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Nostalgia & History > NP Travellers Rest


Date: 05/01/09 17:41
NP Travellers Rest
Author: smokebox

I'm looking for any and all info on the Travellers Rest cars. Rebuilt from what and when, Trains used on, Amtrak service, survivors, etc.

Thanks.



Date: 05/02/09 03:56
Re: NP Travellers Rest
Author: bandob

I don't know if you saw this post, but if you did not, there is a page on the Traveler's Rest...

http://www.trainorders.com/discussion/read.php?11,1908366,1908370#msg-1908370

B&OB



Date: 05/02/09 06:56
Re: NP Travellers Rest
Author: czephyr17

If you don't have it, you need to get the 2004 book "The Vista-Dome North Coast Limited" by William R. Kuebler, Jr. It is in my opinion the definitive book about this train, for which the Traveller's Rest cars were rebuilt in 1955 from coach-lounge-buffet cars built by Pullman-Standard (Lot 6739) in 1947. The origins of the cars and the interior layout and design by the famed industrial designer Raymond Loewy and Chicago artist Edgar Miller are described at some length. Edgar Miller hand painted the murals in each car with scenes from the Lewis & Clark Expedition, so although the scenes depicted in each car were the same, being hand painted made them each unique. The name "Traveller's Rest" came right out of the Lewis & Clark journals. On September 9, 1805 they had established a campsite near Lolo, Montana (just a few miles south of Missoula), and in the journal Captain Lewis wrote "We called it Traveller's Rest". NP adopted the name, spelling and all. Bear in mind that the cars were put in service in 1955, the 150th anniversary of the Lewis & Clark expedition, so there would have been a lot of press at the time about that historic milestone that the NP was capitalizing on. Kuebler's book revolves around the use of these cars on the Vista-Dome North Coast Limited (which operated on NP and BN until Amtrak), not what happened to the cars after Amtrak. I do know that in the latter years on the NP, the cars occasionally found their way into other service on NP, for example once in May, 1969 when I was riding the NP's secondary transcontinental train, the "Mainstreeter", I found a Traveller's Rest substituting for the regular economy buffet car that was supposed to be on the train.

BN sold all five former NP owned Traveller's Rest cars (493 thru 498) to Amtrak in 1971. The former CB&Q owned car, 499, was damaged in a wreck in early 1971 but sold to Amtrak in the wrecked condition later that year. It was returned to BN in 1973, who then sold it to a private individual. I believe Amtrak used the cars on several different trains during the 1970's before retiring the cars, but I am not an expert on how Amtrak used the cars. I do know that Mike Gelhaus in Spokane has the 496 car (along with several other VDNCL cars) and is probably the most knowledgeable person regarding details of these cars; I know he has an open house once a year or so, but I have not been able to visit yet since I live far away from there and just haven't been able to coordinate a time. You might want to check with the Northern Pacific Railway Historical Association for more information.



Date: 05/02/09 09:03
Re: NP Travellers Rest
Author: WP-M2051

smokebox1 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I'm looking for any and all info on the Travellers
> Rest cars. Rebuilt from what and when, Trains
> used on, Amtrak service, survivors, etc.
>
> Thanks.

I rkode one once.



Date: 05/02/09 09:57
Re: NP Travellers Rest
Author: smokebox

Thanks for the fantastic replies! Did the VD-NCL not have a lounge car before the Travellers Rest's?



Date: 05/02/09 10:34
Re: NP Travellers Rest
Author: rob_l

smokebox1 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Thanks for the fantastic replies! Did the VD-NCL
> not have a lounge car before the Travellers
> Rest's?

It was not a VD-NCL before the Traveller's Rest. The domes and the Traveller's Rest were part of the same launch.

I am sure the NCL had a lounge car before it became the VD-NCL.

Best regards,

Rob L.



Date: 05/02/09 10:42
Re: NP Travellers Rest
Author: WAF

The Traveller's Rest series was used on Amtrak's 101/102, the City of San Francisco during the first summer of operation (1971) as the snack car for the food series line ( diner/ dome lounge/ snack car)



Date: 05/02/09 10:51
Re: NP Travellers Rest
Author: bnsfbob

czephyr17 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------

> BN sold all five former NP owned Traveller's Rest
> cars (493 thru 498) to Amtrak in 1971. The former
> CB&Q owned car, 499, was damaged in a wreck in
> early 1971 but sold to Amtrak in the wrecked
> condition later that year. It was returned to BN
> in 1973, who then sold it to a private individual.
> I believe Amtrak used the cars on several
> different trains during the 1970's before retiring
> the cars, but I am not an expert on how Amtrak
> used the cars. I do know that Mike Gelhaus in
> Spokane has the 496 car (along with several other
> VDNCL cars)

The TR cars were NP 494-499 and were classed as lunch counter lounges in the Amtrak 8350-8355 series. The 8355 (499) was apparently never renumbered/rebuilt/used and retired in 1973. The cars spent much time on the Empire Builder and on Vancouver-Seattle-Portland trains. My notes show that the 497 (8353) was wrecked and the 8350 (494) stricken for some reason in the 1970s. I don't know the post-Amtrak disposition of these cars. I ran into one on an excursion in 1985.

I have found only a few pre-1965 North American passenger car designs that I did not like. The interior design of the TR cars is not personally appealing.

Bob



Date: 05/02/09 11:14
Re: NP Travellers Rest
Author: bnsfbob

rob_l Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> smokebox1 Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> > Thanks for the fantastic replies! Did the
> VD-NCL
> > not have a lounge car before the Travellers
> > Rest's?
>
> It was not a VD-NCL before the Traveller's Rest.
> The domes and the Traveller's Rest were part of
> the same launch.
>
> I am sure the NCL had a lounge car before it
> became the VD-NCL.
>
> Best regards,
>
> Rob L.

Per Wayner's "Car Names, Numbers and Consists":

The dome chair cars were added to the NCL in July and Aug of 1954.

The pre-dome NCL had 1947-built chair-buffet-lounge cars NP 494-499 (accordingly, there was lounge service but no separate lounge car on the train). This same series was rebuilt into the TR cars in July-Oct 1955.

Bob



Date: 05/02/09 11:47
Re: NP Travellers Rest
Author: smokebox

Our group has recieved one of these cars as a donation. I'm trying to document as much info as I can. Thanks for the replies...keep them coming!



Date: 05/02/09 20:08
Re: NP Travellers Rest
Author: MEKoch

On Amtrak's #9-10, the NCH, they subbed as diners sometimes. They are wonderful cafe-lounge cars, but they are not full diners. They had an electric griddle, a steam table, but no oven. So the menu was very limited. Passengers missed the full diner.

Waukesha generator provided the power.

Interior decorations on the cars were spectacular. I have a booklet that NP put out about the cars.



Date: 05/02/09 22:18
Re: NP Travellers Rest
Author: smokebox

Any idea as to the years they operated on these trains?



Date: 05/03/09 07:16
Re: NP Travellers Rest
Author: Afbombers

I dont recall the number but there is a travelers rest lounge in private hand located in Iowa, nice car inside and out



Date: 05/03/09 13:14
Re: NP Travellers Rest
Author: czephyr17

One thing to keep in mind is that the Traveller's Rest car, though open to everyone on the train, was generally located in the coach portion of the train and was designed to provide lounge as well as economical meals that tended to be attractive to budget minded coach passengers. First Class passengers in the sleeping cars had their own private lounge in the observation car at the rear of the train (after 1967, when that car was removed, NP converted one of the sleeper domes to a "Lounge in the Sky" service for first class passengers).

The Ranch car on the GN Empire Builder acted in roughly the same role on that train.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/03/09 13:15 by czephyr17.



Date: 05/03/09 21:46
Re: NP Travellers Rest
Author: smokebox

I would be interested in hearing about this car.

Smokebox

Afbombers Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I dont recall the number but there is a travelers
> rest lounge in private hand located in Iowa, nice
> car inside and out



Date: 05/04/09 02:32
Re: NP Travellers Rest
Author: wfre

smokebox1 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I would be interested in hearing about this car.
>
> Smokebox
>
> Afbombers Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> > I dont recall the number but there is a
> travelers
> > rest lounge in private hand located in Iowa,
> nice
> > car inside and out

This one ? Not much help, I fear.

GTW 15013 - (shown as PV Buckeye Lady) LW track inspection car rblt. from NP 493 Traveler's Rest lounge. (RR - FALLEN FLAGS)

<http://rr-fallenflags.org/misc-p/rpcx1501ast.jpg

Walt in Sausalito



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