dome cars

When Akron Railroad Club member Bob Farkas cranks up his way back machine he usually has in mind going back to the 1970s or earlier.

When I dive into my version of a way back machine I tend to have a much shorter focus in time.

I recently launched a project of reviewing some my older digital images with an eye toward processing and posting some that got overlooked shortly after they were made.

I decided to start with July, August and September of 2011, a period of time that incorporated the first three months that I started doing digital photography.

I was all over the visit that September of Nickel Plate Road 2-8-4 No. 765 when it came to the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad and pulled a series of excursions.

The image above was made on Sept. 17. The 765 was pulling a trip headed for Canton that was billed as a total track tour.

I was waiting for it on the Old Station Road bride that is now part of the towpath trail.

What caught my attention about this photograph is the FL9 that is trailing on the train and will bring it back north later today.

The CVSR used that FL9, a former Amtrak and New Haven unit, between 2009 and early 2012.

It was paired with NKP 765 during its September 2011 visit, which would turn out to be the waning days of No. 484s tenure in the Valley.

No. 484 at the time was owned by F.P. Flynn but has since moved on to working in Canada.

Another notable fact about this train is the presence of two dome cars. The dome with the blue, gold and gray paint was namedEmersonat the time and had just been joined by the formerSilver Bronco, which was already wearing CVSR colors.

The ex-Silver Bronco assumed the Emerson name for a while before reverting to its original Denver & Rio Grande Western name.

The blue, gold and gray dome in this train is a former Great Northern car than ran on the CVSR between 2009 and 2011.

As I processed this image I also noticed something that had escaped my attention at the time.

Can you find the Akron Railroad Club member in this photo? He is standing  next a tripod with a video camera and has a still photo camera around his neck. Look a little to the left of the Buckeye crossbuck at the grade crossing.

It is Paul Wooding who was part of the impromptu photo line.

Tags:brecksville stationCuyahoga Valley Scenic RailroadCVSR dome carsCVSR trainsdome carsFL9 484FL9 No. 484FLNX 484Nickel Plate Road No. 765NKP 765 on CVSRpassenger trainsPaul Woodring

The Mad River & NKP Railroad Museum in Bellevue has received a $10,000 grant fromTrainsmagazine that will be used to restore the nations first dome car.

The money will be used to restore the dome section of the, a Chicago, Burlington & Quincy car that was modified from coachat the railroads shops in Aurora, Illinois, in 1945.

General Motors Vice President Cyrus Osborn is credited with coming up with the concept of a dome car while riding the head-end of a train through Colorados Glenwood Canyon in 1944.

The museum acquiredSilver Domefrom Amtrak in 1978. TheTrainsgrant will be used to replace trim and Plexiglas that has become discolored. The museum also plans to restore the upholstery and carpets as well as do window sill work.

Trainsreceived 40 applications for its 2017 Preservation Award. The grant program is now in its 18th year.

In another development, the Mad River museum said on its website recently that it has raised more than $70,000 toward its goal of $100,000 this year to use to acquire Nickel Plate Road steam locomotive 757.

The locomotive is currently at the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania in Strasburg.

The Mad River museum plans to place No. 757 on static display once it arrives in Bellevue.

No. 757 had been set aside by the Nickel Plate Road to donate to Bellevue, but the city lacked a museum at the time. It therefore wound up being sent to Pennsylvania.

Mad River has said its overall fundraising goal is $250,000 of which $150,000 will be used to move the 757 to Bellevue.

On its website, the museum said if it raises $150,000 by next spring it will be able to move the 757 to Bellevue as early as next summer.

In recent months, Mad River volunteers and contractors have traveled to Strasburg to prepare the locomotive for shipment.

More information, including how to donate to the cause, visit

Tags:dome carshistorical restorationMad River & NKP Railroad MuseumNickel Plate Road 757Railroad Museum of Pennsylvaniarailroad restorationSilver DomeTrains magazine

Amtrak is bringing back its Great Dome car for the fall foliage season aboard theAdirondackin update New York.

The car will operate on the New York-Montreal train between Sept. 29 and Nov. 1.

The dome will operate northbound on Train 69 from Albany-Rensselaer, New York, to Montreal on Thursdays, Saturdays and Mondays.

It will return south on Train 68 Fridays, Sundays, and Tuesdays. The dome will not operate on Wednesdays.

There is no additional charge to ride in the dome section. Seats are unreserved and available on a first-come, first-served basis.

On some trips, National Park Service Trails and Rails volunteers will offer historical commentary between Saratoga Springs and Westport, New York.

Among the scenic features of the route are Lake Champlain and the Adirondack Mountains.

Passengers can take advantage of the I Love NY 15 percent discount off the regular (full) adult rail fare, valid for sale through May 2017. Reservations are required.

Up to two children ages 2-12 may accompany each adult at half the discounted rail fare.

Tags:AmtrakAmtrak dome carsAmtrak great dome carAmtrak trainsAmtraks Adirondackdome carsgreat dome cars

Four dome cars will be in the consist when Norfolk & Western No. 611 pulls excursions this year in Virginia and North Carolina.

Trip sponsors have announced that the domes will include three full-length cars, two of which are being sent by Iowa Pacific Holdings.

The IP cars will includeScenic View, built in 1954 for the San Francisco Chief of the Santa Fe; andPrairie View, built in 1955 for the Empire Builder of the Great Northern.

A former Northern Pacific short dome,Stampede Pass, will be in the consist along with ex-Milwaukee Road Super Dome 53.

Tags:dome carsgreat dome carsIowa Pacific HoldingsN&W 611N&W 611 excursionsNorfolk & Western 611

Now facing south on the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad, Horizon Rail No. 8420.

Because CVSR No. 800 has always seemed to face south I must have thought that it always would.

All roads lead to the Silver Bronco or at least maybe in Peninsula.

The Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad began its 2016 operations more than two weeks ago. I was in Akron last Saturday so I made a trip over to the Valley to see what was running.

The same locomotives that I saw pulling CVSR Scenic trains last fall are still pulling trains this winter, but with a twist.

CVSR No. 800, the Baltimore & Ohio FPA-4 tribute locomotive, is now facing north. Facing south is Horizon Rail GP10 No. 8420, which the CVSR has leased.

I dont know why the locomotives were turned. Theres probably a reason for it and maybe its a good one.

What I do know is that Id rather have the 800 facing south because the light is always better for a south-facing locomotive on a north-south railroad.

But Ill make do the best I can this winter and spring until either the 800 gets turned or another more colorful unit replaces the 8420.

Tags:B&O 800brecksville stationCuyahoga Valley Scenic RailroadCVSR 800CVSR Silver BroncoCVSRs B&O 800dome carsHorizon Rail 8420HZRX 8420Silver Bronco dome car

Amtraks only remaining dome car will begin six-week seasonal service on the New York-MontrealAdirondack. The Great Dome will operate between Sept. 24 and Nov. 3.

The car has upper level windows on all sides. Among the sights to see are Lake Champlain and the Adirondack Mountains.

The dome car will operate northbound from Albany to Montreal on Thursdays, Saturdays and Mondays and return south from Montreal on Fridays, Sundays, and Tuesdays. The dome car will not operate on Wednesdays.

Passengers are welcome to ride in the car at no extra cost. Seats are unreserved and available on a first-come, first-served basis.

When available, Trails and Rails volunteers will be aboard select dome car trips to offer commentary about the history of the route between Saratoga Springs and Westport, New York.

Passengers can also take advantage of the I Love NY 15 percent discount off the regular (full) adult rail fare, valid for sale through May 2016. Reservations are required. Up to two children ages 2-12 may accompany each adult at half the discounted rail fare.

Tags:AmtrakAmtrak great dome carAmtraks Adirondackdome carsgreat dome cars

Snow is falling as the CVSR Scenic arrives in Akron about five minutes ahead of its scheduled 9:55 a.m. arrival. On the head end, unfortunately, is that LTEX black geep.

This past Sunday I purchased a dome level ticket to ride in dome car Emerson on the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad.

It is something Ive wanted to do for a while, particularly during the winter. The CVSR Scenic will never be confused withThe Canadian,California Zephyr,Empire Builder, or any other domeliner train that ran through striking mountain scenery.

But although the CZ and theBuilderhave Amtrak versions that pass through the same scenery as their streamliner era predecessors, those trains have Sightseer lounges that are nice, but not the same as dome car.

And as much as Id like to rideThe Canadianin the winter, I cant get out there due to my work schedule.  Besides, riding the CVSR Scenic is much cheaper and much closer to home.

My dome ticket cost $20 plus a $2 handling fee. I made my reservation online and I had a couple of options for acquiring the paper ticket. I could print it myself, but would have to pay a fee of 25 cents. Huh? Or I could pick up the ticket train side in Akron and pay a fee of $3. Guess which option I chose.

Due to bridge construction, the CVSR is only operating to Brecksville through mid March. After March 16 more construction will truncate the route to Peninsula. The entire line is expected to reopen in May.

I had a choice of riding Saturday or Sunday but opted for Sunday because the weather forecast called for snow showers. The park would look prettier with some new snow.

Then again, Saturday turned out to be mostly sunny during much of the day and that would have made for a pretty ride, too. But I had work to do at home on Saturday and an event to attend Saturday night. Sunday just seemed to be the better day.

The ride was, as I expected, very relaxing and the scenery was very pretty. The Cuyahoga Valley National Park looks a little different from atop a dome car.

After my two-and-half-hour trip ended, I brushed the snow off my car and headed out to chase the next run of the Scene. But that is a story for another day.

Ill have to go back to Emerson again someday. Maybe it will be after the snow stops falling and the sun has come out. What a sight that would be.

The car attendant of the Emerson sweeps the snow from the steps as passengers wait to board out of sight to the right. Most of those who boarded headed for dining car Lone Star, where they would enjoy brunch.

My first glimpse of the dome section of the Emerson. The car is named for a corporate donor who provided funds to help refurbish the car after the CVSR acquired it. the car began life as the Silver Bronco and was owned by the Denver & Rio Grande Zephyr, which assigned it to the California Zephyr. After the CZ was discontinued, the car, presumably, continued in service on the Rio Grande Zephyr, which I rode in summer 1979. So I might have ridden in this car once before.

Not only did the snow showers refresh the snow in the park, it also freshened the precipitation on the windows of the dome section. I would wrestle with this the entire trip. Still, as I took my seat there was the anticipation of a special trip.

The snow clinging to the front windows was heavier than that on the side. This view looks north toward the head end of the northward train. Had the train operated fast enough to blow the snow off the roofs of the cars, visibility would have been even more restricted.

I learned to work depth of field to my advantage in much the same way that I do when shooting through a chain link fence.

Milepost 52 is located just south of the Deep Lock Quarry. The fence ahead separates the tracks from the towpath trail that also cuts through the park. Ive taken many photographs of CVSR trains and visiting steam locomotives, e.g., Nickel Plate Road No. 765 and Canadian Pacific No. 1293, at this location.

The towpath train with a lock in the background near the Deep Lock Quarry. Shortly thereafter, the tracks cross the park and railroads namesake Cuyahoga River.

A house in Peninsula between the tracks and the river. The scenery is always nice on the CVSR but perhaps even more so in the winter.

Looking out the front with a wider perspective to show the dome windows. Amtraks Sightseer lounges are nice, but they cant quite compare to this view.

We had a 15 minute layout in Brecksville, although I didnt get off the train. I would be able to get ground shots of the train in Brecksville later in the day. The iconic Ohio Route 82 bridge and the trees along the are reflected in the Cuyahoga River.

There had been just two other passengers on the northward trip, a couple from Detroit. But on the southward trip, the dome began to fill with passengers. Still, it wasnt at capacity. To view a couple more images that I took inside the dome section and posted on the Eastern Railroads board on Monday, click the link below.

Crossing the Cuyahoga River north of Peninsula on the return trip.

It isnt the California Zephyr or The Canadian, but a trip in the Emerson through the Cuyahoga River Valley was still a relaxing and scenic experience.

FPA4 No. 6777, which pulled the train northward, is shown at Akron after I got off.

I got a parting shot of the Emerson as the crowd of passengers waiting to board for the second northbound journey stands on the platform.

Tags:Cuyahoga Valley Scenic RailroadCVSR dome carCVSR dome car Emersondome cars

The Midwest tour of Amtraks great dome car has been extended through the Thanksgiving travel period.

Amtrak said on Monday that the car will operate on some Chicago-MilwaukeeHiawatha Servicetrains and on select Chicago-St. LouisLincoln Servicetrains.

The car will be assigned to the Milwaukee route Nov. 25-28 on Numbers 329, 332, 333, 336, 337, 340 and 341; and Dec. 1 on trains 331, 334, 335, 338, 339 and 342.

On Nov. 29 and 30 the car will operate onLincoln ServiceNos. 303 and 306.

The dome car has been running this month between Chicago and Quincy, Ill.

The cars upper level is equipped with windows on all sides, including the entire length of the roof, to provide panoramic views. It was built in 1955.

Tags:AmtrakAmtrak great dome carAmtraks Hiawatha ServiceAmtraks Lincoln Servicedome carsgreat dome cars

Amtraks great dome car will operate on theIllinois Zephyrfrom Nov. 5-22.

No. 10031 is the only dome car left in Amtraks fleet. It will operate eastbound from Quincy on No. 380, which departs at 6:12 a.m., and westbound on No. 383, which departs Chicago at 5:55 p.m.

There will be no additional charge to ride in the car and seating is unreserved.

The great dome was built by the Budd Co. in 1955 as Great Northern No. 1391, one of six full-length domes used on the Chicago-Seattle/PortlandEmpire Builderoperated by GN in partnership with the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy and Spokane, Portland & Seattle Railway.

This November the car will traverse the original route of theEmpire Builderfrom Chicago to Aurora.

The car features an upper level with windows on all sides to provide passengers with panoramic views of the changing colors of the trees, farmers in their fields and the picturesque communities along the route, including LaGrange, Naperville, Plano, Mendota, Princeton, Kewanee, Galesburg and Macomb, Amtrak said in a news release.

Acquired by Amtrak in 1971, the car once carried the nameOcean View.

Amtrak said theIllinoisZephyr and its counterpart, theCarl Sandburg(Nos. 381 & 382) carried more than 261,000 passengers in fiscal year 2013, which ended on Sept. 30.

Tags:Amtrak Illinois serviceAmtraks Illinois Zephyrdome carsgreat dome carsIllinois Zephyr

Akron Railroad Club member Jeff Troutman reported that Amtrak Superdome car No. 10031 was on the rear of Wednesdays (Sept. 23, 2009)  eastboundLake Shore Limitedas it cruised through Northeast Ohio en route to New York and Boston.

No. 10031 was to be dropped off at Albany-Rensselaer where it will be running theAdirondackfor six weeks this fall. The car, which is the only dome car left on the Amtrak roster, will be assigned to theAdirondackbetween Albany and Montreal between October 1 and November 10.

Orginally built for service on the pre-AmtrakEmpire Builder, No. 10031 is normally based on the West Coast and used in charter service. It seldom operates east of the Rocky Mountains, Amtrak said in a news release.

The car left Los Angeles on September 19 on theSouthwest Chieffor Chicago.

Jeff also reported that two private cars were on the rear of Thursdays eastboundLake Shore Limited.They were a formerCalifornia Zephyrcar and a round-ended observation car that carried a The Chief drumhead.

Last month ARRC members spotted former Frisco sleeperCimarron Riveron the rear of No. 48 near North East, Pennsylvania, during the overnight outing there.

Tags:AdirondakAmtrakdome carsJeff TroutmanLake Shore Limitedprivate cars

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