FROM BLW/ZT ... The 1955 Empire Builder!

Quoting from John F Strauss, Jr. of the Great Northern Railway Historical Society in GNRHS Reference Sheet 227:

"... in 1953 the Great Northern announced an order of dome cars for the Empire Builder. These dome cars became the last new passenger cars purchased by the Great Northern. Even though the Great Northern could be regarded as the "Johnny-Come-Lately" to the dome competition, when it decided to do so, it did so in grand style.

Each of the five Empire Builders in service received three dome coaches and one full-length dome lounge car, and they were the only Northwest domeliners to have two differently styled domes in their consists.

With these four dome cars, the Empire Builder offered 150 dome seats to its passengers, more by quite a few than offered by any of the competing domeliners; the Canadian, the City of Portland, the North Coast Limited, the Olympian Hiawatha, and the Super Continental.

The coach domes were inaugurated into the consists on May 29, 1955 and the full-length dome lounge cars were placed in service during the following October. The dome coaches and the full-length dome lounge cars were named "Great Domes" by the Great Northern, which described the 1955 Empire Builder in an information brochure, as follows:

"Today's modern fleet of five Great Dome streamliners whisks across the top of the nation daily, offering the utmost in luxurious accommodations at standard fares. Rediscover the joys of train travel. Go Great...Go Great Northern's Incomparable Great Dome Empire Builder."


This set includes a fairly standard consist for this premiere train, circa 1957.

GN F-7A #363C
GN F-7B #281B
GN F-7B #365B
GN F-7A #270A
Storage Mail        GN    #272    
RPO-Storage mail     GN    #42   
Baggage - REA    GN    #274   
Baggage-Dormitory    GN    #1201   
60-seat coach     GN    #1210   
46-seat dome coach    GN    #1324   
46-seat dome coach    SP&S    #1332   
46-seat dome coach    CB&Q    #1334   
Ranch (Cafe - Grill) GN    #1245    Whitefish Lake
4-7-3-1 Sleeper        GN    #1262     Snohomish River
4-7-3-1 Sleeper        GN    #1274     Bois De Sioux River
6-5-2 Sleeper    GN    #1380    Suiattle Pass
36-seat diner    GN    #1254    Lake Minnetonka
Great Dome Lounge     GN    #1392     Mountain View
4-7-3-1 Sleeper        GN    #1264     Bad Axe River
6-5-2 Sleeper    GN    #1375    Jefferson Pass
6-4-1 lounge obs    GN    #1193    Rocky Coulee

Every effort was made to accurately capture the look and feel of this famous name train.
Special Thanks to the folks are railfonts.com for the excellent Empire Builder font.

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Screen shots by Rail Sim Images taken on VSC's A&O Sub , WHITEFISH 4 - Hawk's & GN Hi Line - Michael Stephan

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