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Santa Fe "Big" domes




This section covers the fourteen full domes built by Budd and delivered to the Santa Fe in 1954.

They were lower than the short domes at 15'7", the lower height being accomplished by elimination of the central air conditioning duct in the ceiling. The cars had a large semi-circular register in the wall of the blind end of the dome, with air flowing to the stairwell.

The first 8, ATSF#506-513 were for "El Capitan" and "Chicagoan"/"Kansas Cityan" service, had a 28 seat bar-lounge downstairs and a room for a courier-nurse. Two years later, the "Cap" went hi-level, and the domes moved to the "Chief".

The last six, ATSF#550-555 were for the "San Francisco Chief" and had a reduced size lounge and a crew dorm that slept 12.

All of the cars had 57 coach seats and 18 lounge seats under the dome area.

Although none of these cars "officially" moved on to Amtrak, they actually were operated for Amtrak under short term lease in the first month or so of operation by Santa Fe on Amtrak trains until other cars could be substituted (Amtrak was unable to meet the ATSF price for the cars).

After "retirement", Auto-Train grabbed the 13 available (ATSF retained one).

As of 3/2003, 10 of these cars were under one owner, Holland America Westours, with the cars being used in tourist service on the Alaska RR. The cars are listed below - Westours had restored the original car numbers. 8 of the 10 were listed for sale by Westours as of 8/03 due to receipt of new cars from Colorado Railcar. All cars were sold by 10/09 (see each car for new owner)

SF# AutTr# Name
----- ------ -----------------
507 540     Susitna (800153) - 1989
508 520     Matanuska (800131) - 1987
509 521     Chena (800122) - 1994/2002
510 522     Chulitna (800123) - 1987/2002
511 523     Nenana (800124) - 1987/2003
512 541     Tanana (800125) - 1987/2003
513 524     Talkeetna (800134) - 1987/2003
551 513     Kobuk - 1994/2002
553 515     Kashwitna (800135) - 1989/2002
554 510     Eklutna (800136) - 1987/2002
----------------------------------------------


AT&SF 506 (the first one delivered) (800638) was never sold, remained in the business fleet, was renumbered as ATSF#60 in 1974, and became BNSF 31 "Bay View" in 1999.


AT&SF 507 converted to nightclub #540 by Autotrain, to Roy Thorpe/Falcon Safety Products NJ (12/81), estate sale to Westours (7/87) "Susitna" (800153) - entered service 1989. Car had coupler pocket modifications on the B end to run with the new cars from Colorado Railcar (they require more coupler swing than a standard CS pocket would allow due to their 89 foot length). Car transferred late 2004 to a new division Alaska Rail Tours with the other retained cars to begin service in 2005 in a non "cruise ship" travel/tour operation in Alaska. Sold 9/05 to Canon City & Royal Gorge Railway


AT&SF 508 Autotrain #520, Delaware Otsego/NYS&W division(12/81), repainted full NYS&W maroon/gold colors during fall 1984, and was renumberedd NYS&W 503. The car was re-sold on 12/30/85 to Westours "Matanuska" (800121) - entered service 1987. Car had coupler pocket modifications on the B end to run with the new cars from Colorado Railcar (they require more coupler swing than a standard CS pocket would allow due to their 89 foot length). Car transferred late 2004 to a new division - Alaska Rail Tours (defunct) with the other retained cars to begin service in 2005 in a non "cruise ship" travel/tour operation in Alaska. Sold 10/09 to Iowa Pacific/San Luis & Rio Grande. Renamed "Canyon View" and operating on Saratoga & North Creek as of 10/11.


AT&SF 509 Autotrain #521, Don Gage NY (12/81), Delaware Otsego/NYS&W division (1984) to replace 555 which burned, car never repainted or re-numbered for NYS&W, and was stored at Utica, NY until re-sold 12/30/85 to Westours "Chena" (800122). Began service in 1994. Listed for sale as 'excess' 3/2003 - name recycled to new Holland America custom built dome #1052. Sold 11/07 to Iowa Pacific/San Luis & Rio Grande. Relocated in 2008 to Mt Hood RR in Oregon for excursion usage. Renamed "Cascade View".


AT&SF 510 Autotrain #522, Delaware Otsego/NYS&W division (12/81), car stored unchanged until re-sold 12/30/85 to Westours "Chulitna" (800123) and entered service 1987. Listed for sale as 'excess' 3/2003. Sold 11/07 to Iowa Pacific/San Luis & Rio Grande. Renamed "Sunset View".


AT&SF 511 Autotrain #523, car sold 12/81 to Dick Reynolds/Great Western Tours San Francisco CA, leased thru partner Neil Ferguson to the Eureka Southern RR Willits CA for operation on their "North Coast Daylight". The car was operated as Sierra Western# 523, had it's window band painted orange, and was named "Donner Pass'" (inside car only). Car re-sold during 8/86 to Westours "Nenana" (800124) - entered service 1987. Listed for sale as "excess" 7/2003. Sold 11/07 to Iowa Pacific/San Luis & Rio Grande. Relettered "Rio Grande Scenic" 11/09 for Denver "Ski Train" service. Renamed "Scenic View" and used in general excursion service after Ski Train terminated. Owned separately by IPH vs IP directly.


AT&SF 512 converted to nightclub #541 by Autotrain, Delaware Otsego/NYS&W division (12/81), stored unused, Westours (12/85) "Tanana" (800125) - entered service 1987. Listed for sale as "excess" 7/2003. Withdrawn from sales offer and transferred late 2004 to a new division - Alaska Rail Tours (defunct) with the other retained cars to begin service in 2005 in a non "cruise ship" travel/tour operation in Alaska. Sold 10/09 to Iowa Pacific/San Luis & Rio Grande. Renamed "Alpine View" and operating on Saratoga & North Creek as of 10/11.


AT&SF 513 Autotrain #524, Delaware Otsego/NYS&W division (12/81), car was repainted full NYS&W maroon/gold colors during fall 1984, and was renumberedd NYS&W 501. The car was re-sold on 12/30/85 to Westours "Talkeetna" (800134) - entered service 1987. Listed for sale as "excess" 7/2003. Withdrawn from sales offer and transferred 11/2007 to a Alaska Rail Tours (defunct) with the other 3 retained cars to serve in a non "cruise ship" travel/tour operation in Alaska. Sold 10/09 to Iowa Pacific/San Luis & Rio Grande for use on Mt Hood RR. Renamed "Columbia View".


AT&SF 550 Autotrain #512, wrecked near Jaratt VA 5/5/76, stored at Sanford FL. Car buyer defaulted on bankruptcy auction on 12/08/81 and remained stored. Later sold to Passenger Car Associates. Car stripped on site (trucks went to PV "Cyrus Holiday"). The car was burned by vandals during 1982 and was sold to DJJ of Cincinnati and scrapped by their Tampa FL group at Sanford during 1983.


AT&SF 551 Autotrain #513, sold 12/81 to Curtis Potter of Cincinnati OH and was operated through his company "Passenger Car Associates". Leased to the Golden Arrow excursion company from 1983-87 - The car was operated over the Wisconsin & Calumet Division of the Chicago West Pullman & Southern RR, car re-sold during 1989 to Westours, stored until rebuilt and released to service 6/94 as "Kobuk". Listed for sale as 'excess' 3/2003 - name recycled to new Holland America custom built dome #1053. Sold 11/07 to Iowa Pacific/San Luis & Rio Grande. Rebuilt to Amtrak standards, renamed "Sky View" and put into excursion service.


AT&SF 552 Autotrain #514, Doug Ebert/Western Railway Services WRSX 552 (12/81), Venango River Corp VRRC 552 (5/87) (800330), Conrail #55 (1988) (800459), to Norfolk Southern at Conrail split (6/99) - stored Roanoke VA (9/99) - stored Altoona PA (1/2000) - became NS 24 "Delaware" and on the road 4/2002.


AT&SF 553 Autotrain #515, Delaware Otsego/NYS&W division(12/81), the car was repainted full NYS&W maroon/gold colors during fall 1984, and was renumbered NYS&W 502. The car was re-sold on 12/30/85 to Westours "Kashwitna" (800135) and placed in service in 1989. Listed for sale as 'excess' 3/2003. Sold 6/06 to Canon City & Royal Gorge Railway


AT&SF 554 Autotrain #510, Delaware Otsego/NYS&W division (12/81), the car was repainted full NYS&W maroon/gold colors during fall 1984, and was renumbered NYS&W 504. The car was re-sold on 12/30/85 to Westours "Eklutna" (800136) and entered service in 1987. Listed for sale as 'excess' 3/2003. Sold 11/07 to Iowa Pacific/San Luis & Rio Grande. Renamed "Summit View".


AT&SF 555 Autotrain #511, Delaware Otsego/NYS&W Division (12/81), burned summer 1984 by vandals while in storage (unchanged) in Little Ferry NJ. Car sold to Naporano Iron & Metal Newark NJ, car scrapped there during 1985.


Please e-mail us any additional info or corrections.

Additional info: Roy Wullich, PTJ












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