  As mentioned above, the neon tail signs for the 9000 series dome observation lounge cars were only used for a short time before these cars were modified for mid-train service.  The only exception around today is the 9009.  The Union Pacific changed the 9009 back so it can be ran at the end of the train again with a neon sign for excursion trips.

Starting with the City of St. Louis dome observation cars 9010 ~ 9014.  The neon tail signs for the 9011 and 9013 have the City of St. Louis in a straight line with the words "Domeliner" underneath.  While the neon tail signs for the 9010 and 9012 have the "City Domeliner Louis" in a straight line with the words "of St" on top.

If you are modeling the neon tail  sign on The City of Portland dome observation lounge cars 9005 ~ 9009 all the photos I found looked the same. They have the word "Domeliner" on the top.

If you modeling the City of Los Angeles dome observation lounge cars 9000 ~ 9004 all tail sign photos from 1955 I found looked the same.  The 1955 photos all show the neon CoLA tail sign sitting about 4" above the red strip.

It was only when the UP mounted the CoLA neon tail sign on the current 9009 for modern day excursion trips did I find a slight different on where the neon sign was mounted.  In the photo below (I personally took this photo in May 1994 during the 125th  Golden Spike Anniversary Excursion run through Cajon Pass, CA).  The neon sign sits right on the red line.   When Union Pacific updated the 9009 to meet modern day standards they must have removed the neon signs original hanging mounts from the back of the car.  

Hopefully this information will help others trying to model the neon tail sign on a 9000 ~ 9014 series Union Pacific dome observation lounge car.

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Very helpful and interesting. I suspect that you, and now we, know more about these tail signs than the staff currently operating the Excursion cars to which they relate! 

Your second to last image is particularly interesting for my purposes. I still think I will build the CoLA tail sign casing or mounting out of plastic and use Molotow to produce the chrome finish. Getting a neon light effect is far more difficult but I might try creating a transparency out of that image. 

Earlier in the thread, there was a discussion about the various shades of grey (probably not 50...!) on the UP passenger fleet.  Here's an example of the color variation -- a drone shot of the Big Boy-led rail excursion from LA to Barstow a couple of weeks ago.  I don't know where all these cars are stored nor whether that storage is indoors, but the grey colors obviously show the effects of 'aging'.  Anyone who has spot painted their house after a minor repair will discover just how much weatherization occurs in a fairly short time (and then deals with the dilemma of whether to repaint the whole side of the house...).

https://railpictures.net/photo/713905/

Note to Alan -- hopefully linking to pictures on the net is ok...  Just out of curiosity (and without trying to hijack this thread), is there a time-limit on copyright protection?  I have 70 years stuck in my head (likely to be wrong or mis-remembered...)

OGR CEO-PUBLISHER posted:

I have had to delete a BUNCH of copyrighted photos in this thread!  DON'T post photos from the web or scanned from books unless you get permission from the owner to do so!!  Read about the lawsuit in the featured topics!

Thank you for letting me know.  This is a great forum and will only post photos I have personally taken in the future.

richs09 posted:

T. Albers -- thanks for the info on the various UP observation cars -- quite a variety, including - indeed - boat-tail cars.  Who knew... (not me in any event).  The last one you show with the round windows looks very "Art Deco-ish", I wonder if it was designed by Keene, who had designed some motor cars with, IIRC, round windows (and a tapered tail).

One of the current UP tail-end cars (the only one??) -- the Kenefick -- as it appeared as part of the 4014 tour (note the drumhead) - we saw it in southwestern UT a few weeks ago.  This picture was taken in the big town of Modena (pop. 21), where there must have been over a 1000 people trackside waiting for 4014 (it was a 'lubrication' stop).  This picture was taken 'downstream' of the crowd as the 4014 was headed out of town.

Kenefick

Indeed, the old CB&Q CA Zephyr vista dome/observation car is the Silver Solarium (apparently the only one remaining out of seven built).  Its now owned by a private company that does rail charters.  It was built in 1948 and refurbished a few years ago (my aspiration doesn't extend to doing the interior...).  Here's a link to some nice interior shots  http://www.libertyship.com/LA_.../Silver_Solarium.htm  and more detail.

Carl -- my original thought was to do as you suggest, cut a hole in the top of an existing observation car and insert the dome (even easier with the successor passenger cars to the Al ones, as they were made of plastic).  But I like the 'more authentic' look of the smaller windows (where the passage way goes around the stairs going up to the 'real' dome) and, of course, having the dome offset.  The smaller windows are only available on the Al cars -- the later plastic versions all had identically sized windows the length of the car.   The pictures below show what someone else did (a nice job IMHO).  When Gilbert built the Flyer Al passenger cars, the ends of the cars, including the boat tail, were cast Aluminum with a small flange that fits inside the Al car body and is held in place with the screws shown in the top views (hardly prototypical...!).  The geometry of the window placement and the wheel 'well' forces one to make a cut just before the last window of the original dome car - even though the wheel well is a bit elongated.dome observation conversiondome observation conversion 2dome observation conversion 3

The other thing that these photos show is the good job the person did in polishing the Al (I don't remember where these photos are from -- eBay I think) -- I have a jar of Mother's Al and Mag wheel polish all ready to go...

 

Hi Rich,

Here's a follow up to your question on on how many tail end cars UP currently has.  According to the UP Heritage Fleet website found here:  https://www.up.com/aboutup/spe..._equipment/index.htm

They have 7 business cars with open observation ends.

Arden

Cheyanne

Feather River

Kenefick

Lone Star

North Platte

Selma

Shoshone

St. Louis

 

2 Inspection cars with full size rear view windows and theater seating for 24 people

Fox River

Idaho

 

And the 9009 Dome Observation Lounge car

CIty of San Francisco

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OGR Publishing, Inc., 1310 Eastside Centre Ct, Suite 6, Mountain Home, AR 72653
330-757-3020

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