Alaska Railroad 553 (Single Level Dome)
Anchorage, AK. Photo by John Combs
Level Dome Coach
feet, 11 inches
||Florida Fun Train (RRCX) 9003, Alaska Railroad (ARR) 553.
Along with several other cars, Alaska Railroad 553 was built for the
ambitious Florida Fun Train, a service that had a very brief life running
between Ft. Lauderdale and Orlando, FL. The train had a total of four
single level domes, along with two dining/restaurant cars, a theatre
car and an innovative arcade car that included virtual reality games
and video games. Unfortunately, the service quickly failed due to lack
of ridership and some legal snarls, and the 553 and the rest of the
train reposed until sold to the Alaska Railroad in 1999.
was constructed using the center sill of former Canadian National baggage car, CN 9302,
which was built in June, 1958 and later became CN 9673 and VIA 9673
before being retired. The baggage car's body is still in use as a storage shed at CRM's plant.
renumbered and repainted at Colorado Railcar, the 551,
552, 553, 554
and business car 2000 (along
with the other four FFT cars) were shipped to Alaska and placed in service
on the Grandview Glacier Discovery Train between Anchorage and Grandview.
I understand that the garish interiors intended to represent
the flamboyance of the Florida lifestyle but out of place in Alaska
will be replaced as they begin to wear.
These cars are set to be refurbished over the winter 2004-2005 with
larger seats. No word yet on exact styling, but the cars will retain their four-top table configuration.
Outside Anchorage? A representative interior photo by John Combs.
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