I am eagerly awaiting my Lionel Legacy UP No. 844, now en route from Muffinland, and have acquired several (used) Lionel aluminum 18" cars to complement the "Queen of the Rails", when she arrives.
Internet research indicates that three dome observation cars (9004, 9005 and 9009) remain in the UP's fleet and photos prove that one even graces the hind end of their excursion train, occasionally.
Having explored the world of Lionel and K-line passenger equipment, it would appear that only K-line built a 18" blunt-end dome obs and that the species is all but extinct.
However, K-line used the same or similar blunt obs castings on their PRR "View" cars as well as the "Phoebe Snow" tail car.
Then came the brainstorm... or a mini-stroke: If some clever someone much cleverer than I with a 3-D printer was to come up with a one piece blunt obs car end, having all the appropriate shaping to conform to the innards of a Lionel car, that piece could replace the non-vestibule car end of a standard dome car and, BINGO, a blunt-end dome obs is born!
I acknowledge that the window arrangement will not match the prototype, but, this is O GAUGE.
Selfishly, it then occurred to me that the beautiful but ludicrously inappropriate Astra-Dome included in my MILW Olympian set, now lying partially cannibalized in storage, would make the perfect subject. A partial repaint of this UP schemed car is even within my limited capabilities.
Is there anyone out there willing and able to produce such a piece?