are Single Level Domes?
would seem that routes with close clearances like tunnels, etc. would
be off limits to the ultradome products, and that may be partially the
case. But in addition to the two level dome cars, in the late 1990's
Colorado Railcar introduced a single level variant. This could be in
many ways one of CRM's most versatile products an ultradome-like
car that can go literally anywhere, any time.
That million dollar ultradome view is the highlight of the single
level domes, accomplished in a car that is compact, versatile and ideal
for use on virtually any excursion operation. Like the double deck cars,
the single level domes feature the massive 6 foot by 7 foot dome glass
windows, and are equipped with four emergency exit windows, two of which
are visible in the above the photos (the first two windows with the
terms of construction to date, the single level domes have exhibited
a little bit more variety. The first car constructed was actually the
last (as of Oct., 2003) to enter revenue service. That car - ARR
2000 - is now the pride of the Alaska Railroad fleet. It features
lounge seating, and is available for lease service. It is also the only
single level dome to be built with an observation platform.
platform car, originally numbered 9005, was built as a demonstrator
car, and achieved its intended purpose of attracting an order for cars
for the Florida Fun Train, a short-lived but innovative train the utilized
four single level domes as well as four hollowed out SP bilevel cars
that were used as restaurant, arcade and theater cars. The 9005 was
never used due to concerns over liability with the open platform. All
nine cars were sold to Alaska Railroad in 1999.
of three other cars was halted by the Florida Fun Train shut down. A
year later, BC Rail ordered those three single level domes one
intended for service behind the Royal Hudson steam engines, and two
for its new Whistler Northwind luxury service between Vancouver and
Prince George, BC. All three ultimately ended up on the Northwind, but
were sold to VIA in late 2002 when BC Rail ceased all passenger service.
The trio now comprise VIA's Panorama car class, and provide the Totem
Deluxe class on the Skeena train between Jasper, AB and Prince George,
The Florida Fun Train cars were built from former Canadian National
baggage cars, while the original demonstrator was built from a Milwaukee
Road homebuilt car. As a class, the single level domes feature the same
bridge truss construction as the ultradomes. And of course, they have
the 6 by 7 dome glass panels. One concession because of the single level
and the need for space for diaphragms, restrooms and service areas,
etc. is the lack of end glass panels. But then the view out the sides
is so good.......
There has been quite a bit of variety thus far in single level
dome cars. The 9005, remodeled by Alaska Railroad and operated as the
ARR 2000, operates in a business car configuration, with small galley
and lounge type seating. The other ARR cars feature four top table seating,
while VIA (ex-BC Rail) 1721 and 1722 feature standard coach seating.
VIA 1720 has the coach seating, with the addition of a small galley.
single level domes aren't far behind their double decker brethren in
terms of air conditioning 36 tons compared to 40 on the ultradomes.
And yes, all that a/c gets a workout keeping the car temperatures at
a comfortable level, even though the glass features five layers of tinting
and a 62 percent reduction in solar gain.