Hello friends. As my collection of California Zephyr cars grows, I find myself wanting more (Atlas reefer madness, 15 years later). 

As far as I can tell, 6 CZ cars made it from their service with the California Zephyr to the Alaska Railroad (all vista dome chair coaches):

Silver Bridle 7031 (ex CB&Q 4716, ex Amtrak 9450), Silver Colt 7021 (ex D&RGW 1106, ex Amtrak 9446), Silver Lodge 7032 (ex CB&Q 4717, ex Amtrak 9451), Silver Mustang 7022 (ex D&RGW 1107, ex Amtrak 9447), Silver Pony 7033 (ex D&RGW 1108, ex Amtrak 9448), Silver Stirrup 7034 (ex CB&Q 4722, ex Amtrak 9456)

Of these, Atlas has only produced Colt, Lodge and Stirrup. One source says that Bridle, Lodge and Stirrup were assigned ARR numbers but were never painted as such. Also, there may have been at least one more CZ car leased to ARR. Since all of these were Dome Chair coaches, it seems to me that one could easily reproduce the three that Atlas didn't do by buying a duplicate and simply changing the road number, yes?

Further, as far as I can tell, 27 CZ cars made it to Amtrak. 

Silver Bear 1002 (ex CB&Q 903, Baggage), Silver Bridle 9450 (ex CB&Q 4716, Dome Chair), Silver Cedar 4807 (ex CB&Q 403, 16 Section Sleeper), Silver Chalet 9812 (ex WP 831, Dome-Dorm-Buffet-Lounge), Silver Club 9810 (ex CB&Q 250, Dome-Dorm-Buffet-Lounge), Silver Colt 9446 (ex D&RGW 1106, Dome Chair), Silver Coyote 1004 (ex CB&Q 905, Baggage), Silver Diner 8051 (ex CB&Q 194, Diner), Silver Dove 2200 (ex CB&Q 450, 6/5 Sleeper), Silver Horizon 9250 (ex CB&Q 375, Dome-Dorm-Buffet-Lounge-Obs), Silver Larch 4806 (ex CB&Q 401, 16 Section Sleeper), Silver Lariat 9452 (ex CB&Q 4718, Dome Chair), Silver Lodge 9451 (ex CB&Q 4717, Dome Chair), Silver Lookout 9253 (ex CB&Q 378, Dome-Dorm-Buffet-Lounge-Obs), Silver Lounge 9811 (ex CB&Q 251, Dome-Dorm-Buffet-Lounge), Silver Mustang 9447 (ex D&RGW 1107, Dome Chair), Silver Penthouse 9251 (ex CB&Q 376, Dome-Dorm-Buffet-Lounge-Obs), Silver Pony 9448 (ex D&RGW 1108, Dome Chair), Silver Ranch 9453 (ex CB&Q 4719, Dome Chair), Silver Restaurant 8052 (ex CB&Q 195, Diner), Silver Rifle 9454 (ex CB&Q 4720, Dome Chair), Silver Saddle 9455 (ex CB&Q 4721, Dome Chair), Silver Shore 2651 (ex CB&Q 424, 10/6 Sleeper), Silver Solarium 9252 (ex CB&Q 377, Dome-Dorm-Buffet-Lounge-Obs), Silver Stirrup 9456 (ex CB&Q 4722, Dome Chair), Silver Thrush 2202 (ex CB&Q 452, 6/5 Sleeper), Silver Valley ???? (ex CB&Q 428, 10/6 Sleeper).

It is interesting that some of these cars were painted with their original CZ name in addition to their Amtrak number. Atlas made all of these in Amtrak livery except for Bridle, Chalet, Colt, Lookout, Mustang, Penthouse, and Pony.

So Atlas made Bridle (3 times) in CB&Q, but never released it in either Amtrak or ARR. They made Chalet in WP but not Amtrak. They made Colt in D&RGW and ARR but not Amtrak. They made Lookout in CB&Q but not Amtrak. They made Mustang in D&RGW but not Amtrak or ARR. They made Penthouse in CB&Q but not Amtrak. They made Pony in D&RGW but not Amtrak or ARR. 

So for the 7 Amtrak CZ cars not made by Atlas, I feel like would be easiest to create from Amtrak cars they did produce. Too much paint (for me) to create from an undec model, to much work to strip an original car. Starting with a duplicate Amtrak car, one could just change the lettering/numbering on the side, yes?

Of the original CZ cars purchased by WP/D&RGW/CB&Q, Atlas has produced all except Silver Horizon (which ironically they did release in Amtrak). If Atlas had made the undecorated cars with at least the California Zephyr lettering, it would be easy to add the car name on the letter/number board (I don't think any of these have the road number displayed). But it might be easier to buy a duplicate and remove the road name and replace with a new road name?

So I think I need to buy 3 duplicate Alaska zephyr cars and simply change the road number. Then buy 7 duplicate Amtrak zephyr cars and change the car name. Then buy one duplicate CB&Q observation car (Lookout or Penthouse or Solarium) and change the car name.

Compulsive much? Yes!


On a completely different note, I have no idea what type of motive power would be appropriate to pull the ARR cars.


Original Post

Amtrak also acquired the ex-16 section sleeper Silver Maple as 4805.   [ 48xx = 48 seats ]

Note that all seven of the 16 section sleepers were converted to coaches in 1963-64, eg, before Amtrak;  the Q renumbered their three into the 47xx series with the other Budd coaches at that time.   So you will need to change the interiors.


1.  References:

  A.  Amtrak Car Spotter,  2nd ed, p 42

  B. Railway Passenger Car Annual Volume V  1980-1981, p 23

  The information on the conversion dates is in Wayner, Car Names......

2.  It would appear the cars kept their 8 [ main ] window configuration after conversion to coaches.  How they arranged the seating I don't know;  it would be nice to see a diagram.  Four sets of facing pairs [ = 32 ] + 4 reversible rows perhaps ?

Best, SZ

PS  I think all three were given 474x numbers after conversion to electric heat -- or at least that was the plan.  Can anyone confirm ?



lionel1946 posted:
CBQer posted:

As for motive that's easy. Sunset E8s.


Easy?!?! I think it will be a LONG time before one becomes available! But at least now I know what to look for.

My error. I meant E7s.


Dick Donaway

VietNam Veteran

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