MNZX GRAND DOME         
Built in 1937 by P-S in Lot #6500 to Plan #7381 as SP 29 seat parlor-5 seat drawing room #3000, 1 of 2 such cars (#3000-#3001) built in that Lot, which was ordered in June 1936; these 2 cars were delivered in February 1937. In the early 1950s, as more and more dome cars were being ordered for Chicago-to-West Coast trains, the SP under the direction of President Donald Russell took the plunge, after having seen plans for Budd-built full domes for the AT&SF. Initially, orders for full domes were attached to previously-ordered Lots of full domes for the GN and Santa Fe. However, after looking at the dimensions for these planned cars, the SP became concerned about the side clearances on super-elevated curves along sidings and in double-tracked territory. As a result, Russell had the Budd orders cancelled, and instead instructed the SP shops to construct dome cars of their own design that would fit inside the clearances. With cooperation from Budd, which supplied the actual dome components in kit form, the shops used retired prewar cars built by P-S to construct 7 three-quarter dome club lounges (#3600-#3606) in 1954-1955, beginning with the prototype #3600 in 1954. Specifically, parlor #3000 was converted to dome #3604 in 1955. #3600 had 64 seats, #3601-#3604 had 78 seats, and #3605-#3606 had 74 seats. These cars were unique in the fact that there was no lower level beneath the dome section, due to the lower clearance of the domes. The #3600 was sold for scrap in 1970, and with the startup of Amtrak in 1971, 5 of the remaining cars (#3601-#3605) were leased to the new corporation, with some even being repainted to Amtrak colors but with the SP numbers. In 1974, these 5 cars were sold to Amtrak as #9370-#9374, the #3604 as #9373. Besides the #9370 which was wrecked in 1977, the other 4 cars were sold in 1981; the #9373 was retired in February 1981 and sold to J.R. Reed. It was later acquired by Dave Paradeau as the GRAND DOME for his Minnesota Zephyr Dinner Train. In 2012, Iowa Pacific acquired the Minnesota Zephyr consist, including the GRAND DOME.
Date: 6/20/2015 Location: Alamosa, CO   Map Show Alamosa on a rail map Views: 287 Collection Of:   Ted Brumberg
Author:  Ted Brumberg
MNZX GRAND DOME
Picture Categories: Passenger This picture is part of album:  Passenger Cars
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