May 8, 2017
Two more views of Cathedral Mountain, Denver, circa 1971 (Bob Jordan)
All it takes is time and money. We sent the Verde Valley packing to Chandler Arizona as they had both and they are doing a remarkable job of returning it to operating condition. Lots of new sheet metal and new windows. They are refurbishing the interior also.
Before heading west in April 2017:
A few months ago:
Wow, such a beautiful car. Did some quick research to find that it was one of six Mountain-series cars built by ACF for the GN and placed in service in 1951.
She's beautiful. Similar to New York Central's Hickory Creek. Though Hickory Creek had fewer large windows.
GN Lounge-Obs. 1293 "Cathedral Mountain", again, Denver, CO, circa 1971 (Bob Jordan)
Milwaukee Road Skytop-Parlor 186 "Cedar Rapids", Denver, CO, mid-1990s (Bob Jordan) (From 1990-1999, this car was stored in Denver before being sold to the Friends of the 261 in 1999.)
Sitting in one of those Skytops must have been like being in the cockpit of a B-29 bomber. They're real beauties.
A bit late to this party, but this location is "Orestod." It is "Dotsero" spelled backwards and is where the "Dotsero Cutoff" begins heading west. The Craig branch heads up the hill to the right and the main and siding go around the corner to Bond. Below left, the main and siding head off to Denver. That is the Colorado River. There was (is) a small yard at Orestod that usually held MOW or excess cars.
The grade looks severe because of the 2% headed up the hill and the grade headed down river.
Great photos btw!
Much comfier than a B-29!
Just sit back, have a coffee, and savor the scenery.
I rode behind 261 a couple years ago the Cedar Rapids seats were $1200 and they were sold out. I rode in the dome at $300; money well spent.
Nice to see her in the wild.
MILW 186 "Cedar Rapids", elsewhere in Denver, mid-1990s (Bob Jordan)
MILW MOW Combine 980409 (a former 27xx Branchline Combine), Somewhere in the Upper Midwest, late 1980s (Bob Jordan)
Here's the $1,200 view.
I wonder how much it would cost to add a "sun room" to my house in that configuration!!??
I'd put in a few rows of comfy recliners facing to the rear.
Nice place to doze off.
Cars configured like this might just encourage more travel by rail. The utilitarian designs of today do not have much viewing appeal.
Sad but true. I've ridden Empire Builder more than a few times. Every time I wish I was up front. Recognizing the seats up front are limited I'd settle for a dome seat (traditional, not full-length).
Long live Wil's Slide Box!
I, too, have ridden the Builder. A REAL dome, or a tail end car such as the MILW Skytop style would be wonderful for viewing- without kinking one's neck to the side for loooong periods of time. There are some very nice sights to be seen, which the cars of today simply do not allow a passenger to enjoy. Not that the powers in charge really care. There is more to a long distance train, than simply providing us a seat. A factor they are incapable of understanding.
MILW MOW Combine 980416 (ex-MILW 2712), Upper Midwest, late 1980s (Bob Jordan)
MILW Branch Combines 980416 & 980409, Upper Midwest, Late 1980s (Bob Jordan)
I've never seen anything like those in the MILW. Neat! Did they chop longer passenger cars to make them?
Probably rebuilds of older cars, like those used on branch-line mixed trains, replacing the clerestory roof and re-cladding them. They remind me a bit of the Harriman car kits from Roundhouse.
Cool Hiawatha logo on what used to be the baggage compartment door.