Great Northern Empire Builder heavyweight equipment numbering

Calzephyr Jun 27, 2017

  1. Calzephyr

    Calzephyr TrainBoard Supporter

    I recently acquired the Micro-trains 5 pack of Great Northern heavyweight cars.
    A very nice set, but, I noticed something odd... the Obs Car doesn't have a number nor a name.
    I was wondering if this was a normal occurrence for Empire Builder heavyweight Obs Cars.
    I couldn't find anything on-line (tried Jerry Laboda's site) and didn't get an answer.
    I believe the Micro-trains 12-1 Pullman is a prototypical car for Great Northern... and found one named Superior.
    Anyone have some more details about GN heavyweight Obs cars?
  2. SuperGoat

    SuperGoat TrainBoard Member

    I am going to have to thumb through some of my books this weekend and take a look at this. If I come up with anything I'll get back to you.
  3. Calzephyr

    Calzephyr TrainBoard Supporter

    Thank-you SuperGoat... I just think that the lack of numbering and/or naming of equipment would be a logistical nightmare for keeping track of these cars.
  4. Jerry M. LaBoda

    Jerry M. LaBoda TrainBoard Supporter

    You might find this of some help, it is the Great Northern Passenger Car Diagram book from 1952. In addition to the expected lightweight cars there are a number of diagrams for older cars, including some wood cars, that should help you in your search for an appropriate (well, reasonably so) number for your observation. Note, GN was not big on naming such cars until the lightweight era so numbers is really all you will have to work with.

    I think that there's even some info on that 12-1 sleeper you mentioned, numbers 1017 - 1019 should fill the bill, starting on page 60. Also you won't find a sleeper - lounge observation car on the roster but some cafe - lounge observation cars were on the roster and you will find numbers 1057, 1062 - 1064 starting on page 62.

    Hopefully this will help at least a little. While not exactly correct at least you will have some idea of what numbers would be appropriate for similar cars. Looking forward to seeing what you yet will get accomplished!!!

    Attached Files:

  5. Larry E Shankles

    Larry E Shankles TrainBoard Member

    The 12-1 Superior may have seen service on the GN, it was built for use on the NP's "Oriental Limited" and Pullman sold it to the C&EI in 1949 for use as a crew dormitory car. When Pullman was broken up in 1948, the GN acquired two 10-1-2 cars the Arvonia/1915 and the Buccaneer/1016, and three 12-1 cars Crusader Rose/1017, the Premier Rose/1018 and Rawlins/1019. The numbers being added by GN
  6. Point353

    Point353 TrainBoard Member

    AFAIK, the EB only had an enclosed solarium style observation car, without an open rear platform.
    If you want to put a name on the MTL observation car, perhaps you could use 'James J. Hill'.

    The car would have looked like this one:

    eb hvywt obs.jpg

    eb hvywt obs - end.jpg
  7. Jerry M. LaBoda

    Jerry M. LaBoda TrainBoard Supporter

    The "Oriental Limited" was a GN train...

    Here's the other side of the James J. Hill...


    She was a beautiful car... not easily modeled in N-scale but one that sure would be welcome if it could be. (Photo part of my collection.)
  8. Calzephyr

    Calzephyr TrainBoard Supporter

    It seems to me that the Micro-Trains versions of the Obs cars for Great Northern/Empire Builder named heavyweights are 'faux-bies'.
    I see that the Buffet/Lounge/Solarium Obs cars were generally not equipped with a 'porch'. The Micro-Trains versions are said to be a 3/2 Obs... and the closest one I found was a Pennsy Obs car 'Alexander Hamilton'. So the matter of the name/number missing is sort of a moot point since the cars are not really what one 'might' typically find on the actual GN/EB consist.

    BTW... thanks for all the responses to my thread... always informative!
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2017
  9. nd-rails

    nd-rails TrainBoard Member

    heavyweights are 'faux-bies' -
    as are the newly now appearing D&RGW-ish range of 'Prospector' train cars in 1950's Four Stripe paint scheme.
    Ah well, closer foobs of a modern kind beat CC ancient all 85' foobies... err.. I think...
  10. Calzephyr

    Calzephyr TrainBoard Supporter

    Yep... The D&RGW heavyweight cars from Micro-trains are not quite right for the Prospector consist... but look good enough to have a full consist of them. I have Rivarossi/ConCor heavyweights which are much inferior (lack details)... but were reasonable stand-ins until these Micro-Trains were released. It would be nice if exact replicas could be created.

    Sent from my SM-G530T using Tapatalk
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2017

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